Blogger Interview: Chick Lit Cafe
About the blog:
Chick Lit Café is for book lovers who enjoy escaping into stories filled with paranormal romance, crime-solving fashionistas and tear-jerking dramas. From fast-talking, zany sleuths like Stephanie Plum to hopelessly neurotic shopaholics like Rebecca Bloomwood, my book blogs cover the gamut in fun, fluffy chick lit goodness!
About the blogger:
Jessica is a Texas gal who grew up writing stories about vampires, ghosts, werewolves and the occasional crime-solving cat. Her constant departure from reality worried her family to no end. Of course, now that she’s actually making a living writing magazine stories for the University of Texas at Austin, they no longer contemplate calling the men with the white coats. When not sequestered behind her computer, she can be found in front of the TV watching Ghost Hunters or taking her cat Gizmo for a walk.
How long have you been blogging?
Since June 2010. I’m very new to the scene!
Why did you decide to blog?
I have a terrible short-term memory, so I decided to create a blog to document the books I’ve read each year. In a way, revisiting my blogs is like looking through an old photo album. Looking back at an old book blog reminds me of where I was while reading the book, and why I selected that book during that specific time of year.
I also created this blog because I needed more creative freedom. I write research briefs about neuroscience and magazine features about political analysts for a living. Although I’m fortunate to make a living as a writer, I don’t have the freedom to write about things I’m truly interested in. So this blog is really just a fun hobby that allows me to enjoy writing again with no restrictions – and best of all – no editor!
What books do you blog about and why?
To me chick lit books are not just found in the romance section. Although you will find romance books in my blog, you’ll also see that I’m an avid fan of paranormal fiction, cozy mysteries, female-bonding tear-jerkers, and young adult thrillers. Since I was a kid, I’ve always been fascinated by mysteries and thrillers by writers like R.L. Stine and L.J. Smith. Although my obsession for tall, dark and handsome vampires has stayed the same, I’m also interested in slice-of-life dramas like “Where the Heart Is” and stories about female bonding like “The Sweet Potato Queens.”
What memes can be found on your blog?
I currently don’t have any memes on my blog. Should I?
What is your review style like?
As a journalist, I’m programmed to write stories in a standard news feature style by starting off with a flowery lead paragraph, which sets the mood and tone, and then jumping into the meat of the story. I usually add my own thoughts about the book somewhere near the end. I didn’t consciously plan to write my reviews in this format, it just comes natural to me. You can take the girl out of the newsroom, but you can’t take the newsroom out of the girl!
If you can describe your blog in one word, what would it be and why?
Unique. Because I don’t narrow my preferences down to one particular genre, there’s a little something for everyone. I also like to spotlight really great books from unknown authors who are in need of good press.
What advice can you give other bloggers about blogging?
Don’t spam other bloggers with emails and tweets asking them to read your blog. Be patient and comments will pop up! It’s also important to keep your blog fresh. Don’t let it run stagnant for too long or you’ll lose followers.
What kind of promotion techniques do you use to get followers?
Maybe I’ll toy around with the idea of a book giveaway later down the road, but for now I’m focusing on creating quality reviews. As of now I’m slowly, but surely building relationships with other bloggers by posting comments on their sites. That’s a great way to get on their good side, and sometimes they’re kind enough to return the favor.
If there was something you’d want your readers to take away from reading your blog, what would it be?
Many people think chick lit is nothing more than mindless garbage filled with formulaic plotlines. But if you extensively read into the genre, you’ll see that it’s so much more than stories about vapid, Gucci-obsessed women looking for love in Manhattan. To me chick lit is about strong-willed women who find strength through love, friendship and adversity. Stories like “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants,” and “Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café” give me hope, energy and make me laugh. It’s my hope that I can encourage people to pick up a good book and feel that same sense of joy. Oh and ladies – I want you to know that you are never too old to read young adult fiction!
What can readers look forward to from your blog in the future?
Author Q&As. My ultimate goal is to score an interview with the queen of chick lit, Meg Cabot! I’m also interested in creating a series about books that has been made into movies.
As I am writing this section, I found out that Chick Lit Cafe just won the Stylish Blogger Award. Congratulations, Jessica! And thank you so much for taking the time to be a part of this interview series. I like getting to know new book bloggers and sharing their experiences with fellow bloggers. This allows us to learn from each other. If you want to visit Chick Lit Cafe, dear reader, you can click on this link: http://loonachicklit.wordpress.com/