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Sunday, 27 May 2012

Blogger Interview: Giselle from Xpresso Reads

Today we have fellow book lover and blogger extraordinare, Giselle with us! She has a totally awesome book blog called Xpresso Reads, which is one of my favorite blogs, and one that I visit regularly (in a totally non-stalkerish way!). I am so, so stoked to have her here at The Teen Book Guru, so without further ado... please welcome Giselle!

       












1. Hi Giselle! Thanks so much for being here! Could you tell me a little about you and how you came to be a blogger?
First, thanks SO much for having me, doll! Your blog is super adorable!!
So about me, well I'm a Canadian book lover. Reading has always been my favorite hobby. I've been reviewing books since 2008 (some Facebook app, then on Goodreads) and I started looking into blogs a couple years ago. I saw how much more into the book scene bloggers were and I wanted to be part of the community - which I have to say is absolutely amazing! I haven't regretted it one bit. 

I LOVE the book blogging community too! Everyone is so friendly and nice.

2. I know you have a son, Alek (who I have to say, is so freaking adorable!). How does he inspire you and Xpresso Reads? Who has had an influence on you in the blogging community, and what have they taught you? 

Thanks, muffin! He's a keeper for sure! :) Alek definitely decides how much time I put into my blogging/reading. I wouldn't say he has direct inspiration since I have been reading since I could read, but being up 22 hours a day with him for his first year has given me a low sleep requirement! >.< Personally, though, he inspires me to be myself. Kids are so care-free, they don't care what other people think. He makes me want to be the best I can be, and one who loves unconditionally. 
As for who influenced me there are SO many I honestly can't pinpoint one who influenced me more than others. The community as a whole has been incredibly supportive. Everything I know I've learned from bloggers. I came into this blind, like most. I've made lots of friends since and I do have bloggers that I go to for advice if I ever need a 2nd opinion or have a problem: Amy from Book Loving Mom, Kara from Great Imaginations, Jenni rom Alluring Reads, Danny from Bewitched Bookworms, Anna from Literary Explorations I consider these some of my Blogger BFFs. There are others I'm sure I'm forgetting and I'm going to feel really bad for not including them but you can tell by who I talk regularly Twitter :) 

Great blogs!! And OMG I didn't know you had Twitter! I'm going to follow (and stalk!) you. :P

3. What advice would you give new book bloggers? Are there any big mistakes you've made that they should avoid?

Be yourself! Don't worry about what you're "supposed" to post, how often, when. What's "supposed" to be on your sidebar. What you should or shouldn't do - as long as it's ethical of course. At first I was a bit too stressed about every little detail. If you miss a day of posting. Who cares!? If you want to post a review on a weekend and you've heard a lot of bloggers don't, do it anyways! Don't stress about it. Don't make blogging your life. It's a hobby and it should be fun.

Lovely advice, Giselle! I'll take it to heart for sure. :)

4. What are your thoughts on blogger/author relationships, and what would you like to see from them in the future?

I want to see less drama to be honest. Too often I see bloggers on each others backs or authors turning on reviewers. Blog drama is never fun. It's sometimes inevitable when different personalities clash but I've learned to just let it go. You will most likely get some negative comments or simple rude feedback once in a while. Don't take it personally and make use of that delete button! Interacting with bloggers and authors are my FAVORITE part of blogging and honestly I get along with almost everyone so I really hope it stays that way and that we don't let the bad apples take that away from us!

Authors are fabulous. There has been so much drama lately though, what with the whole 'agents gone bad' drama llama.
5. Your top 5 most loved books that have had an impact on you and why. 
- Harry Potter
- As the World Dies series by Rhiannon Frater 
- Ashfall by Mike Mullin
- The Hunger Games (duh! right?)
- Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
These are all books that remind me why I love to read. I fell in love with these characters and their stories. I'm a picky reader, I will admit. I often find myself in a 3-star bubble, but it's completely worth going through dozens of mediocre books just to find diamonds in the rough like these!

All of the books you mentioned are amazing! Water for Elephants especially... and have you seen the movie? Robert Pattinson is so swoon worthy!! *squeal*

6. Current favorite tv shows?

Dexter and Big Bang Theory and my current favorites. 
My all time favorites are Sex and the City and Gilmore Girls

Big Bang Theory is hilarious.
7. What type of music do you listen to? Favorite singers and songs?
I really like all kinds of music. I know everyone says that but it's true in my case. Except for Jazz and blues, you will find all kinds of stuff on my iPod. Being a country girl, I love country. I also love classic rock, and Evanescence is one of my  fav. non-country band to listen to. 

Eeep! Evanescence?? Seriously?? Me too!! My favorite song by them would HAVE to be My Immortal!! Are we soul sisters or what? :P
8.There are so many new YA book blogs out there that are just getting started, and I know one of the most commonly asked questions and worries, is how many followers they have. You have so many followers, which is so awesome! Could you share how you acquired them, any ups and downs, and just any thoughts you have on the topic of followers?
First you have to realize that followers don't always mean readers. I've seen blogs with 2k+ followers who I never hear of and barely get any comments/page views. Then some blogs with 400 followers who gets tons of notice. This leads me to giveaways: A great way to get a starter boost, but don't rely on them to get readers. The very best way: be social. Use Twitter, visit and comment other blogs. Most of my favorite bloggers I've come to know by them chatting up with me on Twitter and commenting on my blog (I always try to visit back). Seeing as I don't do Follow Friday memes and stuff like that, being social is the only way I really get to know other blogger, especially new ones. 
Also: Don't blog just to get ARCs - because if you don't do it because you love it, this will reflect on your blog, and people notice. 
Great advice... I totally agree!! ARCs are great but also so easy to get carried away with. Twitter and leaving comments are awesome ways to make new blogging friends. :)
9. When you are not reading/blogging, what can you be found doing?
Playing with my son or sleeping. Yes I'm very boring - comes with living in the sticks. But I love it though. In the summer I'm most likely at my mom's in the pool, or at the beach, zoo, park. I love the outdoors! Sadly, 9 months out of the year I'm stuck inside because of snow. :(

I love the outdoors too! And sleeping is what I do best. :P

10. How hard (or easy), was it to establish your blog and make it known to such a large number of people? Could you describe your journey?

This will mirror the question above a bit. I went viral socially when I started (I still am). I got involved in the community and got right in the middle waving my arms wildly. Yes I hosted some giveaways at the start - which gave me a good boost to begin with. I've been very social from the get go, getting to know my favorite bloggers and making some friends. It started from there. I comment a lot; I love reading on my RSS reader I use it like a newspaper in the morning. I work hard on making my blog easy to read, fast to load and nice to look at (this comes with me being a crazy perfectionist >.<) which does play on if people will follow or not. If I saw a chance to spread the word about my blog, I did. That's about it. It's not always easy, and it's a lot of work - but I love it so to me this is a whole lotta fun!
And now the question that I ask all fellow interviewees here at The Teen Book Guru...
11.. If you could be one Jelly Belly jelly bean flavor, which one would you choose and why?
This will probably break your heart but I don't like jelly beans at all. *runs away*
But for any candy, my favorite flavours are the watermelon or strawberry ones :)
*takes a deep breath* But how, Giselle?? How is this possible? I am rendered speechless. 

JK! ILY :) And great choices... watermelon and strawberry are DELICIOUS.
Thank you so, so much for being here with us today, Giselle! Your blog is truly fantastic, and I hope you keep blogging for a very long time. I wish you all the best!
Thanks so much for having me! You all rock my face!! 


Check out Giselle's blog HERE.

18 comments:

  1. See! We we like soul mates, until I didn't like jelly beans!! Baha. But yes I watched Water fro Elephants and I really liked it. I liked Pattinson much better in that than Twilight. And Evanescence!! So awesome! I don't remember the song names though I have em all on my Pod and they shuffle (I listened to them for hours on the way to anf from NYC last year - so now it always reminds me of the trip too which is awesome!)

    Anyways, thanks for having me! I'll be sharing this on my Facebook tomorrow (more people see it during the day :)

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  2. Thank you for the mention, Giselle. I look to you for inspiration TOO! And don't feel bad, I don't like jellybeans either. And you're right. You're really awesome at being social and present and I think that is what got you to where you are today.

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    1. Thanks Kara! I'm glad we agree on jellybeans! Finally agreeing on SOMETHING! Bahah. Love your face!!

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  3. This is such a fun feature, it's great getting to know bloggers better and Giselle really seems lovely! Giselle, you gave some great advice, especially when you said for people to be themselves, it doesn't get simpler than that! ;)

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    1. Thanks! :) Our blog is defined by who we are. If you're yourself I'm sure you will rock it!

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  4. This is such a great interview! By the way, I'm listening to My Immortal right now! :) I think I'm going to do a song review on it for Tuesday! :) I'm running low on songs since I haven't listened to the radio in FOREVER! :) Don't worry, I stalk Giselle, too! I'm pretty sure she's like "Oh, great, Eileen again!" whenever I comment or start talking to her. ;)

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    1. Ha! No way chick I'm like "YAY STALKERS!!" :D *runs away in fear*

      Glad to see fellow Evanescence fans!

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    2. You probably don't want to be seeing this right now, but hello! I was talking about my song review on Evanescence, and it's here, if you want to see it. Just wanted to drop by and say that. :)

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  5. Oh, such a lovely interview! I haven't interacted much with Giselle but she seems like a very adorable person. I love the advice about new blogger! I think it's no use to worry about the number of your followers, because after all, we started our book blog because we love books! x) LOL, I sleep a lot too - sometimes I think I might sleep too much! x)

    This is a really great post! Looking forward to see more awesome bloggers pop up in this feature! <3

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    1. Thanks doll! Followers don't really mean very much to be honest. Publishers even take page views at a higher value than your follower #s. Especially now that GFC is only on blogger blogs.

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  6. Great interview! Thanks for the sweet mention lady :-) I know the feeling of being up forever, It's strange when you have babies it's like you can just function on nothing.

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    1. I thought I would DIE from sleep deprivation the first year! It was awful. And he had reflux so he would only cry and not nap in the day either. Anyways, I wanted 3 kids before him, now he's gonna be an only child for sure! Bahaha.

      <3 you Jennipoo!

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  7. Hey! :) I was just wondering. I have that amazon widget on my blog too but how do you have it above your blog post? I only have space on the side because I have my header and page(s) filling up the only available ''add gadget'' spots above my posts..I noticed yo had both a header and pages above too...how did you do that?..
    I would appreciate it if you commented back on my blog cuz I sometimes never remember to check back! * embarrassed blush*
    Merci! ;)
    xx

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  8. Love this post(:

    I'm a new follower from Book Blogs Social Media Group

    Katie
    curseofthebibliophile.blogspot.com

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  9. I'm IN LOVE with this interview!!!!!!! So much fun!!! I'll have to start taking notes of some awesome questions like these ones!!! >.< I recently celebrated my blogoversary and I had quite a few bloggers interviewed hehehe it was so much fun!! and I LOVE to get to know them better, if only a little.
    Giselle's blog is one of my most recent discoveries-along with yours- When I saw just how huge her blog was I literally and instantly felt intimidated, but when I saw her on twitter I saw just how cool and social she is >.< nowadays you can find me trying my best to be the first person to comment on her post showcasing the books she got for the week! And I'm miserably failing! I'm always commenter 72 or 100+ T_T

    But thanks so very much for the advice Giselle >.< and wow!!! I didn't know you loved Ashfall that much...I know I love it WAY more than you -winkwink-JK but yey! for it being one of your faves!!
    Jelly beans!! I think it's been like 3 years since I tasted or even saw one here!
    Anyway.
    Thanks for the interview!! You both rock!

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  10. Ah! This is one of the most exiting and funny interviews ever!I also dislike jelly beans.Sadly, the only fruity candy I like is sour patch kids.
    Thanks for all the wonderful questions and answers!
    This is for sure an informative review!
    Must check out The Immortal, I love listening to new music.

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  11. Aaah! Amazing interview! Giselle is LOVELY, and I loved hearing about her son! And HARRY POTTER! Fab post :)

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  12. What a fabulous interview! I was grinning from ear-to-ear! Giselle is absolutely charming and truly amazing. She is one of the first blogs I found that made me want to become a book blogger, and she has been SO welcoming and helpful in the 6 months that I've known her. A true friend :-)

    Giselle, I didn't know you like country music!!! Man, you need to come to Texas! ;-)

    If I could hug this blog post, I would. Thanks for featuring Giselle, and Giselle - thanks for being a friend <333

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