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.
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
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. :)
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.