During the last Bout of Books readathon I met an awesome group of girls (a couple I had seen around before, a few were new friends) and a group was made - Book BFF's.
We actually have several upcoming features planned together, but the first one we are doing is interview swaps!
I got the pleasure of interviewing Book BFF Melissa from Harley Bear Book Blog
Melissa is a doll baby and I can't wait for you all to get to know more about her!
1. Tell me about yourself, what kind of person are you behind the computer/phone screen?
My name's Melissa and I'm 23. The two things in life I can't live without (besides books) are dancing and baking. Basically, I'm the first person on the dance floor and the last one off. You can find me at a Zumba class a few times a week which is how I stay healthy because I also bake at least once a week too. I recently started learning how to design cakes and want to one day own a bakery! It's crazy how life can take you down such different paths than you planned for yourself because before 2012 I had been dead set on being an Elementary School teacher. I got my BA in El Ed and Psych with a minor in Spanish. But then decided to try other career options. I'm even working on writing a YA novel that I hope to get published one day! I used to be very shy and extremely OCD, but this past year has made me open up, appreciate life, and take it one day at a time. And it's a good thing too or I never would have met my new book bffs!
2. How long have you been blogging and what made you start?
When I finished college in 2011 I had so much free time on my hands suddenly and all my friends lived far away. So I read a lot. After every book I read I would tell my friends and family about it, wanting someone to share my beloved reading experience with. My dad got tired of hearing me talk about characters like Tris and how she chose to join Dauntless, as if she was a real person. He never knew what I was talking about. He knew I liked web design so one day he suggested I start a blog where I could talk to people who have read the same books. It was a "Duh, why haven't I thought of that before?" moment.
I had started a random blog awhile back that I never used so I completely gave it a makeover. I didn't know what to call it though. Then one day Hurricane Irene came barreling in and we had no power for awhile. I curled up on the couch with my brother's pomapoo, Harley Bear, and read while he napped. I figured I would call my blog the Harley Bear Book Blog because 1. he's my favorite reading buddy and 2. it had alliteration in the title (I've spent too much time in an elementary classroom!). And then it took on a life of itself. Now I've been blogging pretty steadily for about a year and I still can't believe this journey all started with a casual suggestion from my dad.
3. In your opinion, what makes a book a great read?
If there's not character development or if the characters are hard to relate to I can't read the story. I crave an emotional connection to the people in the stories (like in the Shatter Me series). I also love a fast paced and very action based plot (think Article 5). The cover has to be pretty (like Splintered) because I'm obsessed with covers. And I've come to realize I prefer first person narrative. Probably goes back to relating to the character more easily. And finally, I HATE, DESPISE, ABHOR cliffhangers. It's ok if there's a little one, but books that end where you're not sure if someone died is not okay. Especially if we have to wait a year for the next book!
4. What are the first 5 books that come to mind?
Unravel Me, Evolution of Mara Dyer, Perks of Being A Wallflower, Deity, Obsidian
5. What are your blogging tactics/strategies? How do you, personally,manage blogging and your real life?
I keep a very detailed and color coded blog calendar that helps me stay on track. I also take notes while I read on my phone so when I go to write my review I know what I want to say. I try to also schedule posts in advance so I don't fall behind.
6. What are your favorite pizza toppings?
Pepperoni. Sad fact: I haven't had a slice of pizza since August 2011 because of dietary restrictions. I'm Italian so this is very difficult!
7. Ice cream toppings?
Um…everything?! I love rainbow sprinkles, oreos, reeces, carmel, whipped cream, cherries…ya any kind of junk food really.
8. Favorite genre?
YA Paranormal has become my new favorite. I also enjoy a good dystopian!
9. #1 Book Boyfriend?
I have three. Shhh don't let them know I'm cheating. Daemon Black (Lux Series) because he's hot, witty, and likes cookies. Aiden St. Delphi (Covenant Series) because he's strong, sexy, and plays guitar. And Noah Shaw (Evolution of Mara Dyer) because he's British, funny, and wears the disheveled- just rolled out of bed look perfectly.
10. One question you never get asked that you wish someone would ask, and the answer?
I don't know. I guess…Why do you read mostly Young Adult books? I always feel like people are judging me when I buy a YA book and I wish they would ask me why I enjoy that genre so I could explain myself. Young Adult fiction focuses on such strong emotions and experiences that the characters are usually dealing with for the first time. This could be love, betrayal, figuring out who they are, heart break, etc. Things that as adults we still deal with regularly, but the emotions aren't as amplified because by 23 we've already had many loves and heartbreaks. It's also easier for me to connect with a teen than an adult character because currently I'm not married, I have no kids, and I don't have a set career. So most of the adult fiction like Nora Roberts just doesn't appeal to me because I have nothing in common with the characters. Also, as a stressed adult it's easier to escape the world of bills and work by delving into a magical world like Hogwarts or you know...a world where hot aliens named Daemon live next door. I have a feeling I will be reading YA for a very long time if not forever and I hope to one day write novels in that genre too.
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