19 January 2013

Saturday Spotlight: Books Over Boys


What is Saturday Spotlight? It's where I drag bloggers onto my blog for an interview. It's not part of a hop or any organized event. It's merely a way to feature bloggers and get inside their heads a bit. Like a psych session, but fun.

Momo @ Books Over Boys


ABOUT THE BLOG

When did your blog come into existence?
Books Over Boys came to be in October of 2010. Before BOB though, I had actually created another blog—whose name won’t be mentioned (although, you could find it in my blog listing) because it’s so embarrassing, really, and it just goes to show how uncreative I was and hence BOB being born—in July of 2010. With that blog, I wasn’t really sure what I was doing with it or where I was going. I just remember being so excited about it and I especially remember using it for giveaways (e.g. making blog posts about giveaways to earn more points and such). You see, when I got into this blogging world, I was most fascinated with the fact that people really did just give away free books. It was something that I just couldn’t wrap my mind around. Like, “What? Really? Well, aren’t you just a kind and generous soul.” You know? Just flabbergasted.

Also, I guess you can say that my blog (both of them) came to be because of Twitter. I’m not sure which came first, my blog or Twitter—actually, I’m sure it was Twitter. Anyway, from July until October, I spent a lot of time on Twitter where I found lots of blogs (how? I’m not even sure of that either, lol) where they reviewed books, gave books away, interviewed authors, etc. After spending a lot of time looking at these blogs and thinking how cool they were, I thought, “I could do something like this. It doesn’t seem like it’s a hard thing. I just read books and talk about them.” And two years later, here we are. Oh my gosh, I can’t believe it’s been two years since. I still remember as if it was just yesterday when I was questioning what “blogging” was. Obviously, time has certainly sprouted wings and a propeller. ;)
Your blog in three words:
Fun(ny), personal, and (very) sarcastic.
What makes your blog yours, meaning unique?
I think the one thing that makes my blog mine is the dumb (talking about myself, lol) humor I bring into my posts. I find lots of things very high larious and I laugh whenever and however I can. The things I find funny might not even register on some people’s radar but the little things can crack me up for days. Also, I speak sarcasm like it’s my first language. It might be annoying to some but I pour a bunch of that into my blog posts. Even if it doesn’t make my readers laugh, when I type up the posts, I’m always laughing like crazy (on the inside) and giving myself high fives because of what a genius I am at being funny.

I also like to think that being personal in my blog posts is another thing that makes my blog mine. But I don’t mean personal where I talk about my life and all that, I just mean in the sense that I really get into my posts and I add my opinion a lot. I’ve seen some blogs where their posts seem a bit robotic. When I run across those blogs and their posts, I’m left thinking, “But… what else?” As you can see from just these responses, I talk a lot. Like… a lot a lot. My family always tells me that I talk too fast and too much but I just have a lot to say like… all the time, haha. It comes out in my blog posts, I think. Like instead of just getting straight to the point (which is such a bore to me), I talk and explain everything leading up to the point I’m trying to make because if I don’t, it just won’t make sense, haha.
How did you come up with your blog name?
Haha, I always get asked this quite a bit. I’ve even received a few emails asking me if I came up with my name from the Korean tv drama, Boys Over Flowers, or if I got the idea from Brooke Davis’ (from One Tree Hill) fashion line, Clothes Over Bros. The answer to all those who are wondering, is no, to both ideas, lol. It’s quite weird actually how the name came to me. Prepare yourself for another novel, Amelia. You’ve been warned—I talk a lot, lol.

Just so you know this kind of ties back into the first question and my response. When I had that first blog, I kind of already knew that it wasn’t going to be the one where I would regularly blog. When I realized that for sure, I started thinking (this thinking session occurred from July all the way to October when I finally found a name, lol) about possible blog names. I wanted one that would stick out, one that people would remember. I remember looking at blogs such as Page Turners Blog, Mundie Moms, Confessions of a Bookaholic, Books Complete Me, Once Upon A Twilight, A Life Bound By Books, and a bunch of others and thought, “See, I want names like theirs because they’re memorable.”

One Sunday night, I was in my sister’s room, hiding from my family, devouring a book titled Halo by Alexandra Adornetto. As I was reading, I came across this line where Xavier said to Beth, “Strength in numbers.” For some reason, right when I read that Books Over Boys popped into my mind and right then I knew that was the one. Actually, there was that title along with another one; I asked my sister for her opinion on the two possibilities and I kept going back and forth between the two because I was thinking about their acronyms and how it would look and after some thought, I settled on Books Over Boys (BOB).

To this day, I couldn’t be happier with my choice. I think it’s definitely one that people remember and I love it even more because it’s something that also ties back into my own life.

ABOUT THE BLOGGER

How did the blog-bug bite (why did you start blogging)?
Oh wow, I don’t really even know. I actually wished that I could have marked all those days onto a calendar leading up to my first blog post on October 19, 2010. It always reminds me of this quote (another One Tree Hill reference) Brooke said to Lucas. It was after their first basketball game in season one, I believe, where Lucas scored the winning basket at the very last second. At the end of the night, Lucas gets into his car and Brooke is in his back seat. She pops up, surprising him.

Brooke: So, anyway… You’re in it now, aren’t you? When that last shot went through, did you feel it change?

Lucas: Feel what change?

Brooke: Everything. I mean, how many moments in life can you point to and say, "That’s when it all changed?"

I wish I could pinpoint that exact moment (that very day) when I decided I would become a blogger, when I decided that I would make a blog, because blogging has really and seriously changed my life. I guess the blog-bug bit because of curiosity and amazement. It was really awe-inspiring to me to see these people be so passionate about books and reading. I had that same passion where I wanted to share how I felt about books with other fellow bookworms so I took that passion and lit it up.
Do you have a review that you’re particularly proud of?
Oh man. Reviews. I have the hardest time with them. At first, I was whipping them out like nobody’s business and then… over time, they kind of just came to a stop altogether. When I go back and read some of my reviews, there are two that I feel really captured how I felt about the books straight down to a T. Also, to this day, I still feel exactly the same about them as I did when I first wrote them. Those two reviews would have to be Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I just re-read them and… not to be vain or anything but man, I sound so legit, hahaha! I didn’t know I could write reviews like that. Nowadays, I’m struggling to find that review magic and so whenever I go back and read those two, I know that once upon a time, I did have it in me to write really good reviews.
Is there a blog that inspired you/still inspires you?
Before I started blogging, I wasn’t as aware of the book blogging community as I am now. In other words, before BOB, it seemed like there were less book blogs as there are now. In these two years, so many blogs have been created that it’s incredibly hard to keep up with all of it. There are so many blogs that go above and way beyond what is expected of them but there is one blog in particular that never fails to amaze me and that is Fiktshun.

Rachel is the owner of the blog and she’s so sincere and genuine and completely passionate in her blogging that I am, for lack of a better word, amazed. It always comes across in all her blog posts how much she loves the books she reads. She is so humble and sweet and kind and generous that I wish one day, I could be the kind of blogger that she is. There’s so much that I admire about her; she’s like the star blogger I have up on a pedestal. There’s a true and very pure way about her blogging, if that makes any sense. I don’t want to come across as a total creeper because I’m not—I don’t read her blog on a daily basis nor do I talk to her often—but whenever I read her blog posts, I see that she puts a lot of thought and time into what she’s writing and that she feels very strongly about what she’s read. Also, have you seen her blog giveaways? The woman is a giveaway machine. That’s what I meant when I said kind and generous. She loves the books she reads and she wants to share those amazing, one of a kind novels with others. You can also tell that she’s a giver; she does everything simply because she wants to and there’s nothing she’s looking for in return. I think that’s what I admire the most and it’s definitely the most refreshing thing in this world of blogging.

There’s just so much that she does that inspires me and I give her huge kudos for doing what she does. I seriously hope that one day, Books Over Boys will be to others what Fiktshun is to me.
What excites you most about being a book review blogger?
The number one thing that excites me the most is being able to connect with the authors. To a reader, an author is their celebrity. After reading an amazing novel, contacting the author is simply an email/facebook post/tweet away. It’s weird that before blogging, it never (like ever) occurred to me that I could email an author and tell them how much I loved their book. But now, with this blogging outlet, talking to authors has become such a daily thing, it blows my mind. Sometimes, I have to take a step back and think, “Wow, did I really just get an email/tweet/retweet/follow from author so-and-so?!” Like I register on their radar? That’s really crazy and it blows me away. All the time.

But being able to connect with authors is not the only thing that makes blogging this great and amazing thing. Blogging is possible because of readers, put two and two together and you have five. Hah, kidding. Put those two together and you have this amazing family of bookworms who can connect on so many levels it is unreal. I love being able to read a book, tweet/blog/facebook about it and boom, bam, pow—responses from people everywhere throwing in their two cents about it. It’s so awesome and I love all of it. Whenever I finish a book, no one in my family is truly interested in what I have to say about it because you know, they have other things to do or tend to, I guess, so I turn to my twitter/blog/facebook family and they are always there to listen to me go crazy about my latest fictional love affair.

Hand in hand with being able to share this with other bookworms is the satisfying feeling that overcomes me when someone tells me they bought/read a book because of me. There are no words to describe that amazing feeling that takes you over. It’s such a surreal moment. To know that someone trusts your opinion completely to buy a book they’ve never read based off what you said about it is such a good insane, lol. And to know that people actually listen to what you said or that it matters? That’s what makes all of this more than worth it.
Five books everyone should read:
Oh my gosh, you’re going to make me think about this one. Okay, I think I was able to narrow it down.
  1. Wings of the Wicked by Courtney Allison Moulton (surprise, surprise!)
  2. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
  3. Crash by Nicole Williams
  4. The Edge of Never by J.A. Redmerski
  5. Slammed by Colleen Hoover
If a new blogger came up to you for advice, what would you tell them?
1. Be you!
Don’t get into blogging and change who you are. I admit, when I first started blogging, I was so intimidated (I still am) by what the other big time bloggers were doing that I felt like it was dumb for me to start blogging in the first place. But you’ll realize with time that if you do you, blogging will be one of the best things you’ve ever done. There’s no competition to be the bestest blog out there, or to be the blog with the most reviews, or to be the blog with the most followers, or the most views, or the most… the list goes on. Blog and post things that you want to talk about. Be sincere and genuine and before you know it, there will be readers flocking to your humble abode. ;p

2. Don’t forget to read—that’s what’s most important.
Remember that you love to read. Don’t let that get buried beneath the review requests that you’ve taken on. Speaking of, don’t take on more than you can handle. At first, it’s such an exciting thing when authors come to you for reviews, but only take what you can chew. Reading is why all of this is even possible. Blogging needs its readers; don’t forget that you are one first and foremost.

3. Have fun! It’s not a job.
You started blogging because you wanted to. No one is holding a gun to your head and telling you to have five posts up every week and that three of those posts have to be reviews. It’s a hobby; you do what you can when you can. Also, don’t take any blogging too seriously. I mean, in regards to posting and such. I mean, yes if you’ve got a tour stop coming up, have your post up but remember that it’s not the end of the world if you don’t. We all have lives outside of the blog world and sometimes things happen that blogging falls below the priority list. Just don’t forget to have fun and be passionate, always!

ABOUT THE GAL

What got you into reading?
Hmm, I’m not really sure. Lol, how ‘bout that for an answer. I’d like to say that I’ve been a reader all my life but my memory doesn’t go that far back. Well, actually it does but I don’t recall reading a lot in my earlier childhood memories. I do remember reading like crazy when I was in fifth grade. Remember when you had to do reading logs and your teacher would check them weekly for points and all that? Well yeah, that’s when I remember reading a lot. After fifth grade, I don’t remember reading much until I was in eighth grade going into my freshmen year. That’s when I stumbled upon the Twilight saga. That series is my catalyst for reading again and blogging. It helped me re-discover my love and passion for the written word. So I guess to answer your question, Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (just so we aren’t confused ;p) was the book that got me (back) into reading.
What is your ideal reading spot?
My ideal reading spot is in my bedroom. I normally and usually like to read when it’s about midnight when it’s totally quiet, that’s when I’ll read all through the night. I prefer reading when everyone in my house (and basically half the world) is off in Lala Land dreaming about… well, whatever it is they dream about. I like that quiet peace that’s like a blanket that settles over everything. When I read, it’s like me and that book shared secrets that no one else will ever be aware of because you know, I read it when everyone was in another plane. I also like to read on my back with my ipod on. I seriously cannot read without music. Well, I can but then the experience of reading the book won’t be as strong to me, for some reason. Maybe I’ve become dependent on music, probably. But it’s not just random music, though. I find songs that fit the book/characters/mood/plot in some way. If it was random music, oh no, lol, not happening.
Do your friends and family know about your blog?
A few of my friends know about it, even a few of my teachers from my senior year, lol. As for my family, I think they all know about it. But finding out about it didn’t happen until recently. It’s weird when they tell me they checked out my blog or they think it’s cool what I’m doing. Blogging is all online so you don’t see it as a physical thing so when people from across the world read my blog, I know they’re reading it because they read or are in some way connected to books. But when my family tells me they read my blog or that they liked this post or that post, I get so embarrassed. Blogging is like… my own special thing that I don’t want to be made fun of by people I know. And no, my family doesn’t do that but it’s just the weirdest thing when they tell me stuff like that. It’s almost like they read my diary or something. How weird that I’m fine with strangers reading my blog but not my family. I guess, like I said, it’s because I know the strangers are in some way related to books… hopefully, lol.
What are three things people may not know about you?
Ooh, this one is a bit hard because on my “About Me” page, I’ve listed a bunch of stuff about myself already, lol. Hmm, let me think for a second. *browses internet in hopes that something would hit me* Okay, I think I’ve got three things. Note: these are things that are like totally weird—no judgment, lol.
  1. My socks, 99% of the time, never ever matches. Long story but I think we’ve had enough of long stories today, huh? Lol, I’ll save that for another time.
  2. During my four years of high school, I never ever attended one single school dance.
  3. I never ever sleep in complete darkness. There always has to be a light on somewhere in the room. Blame that on my overactive imagination.
If you had a superpower, what would it be and what would you do with it?
It would most likely be a superpower like that of Alex’s spells from Wizards of Waverly Place—the Literrarium Terrarium spell that gives you the ability to teleport someone into or out of a book. And you already know what I would do with it, haha! I would use that spell whenever I wanted to to go into the books I read. Oh my gosh, this is so genius of me! What an awesome superpower that would be!


Thank you so much, Amelia, for having me here on The Authoress this fine Saturday afternoon. I had so much fun (is it that obvious? ;p) answering all of your questions. I might have gone just a smidge overboard but you know… you did tell me that people love other people who let loose, haha! But seriously, the questions were a lot of fun and I really got to explain the origin of Books Over Boys. Again, thanks so much for having me!

This is for you, for my gratitude. I mean, chocolate chip cookies? They’re a huge favorite of mine as well but so are snickerdoodle cookies. Have one (or all four), please!

Ooh, you know what’s even better? Right after you pull them out of the oven, wait a few minutes for them to cool and then put one to two scoops of vanilla ice cream between two of the cookies and then KA-CHOW—heaven! Yup, I know what I’m talking about. Enjoy! ;)