Saturday, September 5, 2009

Newsletter 7 Part Three

Stephanie’s interview with Yan

1. Why did you start blogging?

Yan: Have you seen me rant? Blogging is an excellent method to vent out your inner frustration. That and I happen to like…ranting. Wow I am truly pathetic.

2. Why did you choose YA as your main focus?

Yan: -looks down at self- I think that is self-explanatory. But really though I was never a huge reader when I was younger. I read the occasional school books but nothing else. It was only during the 8th grade when Scholastic gave the school some free bookcases filled with new releases that I read my first outside of school book. The first book I ever picked up was The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke. Truly amazing! Then my friend handed me Artemis Fowl as soon as she was done. Addiction! Then of course I stopped reading when school was over. –Sad Yan- 3 months later in high school. More school reading. Then came…Twilight! Granted I started to pick up some other books before that from the library while doing some volunteer work [requirement for school]. Reading Meg Cabot, Sarah Dessen, other not as popular YA authors. But Twilight was the craze! It was everywhere at school. People were talking; books were passed around, so I borrowed a copy[from the library]. Then I went crazy from there—borrowing 10 books each week, reading after school, in school, on the weekends. Nowadays I am not a frequent visitor to my library but I just stay home and tackle my piles. I still go to the library now and then.

Wait. Did I even answer the question? I don’t think I did, did I? Okay so here’s the deal, the down low. I am a huge sucker cliché plotlines and pretty covers. YA books so far have the best covers. I am a teen myself so I can pretty much relate to most topics.

3. What's your favorite thing about blogging?

Yan: …I like comments? …Yes that is true. Talking to authors, coming up with these most outlandish ideas ever! [see April Fools week. The evil baby as a result of my and Carol’s tender nurturing…okay so I happened to smack its head a few times and dropped it down the stairs but a few dusting and it’s good!] Talking to fellow bloggers, stalking fellow bloggers, pestering fellow bloggers, etc…

4. How did you gain more traffic to your site?

Yan: Easy. You wave a very shiny ARC in front of other YA bloggers. You lead them into a cage with your said shiny ARC. Then close it and lock it. If the competition is “unavailable” then you are the only one left. So that means you get the traffic. Problem solve. Key word is spread the word that you exist. Comment on other blogs, host giveaways or interviews, POST REVIEWS. If you mainly post about contests, like who’s giving away what, then many of us will not take you seriously. It might draw in some people but they will not stay long. Do not call yourself a “reviewer” if you do not review, and no, one or two reviews does not count. Basically befriend someone. I started out by just emailing people [Sharon and Carol!] and joined social networks and it escalated from there.

5. What are some advices you can give to fellow Bloggers?

Yan: Do not start your blog when you are in high school and a junior. This was the most awful decision I have ever made. Think about it, ACT, SAT, AP exams, evil teachers!, idiotic classmates! A social life, which I am sad to say has quite plummeted a bit [just don’t tell my friends that or they’ll drag me out of my house kicking and screaming]. I knew I should have started this when I was a sophomore…BE NICE! No one likes a snobby, greedy bastard, so good things will be awarded through good work. It will all work out if you are in it for the long haul.

Author guest blog:

Today we have the amazing Janette Rallison, author of Just One Wish, visiting us.


I admit that in a lot of ways my latest book, Just One Wish, is writing the story teens wish could happen—a girl goes to Hollywood to find a hot actor (Think Orlando Bloom, Robert Pattinson, or insert your own idol) to convince him to visit her sick brother before his surgery. I will not give away the plot, but I will say: romance follows.

I would have loved to do this (not the sick brother part, but the hot TV star part) when I was a teenager. I had a huge crush on Richard Hatch, the original Apollo in Battlestar Gallactica. I could wax nostalgic for quite a while about Richard Hatch, but I will spare you. Sigh . . . *Janette suddenly gets all dreamy* . . . Where was I again? Oh yes, writing the book Just One Wish.

The reviews for this book have been good, but a few of them have said in a dismissive manner, "Of course the idea that a girl could go to Hollywood, find the hot teen movie star, and have him fall for her is completely unbelievable."

Which always gives me pause for thought. Which part, I wonder is the most unbelievable--that she finds him or that he falls for her?

I actually researched this book by talking to a woman who used to be Harrison Ford's assistant. (She is now the assistant to another hot celebrity. What a cool job that would be! How come the career counselors in high school never mentioned this as a possibility?)

Did people sneak onto the sets? Oh yes. And she had some interesting stories about that too. Was it as easy as I made it sound in my book? Easier, actually. I made the main characters in my story have to work and rely on a bit of luck to get in, but that was because a) it made for a more suspenseful story and b) I didn't want to tell would be star-stalkers the easy way to sneak onto sets. It just didn't seem like I should be encouraging that sort of behavior.

Do movie stars ever fall for normal people? That we doubt this, says something about our society, don't you think? We somehow believe deep down that stars are not real people. They do not put their pants on one leg at a time, but simply stand in their room and wait for fairies to zap designer clothes onto their bodies.

I haven't done a survey but I imagine for every Brad and Angelina couple in Hollywood, there are famous people paired with normal people. For a while George Clooney's girlfriend was a woman he met when she waited on his table. Jonny Carson married a woman who he met walking on the beach--and by the way, she found out where he lived and purposely walked on the beach by his house in hopes of meeting him.

So go ahead and be cynical. I’m a romantic at heart and I think it’s all believable.

-Janette Rallison

Thanks to Jill for arranging this!

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