ArmchairBEA said: Let’s talk interacting with authors IRL (in real life) or online. This is your opportunity to talk about your favorite author readings that you have attended. Or, you can feature your favorite author fan moment (i.e., an author sent you a tweet or commented on your blog). Maybe you even want to share how your interactions have changed since becoming a blogger or share your own tips that you have learned along the way when interacting with authors as a blogger.
Living in central Alabama as I do, authors don't have much to draw them nearby. I've posted several times about that one time Holly and I made a spontaneous trip to meet Richelle Mead. This is pretty much the only personal one-on-one, face-to-face interaction I've had with any author. I'd love the opportunity to meet more of them, but timing just hasn't worked out. But since I've discussed this multiple times, I'm going to take a different route with this question.
Being a blogger/reviewer has put me (and most other book bloggers) in the position of being contacted by authors to read and review their books. I think my experience was pretty much the same as other bloggers that I've seen. The first time an author contacted me I was so excited that I accepted the review request without paying much attention to the book itself. As a matter of fact I still have one book on my TBR list from an author who contacted me when I first started blogging. I really intend to at least try to read his book, and I feel insanely guilty about not having read it yet. But that's beside the point. I was just saying to Holly Saturday that I love when I get an "in" with an author that I really end up enjoying his/her books. It hasn't happened too frequently for me because I try to be a little picky about the requests that I accept--not because I don't want to read all the books, but because I only want to accept books I know I'm going to read and can get excited about. Anyway, there's just about nothing more awesome than getting a second review request from an author you've previously reviewed for outside of NetGalley/Edelweiss. Double the excitement if you actually enjoy that particular author's books.
I will say that I hear tons of bloggers talk about interacting with authors on social media, specifically Twitter, but I haven't really branched out into Twitter interaction yet. I think it's a great resource, and I can't really offer a valid reason for not having done so already. I have had a couple of authors retweet my reviews and that's been really cool. I super-cheese every time that happens.
Ultimately, I guess I'm up for any advice on reaching out more. What about you guys? Do you interact much with authors? What advice do you have for me for reaching out more? Let me know!
More Than Just Words
ArmchairBEA said: There are so many mediums that feature more than just words and enhance a story in a multitude of ways. Examples may include graphic novels and comics, audiobooks, or even multimedia novels. On this day, we will be talking about those books and formats that move beyond just the words and use other ways to experience a story. Which books stand out to you in these different formats?
I have only read one graphic novel ever. That was Blankets by Craig Thompson. And that was just a weird book. I can see the appeal of graphic novels, but I just haven't branched out in that direction yet. I am completely interested in checking out The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman graphic novels!
HOWEVER, I am completely all over audiobooks! I've discussed this on my blog some, but I started getting audiobooks as a way to force my friends who "don't have time to read" into experiencing some of the books that have blown me away. It all started with Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. I just needed ALL my friends to experience that series even if they didn't read it themselves. And even if I had to purchase the book in multiple formats. What I found was, audiobooks were a great way for me to re-experience books that I've already read. I love re-reading, but especially since I started blogging, I don't feel like I can't devote too much time to re-reads. And the audiobook love has just stretched from there.
I will say that I can understand how audiobooks aren't going to be everyone's cup of tea. The narration can make or break an audiobook in a heartbeat, and as with anything else, everyone has difference preferences. Some people like the narrators to create different "voices" for the different characters. Yet others like the narrator to simply read the book without too much inflection as they would read the book themselves. I started out in the second category but have found myself leaning toward the first category lately. But what everyone can agree on is that any audiobook narration needs to avoid being monotone as well as any other aspect that can take the listener out of the book experience (Ex: heavy breathing, monotone, spacing issues, etc).
Ironically enough, there are several books that I can't imagine experiencing in any other format aside from audio. The Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich is one where I think the narrator, Lorelei King, makes the books even better.
In the same way, Carter Finally Gets It (Carter Finally Gets It, # 1) by Brent Crawford is a book I don't think I would have even picked up, but the narrator, Nick Podehl, commits like no other narrator I've ever heard before. He took this book to an entirely new level than it could have ever gotten alone.
And then there are books like Delirium (Delirium, # 1) by Lauren Oliver and Matched (Matched, # 1) by Ally Condie where the writing is beautiful already but also lends itself to being even more beautiful spoken aloud. Both of these books are similar. They both have similar and beautiful prose in places. And they both have an air of desperation that the narrators, Sarah Drew and Kate Simses, take to the next level as well.
Aside from periodically finding books where the audio version is better, audiobooks also provide you with a means of multitasking. I want to read ALL the books, and audiobooks are helping me to do my best. Out of the 62 books I've read so far this year 13 of these books have been audiobooks. I love being able to listen and clean or do various other tasks that do not require much thought while making progress on my books at the same time. It's a win-win.
For those skeptical of audiobooks, I highly suggest you try a few of the ones I mentioned above. Sometimes it takes finding just the right book and narrator combination.
What about you guys? Do you read other formats--comics, graphic novels? Do you listen to audiobooks? Let me know!