Chelesbells: Hi! Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by the blog. Please introduce yourself:
Hello! My name is also Michelle, but I prefer Mickey. I live in sunny Arizona, and I run the blog I'm a Book Shark!
Chelesbells: You are what we newbies refer to as an “experienced blogger” or a “professional blogger”. Would you mind telling us what made you want to start your own blog, and how you got started?
I'm flattered that you consider me "experienced" and "professional"! I've been blogging since April, and I decided to make my own when my boyfriend suggested I could get paid for writing reviews, since I was already reading a ton and writing a review on everything. While looking into it, I came across some book blogs and thought, "Hmm, maybe I could do this." Looking back, I had no idea what I was getting into, but I wouldn't change anything!
Chelesbells: What is the most exciting thing that has happened to you in the world of blogging?
I've had some fantastic moments since I started up my blog. Kieran Scott, author of the She's So/He's So series, tweeted me that she was flattered that I chose her books for a WoW post one Wednesday. I couldn't breathe when I read that! And Lorelei King, narrator of many audio books including the Stephanie Plum series, replies to my tweets when I mention her in my reviews. That will never, ever get old! I still get excited when authors chat with me, do interviews with me, and send me books to review. And I've made some awesome friendships!! Everyone in the book blogging community is so friendly and caring! I know I'm missing stuff. The whole book blog experience has opened me up to seriously awesome moments.
Chelesbells: And for the not so exciting: What advice can you give on perseverance… how to get through the reading/writing doldrums that can happen from time to time?
This certainly happens from time to time, and it can really get us down. My suggestion would be to really just take a break for a day or two. Sometimes taking a step back gives us the time we need to breathe so we don't get burned out. We do have lives outside of the blog, so I also like to schedule posts in advance. That way, if I do feel like I need a break, my blog readers don't suffer. As for the reading part, I step back from review books and read some books I've been wanting to read outside of the blog to renew my love to reading if I'm feeling burned out. I also limit how many books I'll accept for review. We're not machines, and authors and readers understand that.
Chelesbells: New bloggers have a lot of blogging terminology to learn; I get asked a lot what memes are and how you participate in them. Can you help them out?
Of course! Memes are the features on other blogs that all bloggers can participate in. Common ones are: In My Mailbox , Top Ten Tuesday , Waiting on Wednesday and Follow Friday . They allow you to participate in weekly features as long as you link up to the host blog. This is fantastic, because then you can go through the list of other blogs who are participating and check them out, leave comments, exchange follows, and find new friends and readers! It's really helpful for networking, especially in the beginning. But don't overload on them! It can be a lot in the beginning. Learn your limits, and you'll be fine.
Chelesbells: Okay, this is a tough one... if you were stranded on a desert island and could pick only one book to have with you, which book would it be?
Probably Pride and Prejudice. I know, it's a little cliche, but that book has so much going on that I would never get bored. I can cry, laugh, and swoon with that book!!
What is your absolute favorite genre that you find yourself anticipating to read more than any other?
My tastes have changed over the years, so I never thought I would answer this question with "paranormal romance" but I think that might be it. While I'm always a sucker for a good chick-lit, some of my favorites have turned out to be Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress series, Richelle Mead's Succubus series, and Karen Marie Moning's Fever series. And since I started my blog, I have been reading YA like a crazy person!
Chelesbells: Have you ever had to write a review for a book that you just didn’t like? How do you handle writing a not-so-glowing review?
Yes, I have, and it makes me sad. It's really important to be honest, though, even if you like the author and don't want any hurt feelings. So when I do have to write a negative review, I try not to say anything too negative. I usually keep those kinds of reviews short, and if I've had contact with the author I'll say positive stuff about them. Authors know that their books aren't for everyone, but it's still hard.
Chelesbells: If you were able to hang out with any fictional character from any book, who would it be?
Wow! Tough question. I might have to pick Stephanie Plum. She has a fantastic group of people around her, and I think they'd be ridiculously awesome to hang out with. I'd pick Cat from the Night Huntress series, but they're always about to die. Stephanie gets into crazy situations, but at least it's not TOO dangerous!
Chelesbells: I noticed you listen to a lot of audio books. Which do you prefer: reading or listening?
I don't think I really prefer one over the other. At work and in the car I have the time and ability to listen to books, while when I'm home I can actually read books. I'm extremely glad that audio books entered my world, because work is a lonely day without stories. But I also enjoy reading them in my own voice. Narrators aren't all equal, so listening to a book really depends on who's reading it.
Chelesbells: I really admire how you read more than one book at a time. What is your secret to keeping them straight, and how does it affect your reviewing process? I would be so confused that I would probably write a review about a werewolf with sister wives, who was imprinted on by a sparkly vampire, while out hunting zombies. (By the way, any authors reading this… I’m copyrighting that idea.)
Oh my goodness, let me know when you're done with that book because I want to read it! Haha anyway, I'm usually listening to one book in the car and one book at work and tackling a book at home by actually reading it. How I keep them straight is beyond me sometimes. I get confused, of course I do. But when I get back into one, they usually straighten themselves out. And I have to review almost immediately after finishing a book. Otherwise the review will completely suck because my memory is awful! lol
Chelesbells: Thank you so much for being here today!! Any parting words of wisdom for us? Final thoughts?
Oh man, this was fun! Thank YOU for having me!! It's such a pleasure meeting new book people, and you, my dear, are fantastic! Keep rocking your awesome blog!!
Mickey is the blogger behind I’m A Book Shark. She really wishes there was a better explanation for why she’s a book shark. A new twitter name was needed, and it had to be about her favorite hobby: reading! For whatever reason, sharks also came to mind and a book shark was born. Besides reading, Mickey is a natural reddish-headed, mid-twenties, tattooed entertainment-of-all-kinds lover, girlfriend of boyfriend, mother of reptiles (and a cat and two puppies, all spoiled), and addict of dessert. Anything chocolate is a welcomed gift in her life. Oh yeah, and she likes to blog.
You can stalk Mickey here: