Utah Book Month: Blogger Spotlight on Jessica at Blue Stocking Society — August 15, 2013

Utah Book Month: Blogger Spotlight on Jessica at Blue Stocking Society

It’s Utah Book Month still. (Feel free to smack me for stating the obvious.) This is the reason you’re seeing a blog post on a day I don’t normally blog.

Up today on the blog I have a spotlight on Jessica Anderson over at the Blue Stocking Society. She’s one of the hosts of Utah Book Month and a prolific blogger of book reviews. She reads voraciously and plans her reading schedule very carefully. I could learn a lesson or two from her.

~If you could travel back in time, what era would you visit? Why?

Answer: Oh, it would preferably have to be in the relatively near past, as I was clearly born in an era of modern conveniences for a reason. And it would, of course, have to be literary in nature. Let’s go with Paris in the 20s. I’d love to sit around Virginia Woolf’s parlor and chill with Hemingway and Fitzgerald and Picasso.

~What historical figure would you most like to meet?

Answer: My initial reaction is to go with either Abraham Lincoln or someone like Jane Austen. If I had to pick just one though, especially in a literary context, it would probably be Shakespeare. Really, it doesn’t get bigger than him, English literature-wise. And wouldn’t it be cool to see how he wrote?

~Stranded on a deserted island, what’s your must-have item? Who’s your must-have companion? (You can have one other person with you.)

Answer: Now that I’m married AND have a kid, the one must-have companion is completely unanswerable in a practical way. And the must-have item would be some kind of water-filtration system, right? But in a fun, fantasy kind of way, I’d love to have a dog like Karana’s Rontu in Island of the Blue Dolphins. And my must have item would be, of course, a book. Probably a Norton anthology or, in my dream world, some kind of magical Kindle that could hold a gazillion books and would never need to be charged.

~What fictional character would you most want by your side when it comes to surviving the zombie apocalypse?

Answer: I am not well-suited to the challenges of a zombie apocalypse. See the aforementioned preference for modern conveniences. So, I would need someone brave and strong and excellent at obtaining impossible-to-obtain items and hopefully skilled at improvising on the run. So, I would pick someone like the man in The Road or Pi from Life of Pi.

~What’s your favorite thing about blogging?

Answer: The absolute best thing about blogging, among its many fine points, is the community. I have met so many fabulous people online from all over the world. And it’s so amazing that these people share my passion. Even better, is getting to meet these internet people in real life. One of my book clubs is actually now composed of mostly Utah book bloggers.

~What’s your favorite thing about Utah?

Answer: I’m a non-native, so I struggle with Utah things like the lack of water and rain and green things. However, I’ve lived here for thirteen years now, and I love it. If I had to pick just one thing as a favorite, it would be the mountains. They never get old. Literarily, it’s also the home of a very vibrant books community, thus the whole celebration of Utah Books Month.

Thanks, Jessica! Hope you had as much fun answering the questions as I did coming up with them. There seems to be a mountain theme running through these spotlights. I’m also a non-native, though the majority of my life has been lived in Utah.

About Jessica:

Jessica is a book addict. She reads and reads and reads (as much as her career, family, and church will allow). She’s a lawyer by trade but a reader by necessity. She has a B.A. in English Literature and a J.D. As a child, she was happier to receive books than dolls as gifts, and her parents eventually had to tell her they could no longer finance her book obsession.

Find Jessica:

Utah Book Month Blogger Spotlight on Me — August 13, 2013
Utah Book Month: Author Spotlight with Elana Johnson — August 5, 2013

Utah Book Month: Author Spotlight with Elana Johnson

It’s Utah Book Month. A month-long extravaganza highlighting all the awesomeness that are Utah’s writing and book blogging communities. (Which tend to greatly overlap, I have noticed.)

One thing I personally love about these communities is that they exist. I spent 13 months in Denver and while it was bittersweet moving back to Utah, I found myself looking forward to it in some ways. One of those ways was the myriad of book events and writer events. The other was the community of writers and readers who are active and vocal.

Today’s spotlight is on the amazing Elana Johnson, whom most of you probably already know. But I worked hard to come up with unusual questions so I think you’ll find some interesting new information about Elana.

~ If you could travel back in time, what era would you visit? Why?

Answer: This is a hard question! I really like my modern conveniences, but I think I’d love to go back to when the West was being explored and settled. There’s something about all that unsettled land–with nothing. No cities. No way to get water. No buildings. I’d love to experience that “wildness” (I think!).

~ What historical figure would you most like to meet?

Answer: John Adams. I love the movie 1776, and think he had such a vision for our country.

~ Stranded on a deserted island, what’s your must-have item? Who’s your must-have companion? (You can have one person with you.)

Answer: I would need my phone (so I can play games and tweet and stuff), and I’d definitely have to choose my husband as my must-have companion. Boring, I know.

~ What fictional character would you most want by your side when it comes to surviving the zombie apocalypse?

Answer: R from Warm Bodies. I mean, he could stink me up so they wouldn’t know I was a human, right? Yeah, I’ll definitely go with that.

~ What’s your favorite thing about writing?

Answer: I love the thrill of making all the little things fit. I’m such a list person. I love making schedules and using spreadsheets (not that I do that when writing!). But I love having a whole story, with little details, and character traits, and simple clues that tie in at the end. I love the complexities and difficulties of making those things all weave together into one cohesive whole.

~ What’s your favorite thing about Utah?

Answer: The mountains! I never realized how tall and awesome they were until I started traveling. I’ve realized that they are simply awesome, and I love them.

Thanks, Elana! Those are some awesome answers. I hope you had fun trying to answer them. And it’s definitely un-boring to decide to bring your husband with you if you’re stranded on a deserted island.

About Elana:
Elana Johnson’s work, including Possession, Surrender, and Regret, published by Simon Pulse (Simon & Schuster), is available now everywhere books are sold. Her popular ebook, From the Query to the Call, is also available for download, as well as a Possession short story, Resist. School teacher by day, Query Ninja by night, you can find her online at her personal blog or Twitter. She also co-founded the Query Tracker blog, and contributes to the League of Extraordinary Writers. Elana is represented by Michelle Andelman of Regal Literary.

Utah Book Month: Mini-Challenge OTP Showdown — August 2, 2013

Utah Book Month: Mini-Challenge OTP Showdown

Welcome to Utah Book Month! To kick things off for the fest (sort of), I’m hosting a mini-challenge today.

OTP Showdown

For those who aren’t obsessive fangirls (like me), OTP stands for one true pairing. I see it most often referring to couples on genre TV and film but I think we can purloin the term and apply it to books. Let’s face it, in the world of YA books the love triangle is king when it comes to romantic entanglements. That said, it’s time to start a showdown.

Pick two of your OTPs and pit them against each other in a fight. Who wins and why?

For example, Peeta and Katniss from The Hunger Games vs. Ron and Hermione from Harry Potter.

Honestly, I have to give this one to Peeta and Katniss. Hermione’s brilliant but as we have seen it takes her some time to recall information from the books she’s read. And Ron’s wand is often on the fritz after its beating from the Whomping Willow. Katniss is quick on her feet and Peeta balances out the Ron factor in the fight. He’s willing to take a bullet for her which I think he’d do any time Ron or Hermione cast a spell Katniss’ way.

Feel free to disagree in the comments. Also, don’t forget to pit your OTPs against each other!