Friday, March 5, 2010

Interview with Donna from Fantasy Dreamer's Ramblings

Posted by Simcha 12:00 PM, under | 2 comments

Welcome Donna! I'm a big fan of your blog and I'm delighted to have the chance to interview you and to get to know more about you and your blog, Fantasy Dreamer's Ramblings.

Can you please start off by telling me a little bit about your blog, and what makes it unique?

Hi Simcha! Thank you for inviting over to your place. Well, I keep things on my blog centered around the books I'm currently obsessing over. Lately, my taste for books runs in the Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance and YA Fantasy genres dabbling a little still in High Fantasy. As for what makes it unique, tough question. I don't know that there is anything that makes my blog unique.

Oh, you’re just being modest! I guess I’ll have to point out my favorite aspects of your blog then, which include
great book reviews, an attractive and easy-to- navigate layout, helpful links to additional reviews at other sites, weekly listings of new releases, and, of course, the special effort that you make to interact with every visitor who leaves a comment at your blog.

So when did you start your blog and what led you to do so?

I started my blog at the beginning of last year on a whim. I wanted a place to blog about books and I don't think it ever occurred to me that anyone would be interested in what I had to say. So you can imagine my surprise when I realized how big book blogging community actually was.

You mention on your blog that you have been an avid reader most of your life. Can you recall the book that first sparked your interest in reading?

Early on, I could tell you exactly which book first sparked my interest in reading but I do have fond memories of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. But later as a teenager, I remember my dad bringing me all sorts of books to see which would catch my interest. I remember it was a Victoria Holt book but I can't recall what the title was. I just remember how the goth atmosphere, mystery and romance pulled me in so well that I was soon scouring the military's base library trying to find every book Holt had ever written at the time.

Oh, I loved The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe! That was the very first fantasy series that ever read.

Do your children have that same enthusiasm for reading that you do? If so, did you do anything in particular to encourage their interest in reading?

Yes, they do. My son and I share a love for R.A. Salvatore and Barb & J.C. Hendee's books. And my stepdaughter loves to read YA Fantasy, especially the ones like Vampire Diaries. I didn't really do anything to encourage them, it was just something we all do. Who knows? Maybe it has something to do with me carry a book around with me everywhere I go?

What do you enjoy doing when you aren’t reading or blogging?

I like going to movies with my family, going for long walks and finding new restaurants to try. And I love to cook, especially bake. So, I'm always on the look out for a new recipe to try, much to my husband's dismay (I think the man has only 5 taste buds).

You have such a content rich blog, with book reviews, book releases and news and reviews from other blogs, how much time do you put into your blog in order to accomplish all this?

For awhile I was putting in about 3-4 hours a day into my blog but having a full time job and a family, I soon realized this was an unrealistic pace to set for myself. So, I've gotten to where I spent about an hour or so a day now. It's a pace that my family and I can live with.

What is your favorite part of running a book blog?

Meeting new people who share the same love for books as I do. I didn't realize there were so many people out there with the same passion for books.

And what do you find to be the most challenging aspect of running a book blog?

Writing reviews. A lot times I will write a review then rewrite it several more times from scratch. I'm definitely a reader and not writer so I have a hard time trying to say what I want and how I want it to be presented. Plus, I abhor spoilers, so I try so hard to avoid those like the plague. I hope one day I'll get to where I'm comfortable writing reviews.

Have you ever received a negative response from an author regarding a review you wrote about their book? If so, how did you handle it?

No, I haven't. At least not directly. An author linked to my review and made a few comments I didn't agree with. But I didn't do anything about it since the author didn't actually comment on my blog. Just like I'm entitled to my opinion, the author is entitled to his/hers. So I just ignored it.

As a successful blogger with over 250 followers and a regular stream of visitors, I was wondering if you might have any suggestions for other bloggers on building a successful blog

I think the key to any successful blog is to be friendly. In my opinion, when comments are left on your blog, you should comment back. People like to know that you read their comment and that you took the time to respond to them. Also go out and make friends with other bloggers by commenting on the blogs that you like. Everyone likes comments. Comments let others know that people are actually reading what they have to say. And most of yourself.

Thanks for the great advice!

And for your final question... you mentioned that you love to cook, so if you could choose one book character to have over over for dinner who would you choose and what would you cook for them?

Hm, I had to think on this one but I'd pick Gin Blanco from Spider's Bite to have over for dinner. Since I can identify with Gin in the pleasure she gets from cooking. For dinner, I would cook my homemade spicy Chili, and for desert I'd would whip up some Pumpkin Bars with whipped cream on top.

Mmm...lucky Gin, those pumpkin bars sound especially good.

Thank you again Donna for joining me here and I really enjoyed getting to know more about you and your blog,
Fantasy Dreamer's Ramblings.


This was a wonderful and great interview! I follow Donna as well. I love stopping by her blog and reading her book reviews. I don't always leave a comment on every read but I do read them.

Great interview, both of you! :)

Thanks Melissa. I also love Donna's blog and I was particularly eager to get some blogging tips from her and to find out how she finds the time to do it all. Plus I got a delicious looking recipe for pumpkin bars. :)

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