Saturday, February 4, 2012

Blogger in the Spotlight: Bookends (& Beginnings)

This week I'm pleased to introduce Kristen of Bookends & Beginnings who will be starring in this week's Blogger in the Spotlight.

Big welcome,  Kristen.

Kristen's author spotlight:

Robin McKinley is the author I look up to the most. I envy her and admire her. I wish I could create sentences and worlds as rich and fragrant as she does. If you have never read anything by her, I encourage you to, like, now! Don’t wait. It is definitely an enriching experience. Here’s a quote from her novel Sunshine:

“What we can do, we must do: we must use what we are given, and we must use it the best we can, however much or little help we have for the task. What you have been given is a hard thing--a very hard thing...but what if there were no one who could do the difficult things.”

Sunshine, by the way, is the best vampire novel you will ever read (yes, I dare to say it’s even better than Dracula). It’s sexy, dark, magical, wry, and the language is gorgeous! McKinley is not afraid to try something new (as in the case of Sunshine). While I don’t love all her books (Hero and the Crown is not one of my favorites…), I love her words. No matter what she’s writing, her words are meant to be savored. To be read slowly and tasted. Oh yeah, she’s also funny, mostly in a dry, witty sort of way, which also happens to be my favorite blend of humor. Here’s another quote from Sunshine:

“I wondered what you'd have on the side with a plate of Deep Fried Anxiety. Pickles? Coleslaw? Potato-strychnine mash?”

She also wrote Beauty, which is the best retelling of Beauty and the Beast ever! She also wrote a second retelling, called Rose Daughter, and while I haven’t read that one yet, I’ve been told it’s also fantastic. I could go on and on about how awesome she is, but you should really just go read one of her books for yourself.  

Q & A with Kristen:

How long have you been blogging?
Since October 10th, 2011. Wow, I can’t believe it’s been a few months already!

Why do you love blogging?
I love reading, I love books, and I love writing. It’s really fun to be able to combine all of those and share that love with others who share the same passion for the written word.

Why did you name your blog Bookends and Beginnings?
I wanted a name that conveyed what I was blogging about (books), but also wanted something fun. Hence, Bookends (& Beginnings).

Why did you decide to devote a whole page of your blog to quotes? Care to share one of your favorites?
Quotes inspire me. They fill me up with enough fuel to face whatever is waiting outside my door every day. Here’s one of  my all time favorites from William Goldman: “You have to protect your writing time. You have to protect it to the death.” This quote always pulls me back to just how precious and worth fighting for that time is.

On your favorites list, you listed Brothers Karamazov, Hunger Games, The Princes Bride, and Bridge to Terabithia to name a few.  Your reading taste seems quite eclectic.  Why do you like such a wide range of books?
Probably because I just haven’t grown up yet. Haha. Sometimes I think my “to-read” and “favorites” list should include a lot more “adult” titles, then I realize I just don’t really care if I’m reading (and thoroughly enjoying) a Middle Grade novel out in public. Or if people think I’m weird or creepy for heading straight to the kids section at the bookstore/library. But there are a few gems I don’t mind growing up for a few days to read, like Brothers K, The Road, and of course Jane Austen.

What book are you currently pining for?
The Council of Mirrors by Michael Buckley, the ninth and final book to the Sisters Grimm series! Ah, can’t wait! 

From your bio, you say that your passion from writing started from an early age. What have been some of the most meaningful moments in your writing? (Greatest accomplishments?)
Three moments stand out to me. In High School I made a book for my friend Melody. I wrote two short stories and a few poems, and then I printed, cut, and bound the book. It was such a fun creative process. In college I finally realized I had some sort of writing talent because two of my college professors asked if they could use my essays as examples for future classes. That was incredibly encouraging. And then just last November I participated in NaNoWriMo, and while I didn’t hit my 50k word count, I busted out the whole first draft of my YA novel I’m writing. And it was the most I’d ever written in that short of time.

Name one blog post that you’ve written that you think everybody should read.
I think everyone should read my post about The Princess Bride Sequel for purely selfish reasons. I think that everyone should find William Goldman’s address, and write to him incessantly about finishing the dang thing! Except, he said he hates it when people tell him to get to work on the sequel, so maybe that’s a bad idea… shoot.

What are you currently reading and what are you going to read next?
I actually just finished both the books I had been reading. And now I am going to start reading Partials by Dan Wells. It’s a YA Dystopian that comes out Feb. 28th (review should be on my blog once I finish).

Anything else you think readers should know about you?
I have recently become a rabid kpop and kdrama fan. Also, I pray every night for a pet unicorn, like the girl in Despicable Me. I still believe I will get one someday.

Thanks so much Danica! This was fun! 

You are most welcome, Kristen. Thanks for stopping by.

Well that's all for this week's Blogger in the Spotlight. Be sure to check out Kristen's blog, Bookends & Beginnings.

Also, if you're interested in being spotlighted, please see the Blogger in the Spotlight page. Also, I have a ton of spots opening up for spotlights, so please email me if you're interested.
Danica Page

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