A year ago today, on January 30th 2019, I posted my very first blog post on Tempest of Books. Yes, today is the one year anniversary of the blog! I am genuinely emotional at being able to celebrate this first anniversary; I have never kept a blog this long and I did not know what to expect when I started but Tempest of Books is truly the work of my heart, and it has been with me through the many changes I went through in my life in 2019. I have had an incredible time this part year sharing my love for books and finding a community of people to talk to and share with about those books. I have learned so much in one year, and I’m so grateful to everyone who has welcomed me in the book blogging community: the kindness of everyone here means so much more than I could express. During its first year, Tempest of Books has gone through a few aesthetic changes, I have slowly but surely found my blogging voice as I wrote more and more posts, and while there are still more that I could work on and achieve, I am extremely proud of where I am today. I am looking forward to another year of reading, another year of discovery, of braving annoying reading slumps; and through it all, another year of sharing my love of books with you all.
I want to thank you all, from the bottom of my heart. Thank you, thank you so much. You made this year truly special. Thank you for taking the time to visit the blog, to read my posts, to chat with me in the comments and for everything. And so today, as a way to celebrate, I wanted to answer your questions with a Q&A!
Kathy Kimbray, author of A shifting of Stars asked:
- What made you start blogging in the first place?
This blog isn’t the first time I tried to start blogging, but the few times before never lasted very long. When I started last year however, it was during a time when I felt like I had found my love of reading again, and I wanted to share that with people, talk about my favourite books but also discover new novels and be able to exchange opinions with others. It has been an incredible experience this year, and I couldn’t be happier I started this blog and stuck with it.
- What are some of your favorite tropes?
My favourite trope is the found family trope, no question. There is simply so much to create and discuss within this trope; it’s full of feelings, from happiness to angst, and I adore it. Another favourite trope is enemies-to-lovers (or any version of that like rivals-to-lovers, basically when two characters don’t get along at first but slowly fall in love).
- What is your advice to people who are on the fence about starting a book blog?
Do it because you’re passionate about books. If you are worried about graphics, I’d suggest keeping it simple and you can always use free-to-use resources online, you don’t need anything fancy. The first design of my blog (and even my current one) are very simple. You can always change this around once you’re more comfortable. And my last advice would be to write posts from your heart, write the posts you want to write; even when the posts are staples of the book blogging community, making it yours will make a huge difference.
Caro @ The Bookcheshirecat asked:
- What’s your favorite animal?
That’s actually a difficult question, because I don’t think I’ve ever had a favourite animal. At some point I considered having a crow or raven as a tattoo, so maybe that should be my answer (I never ended up getting that tattoo though).
- What do you love most about the Witchlands?
Now, if you don’t know, I read the Witchlands series by Susan Dennard for the first time in 2019 (well I technically started reading the first novel in the end of December 2018 but you know what I mean). It has become one of my favourite series of all time. So, as you can imagine, there is a lot I love in this ongoing series. The main thing, however, would be the characters. At first, I would have said Iseult was my favourite character, but as I kept reading Truthwitch, I started to love them all; the character development is truly incredible, their voices are all unique and they all have their own personal arc in the story. Now, I could not honestly tell you who is my favourite.
- What non-bookish things/hobbies do you love?
The first thing is not going to be a surprise to anyone, but video games. I love playing video games, and I have talked about a few of the ones I love on this blog. My absolute video game series of all time is the Mass Effect trilogy developed by Bioware. I have replayed it so many times, and each time I discover something new; I’ll probably have another playthrough of the three games in 2020. Other games I love are The Sims, I grew up with the Sims franchise and I still play it at 25, The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Stardew Valley, Dragon Age (hi it’s been 6 years since the last Dragon Age game, I need the fourth one please and thank you) … I love learning in general as well. About anything, really. I realize it may not seem like I have many hobbies, but I enjoy the ones I have!
Caitlin @ Caitlin Althea asked:
- Is 3 stars a good or bad rating?
Oh, the existential question of the 3 stars rating. For me, I would describe a 3-star rating as an okay/good rating. It means that I enjoyed some part of the novel a lot, but also did not enjoy an equal amount of that same novel. The best and most recent book I read which I rated 3 stars is great to show what I mean by that: The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black. I truly loved some parts of the story, I loved where the plot went but I also found basically the same amount of things I would say are negative elements such as the length, the lack of character development for certain characters and the feeling that the story was rushed. Three stars is basically average for me.
- Which book would you love to be adapted into a video game?
Without hesitation, it would be The Witchlands by Susan Dennard. Why, you might ask. Well, I found this book series through a video game. In December 2018, Bioware released a teaser for the new (and still not here, can you tell I need this game like today yet) Dragon Age with a hashtag on Twitter. And while I was searching this hashtag, one of the first person I came across was Susan Dennard, who had the hashtag in her name. So I got curious about her books, realized I had added Truthwitch on Goodreads years ago and well … The rest is history. A couple weeks later, I started reading Truthwitch, and here we are. It would make a great open-world rpg in my opinion, similar to The Witcher or Dragon Age, with a choice element in the story. I’d love for it to be set as a prequel, or even after the story is finished with new characters though, not in the timeline of the books.
Tiffany @ Read by Tiffany asked:
- If you could trade blogs with anyone for a day, who would it be?
I read so many incredible blogs, choosing one was so difficult. I literally kept this question as one of the last I answered. In the end, I decided to go with Clara’s blog, The Bookworm of Notre Dame because I adore her blogging voice. Reading her blog posts is always a joy, they’re so calming while they also express perfectly her emotions about what she decided to write about that day. I get emotional sometimes if I’m honest. She also writes some posts that are not about books, which gives a nice change of pace and allows her to share some of her other passions. I just think she has a lovely blog and she is all around a great person and I’d love to trade blogs with her if only for one day.
- What would you blog about if not books?
I don’t think I would blog about anything else? Books are probably one of the things I most passionate about, and it’s one of the things I think I have the most to say about. Maybe, if I was more comfortable talking about all the details, blog about what it’s like for me to live having bipolar disorder but I don’t know if that could be something I could really blog about. Otherwise, I have no idea!
Shri @ Sun and Chai asked:
- What inspires your reading behaviors and/or content?
I’m definitely a mood reader; I have tried many times to explain how I know what books I’m in the mood to read, but I just can’t seem to find the words. Last year however, I found myself also being really inspired by blog posts, when people talk about a book they love it sometimes makes me want to read it as well. Same goes with watching some booktubers, reading vlogs really get me in the mood to read.
As for my content, I always try to write what I really want to talk about, which can be challenging sometimes. One example of that was recently, I was a bit lost as to what I wanted to write; I was in a reading slump, and I thought I had nothing to talk about. At the same time, I was thinking about old reading memories, then I thought: why not simply talk about that? And I did, and it was one of the most interesting post I wrote this year, for me at least. I’m inspired by what I’m reading, by what I’m going through with my reading…
- Favorite post you’ve written?
I managed to bring it down to two posts before finally deciding on one: the post I wrote about Five Reasons to read Jade City by Fonda Lee. It’s definitely not one of my most popular post, but I enjoyed writing it so much after finishing my reread of the novel, and I just love the format I chose for it. I feel like I truly expressed what made this book so special to me, and I’m really happy with it.
Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books asked:
- What’s one book you’ve read because of the blogging community?
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston; at the time, I did not read many contemporary novels, but the blogging community was talking and loving this book so much, I had to read it. Marie, you’d be happy to know you’re one of the bloggers who convinced me to read it! And it became one of my favourite of 2019, so clearly it was a great decision.
- What are your favorite things about blogging and your least favorite things?
I absolutely love interacting with the community, which is one of the main reasons I started a blog in the first place. As someone who loves to write, having this blog has helped me write a lot more, and sitting down to write a blog post is always a fun time (when I’m inspired); getting to talk about the books I love is a plus, of course. How could I not love sharing why I love certain books? On this blog, I get to talk about something I don’t get to talk about that much in my day-to-day life, so it’s a nice outlet for me.
As for my least favourite things, I’d say the pressure I put on myself to try and be consistent. I know it may not seem that way lately, but I always have this in a corner of my brain, thinking that I should write and post more. But I also don’t want to post a post I don’t love, so I’m a bit stuck. I’d also say the aesthetic part of running a blog: I’ve never been very good at it, and I never know if something truly looks good or not, which is why I try to keep things simple.
- Favorite song? Favorite city? A place you’d dream of traveling to? Favorite kind of cake??
I cannot choose one favourite song, I listen to so many. As of right now though, I would say my two absolute favourite albums to listen to are Lover by Taylor Swift and Manic by Halsey. My favourite city I have ever lived in is Edinburgh in Scotland, no question; when I moved away from it, even after only living there for four months, I was heartbroken. I still miss it so much and it’s been 3 years. I would love to travel to Australia to meet some of my friends and visit some friends who moved there! And my favourite kind of cake is a gâteau raté au chocolat, which does not have a proper translation in English. It’s a chocolate cake that is a bit less cooked in the middle, it does not look incredible but it is SO GOOD.
Marta @ The Book Mermaid asked:
- What’s your favourite book of all time?
If there is one question in this Q&A that I cannot answer, it is this one. It is a known thing about me on this blog that I am absolutely terrible at picking a favourite, and I simply love too many books that could be considered favourites. I don’t think I have that one book that is above all the others. As a teen, maybe I would have managed to find one, but as a 25-year-old? I just can’t. I am so sorry Marta, I really wish I had an answer for this one but I truly don’t!
- What’s the post you’re the most proud of?
The post I am truly the most proud of is a post I wrote for a blog series called Representation Means on Shri’s blog, Sun and Chai. It was the hardest and most personal piece I have ever shared on the internet; it is about having bipolar disorder and what having good representation in books means to me now, and could have meant to my younger self. I originally told Shri I would love to write that post for her series, but later withdrew because as I tried writing, I thought I would never be able to. She was so understanding, kind and patient with me, which I could never thank her enough for. But I found myself drawn back to it, and little by little, I wrote it. I cried a lot writing it, I was utterly terrified of sharing that part of myself, but one day I finished it and I found myself ready to share it. I was still scared, but I was ready. So I told Shri, and she was kind enough to welcome me back as part of the series; it’s how I’m not the villain of your story came to be. It was almost as if a weight had been lifted of my shoulders, and I do not regret writing this post, even if was one of the hardest thing I have ever done.
- What’s your biggest blogging dream?
Right now, it would be to interview an author on the blog, for example to celebrate the release of their novel. It is something I have not done before, and I would obviously have to learn how to go about it but I would absolutely love to collaborate with an author on a post. Maybe in 2020?
Here are my answers! If you have any questions you didn’t get to ask, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments, I’d be more than happy to answer! Here is to another year of blogging and reading 💖
Until next time,