Part nine of our Book Blogger Q&A series features Ryan from Empire of Books.
These are his responses to our questions:
How long have you been a blogger?
February 2010, so relatively new to the game still! Not newborn but still toddling about on all fours nonetheless!
Approximately, how many books do you read every year?
Hmm… you know what? I’ve never really thought about it. But I reviewed 68 books from Feb to Dec last year, and there were a few I’d read up to Feb and throughout the year that I didn’t actually have time to review, so I’d say around 75-80… give or take a few!
What were your favourite books as a child?
I was, and still am, a massive Roald Dahl fan. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Fantastic Mr. Fox were my favourites. Also really enjoyed Goosebumps when they were around!
What are you reading at the moment?
I’m reading Caroline Lawrence’s new book, The Case of the Deadly Desperados. It’s the first in her new series, The Western Mysteries and I am enjoying it immensely. What person doesn’t love cowboys and Indians?
If you had to pick one, what’s the best book you’ve read in the last twelve months?
Oh don’t do this to me! Please! Oh if I really really have to pick… Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. That book evoked so many emotions in me when I read it that I don’t really know what to say about it. Just amazing.
Who are your favourite authors?
I fear it’s predictable but JK Rowling is up there. I also love Anthony Horowitz, Justin Somper, Darren Shan. Michelle Paver is also a major favourite. Her books are a major event in my literary calendar!
Which book has had the greatest impact on your life?
I don’t really think there’s any one book. A couple, maybe. When I read Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix back in 2003 when I was 11, I decided I wanted to be a writer, and I still do. It’s my dream to have a book alongside my favourites one day… Michelle Paver’s Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series means a lot to me because those 6 years of my life in which they were published weren’t exactly the best and their presence really did help me get through quite a bit. Mockingjay because as already mentioned, so many emotions…
Which book are you most eagerly anticipating?
At the moment I am currently counting down the days to the sixth and final Vampirates book by Justin Somper (who I like to think of as a pal after talking to him via email, twitter and so on since the early days of the series back in 2005), Immortal War, which is out next month. I’ve been waiting a long time for this one! And the final Inheritance book is going to be a must-own as well! In honesty, there are far too many to mention. I would literally be here all day…
What advice would you give to a new blogger?
Don’t hold back. Get stuck right in and interact – with other bloggers, with the readers of your blog. With the publicists too – they might seem all scary at the start but some of them are pretty amazing and very friendly! Get on Twitter and introduce yourself with some @ replies! Don’t just come in and think “oh free books, yay!” because it’s not about that – and it should never be. That’s the worst thing you can do – yeah, it’s a bonus but it takes a lot of work to get to the stage that publishers will send you something to review. Just make friends and do it for the right reasons, to share your love of reading with one another. Be respectful, both of people’s opinions and the author. If you don’t like a book, don’t attack the author in your review. By all means, be honest but constructive. Most of all, just have fun.
Which other book blogs do you recommend?
Wondrous Reads! Seriously one of my faves and I believe the first book blog I ever discovered months before I even created Empire of Books! If my blog could ever be as good as that then I would be one happy blogger. The Bookzone for Boys is another great one – so many gory, horror filled, action filled books that boys will love! The Bookette (Becky from The Bookette has also taken part in our Q&A series. You can have a look at her responses here), Once Upon A Book Case, Love ReadingX, Mr Ripley’s Enchanted Books. And is it shameless to recommend my own? 😉 Might just do it anyway… yeah… there’s one called Empire of Books. Bloomin’ brilliant! Check it out! (I’m joking… no really, I am!)
I suggest you follow Ryan’s advice and check out his blog – it’s great! You can also follow him on Twitter.