Thursday Thoughts: Interview with author Charm Anderson

So this week I had the pleasure of interviewing a first-time author and ask her a few questions about her and her writing.

Her name is Charm Anderson, and she wrote a book called Exploit Me. I hope you enjoy her answers, and you can check out her book here.

If you guys have any other authors you’d like to see me interview in the future, please let me know in the comments. This was a lot of fun and I’d love to do it again some time.

 

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What is your book called, and what is it about?

My first novel ever is called Exploit Me. This novel, that is actually ongoing on Wattpad at the moment, is about a girl trying to overcome a traumatism and live after being sexually assaulted.

She struggles and feels lost about who she is. Though, what’s nice about this book is that it’s not your typical story where she’ll meet someone, fall in love and feel better. There’s drama, romance, humor… In other words, it’s a story about each one of us.

 

Why did you decide to write a book?

Ever since I was young, everyone used to tell me that I have a unique imagination. Teachers would always compliment my work and would tell me that I was talented, but I was way too insecure to write anything. To be honest, I started writing books way before Exploit Me… I wrote 3 of them but never got the chance to finish them because I deleted them; my insecurities got in the way.

Recently, I went through something that made me change the way I perceive every single thing; I didn’t want to reach a point where I’ll regret not trying to achieving my dream of becoming a writer. I want to share this story to show people that they’re not alone, that every single one of us struggles with something and that it’s okay to not be okay.

 

What is it about writing that you enjoy/hate the most?

I’m going to start with the things I hate about writing. There are not that many things that I hate about it just the fact that I have to edit everything on my own. Also, whenever I’m editing a chapter or re-reading it, I get this feeling of wanting to add more, change some stuff or delete everything.

Writing is basically one of the things I really enjoy doing. The fact that every single scenario you think about can be put into words is just amazing. It’s a form of creation, it makes me feel like I actually did something even though my book is not published yet.

 

Do you enjoy reading? What book are you reading right now?

Definitely!

I started reading books ever since I learned how to read. There’s not a single period in my life when I wasn’t holding a book in my hands. Writing and reading are two things I can’t live without. I’m currently reading a French book for the third time, which is actually a play called “Huis Clos” by Jean-Paul Sartre which means No Exit or Closed Doors as some like to call it. It’s a spectacular play and i recommend everyone to read it! It’s actually quite popular for this saying: “Hell is Others.”

 

What is the one book you’d take with you in an apocalypse?

That’s a really tough question. I seriously can’t choose a favorite because every single book has a certain story… Maybe mine?

 

If you could travel anywhere in the world where would it be and why?

I’d definitely go to Japan. It’s been a dream of mine to go there. I really like the contrast between the city and the village. It’s so fascinating and I find myself “craving” to see the cherry blossoms! (my note: ME TOO!!! I WANT TO SEE CHERRY BLOSSOMS SO BAD THEY’RE SO PRETTY)

 

What is one item on your bucket list you wish you could cross off tomorrow?

Visit every single museum in the world. I have an obsession with museums, it’s crazy.

 

If you could meet any person in the world, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Meet every single person in the Writing Community! Their support is just amazing! I really want to meet each one of them and give them a big hug to show them how much I appreciate everything they’ve helped me with.

 

Who inspires you the most? and why?

Definitely my parents! I can’t think of anyone else when I hear the word “inspiration” or “idol”. They literally started from scratch and evolved in a way that makes me want to be like them. Even though they don’t always support me because they want what’s best for me, I appreciate everything they do. I hope that I’ll be able to make them proud someday.


 

Thank you so much to Charm! This was an absolutely incredible opportunity and a lot of fun. I hope you guys enjoyed Charm’s answers, and I know she’d love for you to check out her book.

 

If you want to follow Charm on Twitter and Instagram, please do. Her book is inspiring and you’ll see a review of it on Monday.

 

Thursday Thoughts: Lending Libraries

So for those who don’t know what a Lending Library is, it’s pretty simple. Basically I put a small library of books in my front yard, usually in a weather-proof containter, and people are welcome to “take” the books.

They’re supposed to return them, hence the library aspect, but that’s not always the case.

I’ve thought about maybe having an lending library of my own one day. You sort of need to have a front yard in a high foot traffic area, which I am not in at the moment.

I kind of like the idea though, but I think I’d make mine a little different from this. Instead of it being a library, I would like to make it more like a swap meet.

You take a book in my little library and leave one in its place. That way its like sharing a story with a stranger, and the possibilities of the books that will be swapped could be amazing.

There would be a few options in there, and they would be books I enjoyed, but ones I’m okay with getting rid of.

It would give people a chance to get a free book that they may not have known about before, and it would give me the chance to discover books that I may not have seen. You can do a lot with it. Each person can write their name and when they read the book inside the cover, books can be traded or put back.

The potential is limitless.

A lending “library” is something I’d like to do one day, but my only concern is that are others interested. Would other people want to borrow books, or would the books just sit there and collect dust.

I guess that’s something I would need to try one day. I just need to get a front yard with a sidewalk in front of it first.

Would you consider setting up a lending library? Or have you seen one in your neighborhood? I’d love to share some stories about it! Let me know in the comments!!!

My Top 5 Instagram Artists

The word artistic is one word that is never associated to me. I am far from artsy, and should steer clear of making art, for fear of ruining what the word means.

What I can do though, is appreciate some really wonderful artists that I enjoy, so I’ve made a Top 5 list of my favourite Instagram artists.

Before I start I will apologize now for all of the butchering of any and all artistic terms that will be found somewhere in this post, and if you have any suggestions for artists to take a look at, please let me know! I’m always looking for new accounts to explore. 

NUMBER 5: @albin_smaili97

Albin does some really amazing work creating anime themed art, and has a focus of doing different mashups for each piece. Another thing Albin likes to do is create the same picture, but in three different styles and each one of them looks distinct and cool in its own way.

He has a big focus on Naruto themed sketches, but does include some other anime and uses the same style. If you’re an anime fan I definitely recommend taking a look at Albin’s nice, what looks like pen, drawings. It’s a sort of ‘messy’ look, but when it’s all done it looks really cool.

Check out some of the awesome mashup art here.

 

 

NUMBER 4: @lulusketches

So as I found out, Laura (lulusketches) is an artist that works for Disney (dream job for many I assume) and creates some really spectacular pieces. Some scenery art, some character design, Laura creates some beautiful pieces of art you should definitely check out.

I don’t know the term for her type of art style, but its cartoonish and her use of colours truly mimic the real life they are eminating.

Explore her other wonderful creations here.

View this post on Instagram

another background I painted for #tangledtheseries!

A post shared by Laura Price (@lulusketches) on

 

NUMBER 3: @jasricart

Jasric loves her her superheroes, and does a hell of a good job drawing them. Don’t get me wrong though, her superheroes are spectacular, but she does other pieces as well.

Whether it’s anime, comic book, or fantasy inspired, Jasric’s Instagram is a perfect platform to showcase her talent.

I don’t know what her art style would be called, but whatever it is, you can see her progression of some of her drawings, and she has gone from great to somehow even better

Check out her Instagram profile for some beautiful artwork.

 

 

NUMBER 2: @danielkordek

Daniel has got his subjects figured out on his Instagram page, and does a great job capturing them in his work.  There are some really gorgeous pieces, whether they are based on his own imagination or using a cartoon to base his drawing off of.

He has a lot of simplistic art pieces that are truly amazing to look at, and his pieces are a lot more tasteful than some other artists who have a similar style. There are some wonderful cartoon style drawing you should definitely check out.

Check out his wonderful art here. 

 

NUMBER 1: @megancrisp2424

I don’t know what this art style would be called, but I have always loved it, and Megan’s Instagram account is filled with it! The pieces are usually pretty simple, but it is in the simplicity that the beauty is found. Her art tends to have one main focus, taking up most of the picture, but the one subject is all you need to look at.

Megan has cute and adorable pieces and even some more serious ones. When I was looking at most of her pieces I could imagine it being from a cartoon or animated short film.

Check out Megan’s Instagram page here.

 

This isn’t an extensive list of the whole art community on Instagram, but just my favourite artists that I know about. I hope you enjoyed the list!

March Madness Bracket: Book Edition

If you live in North America, and possibly other places in the world, you have likely heard of March Madness.

It’s basically a big basketball tournament for American College schools that tales place in March and April. I’m not a basketball fan, but from what I understand it’s basically their playoff season, but I could be wrong.

People go nuts for this, betting hundreds and thousands of dollars on it, and making bracket guesses left and right hoping that they’ll win some money off the teams they picked.

I’m sure there are THOUSANDS or even TENS OF THOUSANDS of people in North America who don’t give a shit about this March Madness crap, so I’m going to offer them an alternative, a better alternative.

MAY MAYHEM

That’s right, this year will be the first ever May Mayhem bracket, which will feature 64 of the best Fantasy Book series (change the genre every year) that I could find, and they’ll be thrown into a randomly generated bracket where people will be able to vote for the winner.

Now I don’t actually know if this is a good idea, and I haven’t worked out all the details yet, but I think (and really hope) people will be interested in this enough to want to vote on it.

I’ll make sure to have some updates now and then as to what’s going to happen, but let me know what you think of this idea in the comments or shoot me an email.

I think it’s a fun idea to do for the book community and have a bit of friendly competition as to whos favourite book series will prevail.

What does success look like as a blogger?

When I started this blog as a school assignment my first thought was “Ugh, I’ll have to figure out what I can talk about every week.”

Once I started writing the first few posts, it was like a switch had turned on in my head and suddenly I had dozens of ideas I wanted to try, posts I wanted to make, and things I wanted to do to get my name out there.

The blog quickly became something that I loved and wanted to take full-time, and it didn’t take long for me to buy my WordPress domain and start posting daily content.

The next step after that was to start engaging with the book blogging community and my followers to gain traction within the community.

It’s not easy engaging with audiences. You have to constantly be looking online, talking to them, and growing your brand and image so that you can stay relevant and not fall behind.

It was while I was talking to some of the members of the book blogging community that I realized how much more “succesful” they were compared to my blog.

Some blogs had been around for years, slowly growing their following and community, while others started within the last year or so, and were miles ahead of where I was.

It got a little disheartening after a while. Seeing all these succesful bloggers, booktubers, and whatever else I could find online with hundreds and thousands of followers.

How could I keep up with them?

Clearly they were doing something right that I wasn’t doing in order to be so succesful.

I had lost my heart for blogging. I didn’t want to bother any more. I mean when it comes down to it, how would a little book blog make any  money? It would just be a waste of my time, sharing my thoughts and stories on the internet and get basically no reward from it.

That’s the mindset I had for quite a while before something changed. I couldn’t point it to a specific moment, or even a day or two.

It may have been from writing different posts and falling in love with it all again, but something made me realize what I wanted from the blog and why I had enjoyed doing it so much.

The goal wasn’t to make money one day, the goal wasn’t to become some world-famous blogger that people all over the world knew about.

The original goal had been to enjoy being a blogger, and I haven’t stopped doing that. I love sharing my stories, my thoughts, and my opinions.

I love sharing my take on different books, or giving writing prompts, or sharing a quote from the book I reviewed to the community.

I love having all these ideas flowing through my mind of different things I could do to share my voice with other people, whether that was different types of posts, different platforms, or even different types of books.

This was when I realized that success as a blogger, for me at least but im sure others in the community also, is just to enjoy doing it. You don’t need to have thousands of followers or make a lot of money, or get thousands of views a day.

You don’t need to be the best, or the most succesful. Hell, you don’t even need to have any readers.

To me, the point of a blog is to enjoy what you’re doing. I mean if you don’t like what you’re doing and you are forcing yourself to get posts out every day or every week then what’s the point?

If you get followers, or get famous from it, then that’s a bonus. Making a little money is probably pretty exciting too, and can’t hurt the fact that you’ll enjoy doing it more.

Yeah, if you’re making a blog that doesn’t have viewers it gets disheartening, and you’ll probably want to quit, but it does get better.

It may take some time, and it may not be easy, but it does get better. People will read it.

In this world that’s full of online content, it’s difficult to gain traction compared to those who have been doing it for years, but it will happen.

All you have to do is keep doing it. Keep posting, keep writing, and keep falling in love with what you’re doing and people will find you.

I hope this helps in some way. Sometimes it gets frustrating, trying to post regular content with no reward, but it does get better, and if it’s not something you want to continue, that’s fine too.

It’s difficult to do this. It’s difficult to post regular content while juggling who knows how many other things in your life, but you should do it because you love it.

Why do you love blogging? Is it the followers? Sharing your own stories and opinions? Let’s talk about it in the comments

 

My Goals for 2019

I know about a month and a half ago I had set some reading goals for myself for the year. I still plan on sticking with them, but I completely forgot about what goals I had for the blog and my social media channels.

I’m a relatively new blog, so some of these goals don’t seem like much to other people, but I figured I would set a decent milestone for myself and use it as a good foundation going forward.

Blog

I started this blog in September 2018 for a school assignment and really enjopyed doing it, so I decided to start doing it more full-time. I haven’t made any money from it yet, but I hope to in the future. I’m currently sitting at 32 followers on my blog, and I want to hit 100 by the end of the year. I don’t think this is a lofty goal at all, honestly it’s probably the easiest one to hit. My average is about 1-2 followers a week, but I think with some of the ideas you’ll hear about later in this post, I can definitely bump it up and hit 100 by 2020.

Goal: 100 followers

Current: 32

 

TWITTER

So currently Twitter is the platform I use the most to promote the blog. The writing and book blogging community seems pretty active and robust, so I’d really love to get involved more and start to grow. I’m sitting at 39 Followers at the moment of writing this, and I really want to hit 250 by the end of the year. I think this might be my hardest goal to hit, but I think it is possible.

Goal: 250 followers

Current: 39

 

INSTAGRAM

Not sure if any of you know this, but yes I do use Instagram. It’s not my biggest platform, I only use it to post a picture once a week and try to engage with some different audiences. I’m far from a great photographer so that’s my biggest weakness for Instagram, but I’d still like to start growing on there and getting some more engagement with my audiences. I’m hoping to hit 100 followers on Instagram, and I am currently at 24. I think this will be an easier goal. I only started Instagram earlier this year, and jumped up to 24 followers pretty soon.

Goal: 100 followers

Current: 24

 

Book Club

I thought it might be a good idea to start a Facebook book club too. I thought it would be a great opportunity to engage with my audiences and discuss a book in a more laid back environment.  I planned to get it started in February, but I’ve hit a few hiccups with school, so I’m shooting for getting it going by summer time. I’m currently at 0 followers, and I didn’t really have a goal for this one because I wasn’t sure if this was one I would stick with too much, but if I had to set a goal I’d say 25 or so.

Goal: 25 participants

Current: 0

 

TWITCH

So I guess this is the first teaser to my upcoming Twitch Channel. Yeah, I am planning on using Twitch to start engaging with different audiences. I plan on doing a sort of book club, where I will read a book to my viewers and then engage with them in a discussion about the book. I’m starting this from scratch, but I have 1 follower currently and am hoping to hit 50 by the end of the year. From my experience with Twitch it shouldn’t be too hard, and I have a few people in place to help build my following, but I just wanted to set the bar a little lower because I’m not too skilled with Twitch quite yet.

Goal: 50 follower

Current: 1 follower

 

YOUTUBE

I was talking to a few people who use Twitch, and they said if I did want to start streaming on there then I should take the videos and throw them on YouTube. I wouldn’t necessarily focus on YouTube content, more so have it as a side platform to get some views and maybe some followers. If there was enough interest on the platform, I’d probably start engaging with audiences more, but until that time I’d keep it as a side platform to use. I haven’t started quite yet,  but I’m hoping to hit 25 subscribers by 2020.

Goal: 25 subscribers

Current: 0

 

So these are all of my goals for my social media platforms in 2019. I think they are all obtainable, and I am gonna do my best to reach all of them.

What do you think? Do you think I can reach these goals? Any tips to reaching them faster?

Also, if you’re interested in my Twitch channel look for OnMyBookshelf. I’m hoping to get my first stream out this weekend.

Why Reading Together Can Be A Good Valentine’s Day Date

So as I’m sure all of you know, today is Valentine’s Day, which can make a lot of people happy, or very upset. Some of you might have a date and are celebrating, some have a date and don’t feel the need to celebrate.

Some people may have no date and aren’t too happy about it, while other still might have no date and couldn’t be happier about that. If anything, it’s more romantic to have that perfect date any other day of the year, because you won’t be societally obligated to go through with it.

If you are happy about what you are doing on Valentine’s Day, then I am happy for you, there’s no pressure to find that perfect date.

I have been thinking about this idea a lot recently, and I was wondering if sitting with your significant other and just enjoying books together can be an awesome gift to eachother today.

Yeah, some people wan’t some crazy gifts; boxes of chocolates, flowers, food, jewellery, but I think a lot of people are happy just spending time with the person they love.

That’s why I believe my idea could be a great present to eachother. The only problem for this idea is that both people need to be interested in books.

Let’s examine the idea a little more.

If you and your parnter are both big readers, but don’t really like eachother’s favourite genres, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Personally, my girlfriend isn’t a big reader, but when she does read it tends to be on the darker side of the spectrum, where I prefer more epic fantasy books.

I think a nice romantic gesture like swapping books with eachother and putting the time in to reading a book that your partner has chosen for you can be a good date idea, and also help your relationship. Maybe you don’t like the book in the end, but maybe you do.

I think the key part is putting in the effort for your parnter and showing some interest in something that they are interested in.

To spice things up a bit, you two can get some comfy sweats on, make a nice warm cup of tea (or whatever your reading drink of choice is) and curl up under a nice warm blanket together and enjoy eachother’s company while you both read a good book.

This works if you and your partner like the same books too. It might be easier because this way you don’t have to swap books with eachother, you can just take whichever book you are reading at the time and enjoy it in the presence of the person you love.

I’m not saying this is the perfect date idea, and I’m not saying your partner will even enjoy it if you would. I just think that it could be a nice alternative to watching Netflix together (which also isn’t a bad idea)

I’d love to hear what everyone’s doing for Valentine’s Day. Let me know in the comments section.