Friday, March 11, 2011

Friday Featured Blogger (30): James from Book Chic Club!

Friday Featured Blogger is an extremely sporadic feature on my blog in which I interview bloggers whom I respect and admire. Today I have a veteran blogger: James of Book Chic Club! Besides for having one of the classiest blog names I have ever come across, James has been blogging since 2007, which makes him like a great-grandma in blogger age, but definitely not as unhip, for he is utterly passionate about YA and is also a really sweet guy. Welcome, James, to Steph Su Reads!

1) Tell us about yourself in a few short sentences. For example: name, location, occupation, hobbies, pets... and so on!

Well, my name is James and I live in Lynchburg, VA. Unfortunately, I'm unemployed at the moment but this at least gives me time to work on what I call my Funny Gay Paranormal. I'm not too far into it, but I'm working on setting aside writing time every day. I'm a fairly boring person- I just read, watch TV, hang out with friends, play with my cats and go out to eat when I have money. I'm a homebody, so I'm not a big fan of the outdoors. I own a few cats, which are shown on my blog as part of Cat Friday and also in some of the vlogs I do. Oh, and I'm gay and single (not really loving it- I want a boyfriend!)

2) Tell us about your blog. When did you start it and why? Where did the name come from? What interesting things can visitors expect?

I started the blog back in June 2007 on Myspace, then moved it over to Blogspot in July 2009. My author friend Lauren Barnholdt wanted to promote her book Two-Way Street and was open to interviews. I said that I would love to interview her and as I was coming up with questions, I realized I really enjoyed doing that and wanted to continue doing it. So I decided to start a book blog; Myspace seemed the best place to have it because I could add people and network it that way. I came up with the name Book Chic after a couple weeks of trying to create a name- Book for obvious reasons, Chic (pronounced like sheik) because I wanted it to sound fancy. However, I now realize that maybe I should have picked a name people could pronounce correctly, lol.

As for what visitors can expect, I do a monthly feature where I spotlight two debut authors and it's called Fresh New Voice of YA. I interview them, read an excerpt from their book, and review the novel. Speaking of reading excerpts, I also host a meme called Fragment Friday where anyone can record themselves reading an excerpt from their current read or an all-time favorite book, though I only post the Mr. Linky once a month and it coincides with Fresh New Voice of YA. The date is mentioned underneath my blog banner each month- February is the 18th and March is the 11th. While I only do it during that week, other bloggers and readers can do it any Friday of the month and put their links in when I post the Mr. Linky. In place of doing a Fragment Friday each week, I've been doing Cat Friday, which is similar to Presenting Lenore's Cat Tuesday, wherein I show off pictures of my cats being adorable. Other than that, I post reviews, interview authors, post my thoughts regarding various bookish things, and talk about any book events I go to. It's a fun time, so swing on by and leave a comment!

3) What is one of your most memorable encounters with a YA author?

I've had so many, I don't even know!! I did really enjoy Jennifer Echols screaming my name at RWA 2009 and hugging me, Maggie Stiefvater taking a picture with me while I'm holding the speeding ticket I got on the way to the event, eating McDonald's and chatting with Diana Peterfreund (and she paid for the food too!), Lisa McMann trying to force airline peanuts on me, mistaking some other author for Stacey Kade, and so on and so forth. Every YA author encounter is memorable. I could seriously never pick just one.
4) You are an openly gay book blogger. What advice would you give to your teenage self and others like you?

Luckily, I had a very stress-free teenage life and not much bullying going on, either to me or anyone else. I did go to a private Catholic school though so perhaps that had something to do with it. But for anyone else struggling with their sexuality and bullying, try to find a club or something that you're interested in, whether at school or outside of it, and build a strong friendship system. Seriously, even if it's just one or two really good friends, it helps get you through the tough times. If that's not something that's viable for your situation, then take comfort in two facts- 1) You will find awesome friends and acceptance in college and beyond, and 2) You will become so much more successful than those idiots who bullied you.

5) Name 3 favorite books and why you think everyone should read them.

The main criteria for this is re-readability; I need to like a book enough that I'd want to re-read it, which doesn't happen very often for me.

1) Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman- I could never get tired of this book. It's a hilarious take on the Apocalypse. Get yourself prepared in case something like Terry and Neil's version of the Apocalypse takes place.

2) Boy Meets Girl by Meg Cabot- Probably my favorite out of all of Meg's books (and they're all so good!). It's just such a good romantic, funny read. Everyone needs to read a Meg book at some point.

3) Bad Kitty by Michele Jaffe- A funny mystery that includes footnotes? I'm so there. I'm actually re-reading this one right now! It's funny- what else do you need?!

Is it apparent that I'm a huge fan of humorous novels?

6) Re-readability--wonderful! Definitely one of my criteria too for favorite books. Now, what is your favorite place to read?
I love reading in my bed but it usually makes me tired which is bad. I've gotten used to reading on the couch which is comfortable but not so much so that I get sleepy. Also, if a cat's next to me, that's wonderful too.

7) If you had one million dollars to renovate/redecorate your home, what would you spend the money on?

I'd like a huge library room so I could keep all my books, and I'd probably make a room for the cats where there's lots of windows to let sunlight come in and several cat towers for them to play with. Maybe a mattress too since a lot of them seem to enjoy my bed a lot, lol. A home entertainment system for me and my friends to watch TV and movies on, and lots of video games to play. A pool would be fun too- maybe invite some of my blogger and author friends over for a swim. I honestly don't know what else I'd need or want, lol. Suggestions?

8) What is one piece of advice you would like to give the world?

Just be nice, gosh darnit! Treat people well because karma will get you back somehow if you don't. It boggles my mind as to why anyone would want to be mean to someone.

9) What are some things besides books that you just LOVE to receive for presents? :)
Stuffed animals are nice- I used to collect Beanie Babies when they were popular, and would get other various stuffed animals. I have a Snoopy that I just adore and that I've had since I was young. I am also a media whore- so CDs, DVDs, and video games are always nice as well; I mean, I have a lot of books, but I also have a ton of CDs and DVDs. Gift cards to restaurants I like, such as Red Lobster, make me happy. Chocolate is a good way to put a smile on my face too.

10) Finally, tell us 2 interesting things about yourself that can spark conversation.

1) I'm gay. It's not necessarily interesting, but it can spark a conversation no matter who I'm talking to, for better or worse.

2) I wrote a one-act play that was performed for two nights at my high school's annual One-Act Festival in my junior year. It was awesome.

Thank you so much, James! If you haven't yet checked out James' blog, you should definitely hop on over at Book Chic Club. Leave him a comment and say hello!


  1. Great interview! So glad to find another awesome YA blog to follow.

  2. From Virginia and a cat lover??? I'll definitely go check out his blog :) Thanks for the interview!

  3. I love James. And I know how shy he is. At BEA for the past couple of years I had to draw him out to talk to me, but he's an amazing, thoughtful person! And very sweet!

  4. Great interview, thanks to both of you!


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