Friday Featured Blogger is an occasional feature on my blog in which I interview a blogger whom I like, respect, and admire. Today's featured blogger is Capillya, of the indispensable blog That Cover Girl, which does what part of us must all secretly wish we could do, and that is to blog about YA book covers all... day... long. Capillya, however, talks about book covers in an intelligent, eye-opening, and thought-provoking way. I am delighted to get the chance to interview her. Welcome, Capillya, to Steph Su Reads!
Hi! My name's Capillya. (+1 gazillion points if anyone out there can get anywhere near pronouncing that correctly.) I'm currently living in the big city of Little Rock, and I've lived here for the past decade. By day, I'm a producer for a small independent production company. By night, well, sometimes I work long days. I kid (not really). My hobbies include reading (of course!), watching movies (duh!), cooking (well, baking counts right?), and basically hanging out with friends and being a nerdtastic goofball.
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?
That Cover Girl waaaaaay back...in fall of 2010. The idea developed out of a few conversations with Adele of Persnickety Snark over Skype and then again over email. I showed her the cover to Carolee Dean's Take Me There and said something along the lines of, "Good grief! What were these cover designers thinking? Two teens rolling around in the middle of the road?! Someone needs to make a blog about YA book covers, stat!" And POOF, (a few months later), TCG was born. That Cover Girl isn't the most interesting of blog names, I'll admit. But after spending a ridiculous amount of time in a thesaurus and not coming up with diddly squat, That Cover Girl's name sorta floated to the surface, and just stuck.
If you're remotely interested in cover design, you'll find it all over the blog. You'll also quickly discover that I tend to italicize things a lot. Visitors can expect a bunch of oohing and ahhing and general fawning over covers, and every now and then I'll cyberstalk an author/designer and ask them to stop by the blog for an interview. Interviews are my absolute favorite thing to do on the blog. Also, for those who are looking for a little more snark, I've got a What Were YA Thinkin? feature that basically chastises a cover's pure existence. The feature title is self-explanatory. ;)
3. Your blog is about YA book covers, and so I must ask: what are some characteristics that your favorite covers will have?
One of the biggest factors that attracts my eyeballs to striking YA cover design is simplicity. I like covers that don't look like they're trying too hard. The turnoffs are the ones that are clichéd to the point where you forget what the title is because it Novel B has the exact same color scheme and swirly font just like Novel A. I love covers that seem to reveal a bit of the essence of the book, that pull you in emotionally or cause you to stop and stare for several seconds because you're trying to figure out exactly why you're so attracted to it in the first place. A "pick-me-up-and-hold-me" cover has the ability to make itself grab-worthy through an effortless melding of tone, type treatment, color palette, title, and texture.
4. Name 3 favorite books and why you think everyone should read them.
2) Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers. I didn't think a book had the ability to reach into your chest cavity and rip out your heart like this one did. (How's that for a gruesome visual?) Summers' debut novel blew me away -- it was my very first novel I had ever reviewed: "For a laugh-out-loud, witty girl, Summers can serve up funny on a platter and you can feed on it for days. After reading Cracked Up to Be, I discovered that not only can she serve up funny, but she can throw brutal honesty, razor-sharp pain, transparency, confusion, manipulation, and humility all on that same plate. You'd ask her for seconds."
5. You work in the video production business. Who are some actors and actresses that you most admire?
I love funny actors! I absolutely adore Allison Janney, especially when she plays that quirky, nonsensical type of character. And I just recently started watching The West Wing, where she plays a very non-funny character, but I still love her regardless. I also love Anjelah Johnson and will watch anything she's in. I'm also a big John Cusack fan, as well as an admirer of Sharlto Copley.
Girl. You just hit one of my favorite subjects, ever. I will eat ANYTHING that is dessert-related. It's got sugar in it? I'M THERE. I'm a big sucker for scones, cupcakes, ice cream and frozen yogurt. My favorite ice cream is Yarnell's Vanilla Frozen Yogurt (it sounds blah but it's DELISH) and my favorite cupcake flavor is pineapple banana (it sounds gross but IT'S GOOD).
7. If you were going on a one-way space journey to be the first humans to colonize a new planet, which 5 non-essential items would you take with you?
1) A videocamera. What better time to shoot a documentary?!
2) A tank. You know, just in case some neighboring aliens get a little peeved that we're moving in on their turf. They could be hostile.
3) Does my husband count? Is he a non-essential? I think he might get upset that I'm actually asking this question.
4) I might actually have to purchase an eReader and stock up on a gazillion books. Gotta travel light. THIS will be the moment that I have to come to grips with the fact that I may or may not be able to ogle physical books (and their respective covers) for awhile.
5) My laptop -- loaded up with music, pictures, and any other memories I can translate into bits and bytes.
8. Which blogs (book or non-book) that you read would you recommend to others?
1) Forever Young Adult -- these girls are by far the funniest (and this is saying A LOT) book bloggers I've come to know and love.
2) Persnickety Snark -- although Adele is currently posting more over at Inside A Dog's blog, PS is where I exclusively read all of my YA reviews for the longest time before I became a blogger.
1) Tastespotting -- I can't deny my love of food porn. Prepare to fall into a giant black hole of time-suck.
2) Outblush (and its testosterone-driven cousin, Uncrate) -- I'm not really a girly girl, but when I do look for ideas when it comes to clothing, furniture, makeup and the like, I love how Outblush is a one-stop shop and handpicks a lot of great stuff. It takes the work out of shopping, and is great for lazies like me!
9. What are some things besides books that you just LOVE to receive for presents? :)
10. And finally, tell us two interesting things about yourself that can spark conversation.
1) When it comes to flying in an airplane, I still find the need to distract myself when it comes to takeoff and landing. I have to focus on something, sing to myself (in my head, of course!), or try to become engrossed in conversation. Yes, even though I've flown over Pacific a dozen times in my life and have lived in 3 different countries and 3 states (I've actually lost count of how many times I've been on a plane), I'm not quite sure I'll ever outgrow this part of flying and thus remain a giant chicken for life.
2) I used to be freaked out about bats (you know, the flying rat things?) until I had to deal with them for work. Most of my producerly responsibilities are pretty non-life-threatening, but this particular job was one of the most exciting (and gross) projects I'd ever been a part of. A few summers ago I was running camera for a pilot we were working on that involved following around a group of wildlife animal control specialists. On one particular afternoon where it was above 100 degrees, I found myself in the sweltering attic of a church, a precarious 15-20 feet above the ground and balancing along the perimeter which was made of two-by-fours, as not to fall through. The insulation was 6 inches deep in guano. I was also covered in the stuff, holding an infrared camera and trying not to fall to my death. I did end up getting the shot I wanted (a teeny little straggler bat that was escaping through a crevice), but I had to stand there and try to not die for a good 15 minutes.
I can also smell bat poop from 30 bajillion miles away. It's like having a superhero sense that you don't really care to have and almost never comes in handy.
Oh, how much fun I had getting to know you better, Capillya. Thanks! Seriously, you should check out her blog, That Cover Girl, and join her in thinking about YA book covers!