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Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sunday Spotlight: The Hiding Spot

Welcome to the Sunday Spotlight, where a new blogger is featured each week! Today we have a blogger who would love for you to check out her blog. Check out what her blog is all about in her interview.

Name: Sara
Nickname and/or blog name: The Hiding Spot
Blog URL: http://thehidingspot.blogspot.com


Tell me a bit about yourself.
Basically, I'm just a really big book worm. My book obsession started in elementary school and never stopped. I suppose that this is obvious though, as I do have a book blog. So I guess I'll tell you some things that aren't as obvious. I am the oldest of four and have a huge family. My dad has 11 siblings and all but 2 are married and have 4 kids or more. And that is just my dad's side. I have always been detail oriented. I'm a people watcher. I used to be really, really shy, but now I hardly ever shut up. I have an amazing boyfriend named Cody - we have been together four years. I love thunderstorms. I have a black cat named Daemon. I love Veronica Mars, Supernatural, and Gossip Girl. I almost always go for the bad boy... Books that don't have at least a minor love interest or plot bore me. I am terrified of bugs. And crowds. So, yeah. I guess that's me.

When and why did you start your blog?
I am very nerdy, but up until recently I tried to hide that part of myself (at least somewhat). Finally, I just gave in - I figured that I was moving to a new town, was going to be a junior in college, and I could have a new start. So basically, I started doing things that I'd always wanted to do, but never got a chance to - like have my own book blog. The Hiding Spot was basically born from that. The title actually came from a short story that I wrote in elementary school about a little "hiding spot" that I would go to when I was feeling blue (I was a bit of a drama queen...) that was located behind the raspberries and under some little trees in my backyard. I never forgot about that short story - and I started to realize that my hiding spot was actually books. When I was stressed or sad - when I just couldn't cope - I turned to books. Books have always been a big part of my life and I knew that there was an amazing book community linked through blogs, so I decided to join them. After all, I never get tired of discussing or reading books.

What is your blog all about? Any cool features you want to share?
My blog started out as just a place for me to keep track of all the books I've read and am looking forward to, primarily under the Young Adult genre. Now it has turned into a bit more. I still review books and post about upcoming novels, but I've also expanded to including contests/giveaways and author interviews. Every once in awhile I will post about something that is going on in my life or a really good movie I watched. I try to keep it interesting and have something new up every day or two. Mostly, The Hiding Spot is just about sharing what I love or am excited about. As for cool features - I'm working on that. The contests are cool. Interviews are cool. But I'm always working to make The Hiding Spot better and more fun for readers.

Do you have a review system? If you do, would you like to explain it for us?
My review system is pretty basic. I start with general book info: a cover photo, title, author, publisher, date published, genre, main themes, pages, and plot. I don't write my own plot summaries (generally) - I like to use the ones from the book itself, as that is what I read before I decided to pick it up. If I don't think the jacket summary does the book justice, I may mention a few things it doesn't. From there I explain whether or not I liked the book and why. I'm honest - if I don't like a book I say so. I always try to explain my opinion though - because I've loved books others hated... Then I rate the book on five categories (plot, characters, writing style, romance, and originality) and give it a score out of 50. I've always found a number or grade to be helpful when looking for new books to read, so I try to incorporate that as well. I think that reading the entire review is the only way to really understand how I felt about a book - not by simply reading my rating.

Any tips or advice for those starting or thinking about starting a blog?
Update frequently. Have lots to look at. Be social (read others blogs and comment... I follow tons of blogs). Otherwise, I'm not sure... I'm new too after all! :) Be yourself - that is often one of the best aspects of reading a blog - finding a new friend that loves books as much as you do!

What are some of your favorite genres and/or books currently?
My favorite genre is pretty much split between Young Adult and Epic Fantasy. My blog deals mostly with my love of Young Adult, but my first book love will always be epic fantasy. I am a huge fan of Anne Bishop, Kate Forsyth, David Eddings, and Sharon Shinn - among others. I've been very excited to see so much fantasy trickling into the Young Adult genre lately, but, unfortunately, many of these new novels don't measure up to my favorite epic fantasy. I'm always really excited when I find a great fantasy YA novel! I'm a sucker for supernatural novels too. My first vampire novel was Robin McKinley's Sunshine - that novel pretty much was the start of my passion for the supernatural. I would have to say that my favorite part about Young Adult novels is the love stories. I'm definitely a romantic...!

Contest Alert!
The Hiding Spot is currently running a contest for a hardcover copy Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler. Please check it out here. It ends August 10th. I've read this book myself and it's AMAZING, so if you don't have a copy, you need to enter this contest now!


Are you a new blogger too? Or just getting back into the swing of blogging? Do you want to be featured on my blog? Shoot me an email at bittahsweetharmony@yahoo.com.

20 comments:

  1. ooh i've heard a lot about Sara's blog, actually! I think I follow it already...

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  2. It is nice to see more YA book blogs. Being an adult, you don't always know which ones are the best to read. I wish there had been more YA books when I was younger.

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  3. The blog looks awesome, Sara.

    Also, high-five for Veronica Mars!

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  4. Nice interview, I am now following your blog to =)

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  5. Sara's blog is definitely new to me. But I love the feel of it. I also love how The Hiding Spot was born =)

    Nerdy people = awesomeness, just so you know Sara!

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  6. I love your template!!! Nice blog name too! I just started following you!

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  7. I love this feature. I just love finding new book blogs. Thanks!

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  8. Great feature.its nice to find new blogs to follow.Heading over now to check it out.

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  9. I love that banner and I just started reading Sunshine today! Following Sara's blog now.

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  10. My book addiction started in elementary school, too. We had a huge (well, huge to a 3rd grader) library, and so many books waiting to be read!

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  11. Great interview - love love love the header!!!!

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  12. Thanks so much Kristen for featuring me... and everyone else for the nice comments/compliments!

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  13. I already follow her blog, but awesome that she got spotlighted!!

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  14. I love all the bloggers you interview! Their sites are fantastic.

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  15. I actually already follow her blog. It is really cool.

    ~Briana

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  16. I love her blogs name. So creative. I have a hiding spot at home because sometimes I just want to be left alone so I can read LOL!

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  17. Great advice! Just be yourself!

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  18. Jazz I lvoe the banner to, it's very original!

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  19. I follow her blog now and I love it. Thanks for spotlighting her. =]

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