Saturday, March 12, 2011

Saturday Spotlight - Bibliotropic

Today I have with me an fun blogger who loves fantasy as much as I do. Learn more about Rhia below!

Name: Rhia
Nickname and/or blog name: Bibliotropic (formerly known as Tea & Tomes)
Blog URL:

Tell me a bit about yourself.
I was born in England but now live in eastern Canada, trying to survive the winters by cozing up to a mug of hot tea and a good book. My reading tastes usually trend to fantasy and urban fantasy, some sci-fi, and YA novels of the same genres. I like my plot with a side of romance, not the other way around.

As for the more mundane side of myself (if you can call it that), I'm an avid fan and player of video games, I love to knit lace shawls, I work at a call centre, and I'm hoping someday to have a novel of my own published.

When and why did you start your blog?
I started my blog in January of 2010, partly to relieve the boredom of unemployment, and partly because I figured I read enough and had enough opinions on what I read that I figured there was no harm in putting said opinions online. I didn't realize then that bookblogging would turn into such a great adventure!

What is your blog all about? Any cool features you want to share?
Mostly it's my reviews of fantasy and urban fantasy novels, both YA and ""adult"", but I also take forays into nonfiction, particularly if those books involve anthropology or some sort of cultural divide. That sort of stuff fascinates me.

The only feature I do that's really my own, so to speak, is ""Smashing Saturday Shorts"", in which I review one of the free short stories posted on I find that it's a great way to find new indie authors without having to invest a lot of time and/or money on something that's untried and untested; you get a little taste of what they can do, and then go from there.

What are some of your favorite genres and/or books currently?
Fantasy. All the way! I've been a fantasy fan since high school, and I haven't looked back once.
As for favourite books, well, topping the list is the Herald of Valdemar series, by Mercedes Lackey. They were my big introduction to fantasy back in the day, and they have a special place in my heart and on my shelves.

Others? Well, I really like what I've seen so far of Skyler White, Michael Grant, N K Jemisin, and Kelley Armstrong. I think it's safe to say at this point that I'll read whatever they write.

How do you find out about the books you read?
There are a few ways. Sometimes they're books in a series that I'm in the middle of reading, or at least by an author whose work I already know and love. Other times I've see some good reviews on other bookblogs, by bloggers whose opinions I've seen tend to match mine. I've found quite a few good books through recommendations like this.

The third way is -- and I admit it sounds cheap -- through free books and ARCs. I'll look at any book that sounds even remotely interesting to me, and sometimes I end up disappointed, but other times I find that I've discovered an awesome author whose work I want to follow.

Any tips or advice for those starting or thinking about starting a blog?
Comment and network. Those are the biggest things that people neglect a lot, I think, and they're the things that draw people to your blog. Cross-post your reviews on Goodreads, LibraryThing, BookBlogs, and other places devoted to book reviews. Comment on other blogs, because people will follow the link back to your blog and see what you do. I neglected this stuff for a while, figuring that content alone would draw people in. Then as soon as I started making a few comments and cross-posting reviews, my readership shot up.

But most important, remember to have fun with it. Blogging is a hobby like any other, and as soon as it starts to become more of a chore than an enjoyable thing, it's time to step back and take a look at why it's no longer fun.

And don't forget to stop by my blog and say hi, because I'll always check out yours in return! :)

Thank you Rhia for stopping by the blog and make sure to check hers out when you get a chance!

If you're interested in being a spotlighted blogger, please fill out this form.

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