Big thanks to Emily and Corinne at Hybrid Pub Scout podcast for interviewing me about writing a book, self-publishing, the Oregon Book Awards, zines, and vulnerability. It was really fun to record my first-ever podcast, and it turns out I don't hate the sound of my own voice as much as I thought I would! Click at the link above or on the photo below to listen in!
If you are bummed that I didn't talk a lot in the podcast about YA books that have influenced me, follow me on Instagram! Every Friday, I'm posting a different young adult novel recommendation. Some are books that have influenced my writing, and some are just plain great stories. Either way, I hope I can help you find some exciting new reads!
This year, I decided to be a little more intentional about the books that I read than I have in the past. I was also hoping to avoid the scramble to find a new book that comes when I finish one book and don't have another lined up. I'd heard of the Popsugar Reading Challenge, but usually came across it halfway through the year, and then I'd try to cram books I'd already read into the categories, get frustrated, and give up. This year, though, I planned correctly and jumped in at the beginning of the year! I downloaded the list of reading prompts and joined the Popsugar Reading Challenge Group on Goodreads, which has a lot of helpful resources, like a place for each member to track our progress and discussion boards about each prompt, full of suggestions.
Some of the prompts are easy. A book I meant to read in 2018? No problem, I have a ton! A book about a person with superpowers or a book about an imaginary character? Both easy, considering the amount of YA sci-
fi and fantasy I read. But some of the prompts have been more challenging for me. I still haven't settled on my book set in Scandinavia, book that includes a wedding, or book that takes place in one day. Some prompts are deceptive in their difficulty. A book with at least one million ratings on Goodreads sounded easy, until I realized that I'd already read most of them, and I'd intentionally avoided almost all of the ones I hadn't read. There's no rule that says you can't reread books for the challenge, but I decided to try for all new-to-me books (except for the "reread of a favorite book" prompt, of course). I also wanted to leave room for books that I discover as the year goes on. I was nervous that I would feel trapped if I only read books from my list, so I'm still picking up other books that catch my eye. Plus, I have to find a book that I think should be made into a movie, and how can I decide that before I've actually read the book?
One thing I like about this challenge is that it's self-directed, so you can choose how strict you want to be about the books you read. Some people in the
Goodreads group are interpreting "book with a zodiac sign or astrology term in the title" to include any sky-related word, but I tried to find book with an actual zodiac sign in the title. (And I did!) You can also modify your list as the year goes on. So if you start a book that turns out to not be your style, swap it out for something else! Plus, so many books can fit in multiple categories that I can definitely see myself making adjustments to my list as the months go on.
You can track my reading for the challenge along with me if you're interested, and follow my reviews on Goodreads to get more info about what I think of each book. Plus if you're doing the challenge yourself, my novel Book Smarts and Tender Hearts could fit in at least two categories. . . a debut novel, a book about a family, and just maybe a book that you think should be made into a movie!
I like cats, feminism, queers, making things and writing, apparently.