Blogger Banter #1: Get to know Carrie from @TheMadReviewer!

The art of gossiping, gabbing and chatting with awesome book bloggers!

WELCOME to the first ever edition of Blogger Banter! I'm so excited for this meme as it gives me a chance to get to know more about some of the book bloggers that I love so dearly, and those that have yet to win my heart!

Today, I'm featuring the wonderful, the mad, reads-a-book-a-day, hates picture takin', salt-and-vinegar chip eatin', "Po"-lovin', residential Canadian, CARRIE from THE MAD REVIEWER! 

Thanks for swinging by, girl. Let the Banter begin!

**DeeJay's Comments**

(Friends and Followers)

WordPress: 503

Twitter: 3097

Goodreads: 12

Email: 32


Blogging Since? 2012
Lives in? Canada
Solo (blogger), duo, trio...? Solo
Print or eBooks? Print
Average number of books read a month? 15 (Yeah, right)
Favorite Genre? Historical fiction
Book Boyfriend? Prince Greening (named Po), Graceling
Rating System? Stars


What was the very first post you ever made on The Mad Reviewer

My first post was the usual awkward, lame introduction to my blog. Since I had no clue what to say at that point, it was a grand total of 34 words or two sentences. *LOL*

What was the first book you ever reviewed? 

My first review was of The Iron King by Julie Kagawa. There was actually a method to this madness, you see. I would review the first book in the series as my first review ever, the second book as the 50th review and the third as the 100th review. And you know what? It actually worked out as I planned, sort of. The author didn’t have enough books to keep going up to review 400, which was my last milestone.

Where is your favorite place to read? What’s your favorite snack to eat while reading? 

My favourite place is definitely curled up in my bed in my room with the stereo on low, usually tuned to some opera. My favourite snack would have to be salt and vinegar chips, unfortunately. So good but so terribly unhealthy.  YUM! Salt N' Vinegar chips are my FAVE!

If The Mad Reviewer had a theme song, what would it be? 

If it did, it would be Libiamo ne’lieti calici even if it is technically a brindisi (a song that encourages or talks about drinking). If you ignore the drinking aspect of it, Violetta’s part of the duet is more about seeking happiness, which I try to do. I mean, the day I stop having fun blogging is the day The Mad Reviewer will cease to exist. When it comes to blogging “Tutto è follia, follia nel mondo ciò che non è piacer” (Everything in life which is not pleasure is foolish). I have enough things that cause me stress in my life; blogging shouldn’t be one of them. 

Tell our readers about the 2013 Mad Reviewer Reading Challenge. What prompted you to host the challenge? How many participants and what are the prizes? 

It was actually a comment by one of my regular readers, James Kennedy, that spurred me to start the challenge. I had conducted a poll about what my readers would like to see from me in the next year and he mentioned he would like to see me organize more blogger-to-blogger interactions. I thought long and hard about how I would do that and one day I was reading a blog (I forget which one) and saw that the author had done a reading challenge. I did a bit of research, decided what I liked and didn’t like in other challenges and thus the Mad Review Reading & Reviewing Challenge was born. 

Officially I have only 24 people signed up, but I know for a fact that there’s more since Mark has been counting the reviews of all his reviewers on The Masquerade Crew. There’s probably around 40 right now, but I’m very happy considering my low stats at the beginning of the year. 

As for the prizes, they’re still up for debate. I will personally be shipping out a prize pack of ARCs and other books internationally, but Mark and I have discussed other prizes for the winner and runners up. You see, depending on what level a reviewer has completed for the challenge they get a certain number of entries into a draw. You complete a higher challenge, you have a better chance at winning. The winner will receive my internationally shipped book prize pack. 

Runner-up prizes are still a mystery. Mark had mentioned doing an open call for authors to donate ebook prizes sometime this fall and I think that would be great. Authors are more likely to get reviews because the books will go to reviewers and reviewers would get to pick from some pretty awesome books. 

How often do you visit the library? 

Never, actually. I live in a town with a population of 400 people and am not very happy at all with my library service. Their hours are ridiculously impractical for anyone that works a normal day, so I don’t go. I get enough free books through my blog that I don’t actually have to visit the library anyway. 

Why did you choose to be one of the dwindling bloggers who accept Indie review requests? 

Because I’m a glutton for self-punishment? No, in all honesty it’s because I know there are some amazing indie authors out there that I would never find otherwise. Besides, indies much like book bloggers, are shunned by the mainstream publishing community and I feel sort of an obligation to the community to help them because they often bring me traffic. 

If I had known that opening requests to indies would bring about so many bad feelings, juvenile behaviour and suicide suggestions I would never have done it. Still, despite all the crap I’ve been through as a blogger I’m still an idealist of sorts. I know that it’s only a few indie authors behaving like Reddit trolls and I’m hopeful that with the increasing professionalization of self-publishing they will be less common. 

A girl can dream, can’t she? Sure can. Reddit trolls though? Funny :)

I’m an email subscriber to The Mad Reviewer, but I’ve never seen you do a character interview. What’s your take on character interviews? 

Character interviews are good to read if you’ve read the book, but otherwise you feel like you’re missing out on a lot of inside jokes. I know some bloggers do character interviews and I have read a few, but it’s just not really my thing. If I were to do them, they would come off as awkward.

I’ve seen a few author interviews come through my email. Who has been your favorite author to interview so far? 

Oh, that’s definitely a tricky one considering I’ve had some excellent conversations with many authors. I’ll be cliché this time and say that it was my very first interview with my very first self-published author I had even mild contact with: Andrew Levkoff. I’m a bit of a Roman history fanatic, so we hit it off pretty well and I learned quite a bit from him. 

What is the BEST thing about being a book blogger? The WORST? 

The absolute best thing about being a book blogger is the authors. I get to interact with some pretty awesome people on a daily basis. I’ve learned a lot more about the process of actually writing books, the industry and individual writer quirks. Authors are probably the weirdest, yet most awesome type of people out there. 

That said, authors are also the worst part of being a book blogger. I’m talking about the ones that send out requests when I’m closed, ones that send out generic emails, attack me for low star ratings and recently, tell me to kill myself. Find out more about what happened with this douchebag, HERE.

Lots of bloggers are finding it more and more difficult to maintain a blog and keep up with real life demands at the same time. How do you manage blogging and real life? 

If you’re really dedicated to blogging, it’s just a question of making time. Even when I’m working six days a week, I make time in the evenings to read a little and write at least a review or two. I read before work, during my lunch break, etc. It’s just snatches of time here and there, sort of like how some writers make time. Basically my philosophy is this: if you want to blog, make time for it. If you can’t make time for it, obviously you don’t want to blog all that badly.  Damn right. This goes for any and everything, I say. People make time for what they want to make time for. 'Nuff said, right?

You’re getting dressed for a night on the town. You look in the mirror, thinking you’re the fairest of them all (and you actually say so!). A face that is not yours appears in the mirror and agrees. Then it asks you a question. What does it ask and what is your reply? 

The face says, shocked: “Since when do you go out for a night on the town?” I reply with a shrug, equally shocked that I’m going out on the town. In a small town, the only place to go out is either the bar or a café in the next town an hour away where you really don’t want to be out after dark. *LOL* Yes! I can so picture this interaction in my head. Great answer!

Thanks so much, Carrie! This was too much fun!


On the next Blogger Banter, I'll be chatting it up with Bella from Boom Baby Reviews! See you then!