Blogger Banter #8: It's Christina (@CAhnBooks) from Ensconced in LIT!

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

Today, I'm featuring the super awesome, dystopian-lovin', "Dante"-fangirlin', author-gonna-be, CHRISTINA from ENSCONCED IN LIT! 

Thanks for stopping by! Let the Banter begin!

**DeeJay's Comments**

(Friends and Followers)

GFC: 2057
Bloglovin’: 1130
Twitter: 3050
Facebook: 1774
Goodreads: 995


Blogging Since? 2012
Lives in? US
Solo (blogger), duo, trio...? Solo
Print or eBooks? Both
Average number of books read a month? 15 as a blogger, 5 as a writer
Favorite Genre? Sci fi and dystopian
Book Boyfriend? Luca from Venom by Fiona Paul, Dante from The Collector by Victoria Scott
Rating System? Stars


What was the very first post you ever made on Ensconced in LIT

Looking back, it’s a pretty lame post just introducing the blog to the world. I didn’t even have a follower button, and people asked how they could follow me. I was such a newbie. Lame first posts seem to be the trend for newbie book bloggers *lol*

What was the first book you ever reviewed? 

Hmm, good question. I’m pretty sure it was Hippie Boy: A Girl’s Tale by Ingrid Ricks, who was a new indie writer on the scene. The book has since made the NYT bestseller list.

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

I love to read on the couch or on the bed. If I had a beach nearby, I’d love to read there. As for a snack, I’m a candy fiend, so if there are Skittles nearby, they won’t last for very long.

If Ensconced in LIT had a theme song, what would it be? 

Etta James “At Last” reworded a tad – “At Last/A book has come along/ My lonely days are over / And life is like a song” :) And who in their right mind doesn't love this song? Like how you replaced love with books *lol*

Once upon a time, you expressed interest in creating an adult version of your blog where you could post your adult reviews. Is this still something you’re considering or have you shelved the idea for good?

Agh, you caught me! I was just thinking about that when I was reading through your questions, and yes, I’ve decided to shelve the idea for good. Why? Because I’ve decided to make the move to become a writer and devote my time to writing instead of blogging. But blogging is how I got started so I doubt I’ll ever stop completely. Update: She did it!

If you didn’t blog about books and authors, what else would you be blogging about?

Probably food. I’m such a foodie. Me too!

You review a lot of Indie books. Why did you choose to be one of the dwindling bloggers who accept Indie review requests?

That was actually the reason that I got started. I realized there were a lot of great indie and self-published books that weren’t getting enough attention, and I wanted to help those authors out. I’m so glad I did that because I’ve met some incredible authors that way, and we’re still friends to this day.

Unfortunately, because I am making the transition to mostly being a writer rather than blogger, I’ve been limiting review requests to those authors that I’ve already worked with. That said, when I talk to bloggers that are starting out, I remind them to keep their blog and minds open to indie and self pubbed authors because who knows when they’ll find that next amazing book.

Who has been your favorite author to interview so far?

That’s a hard question because author interviews are mostly what I’ve done on my blog, and I loved every single one of them because each author is so unique.

What about character interviews? Which one has been your favorite? 

Another tough question. I loved all the character interviews I did, but I have to say I swooned a LOT during my character interview with "Elijah" from Black City by Elizabeth Richards *fans self*

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

The best thing about being a book blogger is the amazing community. I’ve made so many friends in the past year—amazing traditionally published authors, self published authors, bloggers, and readers who want to discuss and fangirl about books as much as I do.

I would say that the worst thing about being a book blogger is that sometimes it starts feeling like a job. I would recommend starting out book bloggers to try to keep review requests to a minimum even though you want to request twenty books from every publisher as well as those you get on your blog. Because it quickly becomes overwhelming. This is always a fear of mine. But I think as long as I don't take on too much, I'll be okay.

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. You’re in school for (nursing) I believe, which is a very demanding field. How do you manage blogging, school, and everything else in life?

Close! I’m actually finishing up my training to be a pediatric gastroenterologist, but I’m already a pediatrician and technically no longer in school although apparently, I’ll be taking standardized tests for the rest of my life.

I’ve realized that everything has a season. Last year when I had a very demanding schedule and was on call every night for a two week stretch at a time, blogging and reading was my escape. Young adult was perfect for me because I had a short attention span, and YA is fast paced but with great characters and stories that could easily keep me captivated. Blogging seemed to be a wonderful outlet for stress.

In July, when that year was over, I wanted to accomplish one of my dream goals—to finally sit down and write a book. Because of that, I knew that I couldn’t keep up the blogging to the extent that I wanted to and had to make a tough decision. I wish I could do everything, but unfortunately, I can’t. In addition to that, I had to take my Pediatric Boards in October, to become Board certified. It was natural to put my blog on a hiatus of sorts (although I did break that rule several times, oops!)

But the good news is after writing a first draft from July to September, being disappointed with it, starting over during NaNoWriMo in November, I’ve finally got a draft that has the story I wanted to tell. Editing and rewrites will take a long time, but I’m so thrilled that I finally achieved this goal.

This is all a long winded answer to say, you can’t do everything all the time. Choose the things you want to do in a certain time period, and it doesn’t have to be the same thing in each phase of your life.

I agree 100% and congratulations on writing your new book! It's difficult sometimes to find time to chase after our dreams, and I'm glad you are finally able to go after yours :)

I asked Christina a Totally Random WTF question, but she wanted to do this instead... 

Well, I’m going to cheat a little here since all of my creative juices have just been used up with NaNoWriMo, and not do an actual convo, but a plug for a wonderful book I recently read. I want to whole-heartedly recommend The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes, because that’s the one book I’ve read in the past month that I wanted to hug after reading it. There are so many wonderful characters in the book that I’d be thrilled to talk to any of them. Micah, the hottie, or Bianca the best friend. Lainey herself is pretty darn awesome as well. Check it out!

Thanks so much, Christina! It's been great!


On the next Blogger Banter, I'll be chatting with Kimba from Caffeinated Book Reviewer! See you then!