I am so super psyched and thrilled to welcome Jaime and Patricia of Two Chicks On Books to the blog today.They have been kind enough to answer all of the many, many, many questions I sent to them, so I am unbelievably appreciative.
This is only my second blogger interview, but I couldn’t think of two bloggers I wanted to
grill find out more about than Jaime and Patricia.
As some of you may know, Jaime was the very first blogger I actually developed a friendship with. And I think she was the first non-author that I Tweeted with, back in my blog’s infancy. Without her, I might still be floundering in the vastness that is the Twittersphere.
I met Patricia just a bit later, but she is just as awesome as Jaime, though I think she is more like me and way less comfortable on Twitter than her blog partner.
Q. You’ve been blogging for a little over a year now and there are quite a few people who know you both from Twitter and from your blog Two Chicks On Books (with that very adorable and memorable logo). But for those who don’t know you as well as I do, could you please tell everyone a little bit about the bloggers behind the blog.
Well lol I guess I’m pretty boring. I’m 35 and reading is a huge part of my life. I’m a huge sports fan especially of my bay area teams the Oakland A’s and Raiders. I also love NASCAR. I love to cook but I hate cleaning up afterwards. I wish I could travel all the time – the beach is one of my favorite places. I hate the snow and the cold. I’m an auntie – I have a niece and three nephews. I love my dogs – I have two little daschunds Riley and Roxie that are my babies.
I am an avid reader which I’m sure you can guess but beyond books I tend to keep pretty busy as well. I am lucky in that I found the love of my life and together we have three awesome kids, who sometimes we want to throttle. Besides raising three kids, I also keep busy with volunteer work and of course all the kids’ activities.
Q. Whose idea was it to start a blog? And was it always meant to be a collaborative effort? If it wasn’t always going to be Two Chicks, what was the original name you decided on?
Mine. I had gone to book signings and met a bunch of cool bloggers and I thought “Hey I could do that.” I knew I didn’t want to do it alone though. Patricia was my first thought. I knew we loved the same books and so I asked her. If I remember correctly I think Two Chicks was the first name we came up with!
I’ve always loved reading and I would occasionally look for reviews online but I have to admit that blogging never crossed my mind. Jaime approached me about blogging and we went ahead with it. Yes, it was always meant to be a blog with more than one contributor, in fact I think we were originally to be Three Chicks on Books because a friend of Jaime’s was going to join us but it didn’t work out. Jaime came up with the name for our blog. To be honest, I never even thought of another name because as soon I heard it I thought it was perfect. I’m so glad you like the logo because after we had the name we wanted something that would make us stand out. I asked my sister, who is a graphic designer, to help us with a logo and she came up with the literal two chicks on books which both Jaime and I just loved!!
Q. Also, for those not familiar with Two Chicks On Books, how would you describe your blog? What types of reads and reviews do you have? What other type of content do you offer for your readers and subscribers?
Mostly YA. We read Paranormal, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Dystopian. Neither of us are into contemporary that much. Every once in a while you’ll see a Paranormal Romance or Urban Fantasy review in there. We like our Adult books too. For other content? We try to post mainly reviews but we’ll throw a blog tour, cover reveal, giveaway, or event signing post in there from time to time.
I would describe it as a blog where you can come and get our honest opinion on YA paranormal, dystopian and/or urban fantasy books we’ve read. Our main focus is reviews but we also offer cover reveals, blog tours, author spotlights and even funny antidotes that may have gone on with us in the sense of books.
Q. Have there been a lot of changes on Two Chicks On Books or was your blog exactly where you wanted it to be at the outset and has continued along those lines ever since?
There’s been some minor changes like to our sidebar and such but it’s pretty much the same. We’re waiting on a blog design though thanks to you 😉 😉 to update our look.
I don’t think there’s been a BIG change but I do think that we have grown as a blog. We have learned more about blogging itself and we have tried to make ourselves appealing to our readers by bringing content that we hope they’ll enjoy. I’d like to say that we will continue to grow and evolve as time goes on. One thing that has changed is our header; it has evolved and changed into something we both love more without changing the essence of the original logo.
Q. Now that you have been blogging for over a year, looking back, what would you say are some of the greatest moments for Two Chicks On Books? And the worst? (You don’t have to share the bad if you don’t want to.)
Greatest moments? Hitting that 1 year mark for sure! The Touch of Power blog tour was pretty cool also. We love Maria V. Snyder. Oh and our Top 10 event we did with you, Lisa, and Jessica! Oh and meeting so many awesome bloggers at signings!
I think just knowing that people actually stop by every once in a while and take a peek at what we have to say is just awesome. I think one of the highlights is definitely having other book people, whether authors, publishers or fellow bloggers, point to our blog for reviews and content. Sometimes the bad is when you’ve worked on a review or post for a long time and it seems as if no one reads it.
Q. As an experienced blog, if you knew then what you know now, what would you have done differently at the beginning? And what advice would you give to new bloggers starting out?
One big thing: AVOID THE DRAMA. I know, easier said than done right? But there’s a lot of drama in the blogging world and trust me you’re better off just ignoring it. Also don’t be afraid to say no to review requests. When we first started out we felt bad saying no but, after a while we both got burned out and realized you can’t read everything even if you want to.
I’m not sure that I would do anything different. I think a blog is one of those things that just needs some time to grow; for people to discover you and decide if your way of doing things is something that they want to continue reading and investing time in.
Advice I would give to a new blogger is to stick with it. I don’t really feel “experienced.” I honestly feel like we are still green in many ways. I am constantly learning new things and discovering ways to make things better.
Q. What are each of your top five posts on your blog? What reviews are you the most proud of?
I’m picking three since P probably picked 5 lol.
My Adventures at The Romantic Times Expo post because I met you there and a ton of cool authors!
Our Blogaversary post.
And Patricia’s Thrift Store post because it was hilarious!
I really loved hearing about Jaime’s Trip to L.A. last year for RT.
Although I was a bit skeptical about making a post about My Adventures at the Thrift Store with Anna and the French Kiss, ultimately I was really glad I did and gave people a good laugh.
Going over our Top Ten Lists of the year was incredibly fun.
Hosting our Blogaversary was very surreal in a way. I can’t believe we’ve been at this for over a year now. Time has flown by and I’m still having a great time.
We had a lot of fun during the YA Crush Tournament. I “met” a lot of new people and discovered tons of new books.
The post I’m most proud of has to be the review that I wrote for Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare. I guess what makes me so proud is that when I showed it to my son he said something like: “Mom, have you ever thought of doing this professionally?” It was just a great moment for me. This was also one of those posts that was lucky enough to get linked on the author’s website so it got a lot of hits which made us very happy. 🙂
Q. Since you started blogging and reviewing what are your top five favorite reads and reviews? What was the easiest book you had to review? The hardest?
LOL, I can’t pick so I’m leaving this one blank. 😉
My top five: I’ve really loved so many books that I’ve read and reviewed in the last year, so it’s very difficult to pick five… but here are five that stand out in my mind:
A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford
If I Die by Rachel Vincent
Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
Shift by Jeri Smith-Ready
The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa
My easiest to review: I want to say that it was for Clockwork Prince but that may just be because I just couldn’t shut up about how much I loved it.
My hardest to review: My most difficult to review was for a book I didn’t really care for but I didn’t hate either. This book actually put me in a reading slump for about a week and more than that it set my whole reviewing schedule back weeks. I am still trying to recover and catch up on reviews. What book you ask? The Mephisto Covenant.
Q. Jaime, what are your top three favorite Patricia reviews? Patricia, what are your top three favorite Jaime reviews?
Ooh hard one…
I loved Jaime’s review of The Iron Knight. It’s funny that we both picked up on some of the same things and details in the book. She also did a fantastic job with A Touch Morbid and Shift. Jaime always writes awesome reviews!
Q. What are the pros and cons of having a blog partner versus going it alone?
Pro’s definitely. You have some sharing the work with you and learning the layout and html coding together. Also having someone to go to events too. I can’t think of a single con. I love working with Patricia!
I definitely know that I would not be able to do this alone. I just don’t have the time to post as much as I should and want. I really admire people who post every day!! That’s a pro for sure. It’s also really nice to able to bounce ideas off another person and to know that that person has your back. As far as cons, I don’t really have any. Usually if we want to change something or add some content we run it by each other but we haven’t had any major disagreements. I actually think we make a good fit, we complement each other.
Q. What would you say are the “no miss” events to attend for a blogger? What were your favorite events/signings to attend?
I’ve only been to two – the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention and Expo and The Smart Chicks Kick it Tour, but I think it’s a definite “no miss” event! I’ve heard nightmares about BEA and I do not ever plan to attend that. We’re attending ALA Annual this year in Anaheim so we’ll see about that one. Also just go to as many signings as you can. My favorite? Definitely RT. 🙂
Bloggers should attend as many events as they are able to. I think it brings a better understanding to the books you are reading and reviewing. I would love to be able to attend many of the conferences out there such as ALA, RT, BEA and others but unfortunately it’s not always possible. I try to go to as many author signings as I can and those are always a lot of fun.
I have to say that my favorite event that I’ve attended was my very first signing. Jaime invited me to go with her to listen to Sarwat Chadda & Rachel Hawkins and even though I had not read either one of their books I was very nervous about the whole thing. It’s almost like describing your first kiss. It was magical and exciting and unforgettable. Both authors were very funny in their presentations but most of all they were super sweet and down to earth.
Q. If you had to pick a favorite sub-genre in YA, what would it be and why?
Can’t pick one so I’ll say Paranormal or Dystopian, I guess, but I really love Sci-Fi and Fantasy too. 😉
Paranormal. Really almost everything I’ve read so far has been great. One of the things that I love most about reading is getting lost in another world. I love the idea of there being more than just the mundane. I also love that these worlds exist in the safety of the author’s imagination because if any of these worlds were actually real I may not be able to handle them, however in the confines of a book I do just fine.
Q. If you could pick two authors who would collaborate and combine the characters from two of their books or series into one: Which authors? Which books or series? Which characters?
Ugh I have no idea! Maybe hmmm I’d like to see Julie Kagawa’s characters from The Iron Fey series interact with the Fey from Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely series. I think it may be a bloodbath though lol. 🙂
Wouldn’t it just be awesome if that were to happen? I can think of several but at the top of my list I would say to mix up Shatter Me & Divergent. I’d like to see where these two series would head if combined. Another mix I’d like to see would be the fey in Julie Kagawa’s The Iron Fey series mixing it up with the shadowhunters in Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series. This last one might be a bit influenced by all the talk on behalf of both authors to have a mango jell-o fight between the characters. LOL. Or perhaps the fey from Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely series and the fey from Julie’s books. I’d love to see that. It would be EPIC!!
Q. What is your favorite way to connect with your readers, bloggers and authors?
Twitter! I’ve met some of my best friends on there (you) and also formed some really awesome relationships with authors!
My favorite way is on the blog. Because your assessment is totally on track…I tend to be a shy twitter-er so it takes me a while to approach people whether they be bloggers, readers or authors.
Q. I know you love the authors as much as I do. What has been your most amazing author fangirl moment since you started blogging?
Ok you know me. I don’t really do the fangirl thing but I’d have to say one of the coolest things was finally meeting Jeri Smith-Ready! We had formed a friendship on facebook and had been talking for a couple years so when I got to meet her at RT last year that was pretty awesome. Also she gave me her only finished copy of Shift since I couldn’t wait to read it!
I’ve been very lucky in that I’ve actually had several. I think that my very first author encounter was with Jeri Smith-Ready, author of the Shade series. Through Jaime, of course, I tweeted something to Jeri and was totally fangirling when she responded but more than that she kept responding and then following me. I mean freaking, WOW!! It was a great moment for me.
Another memorable moment was when Julie Kawaga, The Iron Fey series, started following me and responding to my tweets!! AAAHHHH!! It was so unreal. I was just reading that series and loving it and to have her acknowledge me was just outta this world.
[Fiktshun] Oh, I love all your answers! Some are similar and some are very different and I know you both worked on your answers completely independently. But they really show just how in sync you both are and how much you clearly love blogging together.
I do think both your styles work amazingly well on your blog. I love both of your review styles and I enjoy that they’re different, yet your tastes in reads are similar. When you both review the same book I love seeing what each of you have to say.
I also love how you both fangirl over the same author! That’s so awesome.
And I totally would love to see The Iron Fey characters go up against the characters from Wicked Lovely. Though I would worry about Ash and Puck, I have no doubt that Grimalkin could hold his own.
And of course, I couldn’t let you both go without a few – *cough, cough* – twenty-five quickie questions, so here goes…
Lightning round questions!
Q – ARC, Paperback, hardback, Kindle or nook?
Jaime – Hardback.
Patricia – I love hardbacks and I don’t have a nook but I’ll really take anything.
Q – Vampires, shapeshifters, angels, fallen angels, demons, reapers, gods or faeries?
Jaime – Vampires and faeries!
Patricia – All of them. 😀
Q – Harry Potter, The Hunger Games or Twilight?
Jaime – Harry Potter.
Patricia – Harry Potter a million times!! I haven’t read The Hunger Games and um…let’s not go there. lol.
Q – Eric Northman or Bill Compton?
Jaime – Why is this even a question??? Eric all the way!!!!!
Patricia – Eric Northman without a doubt.
Q – Lestat or Armand?
Jaime – Lestat (my first crush swoon).
Patricia – Armand…lurve him.
Q – Good boy or bad boy?
Jaime – Bad Boy.
Patricia – Bad boy, I think, although I love a good boy who does bad things. Muahaha.
Q – Series or standalone?
Jaime – I’m a sucker for a series.
Patricia – Series.
Q – Love triangles – love ‘em or hate ‘em?
Jaime – Indifferent lol.
Patricia – It depends on how it’s done. Love triangles can be great or they can be a total drag so it really depends on the book.
Q – Cliffhangers – love ‘em or hate ‘em?
Jaime – Love to hate’em.
Patricia – I love to hate them? But again it just depends on the book. Although, I do like neat packages at the end of a series with not too many loose ends.
Q – Roller coaster or calm seas?
Jaime – Roller coaster.
Patricia – Calm seas with a really hot guy. 😉
Q – Female MC or male MC?
Jaime – Doesn’t matter as long as the story is good.
Patricia – It depends on the book.
Q – First person or third person?
Jaime – Again doesn’t matter as long as the story is good.
Patricia – Either it doesn’t bother me.
Q – Single perspective, dual perspective or multiple POV?
Jaime – All 3!
Patricia – Definitely multiple POV is my favorite but I also love when everything is written from a single perspective and then the author gives a bonus POV from another character. I live for those at times.
Q -Demons – sexy or creeptacular?
Jaime – Depends on the book. 😉
Patricia – Undecided.
Q – Angels – angel in heaven, dark angel, guardian angel, fallen angel or avenging angel?… or Nephilim?
Jaime – Not a big angel fan but I guess I’d say Fallen or Nephilim.
Patricia – Nephilim ( I love a few of those for sure) but fallen angels are cool, too and who doesn’t want a little dark angel and of course those guardian angels can come in handy.
Q – Witch, warlock, wizard or magician?
Jaime – Witch!!!!
Patricia – Wizard, say like a certain Arthurian one.
Q – Tall, dark and dangerous or cute, blonde and sweet?
Jaime – Tall, dark, and dangerous for sure!
Patricia – Oh, no question…tall, dark and dangerous.
Q – Sarcastic or sincere?
Jaime – Love me some sarcasm.
Patricia – Sincerely sarcastic. 😉
Q – Well-muscled or lean-machine?
Jaime – There’s gotta be an in-between. I don’t like rail thin but I don’t like a muscle head either!
Patricia – Tall and lean-muscle machine.
Q – Tattoos and runes or ink-free?
Jaime – Tat’s definitely! Runes maybe.
Patricia – Runes although tattoos are pretty cool, too. I’m getting a tattoo soon of the Deathly Hallows.
Q – At a boarding school, in Faerie, in the Underworld or Anytown, USA?
Jaime – Wherever as lond as it’s interesting!
Patricia – Faerie.
Q – YA or Non-YA?
Jaime – YA.
Patricia – YA, most of the time. 🙂
Q – Tod or Nash? Will or Jem? Cole or Jack? Tamani or David? Dimitri or Adrian? Zach or Logan? Ash or Puck?
Jaime – This is easy! Tod, Will, Cole, Tamani, Adrian, Zach, and Ash!!!
Patricia – Tod, Will, Jack, WHO?, Adrian, Zach, Ash.
Q – Summer court or winter court? Zombies or unicorns?
Jaime – Winter and Unicorns. 🙂
Patricia – Winter court, for sure. Unicorns are too pure so it’d have to be zombies. lol.
Q – Classics or modern re-tellings?
Jaime – Love them both.
Patricia – Lately it’s been modern re-tellings.
[Fiktshun] Okay, I really, really loved your lightning round answers. I may have snorted when reading just a few of them.
I am so thrilled to be able to say that I know Jaime well enough that I am not surprised by any of her answers. On the other hand, Patricia’s answers were quite a surprise. I didn’t know just how funny she was. Or how indecisive she could be about her angels. And I loved how she managed to avoid choosing by combining both choices into one answer.
And, yes, Jaime, I just had to ask about Eric Northman. I knew who you’d pick, but I wasn’t so sure about Patricia. Though, if she had picked Bill, I’d have hated to be the one to create a rift between you two.
This was so much fun! Thank you sooooo much for stopping by and telling everyone a little bit about yourselves, sharing your blogging experience and sharing your favorite posts. And thanks so much for revealing all your likes and dislikes in the lightning round. I know I asked a million and one questions, so I am unbelievably grateful that you took the time to answer them all.
If you haven’t checked out Two Chicks On Books, be sure to head over to their blog, linked in the button below or at the header at the top of the post. And if you’d like to meet two amazingly nice and sweet bloggers, you can find them both on Twitter.
Jaime on Twitter
Patricia on Twitter