For anyone visiting my blog for the first time, I'm Kat and you've found your way to I Write, I Read, I Review. :) I'm thrilled to be taking part in the Summer Lovin' Read-A-Thon and I hope that this post will give you a glimpse into what's happening here this week. I'd love to get to know you better, too, so if you're doing a Class Orientation post, be sure to link me up! :)
A Bit About Me:
Q: Where Are You Blogging From?
A: There are two ways this could be answered. If you're curious where I'm from, it's Ontario, Canada. On the other hand, if you want to know where I'll be chilling with the stack of books below, there will be three main places: here at my desk, out on my back deck (lemonade in hand, thanks!) or over at my grandma's.
Q: What Got You Into Blogging / Reading?
A: I've pretty much always been a reader. I think you have to be if you wanna be a writer, and considering the number of characters that like to pop up in my head and then not stop talking? I'm either a writer or I'm totally batshit crazy, so I think we'll go with the former. :D
I think the fact that old school RPGs required so much reading, and the fact that my aunt, mother and grandpa read to me a lot as a kid, likely also contributed to this. I'm a total gamer-geek, too, if we're being honest. But I prefer reading, even though I find RPGs. fun. Why? Because you don't have to beat bosses to hear the next part of the story. Do I like games? Yes. Am I always good at them? Not so much.
As for being a blogger? This blog started when I was writing the first draft of my novel Sealer's Promise. As well as blogging, I'm part of the totally awesome writing community over at Absolute Write. I noticed a lot of people there had blogs, and then I won a copy of Summer On Fire by Kevin Craig and had this idea--maybe I should review it? That lead to discovering GoodReads, that lead to discovering there are these people called (gasp!) book bloggers and the rest, as they say, was history. (I sound so hyper here. I've eaten way too much chocolate today!)
Q: What is your favorite genre?
A: When I'm reading, the sky is pretty much the limit. The genre of a book isn't as important as my mood. I love paranormal romance, fantasy, dystopian and contemporary. I guess, considering I run "the blog that rates in hearts", that you could say a good romance will up the odds that I want to read something. I'm way more likely to read based on themes or ideas. Is a villain being redeemed? Is something crazy happening, like Death being a love interest? Is there an interesting connection to one of the mythologies I've spent years studying--Greek, Norse, Celtic, Egyptian, you name it!--that ties into a story I think sounds interesting? Did somebody say the hero is a musician? These and many other ideas can almost instantly assure you that I am so there. :D
As a writer, my primary focus right now is on urban fantasy (Sealer's Promise, and the Sealer Saga in general.) I also have outlines for a high fantasy series (Tales of Ellithica), a contemporary novel (Sweet Rebellion) and a super hero novella (Shadowstruck). As a writer, my goal is always to tell the stories I can't find, or can't find told the way I want them to be. I won't lie--I can be a major procrastinator and if something existed and was done well, I'd probably just read it. But I've found there are certain tales I have in my head that I just can't find on paper. That's what gets me to put butt in chair and fingers to keyboard.
So, Kat... What Are You Reading This Week?
So glad that you asked! :D I've got nine lovely books I'm going to list, but as I posted in my goals post yesterday, I figure I'll read between 3 to 5 of them. The extras are there incase one of them doesn't gel, or if I exceed my own expectations. So, are you ready to meet the pretties in question? Great! Read on:
1. Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo: (435 pages) The only reason I have this to read for a read-a-thon is that it's been sold out on Amazon up til now. Shadow and Bone is one of my favorite books ever, so I'm totally thrilled to dive back into this world and its story.
2. Losing It by Cora Carmack: (204 pages) This has been chilling on my kindle without getting read for way too long. It's got one of those premises that do sort of a push-pull thing for me, where I've got to read the damn book before I'll be able to give you any insight about what I think--or thought--of it.
3. Breath by Jackie Morse Kessler: (336 pages) Riders of the Apocalypse is one of my favorite series and I can't believe that once I've read this it'll be over. But read this I must, for Death is in danger and I must know what happens to him! Of everything I'm listing, this is the one book I can pretty much guarantee you I will be reading this week.
4. Come Away With Me by Kristen Proby: (324 pages) I grabbed this for my Kindle on a whim when I thought I was going to be at the hospital with my grandma for a while last month. However, her appointment was quick and there it has sat ever since. So, I think it's time to sit down and read it. :)
5. Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout: (366 pages) Considering how much I raved about Obsidian it probably comes as a shock that not only have I not read the sequel yet--I'm totally behind because the third book, Opal, is out already. This is something that desperately needs to be fixed, and now seems like a fantastic opportunity to fix it. So onto the list it goes. :D
6. Inbetween by Tara A. Fuller: (400 pages) How the hell did I miss something with a premise this fabulous and so totally up my alley?! Anyway, I stumbled across this because the sequel is releasing this week and now I absolutely must read it. So, here it is and we'll see how it goes. :)
7. Prodigy by Marie Lu: (371 pages) I totally loved Legend, so this is one of those books that's been hanging out on my shelf not because I didn't want to read it, but rather because I've been way too busy. I always try to cover a good mix of the genres I enjoy and I think Prodigy is different enough from everything else on my list to deserve a spot this go around.
8. The Summer I Became A Nerd by Leah Rae Miller: (267 pages) I've wanted to read this for a while, but it came out while I was taking time away from the blog to sort out writing stuff and because of PC troubles. Now that I'm sitting down to read, though? This should be a great fit since I'm super excited about and it's super short.
9. Black City by Elizabeth Richards: (374 pages) I've been excited about this book for ages, the sequel is already out (!!!) and yet it's sat on my shelf all this time, totally abandoned. Why?! I honestly don't have an answer for ya, but that certainly makes for a compelling reason to put it on my list today. :)
So, what's on your reading list this week? Feel free to share in the comments or link me to your Class Orientation post. :)
My Goals For The Summer Lovin' Read-A-Thon:
Read at least three books. I'll be listing nine: six for the week and three for the marathon read. But I know there isn't much likelyhood I'll get to them all--they're there for the sake of choice. I'd love to read five, but since life can be hectic, I'll list three and see how the week goes. :)
Do each of the daily participation posts. Yes, I do get to "cheat" a little in that I'm sitting down to write some of those today, but I love this concept and the fact that the details are there for me to be able to do that. I think this is a really neat addition to this read-a-thon and I want to make sure I do it. Also, by writing them now I'm freed up for reading and visiting others during the week. :)
Take part in at least three challenges. Oh, c'mon... You guys know me! I'm probably going to take part in all the challenges. But as long as I do at least three I'll call this a successful week--I know life can throw crazy stuff at me without warning (real life *or* my characters!) so I need to make sure I keep my goals managable.
Take part in the Greased Lightnin'! twitter party. I love twitter parties. I think I've talked about this before. They make me a lot less nervous about just randomly chatting on there--I don't feel like I'm cutting in on people. So yes, I can't say I'll be there for the whole thing (It's 24 hours long.) but I'll be doing my best to spend some time on that.
Kat's Top 5 Read-A-Thon Tips:
1. If a book isn't working for you, grab another one. Read-A-Thons aren't the time to spend a week chugging your way through a book you aren't enjoying. Read-A-Thons are the time to bring out those absolutely no-fail literary treats you've been absolutely dying to dive into and haven't had time for. If you're going to spend your time reading, enjoy it! :D
2. Always remember: this is something you can't fail. It's fun to set goals and measure progress and go totally nuts spending a week with your nose in a (pile of) book(s). But one of the things I know I had to learn was that if I don't meet my goals, the sky isn't going to fall.
3. This is (probably) not the time to read David Copperfield. I have absolutely nothing against the classics, or against long books. I'm currently reading Tiger's Voyage, which is roughly 550 pages. But I'm putting that on pause for the read-a-thon even though I love Colleen Houck's novels. Why? Because this is the time for short(er) and sweet stuff. At least for me. If something is over 400 pages, I've learnt NOT to include it in a read-a-thon. It just doesn't work out well. (Note: your mileage may vary.)
4. Get involved with events and challenges! What separates a read-a-thon from reading under normal circumstances? For me it's actually the communal feel of it--visiting others' posts, taking part in events, getting involved with twitter parties... *happy sigh* In a normal month when I am active here at I Write, I Read, I Review, I tend to read 4 - 8 novels in a month anyway. It's all the extra excitement and fun that I have during a read-a-thon--as well as reading super awesome books, of course--that makes me unable to resist signing up for them time and again.
5. If you don't find something fun, don't do it! I've kept bouncing back to this, almost like a theme, but it's probably the biggest thing I've learnt from the last four(?) read-a-thons I've taken part in. Figure out ways of doing things that work for you and then do them. Yes, even if they totally stand in an opposite direction to what I've written. :) Maybe you would prefer to read one or two large books? Maybe you hate twitter? Maybe you don't care about keeping track of your goals? Figure out what makes you happy, and do that. Because the most important thing to remember during a read-a-thon is...