For What It's Worth

Monday, August 29, 2011

Better Know A Blogger: Hannah - Once Upon a Time

Hannah is here today to answer a few questions as part of the Better Know A Blogger feature. I really loved her answers so without further Hannah:

Introduce yourself! Hey! I'm Hannah, I like blogging, and I have a book buying addiction. Aside from reading, I'm a bit of a gamer. I love fantasy MMOs and trying out different RPGs. I primarily play World of Warcraft but I do try other things, Guild Wars at the moment. I also love Merlin, Doctor Who, True Blood, and House, though I don't watch a lot of tv, there are a few shows I like to keep up with. And I love Chinese food, that might be my other addiction!

What is the name of your blog? How did you pick your blog’s name? My blog is called Once Upon A Time though it hasn't always had this name, in fact, that is a very very recent change. Originally it was called The Rant Page, as it used to be a personal blog, but as I'd basically made the switch to book blogging without really realising it, I decided it was time for a change. I wanted something unique that fit my reading preferences that suited a book blog, and Once Upon A Time was what I came up with because I like fantasy and fairy tales and magic.

How long have you been blogging? That's a difficult question! I started blogging with livejournal as a teen. I did some angsty posts, moved over to Wordpress and did the same, realised that people I knew actually read it, got creeped out, and stopped. Then 2 years ago I picked up blogging about World of Warcraft, and I loved the community. When I stopped doing that I picked up my personal blog, publicised it a little, and started posting my book reviews and In My Mailbox posts and such and that slowly became a book blog. So I've been book blogging since Decemberish.

Karen: LOL - it's always a little weird when friends and family read you blog - especially if it involves ranting.

How do you measure blogging success? Is it strictly number of followers or something more? No, I don't think you can accurately measure blogging success in page views and followers. To an extent, sure, but I've known fantastic bloggers who only have 50 followers and 15 page views a day, and I've known some awful bloggers with 3000 followers. The amount of followers is down to how much time you put into your networking, in my honest opinion. Success, on the other hand, can be measured by quality. If you post good, helpful reviews, maybe one or two memes that you enjoy but don't overdo it, and manage to also keep your blog tidy, i.e. not something in adds and flashy widgets that slow down loading time (that's a big pet peeve of mine, it crashes my browser a lot), whilst also posting unique content and communicating with your loyal followers and having fun, then you are successful. The goal of blogging is to enjoy yourself.

Karen: Well said!!

What genres/subgenres do you review, and what do you like best about those genres? Fantasy and all of its' subgenres, and historical fiction, though I will try other things. I like to be able to escape when I pick up a book, and the easiest way to escape from the world is to venture into a time or place completely different from your own. It's also why I like urban fantasy, though it takes place in the modern day, there is magic and otherworldly creatures exist alongside us. I also read contemporary fiction and I couldn't tell you what I like about that particular genre because very often it explores the horrid things about society, but quite a few contemporary novels are very gripping. And sometimes chick lit.
I primarily read adult fiction. I see the appeal of young adult fiction and from time to time I like a nice simple read myself, but I also find a lot of it very samey and I struggle to find young adult books that don't include a teeny romance, because I don't really enjoy those at all.

What are you reading right now? Right now I'm reading The End of Mr Y by Scarlett Thomas, which is an adult novel I picked up in the charity shop I volunteer in. The cover is bright and funky, and the page edges are black, which I love, so honestly, I picked it up for 25p because I adored the cover. But, it's an interesting first-person, present-tense novel about a woman who is studying a Victorian Scientist called Lumas and she comes across a very, very rare book called The End of Mr Y in a second hand bookshop after a building in her university collapses and she has to walk home. The book is supposed to be cursed and she starts reading it. I love her writing style and I can't wait to see where it goes. Apparently it involves time travel and it will be my first time travel novel!

Do you use social media to promote your blog or discuss reading/blogging? Yup. I've been using twitter for the past couple of years. I started out just to see what the heck it was because nobody really managed to describe it properly for me and I got hooked. I've fairly recently made a second account for my book blogging things, so I have 2 accounts.
You can find my book bloggy account here
And my other account is here
When I was regularly doing my gaming blog, we pretty much used rss feeds and readers. I've noticed that a lot of people in book blogging like different ways to follow a blog so I've picked up Google Friend Connect even though I use Wordpress, and Facebook, and Networked Blogs, email subscription, and of course my posts auto-tweet as well.
I have a Facebook page and I'm also on the Book Blogs Ning site which I've really enjoyed poking around on, actually. I only signed up to see what it was all about but it's pretty active and everybody seems very friendly and helpful. My profile for that is here

Where is your favorite place to read? Anywhere quiet and comfy. If I can, I like to read curled up on the sofa but my dad hogs the living room, so I only get to go in there when he's out, which isn't often, so you can usually find me reading on the bed propped up by pillows.

What are your ideal reading conditions? Quiet and comfy. I have concentration issues and my dad doesn't understand the meaning of the word quiet and we live next door to a couple of screamy spoilt brats, so needless to say I have to arrange my reading time around everybody else at the moment, but as long as I have some quiet, and comfort because leg cramps suck, I'm happy.

What are the top 5 books in your TBR (To Be read) pile? I have a few books incoming at the moment but I won't mention those incase they don't arrive, though if you check my Goodreads profile they'll be pretty high up on my to read list there. I plan to start reading for my upcoming 'Discovering Steampunk' feature very soonish, so most of these are for that.

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells – not quite steampunk but supposedly influenced the genre a lot so I'm starting with this one.

Boneshaker by Cherie Priest – a steampunk novel that I recently bought for myself that I keep hearing about and it sounds fantastic.

The Jane Austen Handbook – I received this one for review from Quirk when they sent me Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and I plan to read and review it when I can because it looks like a fun and interesting read.

The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters by G.W. Dahlquist – another for the steampunk feature, this one is supposed to be pretty dark and I'm very intrigued, it also has a purdy cover.

Matched by Ally Condie – the first RAK I received so I'd like to read it soon. I'm not entirely in a young adult mood at the moment having read a fair few recently but nevertheless, I'll be reading this one when the romantic hate in me dies down a bit.

Karen: Quite the eclectic mix! My husband really enjoyed Boneshaker. I have Matched but I'm holding off for the same reasons as you :-) Although I hear it's very good.

Obligatory controversial question: Love triangles! Love ‘em or hate ‘em, and why? Hate hate hate hate. I find all of the romance in young adult novels so annoying because you just can't escape it! If I want to read something romantic I'll pick up a chick lit or something of the sort, I like my vampires mysterious and dark, and my werewolves rugged and nasty, and I like my books without these silly love triangles because come on, I need some variety in my reading and it's just impossible to find these days! I'll be really enjoying a novel and oh, there, love at first sight yet again. It really bugs me.. and then you throw in another guy to fight over the girl and she very rarely picks the guy who's right for her. I've had quite enough romance of any kind for a little while. Show me some young adult fiction aimed towards boys, please.

Karen: I'm with you there although I don't mind romance in my YA. I just find it hasn't been very original of late.

What has been the best thing about blogging and reviewing books? This is the part where I say, “free stuff” right? No, of course not really. I've honest to god met some really awesome people through book blogging. Perhaps not met in the flesh but exchanged emails with, chatted to on twitter, and everybody who has commented on my blog whether we've chatted or not are included. They've all made me feel very welcome and it's fantastic. I wish I'd started book blogging and networking a lot sooner.

Thanks so much for stopping by Hannah! I've been a follower of your blog for awhile now.


  1. Thanks for having me! Though I seem to be getting over my romance hatred. I agree with you, it's been getting unoriginal, poorly written.. I've read a couple of books in the past few weeks in which I've adored the romance, so I guess it depends!

  2. Great interview :)
    I like your answer about blog success

    Oh and your icon is the cutest

  3. Fabulous interview.

    MATCHED! SCORE! It's not the best thing since sliced bread, but it's goooood! :D

  4. Ahh, love triangles! I don't like them. SOMETIMES, they can be really, really good - other times they just annoy the heck out of me. And ooh, Matched, I've got to read that one too! Great interview, thanks!

  5. Hi! :) I totally disagree about romance, but I know what you mean about it being same-y! Matched is good, but there is a love triangle and lots of romance :P

    Great interview :P