Thursday 21 June 2012

Blogger Interview: Natasha Anne Fernandez

Alexia and I have planned a new feature on the blog. Once a month, every Third Thursday of the month, we will be interviewing a book blogger. Of course, we wanted to start this feature by interviewing the friends we've made while blogging, and who better than one of our best friends!

Let me introduce you to Natasha Anne Fernandez, the teenager who loves to read! I met Natasha through Terra Harmony, when I had planned a week long feature on the blog for her. She introduced me to both Natasha and Alexia, and we three have been friends ever since. Nat is now like the younger sister I never had (I have an elder sister, who can sometimes be the bane of my existence, hope Nat does not feel like that about me!)

~Alexia: Nat and I met in a group on Goodreads (for the life of me I can't remember which group). We helped each other with blogging issues and supported each other, from there it's went down hill - no, only kidding lol!! 

So Natasha, tell us a bit about yourself.

Well, let's see. I discovered reading when my mum handed me a box of Disney bedtime story books and I am just so fascinated by the prince charming's in the story, I guess that is the onset for my fascination towards fictional characters. I grew up reading and there is not a day gone by without me falling asleep beside a book.I’m a goth at heart, I love dark and contrast color, and I am a huge movie buff. I love exploring new genres (movies, music and books included) and love to eat! Anything meat suits me just fine. I love meeting new people and wish I have a little bit of Bellatrix Lestrange craziness in me. 
PS. I cry easily over books and movies.

What is your blog about?

My dreamland *winks*
Well, my blog is what I am very passionate about - books.

Why did you start a book review blog?

The bitter truth  - at first I started a book blog so that I could earn books online because that’s what I heard how these things work, but soon after I started writing and blogging, I fell in love with the blogging world and the community. Let’s just say, original intent aside, now I blog simply because I love the thrill of blogging, and the blogging community feels like family!

What genres do you review?

From chick-lit to fantasy romance, thriller to horror, I’m up for anything. I don’t have any specific genre that I prefer ( I love to explore different genres) but I do love a dose of romance in anything or everything I read. 

What is it about reading that you enjoy?

Like the name of my blog (which my friend came up with), books are my temporary escape land. After a day of staring at *informational* books, fiction novels are like junk food. They give me a sense of pleasure and release that my brain needed at the end of the day. 

How do you choose which book to read? 

“Don’t judge a book by its cover” 
But that is exactly what I do!  The books I buy are either books that have been highly recommended from my friends, or random books that caught my interest. I do have a thing for cheesy titles and cheesy covers, at the same time I really love book covers with dark colors. 
~Alexia: Oh me too - it's usually the book cover that catches my interest :)

What do you do if you can’t get into the story or characters after a chapter or two?

Oh I’ve had my fair share of those kind of books. When I first started reading, I will force myself to continue reading even though the story bore me to death,  but now that I’ve grown, I’ve developed a new kind of strategy. 
Putting the book down.
I will put the book aside and choose to read another book instead, and hopefully one day I'll decide to give it a chance again.

As a reader/reviewer, what’s the best advice you can give a beginning novelist who’s struggling with that ever-troublesome first chapter.

First chapters are the most crucial part in attracting the interest of readers. My advice would be “Write an honest first chapter”, write what  you want, not what you think the readers want, we’ll just go with the flow of how you want the story to be. But I would recommend adding a few mysteries, that certainly kept me going!

Have you ever thought of transitioning from reviewer to writer?

Plenty times! I did start off as a writer before I turned into a reviewer, but I think if writing is my profession, I would face bankruptcy right this moment. As much as I love writing, I don’t think I’ll ever qualify as a professional writer. I do love reviewing and I am continuously improving my reviewing skills. (You would be surprise at what my archives looked like )…Hmm…on second thoughts, I don’t mind being a cover designer.  *thinking*

Favourite author and book?
Morganville Vampire series by Rachel Caine.

What things make an author really stand out for you (in a good or bad way)?
Their brain and their wicked sense of humor. 
I don’t know how they could come up with such creative ideas it defies human logic. Take Suzanne Collin for example, the Hunger Games trilogy never failed to “wow” me with the unexpected twists and futuristic ideas. And one of my personal favorite author is Rachel Caine, who wrote the funniest vampire series I’ve ever read. 

Cover, blurb, or first page? Which is most important to you?

While cover attracts me first, the blurb definitely sealed the deal…

What do you think about the blogger community? Have you made any new friends since you started blogging (apart from us, of course!)?

The blogger community is such a huge and loving family! You can be from different parts of the world and still get along because all of us share the same passion - blogging. There is not one blogger who feels like stranger. I have made so many new friends through blogging, and to say they helped me a lot. (you guys included! xoxo)
~Alexia: Love you chick!

How do you go about writing reviews? Do you have a process you follow, or just write from the heart?

Definitely from my heart, and depending on my mood. I have the habit of writing reviews immediately after I finish a book because I know the feeling of “high” will fade away if I delayed writing the review, and to be honest, the review will suck! But on a few occasional cases, I have no problem writing them.

What are your favourite things to do, besides reading and blogging?

Editing photos and writing! Besides that, I surf for random movies and music. 
It’s all about exploring…

What blogs/bloggers inspire you?

Everyone inspires me. Serious. 

As a book blogger, what advice do you have for authors trying to get reviews from bloggers?

*approach with care*
When bloggers receive emails from authors, it really made their day even though they have to refuse the offer due to personal reasons. I do believe that authors should ask politely when asking a blogger to review his/her books, and they should be more “warm” in emails. I’ve encountered several cases in which authors approach me asking me to review their books, but after a few emails being exchanged, they never replied back, leaving me hanging and wondering what happened. That would bring bad publicity to an author. And I really love it when authors reply back saying “thank you so much for reviewing my book!”, instead of a simple and brief “thank you.”. 

Maybe that’s just me :P


Quickfire Questions:

Cats or dogs?

Coffee or tea?

Favourite food?
Anything unhealthy

Favourite book?
Morganville Vampires Series

Vanilla or chocolate ice-cream?
Vanilla ice cream <3

What are 4 things you never leave home without?
Phone, wallet, keys and money!

Where and when do you prefer to do your reading / writing?
Twilight - Night time

If you were deserted on an island, who are 3 famous people you would want with you any why?
1.  Logan Lerman - My teenage crush <3 <3
2.  Ian Sommerhalder - The simple thrill of living with a blood craze, sexy, brooding, tormented 
     vampire. Every girl's dream
3.  Jim Carrey - I've got to learn some jokes from you!
~Alexia: YES! Ian Sommerhalder- hotness monster of note, dude!

List 3 of your all-time favourite movies and 3 of your all-time favourite songs/bands.
Favorite movies -
1.  The Mist - Alien movie, I know, but it made me cry
2.  The Green Mile
3.  Ella Enchanted

Favorite songs -
*just for the heads up, I’m a huge fan of anything rock :P
1.  Vermillipn pt 2 by Slipknot
2.  Slow Life - Grizzly Bear
3.  Bite My Tongue - You Me at Six ft Oli Skyes

Favorite bands -
1.  Indie - Bon Iver
2.  Metal - Asking Alexandria
3.  Punk rock - All Time Low

What is a movie or TV show that you watched recently and really enjoyed?
Geek Charming. It's an Orginal Disney Production, yet it is by far the best Disney Pictures I've ever watched. The story goes so much deeper than what the trailer portrays, a movie worth watching and crying over!


About Natasha (in her own words)

My life's mission is to read as many books as I can before I die, while listening to as much music and travel to as many places as I can. I hope someday I can meet all my favorite authors and musicians, and of course, someday for me to become a filthy rich trillionaire so that I can fulfill my life's mission.

Other than that, I often live in my "dreamland" and hate it when reality wakes me up at 6 am every morning to go to school. Being a teenage girl, I hope that someday I  meet my "prince charming" the way how all heroines meet their's in books xD

Other than that, I'm a University student who is buried in too many science books. Science is actually fun!

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  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. I can't find the edit button for my post :P

      Anyway, what I wanted to say is, this post is awesome!!!!!! Thank you so much for giving me this chance! I will never forget it!

      Ritesh - Oh you are my Superman big-brother! Definitely not a bane to my existence =D

      Alexia - Hahahahaha! I remembered the first time I "met" you too! And yes, I can't remember the group's name!


  2. Great interview and I loved your answers! They were great and I had much fun while reading it! *awesome* :)

    Greetings to you guys!
    xx Tina

    1. Hey Tina :) It was myself, Nat and you sitting up till early hours of the morning figuring out how blogging works lol :)

    2. yeah, I still can remember. We had not much clue about all this stuff but we figured it out together and now we all have blogs which are awesome and beautiful! :)

  3. I'm guilty of judging a book by its cover. If it turns me off, I often don't look further. Sometimes online, the cover is all you have to go by before you click to learn more, so unfortunately I may be missing good books because of poor covers.

    Thanks for sharing your book blogging experience. Since joining the blogging community two years ago, I have to agree with you; it's a great place to be.

  4. hahaha..i am a cover whore too..*hangs head in shame* I read all genres too glad you love the blogging world..i am off to follow your blog.
    Alexia...great feature, I love getting to know bloggers and finding new blogs!

  5. Hi Natausha! I haven't been over to visit you in awhile. I enjoyed getting to know you better. The other thing you need to add about authors and requests is to make sure to take the time to stop by the post and thank the blogger and respond to comments. I can't tell you how many times I do posts and never hear from the author, a thank you would be nice!

  6. I totally agree with you Heidi! I make a point of telling the authors to respond comments and interact with the readers - it grates my cheese when they don't lol