Say hello to Leona from Leona’s Blog of Shadows!
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a system engineer/server administrator by trade, worked at Fortune 500 companies in the Silicon Valley and Texas. I also have a commercial pilot license with instrument rating and I’m planning to get my flight instructor rating at some point.
I am also an aspiring author, I have written some short stories and published them online, but nothing big. I am now working on the first book of a quasi-historical epic fantasy trilogy.
How did you end up here in the world of book blogging?
I read a lot of great fantasy literature and constantly recommend the amazing books I find to my friends and acquaintances. When I realized how much time it takes to repeat the same recommendations to everyone, I decided to blog them. Also, I discovered the great world of self-published indie authors and would like to get the word out about the gems I discover in my constant search for great books to read.
What types of books do you enjoy reading?
Fantasy, YA Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Science Fiction. I used to read a lot of scifi when I was younger, but these days I am completely drawn to fantasy. I would like to start reading steampunk once I finish the huge stack of fantasy literature I have collected.
What do you bring to the world of book blogging? What’s unique about your perspective of books?
I am a globetrotter-expat type. I am originally from Turkey, moved to California when I was 22, lived in the United States for 14 years and moved to Finland in August 2013.
I grew up reading Russian, French and American classics, since my dad is a professor of literature and an established author of historical novels some of which were national best sellers in Turkey. I learned quite a lot from him.
Do you have any helpful hints about blogging?
Be active in the community, write comments to other bloggers, link to the posts you really like and keep in touch with the authors and book bloggers via twitter. When you review indie authors, make sure to let them know and give them the links to the reviews you wrote about their work.
Connect with the book bloggers and authors on social media & goodreads, give good feedback when you see great posts. It makes the authors and bloggers really happy! But more than anything, be honest and open. Everyone appreciates an honest book blogger.
What type of things always grab your attention in books?
Characters are a big deal for me. I value deep, complicated characters (especially antiheroes) and originality above all things. If the characters are great, I can forgive weak plots or logical flaws. As for the subgenres go, I am really drawn to the sword&sorcery type stories in a medieval setting, glorious battle scenes, sorcerers and assassins.
I read urban/modern fantasy if it’s YA genre. Lately I have been developing an interest towards steampunk and planning to read some.
When you go to the library (or bookstore), do you bring a list of books to get or do you browse to find your next book?
I no longer go to the libraries and bookstores, since I don’t do hardcopy books anymore. I find the books to read via Amazon and Goodreads. I also take recommendation from my friends and fellow book bloggers.
What book trends do you hope to see more of?
More original stories and characters, more philosophical stories (Like the Prince of Nothing series) and more fairy tale like, less dark stories in the YA genre.
What books do you constantly recommend to other people?
The series by Raymond E. Feist (The Riftwar Saga, The Empire Trilogy), The Prince of Nothing by R. Scott Bakker, various indie books I discover and love, The Elric Saga by Michael Moorcock
Any exciting blog things happening in the future?
I am just starting out, we will see!
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