Picture drawn by Maggie Stiefvater, 2009. Header made by S.F. Robertson, 2010.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Three Year Blogoversary- Daphne Grab Interview

I'm pleased to welcome Daphne Grab, author of Alive and Well in Prague, New York and The Star Shack (as Lila Castle), to the start of my three-year blogiversary!

1) How do you handle bad reviews?

Before I read any review I remind myself that it is just one person’s opinion, that there are other reviews out there that are positive, that every book gets at least a couple of bad reviews and that that is part of the process. Then I steel myself and read. If it’s positive I’m elated. If it’s mediocre, I try to focus on the good parts but then generally end up obsessing about the not so good parts. And if it’s straight up bad, I feel crummy, no two ways about it. I let myself sulk a bit, eat some chocolate, reread a good review and then force myself to move on.

2) What are your criteria for finding bloggers to send review copies to?

If I have copies of a book I will send to any reviewer that asks me. I also have a list of blogs I particularly like and I let those bloggers know about a book early, then am sure to send them ARCs. Book Chic would be pretty top of that list!

3) How did you find my blog, as well as any others you frequent?

I feel like we were newbies together- I was getting ready for my first book release and you had just started your awesome blog. I first found you on MySpace but then we also connected on Facebook. I wrote to ask if you would review the book and you agreed. With a lot of bloggers it would stop there but we hit it off and became cyber friends. We connected beyond books which was just a really cool thing. I’ve been so pleased to see your blog flourish and you were one of the first people I told about my new book!

4) Do you have any advice for bloggers writing reviews?

Well, this will come around to bite me at some point but I think it’s important to be honest in your reviews. It’s tough if you’ve kind of connected to an author and I’m never a fan of a review that shreds a book and I also think you can always find something nice to say about a book. But if a weakness is there, you owe it to your readers to put it out there. I review books for Publishers Weekly and I try to be upfront about flaws while also always finding something positive to say.

5) Have you had a particularly memorable/meaningful review sent your way? What was it, and how did it make you feel?

So far my reviews for The Star Shack have been positive (it will not stay this way and I am dreading that first harsh review!). One I particularly like is from Kirkus because they say the characters are smart and articulate and that the book is a starry beach read. Somehow I just really like the starry beach read part. I am going to get reviewed by a newspaper in Charlotte and I am very excited about that- I’ve never been reviewed in a paper before. But honestly it is the blog reviews that I will keep with me the longest- people who’ve read the book and then put out their thoughts, fresh and unfiltered- when those are positive it is the most amazing feeling!

Let me close by saying how much I adore you, Book Chic- I am happily waiting for your review of this book, I look forward to your thoughts on my future books, and I am very thankful our paths have crossed and we have become friends!

Thanks so much for stopping by, Daphne!! You are too sweet! Now, on to the contest, I've got an advance copy of The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff. To enter, leave a comment on this post with your thoughts on any of Daphne's answers or what's got you excited for The Replacement. The contest will be open until June 30th at 11:59 PM and is for North American residents only.


  1. Happy blogoversary! Also, this was a great interview full of helpful info.

  2. Happy Blogoversary! and great interview. I agree reviews should be honest but don't worry no one will ever be mean to you!

  3. The thing that got me excited was the cover!

  4. That was a really interesting and helpful interview - thanks! :)

  5. Happy Blogoversary. Great interview. I love the cover for The Replacement and it sounds like its going to be a good book.

  6. I can't wait to read The Star shack, /I think it's great how Daphne deals with bad reviews and that she's so willing to send out review copies!

    I'd love to be entered to win the replacement!



  7. Being honest in your reviews is a bold recommendation for an author, but I like that. You have to be truthful to yourself and your initial reactions to a book.

    Oh, and by the way, I can't wait for the release of The Replacement. The first thing that caught me was the cover and the description reeled me in. Love it!

  8. Congrats on your anniversary!

    A "starry summer read" does sound really cool, like something that makes you wander around in a daze.

  9. Happy Blogoversary! Nice interview. :) Thanks for the contest. The Replacement looks like an amazing book-- the cover is great!