Happy Sunday everyone! Today we get to learn a little more about the girl behind Stay the Page! I loved reading her answers!
What was the driving force behind starting your blog?
Taylor: I had actually had two other writing/book related blogs before starting Stay on the Page: The Writing Bin and Books Aren’t Just Things You Throw at people. Then I started reading other people’s blogs and realized I wanted a fresh start and that I wanted to transition from using blogspot to using Wordpress.
I had also taken a semester in college on the Media and Communication industries. As part of that class, we had to set up blogs on issues within those fields, and that’s how I really fell in love with the idea of blogging. I did a group blog with my friend on censorship and my individual one on the up and coming Internet trends (I did my whole midterm project on bizarre dating websites). That class gave me valuable blogging skills and showed me how valuable having a professional, well-put-together blog would be.
And of course the main force was that I love books and talking about books! I needed a little corner on the Internet that was just mine to talk about books, writing and matters of representation that I cared about.
How did you choose the name Stay on the Page?
Taylor: In high school, one of my best friends would always yell “Stay classy!” at me when we said goodbye, putting an emphasis on the “Tay” in “Stay” because of my name. I used that pun in the blog name and I liked the idea of a name that implied keeping up to date with the latest books coming out or what’s good. It also sounded cute? And I think I came up with it in the middle of the night, so that explains a lot.
What does your review writing process look like?
Taylor: I actually started writing book reviews for my university’s newspaper, The Drew Acorn, where I was a writer and section editor nearly my entire time in college for the Student Life & Arts section. I was the person who started the practice of including cultural reviews in the paper at all. Writing for the Acorn still influences how I write my reviews. My reviews tend to be long, between 500-1000 words.
I always try to open up with an observation about reading or books that I can connect to a discussion of the book. I write my own mini-plot premise within the review itself instead of pasting the one from the publisher. I try to touch upon a discussion of character, plot, themes and who I think the book would work for. I tend to write very positive reviews and I don’t do any kind of note-taking. I sit down and write the review in one shot as it comes to me.
What do you find to be your biggest struggle either with blogging or the bookish community?
Taylor: In terms of blogging, my biggest struggle is blogging consistently because I’m a very busy person, but I know that’s okay.
In terms of the bookish community and Bookish Twitter specifically, I’m tired of people dogpiling onto conversations about issues that require more nuance than two hundred whatever characters can possibly allow from everyone and their mother, and it’s hard not to let yourself get sucked into that tornado of black/white approaches to complex issues and spur-of-the-moment QRT-ing.
I saw on Twitter that you’re writing a novel! Can you tell us a little about it?
Taylor: Haha, yes! I’m actually working on a few novel projects at the moment. I’m currently querying TALK TO ME, which is a book told from three perspectives about a girl with aphasia who drives a wedge between her ex-boyfriend and his best friend. It’s very queer and very snarky.
I’m also revising a draft zero of a fluffy queer contemporary romance novel called ACE OF CAKE, which is about Lucie, an anxious ace teen with an eating disorder called ARFID who loves to bake, and her mission to find the perfect prom date after her boyfriend dumps her.
And then on the back burner for now is #QueerShakespeareKids, a queer dual perspective book about twins named after prolific Shakespeare characters and the ways in which they wrestle with the identities of those characters, their own needs and an uncertain future in the wake of their own personal tragedies.
When you’re not reading, what can we find you doing?
Taylor: Working on the books I just talked about, wandering around NYC, going to art museums and crocheting or knitting!
Best childhood memory?
Taylor: When I was nine, my Grandpa (who was my favorite person in the whole world) brought me to Borders. My Grandpa always had health issues that meant I didn’t get to go places alone with him very often, so this was a Very Big Deal to Little Kid Me. He bought me this kid’s guide to nature and wrote on the inside cover that it was to me from him. In the back of the book, there were blank pages to use as a nature scrapbook, so my Grandpa and I searched for the perfect maple leaf and tucked it inside the book. I still have the book, and the leaf. Even though my Grandpa has been long gone, the leaf is still green and it always reminds me of that day. :)
There’s only one present under your Christmas Tree this year, what are you hoping it will be?
Taylor: I would really love to see some new bookshelves under the tree this year!
Sweet or Salty? Sweet! Unless I have PMS, then all the salt!
Night Owl or Early Bird? Night Owl for sure.
Daytime Adventure or Relaxing Evening? Why not both?
Celebrity Crush? I don’t think I have one? I was never really a celebrity crush person.
First concert? Bruce Springsteen at Madison Square Garden when I was 5 (Thanks, mom LOL).