Celebrating Bloggers Tour : Marlene Roberts Engel and Book Mama Blog

Celebrating all things “blogging” today is Marlene Roberts Engel, creator of the Book Mama Blog.  I was only recently introduced to Marlene through Facebook, but I already knew who she was and that she was a big supporter of chick lit and the indie author.  I liked her before I corresponded with her directly and I like her even more now!  I’m very excited that Marlene has agreed to review both Blogger Girl and A State of Jane on the Book Mama blog and that she agreed to answer some questions for me in celebration of the launch of Blogger Girl and bloggers everywhere! 

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After you’re finished reading Marlene’s interview below, definitely check out her blog here:    http://bookmama2.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html, like her Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/bookmama22#, follow her on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/mengel22, Pinterest here: http://pinterest.com/mengel2/ and Goodreads here: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5401033-marlene-engel

1. What is the name of your blog?

Book Mama

2. What type of blog is it?

It’s mostly a blog about books/authors, but at times I may put something up about family/kids or anything else that may pop into my head at the time.

3. What inspired you to start a blog?

Actually, Melissa Amster from Chick Lit Central kept saying that I should start my own blog. I was hesitant because I didn’t think anyone would read or want to follow it. I have to say, I’m not only glad that I started it but I’m really enjoying having it!

4. What do you like best about being a blogger?

I really enjoy sharing my passion for reading/books with others. I have discovered a lot of very talented indie authors and want to get their names and books out to the public more too. I also LOVE doing book reviews and hosting fun giveaways.

5. What are some of your favorite third party blogs and why?

I love Chick Lit Central. I think that it’s a very classy, professional looking blog. It has great reviews, book suggestions and giveaways. It also happens to be Book Mama’s  sister blog (since we recently affiliated).

6. How do you juggle blogging with your other responsibilities like family and/or career?

Doing a blog is very time consuming. Thankfully I work from home and am able to jump on the computer when I have a few minutes to spare. I also do a lot on my blog after my daughter goes to bed. It’s my “quiet time” where I can get a lot done with no distractions.

7. How often do you blog?

I blog every day. I am constantly updating the free e-books, posting on the Book Mama Facebook page or on my Twitter.

8. Do you have any pet peeves with respect to third party blogs/bloggers?

No, not really. I try to support other bloggers and in return they have shown me a lot of love as well.

9. When you read blogs written by other people, do you prefer blogs that are “theme specific”, for example, “book reviews”, “cooking”, “fashion” etc. or do you take an interest in “personal blogs” as well, for example “A Day in the Life” type blog where the blogger talks about his/her own personal experiences in general?

I mostly read book blogs, but there are a few personal blogs that I enjoy reading as well. I’m a book nerd, so book blogs are definitely my preference.

10. Do you think there is such a thing as “TMI” when it comes to blogging?

Most definitely! I personally haven’t had any experience with a blog who shared too much (or inappropriate) material, but I’m sure there must be some out there.

11. What are your goals with respect to your blog? For example, “I want to have 1000 followers.” “I want someone to write a movie about me.” “I am using it to build a platform for a future writing career.”

My main goal is to share the books that I love with others. I also really want to get more exposure to indie authors. There are so many self published or small publisher authors out there. They don’t get the exposure that the authors signed with larger publishers get and I’d really like to help get their names/books out to the public more.

12. Why should readers check out your blog? What insight do you think you might have that others might lack?

My blog is fun! I think readers will enjoy the book reviews, author interviews, giveaways and fun interaction. I don’t think I necessarily have insight that others lack, but I just try to keep my blog fun and positive. No negativity allowed on my blog.

13. Bonus question: What actress would you like to play you in a movie featuring you and your blog?

Hmmmmm, that’s a good question. I would have to say Sandra Bullock. We seem to have the same goofy/silly sense of humor and we’re both adoptive parents.

Marlene, thank you so much for taking the time to answers these questions! 

Coming soon: Blogger Girl

What happens when your high school nemesis becomes the shining star in a universe you pretty much saved? Book blogger Kimberly Long is about to find out.

A chicklit enthusiast since the first time she read Bridget Jones’s Diary, Kim, with her blog, “Pastel is the New Black,” has worked tirelessly by night to keep the genre alive, and help squash the claim that “chick lit is dead” once and for all. Not bad for a woman who by day ekes out a meager living as a pretty, and pretty-much-nameless, legal secretary in a Manhattan law firm.

While Kim’s day job holds no passion for her, the handsome (and shaving challenged) associate down the hall is another story. Yet another story is that Hannah Marshak, one of her most hated high school classmates, has now popped onto the chick lit scene with a hot new book that’s turning heads–and pages–across the land. It’s also popped into Kim’s inbox–for review. With their ten-year high school reunion drawing near, Kim’s coming close to combustion over the hype about Hannah’s book. And as everyone around her seems to be moving on and up, she begins to question whether being a “blogger girl” makes the grade in her off-line life.

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Celebration of Bloggers/Blurb of Blogger Girl

Before writing books was even a blip on my radar, I was a blogger.  I blogged about everything from my friendships, to my family, to my BFF from high school who turned out to be a pretty horrible friend, to the effects of PMS on my personality, to unrequited crushes, to romantic relationships – especially romantic relationships.  I often surprised myself by how honest and open I was, even when it left me feeling very vulnerable or didn’t paint me in the best light.  I loved it.  There is something about putting all of your deepest thoughts in writing that is extremely cathartic.  While I was blogging, I became friendly with other bloggers across the globe, from Virginia, to Florida, to Kentucky to Belfast to Pittsburgh, to North Carolina to Australia and everywhere in between.  These “virtual” friends became as important to me as my off-line friends and I felt a stake in their lives just as they felt one in mine.  In many cases, these people knew more about me than the people I saw on a weekly basis.  After my first novel came out, I became less comfortable putting myself out there to such an intimate degree but I still keep in touch with some of these bloggers.  In fact, one has become a best “off line” friend and I’ve planned a vacation to visit her later this summer. 

Back when I was blogging personal experiences, I thought that was what “blogging” was – publishing an online personal diary.  At the time, I was not aware of book bloggers, beauty bloggers, mommy bloggers, fashion bloggers, food bloggers etc.  After Just Friends with Benefits came out and with my introduction to social media, I became very familiar with other types of bloggers, especially book bloggers.  Book bloggers have become a very important part of my publishing experience and some of them have become good friends of mine as well.  To take the influence of book bloggers on my life to a whole new level, they inspired the plot of my third soon-to-be-released novel, Blogger Girl.  Keep reading for the blurb of Blogger Girl, to be released in August, 2013.

To celebrate the launch of Blogger Girl, I have decided to celebrate blogging and bloggers in general beginning, July 16th.  Each day, I will host a different blogger on my website.   I have asked each blogger to either write a post about anything related to “blogging” or take part in an interview.  I have been the guest on a countless number of blogs over the past three years as an author and I think it’s time to turn the tables and give these amazing bloggers the spotlight.  So, stay tuned for guest posts from amazing bloggers like the following:  (I plan to continue the blogger celebration well after the release of Blogger Girl and so if you’d like to be featured, please let know!) 

Samantha March, author and founder of Chick Lit Plus
Kelly Perotti, author and founder of mommy blog Crib Notes Kelly Isabella Louise Anderson, founder of Chick Lit Goddess
Marlene Roberts Engel, founder of Book Mama Blog
Francine LaSala – author and founder of Clippings in the Shed
Stephanie Territo, founder of Steph the Bookworm
Eleanor Parker, founder of The Writing Life
Melissa Amster, founder of Chick Lit Central and Merryland Girl Blog Laura Chapman, founder of Change the Word
Kaley Stewart, founder of Books Etc.
Ashley Williams, founder of The Book Fetish Blog
Samantha Stroh Bailey, author and blogger
Michelle Bell, founder of Michelle’s Book Nook
Julie Valerie, founder of Chick Lit Chit Chat

And now, without further ado, the blurb to Blogger Girl!

What happens when your high school nemesis becomes the shining star in a universe you pretty much saved? Book blogger Kimberly Long is about to find out.

A chick lit enthusiast since the first time she read Bridget Jones’s Diary, Kim, with her blog, “Pastel is the New Black,” has worked tirelessly by night to keep the genre alive, and help squash the claim that “chick lit is dead” once and for all. Not bad for a woman who by day ekes out a meager living as a pretty, and pretty-much-nameless, legal secretary in a Manhattan law firm.

While Kim’s day job holds no passion for her, the handsome (and shaving challenged) associate down the hall is another story. Yet another story is that Hannah Marshak, one of her most hated high school classmates, has now popped onto the chick lit scene with a hot new book that’s turning heads–and pages–across the land. And it’s also popped into Kim’s inbox–for review. With their ten-year high school reunion drawing near, Kim’s coming close to combustion over all the hype about Hannah’s book. And as everyone around her seems to be moving on and up, she begins to question whether being a “blogger girl” makes the grade in her off-line life.