Name: Sandra Wo
Age: Definitely not a teenager anymore
Birthday: A child of Winter
-Do you have any advice for an aspiring bookstagrammer?
Be yourself, be kind and engage with others. You will find that the community is very welcoming and very lovely. I have met some really great inspiring people via bookstagram who have become close friends in real life. And don’t give up even if you feel disheartened. The new IG algorithm can be a real monster but you will get there eventually. Just make sure that you post pictures of high quality, find your style, meet people, stay true to yourself. In the end talent and passion will always win, so go for it!
-Where did your love for books/writing come from?
I have been surrounded by books since I can remember. Books in our household were a necessity, like water – or ice cream, haha. My mom was also a huge bookworm and my fondest memories of her are either reading to me or snuggled up on the couch with a book in her hands. As a child you always strive to be like your mom. So once I was able to read you would always see me with a book – and this hasn’t changed ever since.
-In 5 words, how would you describe your account?
My great friend Lara from @writinglaraferrari gave a great description once which I absolutely loved. She said it reminded her of a whimsical, magical, dreamy fairytale forest. I think that might be pretty accurate.
-Which props are your favorite to use?
Flowers. And plants. I think every single one of my pictures has flowers in them. They are a great prop and also make every room more beautiful – so gain/gain!!
-What is your perfect date?
I had a really great date once. I was picked up with a VW bus and we drove up a mountain to have self-made dinner in the back of the bus while watching the city below us. Afterwards we just talked all night and watched the stars. It was pretty much perfect. I don’t think any YA author could have written a better scene
-Who are your favorite female main characters?
I love when authors are able to write really strong, really independent female characters who escape the typical tropes and clichés of YA writing. Great examples are Kestrel from The Winner’s Curse trilogy by Marie Rutkoski, Lia from Kiss of Deception trilogy by Mary E. Pearson and my childhood favourite Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery.
-What is your favorite series?
There are so many but I remember reading Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy and it just left me in awe. Her writing style is just so beautiful and lyrical. Also the story was really unique with a beautiful bunch of characters you will miss dearly once you close the last book. A must read in my opinion if you are a fan of fantasy and young adult literature.
-If you had a spirit animal, which would it be? Why?
A penguin. I love how penguins seem so clumsy and awkward on land. But once they jump into the water they become those highly elegant, highly efficient creatures, It’s just a beautiful thing to witness. And I believe that this is true for every one of us. We sometimes get disheartened by setbacks or don’t feel good enough. But often times this is just because we haven’t found the right environment yet where we can blossom and grow. I am really really tiny; I would never make a great model but I can totally excel BEHIND the camera! So we all need to find our niche but once we do we can become amazing.
Name: Myranda Barton
Birthday: June 4th
Hi everyone, I’m Myranda!
I wanted to start out by saying thank you to Cassandra for letting me be a part of this! I really enjoy taking pictures of my books even though I do get strange looks if I take some in public. Also, just to let you all know, I’m going to be holding a giveaway once I reach 1,000 followers on Instagram. I’ve been wanting to give back to the people that enjoy my pictures enough to stick around for a while now and have just been waiting for a milestone to happen to do it!
-Is there an idea that has been stuck in your head that you haven’t done yet?
Yes, three actually. Picture wise, there is a forest not too far from where I live and I want to go do a bookish photo shoot there, I just need to find a photographer! The next one is cosplays! There are so many characters I want to do, Vhalla (Air Awakens), Nina (Six of Crows), Evangeline (Red Queen), and more! There are also two book ideas eating me alive right now but I need to straighten things out with story lines before I write them down. Lately my mind has had all this creative energy and I just don’t know where to start with it!
-Why did you choose to start your account?
No one in my day to day life is as obsessed with books as I am so when I found bookstagram I immediately wanted to start an account to connect with people who loved books like I do. It was also kind of an excuse to buy more books because I obviously needed more books to take pictures of. I really love bookstagram and its people although sometimes it’s hard to show just how much I adore a book through text so I’ve been toying with the idea of starting a booktube just as a better way of getting my feelings out there on certain books. I’m not totally sure I’ll do it but it’s been something I’ve been thinking about a lot.
-What book event that you have attended was your favorite? Why?
In March Elise Kova, Rachel E. Carter, and Laura Thalassa had a book signing in the bay area. Having just read Elise’s Air Awakens I had to go! I went in thinking it was going to be like a typical signing where you get in, have your book signed, and then get out. It was nothing like that though! I, and several other lovely people who I still talk to, (@metamorphicbooks, @daphodilli,@crazytensai, and @novelstosong) were able to talk to these amazing authors about everything bookish for almost three hours! It was a blast and I know for sure that no matter what other authors I meet in the future, nothing will compare to the fun I had meeting those three at that signing!
-When/why did you become a writer?
I became a writer at the age of 6 or 7 when on a road trip with my family. I was sitting there and suddenly had this urge to write a story about a penguin who lost their favorite ball and had to go on a journey to find it. Of course it was just a few sentences but at that moment I wrote something for me and I think that is what makes a writer. Ever since I’ve been thinking up story ideas with most of them just leaving my mind. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I actually got the idea in my head that I could write an entire book. I won NaNoWriMo 2015 but since that was my first attempt at something big, it won’t be seeing the light of day for a very, very long time!
-Who are your top 5 fictional book girlfriends/boyfriends, why?
Okay, this is a really tough one. I know that my ultimate book boyfriend is William Herondale, every time I pick of one of the books from The Infernal Devices and read a passage with him being his sassy self, my heart does a little flip at how lovable he is! Everyone else is in no particular order because it just wouldn’t be fair since I love them all so. Warner from the Shatter Me trilogy has a place in my heart because after we see that everything he does has had a reason and that he is actually a softy he just cemented himself in there. There’s also Cricket from Lola and the Boy Next Door, I’m pretty sure this one stems from me always wanting that typical “boy next door” relationship and also because Cricket is just really adorable and dorky. One of my most recent additions to steal my heart has been Aldrik from the Air Awakens series because that Fire Lord actually has a heart of gold and fights to no end for his loved ones. This last guy is a bit of a preemptive addition since I’ve barley read about him yet, but from what I’ve read I already love him. That would be Rhysand from the A Court of Thorns and Roses series. I finished the first book just a few hours ago as I type this but I can already tell I’m going to absolutely love him. After writing all that down I just realized I really like the male characters who had the hard exteriors but are total softies on the inside. At least I know I know have a type!
-Who is your favorite Indie author?
Well if I didn’t mention her, or her series enough in my above posts, I would have to say Elise Kova. Her writing is just so beautiful and her characters are so well shelled out that it’s easy to forget it’s all fictional!
-What is your favorite standalone?
I haven’t read that many standalones but even if I had then I know that The Night Circus would still be my favorite. Reading that book was like something I’ve never experienced before. The synopsis was practically nothing like the actual book which I think has actual magic pumping through its pages. No, really, while reading that book you can feel the magic of the world pouring out of the pages and into our own. I was reading it on a car ride at one point and it took my family a few seconds to get my attention with how engrossed I was in the tale.
-What is your dream reading spot?
I would absolutely love to have one of those clear bubble bed kind of things that I’ve seen on the internet placed in a meadow of flowers with forest surrounding it and raining. It would be perfect because I could read in the rain without getting wet and get to see the rain fall on the top of the dome. It’s a bit hard to explain but the picture is so clear in my mind I could almost touch it!
Birthday: March 19th
-What is the meaning behind your username?
Name: Hailee Newton
Birthday: June 1
-How do you edit your pictures?
I actually take all of my photos with my DSLR camera (Canon Rebel t5i), and then edit them on my laptop. Seems a bit silly to put forth so much effort, but the entire reason I got into bookstagram was to practice my photography, and the books just happened to be my most accessible subject matter! I use the PicMonkey photo editor to play around with cropping, exposure, color saturation, contrast and the like. I love it because it’s easy to use but also allows me to really make my photos special. Once I’ve got the photo looking the way I want it, I add my watermark and then use a custom filter that’s sort of antique-y. Because that’s totally a useful way to describe it. Be sure to keep an eye out for a blog post on editing photos that’ll be here soon!
-Who has supported you the most in your journey?
When I first got the idea to start bookstagram (just about a year ago), my friend (she’s really my person, a la Grey’s Anatomy) Marge was such a huge supporter! She knows how much I love to read and how interested in photography I am, so she absolutely encouraged me to not only take the photos, but maybe to also start a blog, try booktube, and really get into actually reviewing books. She’s still the person I go to when I can’t decide which photo I want to use or what idea I should try. Love her to death.
But then I’ve also met so many incredible people through bookstagram! Annette (@booknerderie) and Sarah (@newleafwriter) are my homeskillets and I am so wildly lucky to have been able to meet them in person and share my crazy with them.
-If you could switch places with a character, who would it be? Why?
Ok, this one is difficult. All of them? Yes, please. Ugh, but if I had to only pick one? Feyre. And not just because of Rhys (but let’s be real, that’s still a significant motivator), but because her journey is incredible. She’s so determined, and loyal, and just an overall badass. And the world that she gets to live in – while brutal and sometimes heartless – is a thing of beauty. Plus I’d like to be able to shape-shift. That’d be great. Somebody get on that please.
-Have you gone to a book event? How many?
I’ve only ever been to one! I went to BookCon in Chicago this year and it was INCREDIBLE. The authors, the fellow booklovers, the swag, the panels…absolute perfection. Next year I plan on going to BEA in NYC, so hopefully I’ll see some of you there!
-What super power would you like to have?
Flight. FO SHO. Almost all of the dreams I remember having are of me being able to fly. It’s just totally unacceptable that I can’t fly.
-What is your favorite hobby besides reading?
Adventuring! Traveling, skydiving, cliff-jumping, roller coasters, basically all of the adrenaline. I don’t believe it’s an adventure unless there’s a possibility for scarring. Weird, but there it is.
-Who is your favorite Disney princess? Why?
Can I say all of them? Yes. All of them. As cliché as it is, my favorite has always been Belle. There’s the one song towards the beginning: “I want adventure in the great wide somewhere” That’s always stuck with me (not only because it was my first tattoo). And her way to experience adventure was through books…which is something I think we can all relate to.
-If you had a spirit animal, which would it be? Why?
A wolf. My favorite book as a kid was Julie of the Wolves (Eskimo girl runs away from home and is essentially adopted by a wolf pack), and I’ve always thought wolves were the most beautiful creatures. The pack hierarchy and mentality has always fascinated me – I’ve always seen them as fierce, but also playful and independent and free.
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