Photo by kristinemillerdesign © 2014
Welcome to the first Blogger Spotlight! This fall/winter I’ll be doing a feature where I put the “spotlight” on different bloggers. There will be a Blogger Spotlight once a month, on the 15th.
This month the spotlight is on Shae from Shae Has Left the Room! I’ve been a HUGE fan of Shae’s for about a year now, and I was absolutely ecstatic when she obliged. Here’s a little about Shae, in her own words:
Shae is a Florida girl with a Northern heart who still says “y’all” far more than she should. She began blogging anonymously in 2012 as Shelver506 on her book blog, Bookshelvers Anonymous, before deanonymizing in 2013 and changing her blog name to Shae Has Left the Room. In addition to blogging, she keeps busy by interning for a literary agency, virtually assisting a New York Times bestselling author, and beta-reading for various friends. Her dream is to 1) move to NYC and work in publishing and 2) own the library from Beauty and the Beast.
Rose: You started Shae Has Left the Room over two and a half years ago. Why did you start it? Did you expect it to be as well-known as it is?
Shae: Actually, Shae Has Left the Room isn’t my first blog. When I studied abroad in college, my dad set up a travel blog for me so that friends at home could keep up with my travels. It was a lot of fun, but I stopped almost immediately after coming home, because I didn’t have anything else to talk about.
Then during my senior year, I started reading a lot of industry blogs to try to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. (Life tip: Don’t wait until senior year to do this.) Through those blogs, I found other blogs, including those written by average readers. I wanted to be a part of the conversation, and I already knew the basics from my previous experience; so, on a whim, I set up my blog (then called Bookshelvers Anonymous), and rest is history!
As for being well-known, I don’t feel well-known at all, but I certainly didn’t expect to be friends with so many cool people!
Rose: Like me, for example. ;)
Shae: Yes, exactly like you, Rose!*
Rose: In July you had a great feature called ReReadathon + Shelf Sweeper. Do you like rereading books, or is it something you tend to avoid? Did ReReadathon + Shelf Sweeper change that?
Shae: I LOVE rereading books. Love love love love. It was practically all I did before blogging. I would read everything my local library had to offer and then turn around and reread it all. Unfortunately, blogging doesn’t really support that. There’s all this pressure to read the latest releases or the prettiest ARCs (Advanced Review Copies), so there’s never any time to revisit old favorites. I started ReReadathon to counteract that, if only for one month out of the year.
Rose: With the coming fall, there are a lot of new books coming out. Are there any that you are particularly excited for?
Shae: Oh good heavens, don’t get me started. There are some FANTASTIC books coming out this fall. Off the top of my head, I think I’m most excited for:
- Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers
- Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
- Killer Instinct by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Rose: You’re very good at being consistent with your posts. Do you have a schedule? Or do you just work on posts the night before you post them?
Shae: Thanks! I do both, actually. I try to have everything scheduled out several weeks in advance so I know what’s coming down the pipes, but I don’t write them several weeks in advance. My work days aren’t consistent, so I’ll wait until I have a day off and then write and queue several posts at once. It helps to have days set aside for specific things, though. (Reviews on Monday and Friday, TTT on Tuesday, discussions on Wednesday, etc.)
Rose: What would you like to see more of in YA? What would you like to see less of?
Shae: This is another thing I could talk about foreeeeeeeever. In fact, part of the reason I started the Reader/Blogger Wishlist hashtag (#RBWL) on Twitter was because I know that EVERYONE has a long list of things they want to see more of. I, for instance, would love to see more diverse characters, especially protagonists; more fantasies set in non-European settings; more genre-bending/mashing; more Westerns; and more best friend stories. I’m pretty over instalove, love triangles, and protagonists who have next to no friends and/or dump what friends they have the moment they fall in love.
Rose: Ooh, I didn’t even think of Westerns! I’m going to just tack that onto my list…
Rose: What has been the biggest “wow” moment of your blogging career?
Shae: There have been several. Pretty much any time an author acknowledges my existence, I’m over the moon. I think my biggest “wow” moment, though, was how I got my internship. I’d interviewed Robin LaFevers for my blog after reading (and loving)Grave Mercy, and we kept corresponding afterwards. About six months later, she said she was looking for a virtual assistant and wondered if I would be interested. She approached me. How crazy is that?!
Rose: Just for fun – name three of your favorite things.
Shae: Uhhhh, actual, tangible things or things like “these are a few of my favorite things?”
If the former:
– My laptop
– My favorites shelf
– My LOTR wall map
If the latter:
– The way cats’ eyes dilate right before they pounce (it’s totally freaky)
– The way you feel when you slip into a familiar, well-loved world, either through a sequel or a reread
– Family walks after dinner
Rose: I actually meant tangible things, but I loved the other three so much I kept them in (especially the one about cats’ eyes)!
That’s it for now! Thanks, Shae!
Everyone go visit Shae Has Left the Room
and follow her right now! Make sure you check out her awesome features and reviews!
It’s not to late to get in on the party! If you are a blogger who would like to be featured, please shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I’ll get back to you pronto! :)
Come back next month to see who else is being featured!
*Shae did not actually say this. Rose feels that she would most definitely have said it, though.