Meet the Blogger: Lisa from Way Too Fantasy
Good Morning and Happy Friday Eve!
We’re almost at the end of the workweek. You can do this!
After a brief hiatus, I’m happy to have a new interview for you guys! I’ve been making a lot of changes lately with my website and newsletter, and a new job on top of that, but I’m adjusting enough to start these up again.
This time around I’m having a digital sit down with Lisa from Way Too Fantasy, blogger of speculative fiction and more.
We quickly became friends on here because of our love of similar reads, and it’s great to have her here as my guest!
Lisa (Way Too Fantasy)
My name is Lisa and I blog at Way Too Fantasy. I’ve been reading fantasy books for as long as I can remember. I live in Baltimore with my husband and three cats.
Hi Lisa, thanks so much for stopping by. To keep things interesting, I like to ask my interviewees a random question to get the blood flowing. Here’s yours!
You unearth a time machine in the ruins of an ancient civilization unknown to man. What era do you visit first and why?
Lisa: I’d probably go back to spy on my recent ancestors because I’m nosy like that. 😉 I’m highly curious about my great-grandparents and where they came from. Even though I have some records I’d like to know more. So probably the early 1900’s.
Jonny: Haha, I don’t blame you! I mean, the 20’s? Man, that style was rockin! I’d love to try and blend in and slick my hair back all suave like. Either that or my default of the 80’s. Great answer!
Lisa and the Blogging Process
How do you find inspiration to blog?
Lisa: It’s the community that keeps me inspired. I love making friends and getting to know other book lovers, sharing my thoughts on books with others and getting recommendations on what to read from other bloggers!
Jonny: I can’t agree with you more. At first I started blogging just to share my thoughts on books I read and because it felt like the right thing to do as a published author. However, it turned into so much more than that because of all the great supportive people in the community. Other writers and authors, cool bloggers like yourself, this community is amazing, hands down.
What kind of setting do you blog in most times?
Lisa: Sometimes I blog when I’m at work haha. I work in an office so often at lunch I’m working on my blog. I spend a lot of time on the weekends in the mornings working on my blog as well, usually in the living room at my house but if the weather is nice I’ll take my laptop out to my front porch for a while.
Jonny: Haha, I did that from time to time myself, I won’t lie! Nice, way to switch it up on the location of where you blog at!
I typically blog at certain intervals of the day. Before work, during lunch, after work, on the weekends. Though I typically blog from my desktop in my room, I plan on buying a new laptop sometime this year so I can write from wherever I want.
A desktop is nice, but mobility is important too so I don’t get bored of the scenery.
I always find it interesting how authors and bloggers alike lead multiple lives. What is your dayjob? Do you enjoy it?
Lisa: I work for a very small ecommerce business (there are half a dozen employees) so I spend my day answering customer’s questions, filling out spreadsheets with product information, updating our website, etc. The work itself is great. The company owner is a whole other story and honestly it’s not a great environment so I’m currently on the job hunt—someone hire me! LOL
Jonny: Oh wow, that’s very interesting. I used to work for a mom and pop propane business, and those four years were pretty great, although a family-run business has its own pros and cons as I’m sure you know. Good luck on the hunt!
I just moved jobs actually, but I do finance work for a legal firm. It can be stressful work, but the new place I’m with is super positive and supportive so far, so I’m very hopeful!
As a blogger, what kind of goals do you set for yourself? How do you achieve them?
Lisa: My biggest goal is just to stay ahead of things. I like to make sure I’m caught up on writing posts, review requests, etc. I achieve this by dedicating some time each week specifically to blogging. There are a plethora of reading goals I have but I’m failing at all of them this year because 2020.
Jonny: I hear you there! Sometimes it feels like blogging and real life stuff don’t mix very well, especially when you want to read everything like you and I do!
The health crisis we’re going through is definitely impacting our lives in weird ways. I find myself more busy than ever, even though I rarely leave my house. How did I ever get anything done before? Madness I tell you!
This is actually my best reading year ever, but then again I’m more isolated so it kinda makes sense. I also don’t really have any reading goals at the moment, just to read as many as I can without driving myself insane haha.
How long have you been blogging?
Lisa: For Way Too Fantasy I’ve been blogging consistently for almost three years, I think I started in November or December of 2017.
Jonny: Congrats! I’m in my second year of blogging and starting my website last year in April.
What genre is your favorite to read? Why?
Lisa: Obviously, it’s Fantasy LOL! Although lately I’ve been reading more Science Fiction as well–really I love all Speculative Fiction. I also love Romance and I’ve gone through Historical Fiction and Mystery phases.
Jonny: Lol true, it is in your name. I like that you’re branching out a bit with what you’re reading. In general I tend to read fantasy, scifi, horror, LGBT, and superhero stuff. I don’t usually go outside those lines, but sometimes it’s nice to change the scenery up a little bit.
What first inspired you to start blogging?
Lisa: I wanted to get better at writing reviews. Also several online friends were starting blogs and I had this blog laying around dormant from an earlier project so I thought I’d revive it. 😊
Jonny: Oh, nice! I’m glad you decided to breathe new life into your blog. 🙂
I mainly started my website because I self-published my first book, but from it my reviews have gotten a lot better and I’ve made so many great blogger and author friends along the way. Excited to make more as time goes on!
If you could give advice to new bloggers, what would you say?
Lisa: Figure out what your goal is with your blog. If you’re doing it to get ARCs then work towards getting your stats up. If you’re doing it to meet other bloggers than visit other blogs and comment on posts, join social media and follow bloggers there as well. Really it’s all about figuring out what you want to achieve with your blog and working towards that.
Also, I notice a lot of bloggers burn out after a year or two. I’ve seen so many great bloggers come and go even though I’ve only been doing this a few years myself. So be realistic with your schedule and the time you want to dedicate to blogging.
Jonny: Great advice! Establishing your why is probably the best thing you can do. For a while, I kind of got carried away with blogging then I had to sit down and think over what needed to change for me because blogging was taking too much time away from writing.
I mainly stick to the same types of posts nowadays, but it’s what works for me and I don’t burn out like I was doing last fall so I’m happy.
What do you find most challenging about blogging?
Lisa: The time commitment! Blogging is time consuming and sometimes you have other things going on, it can be hard to juggle this along with other things.
Jonny: Oh definitely! I will say it’s a smidgeon easier being stuck at home with everything, but that’s not a permanent fix. Sometimes I have to delay posts because I just don’t have enough time to write them, and I’ve come to terms with that. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and I’m not a robot.
When did you first consider yourself a blogger?
Lisa: Probably when I started getting comments. Also maybe the first time I got an ARC. I was like ‘I’ve made it!’ lol
Jonny: Haha, well that’s certainly a sign that you’re going in the right direction when first starting out. I would have to say the same thing. Once I started a dialogue with others and people started liking and commenting on my posts I felt like I was doing things right.
What is the hardest lesson you had to learn as a blogger?
Lisa: That I can’t read on a schedule! Even if it’s a book I’m really looking forward to, if I get an ARC and I have to read it on a timeline it sort of sucks all the fun out of it for me. At first I thought it would be awesome to get advanced copies of books—and it is—but it comes with a lot of pressure and it stresses me out. I only request ARCs a few times a year now.
Jonny: You’re not the only one! At first I did the same thing. I got ARC offers and accepted the ones I thought were interesting, but after a while I got stressed having to plan out my reads on a timeline and stopped doing it completely.
I just want to directly pick what I read and not feel any sort of pressure. I have started doing buddy reads in the past few months, which requires scheduling things out a bit, but it’s different because I get to pick out books with my reading buddies and we can both gush about it as we progress. It’s more casual and fun.
Fun Facts About Lisa
Could you tell us a couple fun facts about you?
Lisa: In addition to blogging I am a moderator of reddit’s r/fantasy community. I like to garden, I recently started embroidery, I used to paint and draw but I’m horribly out of practice. I have been known to write on occasion. I like to collect craft supplies and then not actually use them. I have over 2000 books in my house. I love cats!
Jonny: Oh wow, you are quite a busybody! We have a lot in common. I recently restarted cross stitch just to have something mindless I can do (though I rarely get any time to do it), I write all the time, and used to sketch but haven’t in eons. Oh, and I love kitties so much!
What’s your favorite place that you’ve travelled to?
Lisa: I love traveling and I wish I could do more of it—I’ve been on so many great trips with different friends and family over the years. I went to the White Mountains in New Hampshire with my husband and it was fantastic—so much lovely scenery! I’d love to go back one year but honestly I’d like to keep trying new places as well.
Jonny: Oh very nice! Yeah, I’ve been adamant the past five years or so about taking vacations, but in the past few years I’ve focused less on big cities and more on remote getaways like Branson and Hermann so I can write and be alone. Those kind of vacations are way more relaxing and really help recharge the batteries, at least in my opinion. I’m still in search of that small city that I simply can’t live without. Hopefully one day I’ll find it!
Are pineapples on pizza blasphemy or no?
Lisa: I like pineapple and ham pizza! But my favorite is pepperoni so I rarely order any other kind.
Jonny: It’s not for me personally because I’m weird about mixing sweet with savory, but I am adventurous I like to think. Bring on the taco pizza! Hope you brought some Doritos to crumble over the top!
If you could choose to be any supernatural creature, what would you be and why?
Lisa: A vampire. Sure the blood drinking would be awkward at first but I think being immortal would be worth it—more time to read.
Jonny: That’s such a great choice and my answer as well! We could totally be vampire historians of fiction! I’m all for this.
Who are your favorite writers?
Lisa: Well this has changed a lot in recent years… Melissa Caruso, Sarah Pinsker, Judith Merkle Riley, Stephanie Burgis, J. Kathleen Cheney, Alyssa Cole, Courtney Milan, R.F. Kuang, K.D. Edwards
Jonny: Oh wow, I don’t think I’ve heard of many of these. Looks like it’s GoodReads time! My recent faves have been TJ Klune, Martha Wells, and Tammie Painter. All very skilled and I can’t wait to read more from all of them.
What are you reading now?
Lisa: In my effort to read more Science Fiction, I just started The Expanse series by James S. A. Corey. I’m only a little way into Leviathan Wakes and enjoying it so far! I’m also reading a gaslamp fantasy by Martha Wells called Death of the Necromancer.
Jonny: Nice, it’s always fun to branch out a bit. Glad you’re enjoying it. I’m reading the 5th Murderbot book by Martha Wells right now. It’s really good so far and extremely rich in detail.
What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?
Lisa: The Ivory books by Doris Egan. It’s such a fun science fantasy series. They blend everything I love—humor, a touch of romance, far future science fiction, magic, fun world building, quirky characters, etc. They’re kind of pulpy but in the most fun way.
Jonny: Hmm, never heard of it. More GoodReads time!
Honestly, my reads are really random, and I don’t really think of others opinions too much, but let’s see … I really enjoyed Lyssa Chiavari’s Gale: A Scifi Novella, though its average is pretty low.
If you could take a vacation anywhere, where would you go?
Lisa: I’d like to go to Yellowstone National Park, it’s one of my dream vacations and hopefully I’ll get there some day.
Jonny: I bet it’s so beautiful there. I don’t blame you at all. Honestly, I’d like to go anywhere in beautiful wine country, so I can enjoy stunning scenery as I down local wines. Is there wine country in New England? I’d love to do that!
How would you conquer the world?
Lisa: I’m pretty lazy so I probably wouldn’t—it sounds like a lot of work.
Jonny: You do have a point. If it were easy, I would take it though. Like having super wind powers. Then anyone who annoys me I can just gust them over to a faraway island. See? No violence necessary and they can sip on Mai Tai’s while I’m enjoying my peace and quiet. Muahaha!
What has been your most bizarre life experience?
Lisa: Meeting authors and, sometimes, becoming friends with authors! If you would have told me 20 years ago that this would happen someday, I would have never believed it.
Jonny: Hey, it happened again! I’m an author. 😀
No, but seriously, I totally understand that. I went to a convention a couple years back and met all these cool authors. Their work was great and they’re my friends too. It’s nuts!
Alright, looks like our time’s up. One last question before we go! What were you like in high school?
Lisa: I was an awkward nerd who hovered on the edge of about a dozen different cliques without belonging to any of them.
Jonny: That’s cool. Cliques are lame anyways! In middle school I drifted between cliques, but in high school I was always the top tenor and had an army of choir friends wherever I went. Those four years were fun, but I was always a nerd underneath it all.
Thanks so much for joining us Lisa!
That’s a Wrap!
All righty book worms, that wraps up my interview with Lisa. I had a great time getting to know her better, and I hope you enjoyed the experience too!
If you’d like to learn more about Lisa and her blog, she can be reached at the social media links provided below.
Thank you for stopping by, and have a great day!
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