Bookbug’s Featured Blogger Series | Episode 7
Bookbug’s Featured Blogger series have hosted many talented and amazing bloggers so far. Today when I welcome this visitor, I’ve accomplished one of my goals for 2019. That is, to do an author interview!!
The visitor for the Seventh episode of the Featured Blogger Series is Marrissa Thomas. Her first book Awkward Honesty is coming out by Easter and she runs the blog itsrthomas
You can follow her on Twitter : Author_MAThomas
How would you describe the feeling of seeing your blog up and running? Tell us all about how it led to that moment.
My friend Liz, who works on a magazine, told me I needed a social media presence to launch my book (Even if I was intending to traditionally publish, which at the time I was) so I started stalking people online to see what they did and then begun creating my own platform. I have a WordPress blog, a website, Tumblr Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts. It’s all very new, only been live since late last year. I was uncomfortable in the early stages as it felt like I was sharing too much of myself with all these people who didn’t care, but I’ve come to realise that those who are in the industry are more interested than my own family and friends so that’s great, I am enjoying the support.
Being an author and a blogger, could you share how that experience is so far? How do you use both platforms?
I try to engage with other writers mostly, I look at their content, review their books and share their successes. When I do post my own content, it is limited to what I am experiencing. Books I’ve read; goods I’ve baked; drawings I’ve done. I don’t want to talk about the writing process or my publishing journey or how to set up an Ingram spark account. I don’t want to be a helpdesk. Haha. There is plenty of that out there. My platform is all about me, if people like that then I’ll keep them as followers.
Other than blogging, what are your interests?
I love spending time outdoors. Gentle hikes, gentle cardio. I’m not a fan of gyms, but I do enjoy using Aaptiv. It’s so fun for small work outs. If I’m going on a hike or a long drive somewhere solo, then I’ll listen to Audiobooks. Mostly I just work (Health intake services) take my kids to jiujitsu practice or play at home/at the bike park with them and our dogs. I enjoy drawing, and I try to also work on my current WIP every day but sometimes Netflix will win out on that battle. I’m saving heaps at the moment to go on a 3-week vacation to New Zealand at the end of the year so I’m not getting out much at all unless it’s an event in my Dad’s mobile coffee van. I help do farmers markets and festivals locally. I meet so many amazing artists selling beverages. It’s a great way to hone my character dialogue. Practising in real life.
Is there anything regarding blogging that worries you? If so, what is it?
I’m nervous that I will put something out there I will regret one day. I try not to use my Blog or social accounts like a diary. I am very aware that my future employers and fans can go back and look over all my posts so even though I am a creative, I’m not going to create anything that will jeopardise my future in health services or my career in writing.
How do you find the blogging community in general?
Everyone I’ve connected with has been awesome. Some people are better at sales. Haha. I have purchased way too many books already since Christmas. I only buy ebooks now as I am trying to become more minimalist in my endeavours.
Reduce, Reuse and Recycle is the main mantra in my house. Practise Kindness Daily is a close second.
Your favourite book. Why is it your favourite?
For the longest time I was a Bridget Jones’ Diary fan. I wanted to be her when I was 13 and reading that book. The first paragraph of my debut novel is almost entirely devoted to gushing over that book. A lot of people don’t realise it’s actually a modern-day retelling of Pride and Prejudice which is another favourite of mine.
What are your goals for 2019?
I’ve given you my vision board. I have this over the clock in my loungeroom so I have to think about it constantly.
Do you have any go-to authors? Name three. Why?
Markus Zusak is my up-and-coming Australian writer to watch. I’ve liked everything so far. I only found out about him because of the movie reproduction of his work ‘The Book Thief’ I enjoy being able to read books and share them with my thirteen-year old and his works are perfect for that.
Charlaine Harris is my long-time favourite writer. I own everything she has written (Thank you Booktopia) Even now, her newest series Gunnie Rose is looking to be spectacular and she’s been churning out books for decades. Her overall world building is similar in each story set but it’s a style that is comfortable and easy to pick back up when life interrupts your reading time.
My favourite Australian author is Nikki Gemmell. I first discovered her when The Bride Stripped Bare was still being produced as Anonymous but I’m glad she found the confidence to write under her own brand soon thereafter. I love her candid telling style, I am endeavouring to recreate it in my own book series as it is something that all humans struggle with. Being truthful to themselves and to others.
Share your WIP. When is it expected to come out? What all things should we expect from the book?
My first book Awkward Honesty will be available this Easter. It follows the life of a teenage girl as she navigates growing into herself. I basically take every amusing, awful, uncomfortable, exhilarating and adolescent moment I’ve ever experienced or that my friends have every experienced and roll it all up into this journal style ride. I want readers to be able to take these situations to adults and talk about them, gain new perspective and work out how to make better choices for themselves.
As a blogger what would be your message to a person who visits your blog?
I would hope that the main take-away from my blog and my work is that how we interact with others and the choices we make can be impactful long-term and you need to exercise foresight in all your interactions. I want to help adolescents learn from the mistakes of those who came before them and discover how to navigate their emotions and find purpose and meaning to life a bit earlier than the rest of us. There are probably quite a few adults out there searching for this as well still and hopefully my musings online and reading my book series is an entertaining way to help them do it.