27 February 2012

Blogging Mentor Mondays: Kelley is Between the Bookends

Kelley Gerschke of Between the Bookends is pulling double duty today. Not only is she recovering from running a half marathon yesterday (go, Kelley, go!) she's our Blogging Mentor. Impressive, is she not? Welcome, Kelley!

Well hello there! I thought the picture of that huge ice cream cone would get your attention. Feel free to grab the bowl sitting on the table and we'll have a little chat. :)

First, thank you Emily for having me! I love Blogging Mentor Mondays and I can't believe I'm actually featured. *Looks around nervously* I am supposed to be here, right?

You're definitely in the right place. Tell us, when and why did you start your blog? 
I started writing *checks blog for dates* on July 18th, 2011. So not too long ago considering. I launched my blog because I just typed 'the end' for my first manuscript and thought, that was fun. Now what? After doing a bit of research I realized that if I wanted to make a go out of being a published writer I had A LOT of learning to do. I needed to dive into the writing community and make those important connections so I created a blog as a home base.

What advice can you give to bloggers who are building their following? 
Hmmm...well if you're going for numbers, mega tons of followers, I might not be the best person to answer this question. I think the important thing to figure out is why you want followers. Do you want them so if an agent looks at your blog they will say, 'Holy crap! This person has a kick a** manuscript and 10,000 followers!' and you don't really mind whether the followers are still interested in your blog? You just need the numbers?

Or do you want followers to have a community? A support system. If you're going for the 'community feel' I think it works exactly how 'real life' works. People will care about you if you care about them. Comment on others' blogs. Join bloghops and cheer on those who are also in it. Enter contests and follow those bloggers who leave great constructive criticism on your entry.

I will not say I am super wonderful at this, but I try my best. 

Our best is all any of us can do. : ) So, what is your most memorable blogging experience? 
Oh geez...I guess it would have to be my 100 followers blog contest. I gave away 50 page critiques to ANYONE who wanted one. Looking back on it, I was nuts, but it was so worth it. I had the chance to read about ten amazing manuscripts. I really wished I had time to finish them, but I had my critique partners' work flowing in as well as my manuscript to work on. Why isn't there more time??? Haha.

But, it was so much fun that I will do something similar when I reach 200 followers. Might have to be a contest though. A lottery or something for the winners :)

How generous of you! I think I can guess, but I have to ask: What is the top reason you blog today?
Relationships. Hands down. The support in the online writing community is phenomenal and I wouldn't be as sure about my future as a writer without it. I love you guys!!

Aww! Do you love us enough to share your ice cream cone? : ) 
Okay, here's your random question: If you could travel anywhere in the world to research a book, where would you go? 
Well, currently the book I am writing takes place in Arizona and has a lot to do with space. But space isn't in this world. :) I took a trip to Ireland this past summer and visited the Trinity College Library which holds The Book of Kells. This library was like that in Beauty and the Beast. The smell and feel and look just made me want to sprint (quietly of course, we're in a library) to the nearest couch and curl up with a book. 

Of course I've already been there so I would also like to go somewhere I haven't been. I think I'd like to visit an African country. I know that is very broad but really, I'm not picky ;)

Ireland would be lovely, and Africa is a fantastic choice. I want to go to South Africa to see the Great White Sharks "fly." But my trip would be purely for pleasure.

Thanks again for having me Emily! This was so much fun!

Thank you for mentoring us, Kelley! I'm craving ice cream now...


Cristina said...

great interview. Love Kelley and I was one of the lucky people who had 50 pages crit by her, and Kelley was AMAZING! and so generous :)

Kyra Lennon said...

I adore Kelley, she is so sweet and supportive!

Brinda said...

I can't believe you gave away critiques to anyone who wanted one. WOW!

ladonna watkins said...

Great interview. And 50 page critiques that is amazing.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

A community of good blogger buddies is far more valuable than a huge following. I don't worry about my follower count as much as the comments, because those are the people I'm interacting with.

Morgan said...

"That was fun. Now what?" <---LOL! That's so Kelley. It's like, "There's a half marathon? Sure, I'll run it." ;)

Both you guys (Emily and Kelley) rock. Your blogs have become fast favorite's for me ;)

Meredith said...

I need to go to that library in Ireland! That sounds incredible. Such a fun interview! I'm going to check out Kelley's blog now. :)

L.G.Smith said...

I don't worry about my follower count either. I'm much more interested in the connections with the people I interact with.

And giving away fifty page critiques is brilliant! Except for the no limit part. Gotta cap it at no more than three maybe. :))

Cassie Mae said...

You are amazing Kelley! When you come to Arizona, you come and see me yes?

Angela Cothran said...

Oh I just LOVE Kelley :) I can say (because she let me read her MS) that she is a wonderful writer!!!

Jordan McMakin said...

I'd love to go to Ireland, too. Wow, 50 critiques! That is so nice! Great interview to you both.

Shiela Calderón Blankemeier said...

Wonderful interview! And thanks for introducting a fellow fledging writer. You both do a great job building community :)

Samantha said...

Great interview! Going to follow her right now :)

Donna K. Weaver said...

Some great suggestions there. I love the interaction and connection I feel with my regular commentors, and I miss it when I don't blog as often.

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

I have always been terrified of great white sharks. I don't think I could go anywhere near the water in South Africa. It just seems too dangerous. Like...I'm talking an unreal almost shark phobia/panic-inducing fear of them.

Melodie Wright said...

Hi Kelley! *waves* Great interview, ladies!

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Thanks for the great interview. I'm duly impressed at the free critiques to mark 100 followers, and to speed you on your way to 200 followers, (and some more free critiques) I'm gonna have to visit your blog and sign on as a new follower. (So, there!)

Leigh Covington said...

Yes! I'm totally craving ice cream now.I'm thinking pralines and cream. MMMM!

And Kelley is wonderful. Honestly- she is one of my favorite bloggers because you really do build a relationship with her. I learn from her every day and I love it!

Great blogging mentor monday, Em! You've done it again! I love it!

Jessie Humphries said...

I was one of those lucky duckies who Kelly critiqued. She is way generous, and I am proud to be her blogging friend!

Carrie Butler said...

Love for the writing community AND ice cream? Great interview! :D

elizabeth seckman said...

Kelly, you are all that and then some!

Tara Tyler said...

sweets for a sweetie =)
thanks emily for letting us get to know kelley better =)

M Pax said...

I'd like to travel to space, too, Kelly :) Blogging is about community and support.

tfwalsh said...

Great blogging advice... thanks for sharing.

Nancy said...

Ireland-all the way for me. Checking out your blog now.

Alleged Author said...

I do love her statement on understanding "why" you want followers. I love the whole idea of a support system like all of us have. I think it makes writing "easier."

Medeia Sharif said...

This was a great interview, ladies. Kelley sounds like an awesome blogger.

I think the blogging community is amazing, and it helps to have people like Kelley in it. :)

Lara Schiffbauer said...

Lovely interview! I love reading your posts. They definitely have that friendly feel, and keeps me coming back for more! :)

Emily R. King said...

Thanks for all of your comments! These interviews are a ton of fun, especially with great bloggers like Kelley.

She's such a doll. I bet she's eating a lot of ice cream after her half marathon. I would!

Mmm, pralines. :P

Carol Kilgore said...

Great interview. Now I want ice cream.

Lynda R Young said...

Great interview. I had a giggle at the part about building numbers for the blog.

Stacy S. Jensen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stacy S. Jensen said...

You had me at ice cream! Wow that was a generous giveaway. Good luck with the marathon recovery and organizing a trip to Africa. I traveled there, gosh, now almost six years ago, and would go back in a heartbeat. I visited South Africa, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Kenya. I would say trip of a lifetime, but I hope there are more trips during this life.

Neurotic Workaholic said...

Great interview! I especially liked the part about how she made the distinction between bloggers who want followers so they can impress agents with how many they have and bloggers who want followers because it means they can be part of a community and have a support system. I've encountered a few bloggers in the past who definitely care more about numbers; the kind who will leave comments like "I'll follow you if you follow me." And if someone was only going to follow me for THAT reason, it wouldn't be as much fun to blog, because it would make me think that they weren't even reading my posts.

Peggy Eddleman said...

Loved this interview! You guys both rock. And I totally agree with the followers thing. Numbers for numbers sake isn't any fun at all. It's the relationships that count!

Kelley said...

Thanks everyone for such wonderful comments!!

I'm done with vacation now :( but it was so great to come back to all this lovin' :)

And thanks again SO MUCH Emily for having me!!!

Hope Roberson said...

Wonderful interview ladies! I love learning these tid bits :)

Jenny S. Morris said...

Yay Kelley!! Great interview. And I'm jealous I want to go to Ireland. And I'm with you on Africa.

QueendSheena said...

This interview was so nice and informative. Kelley is a sweet person and has commented on my own blog several times. Between the Bookends is an awesome blog and I wish Kelley all the best.

I also wish her interviewer Emily the best too.

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