Guest Feature #6|Meet the Blogger: Laura, of The Book Corps!

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Hey you, thank you for taking time out to read this post because today on the blog you get to meet a blogger! First and foremost welcome to my Guest Feature Series! It’s super exciting doing this, I may not be *a huge blogger* but I do have a presence in the online community, well because of the love many of you give to me daily. and I intend to make use of it by also giving back the love to the community, by shining the light on as many bloggers as I can, because most of us deserve it and also you know make a stand on marginalization—fighting for what’s right. 

Meet the Blogger 2.0

Laura

Meet Laura, she is the blogger behind The Book Corps

Q & A

1. Hello Laura, please introduce yourself and tell us about your blog?

Hello! My name is Laura and I’m the blogger behind thebookcorps! I’ve been blogging for just over two years now, and my blog mainly features LGBTQ+ fiction, including YA, NA and Adult books. I mainly write reviews, but I have written a few discussion posts too.  

2. What was the deciding factor that made you go “Yes I am doing this, I’m starting my own blog!” ? Are you passionate about what you post on your blog?

I’m very passionate about my blog! It’s the best thing I’ve ever done. I originally started my blog because I wanted to create a portfolio of my work for future employers, as I hope to work in the publishing industry one day. But then I fell in love with writing reviews and discussions posts, and talking to the amazing people I’ve met in the book community, and my blog has since evolved from its original purpose!

3. How would you describe your blogging style and persona? How meticulous are you, when it comes to the conceptualization up to the execution of your ideas?

I think my blogging style and persona is quite casual. I go through a phase every few months where I think my blog isn’t good enough and I redo it completely, but I’ve since come to understand that no one person’s blog is better than another’s, and they’re all unique, so we should all be proud of our blogs! My blogging style definitely changes, but I like to think my persona remains the same: I’m always upbeat, and fangirling about a book!

4. What do you want and hope your readers to take from the content you share?   

I definitely want my readers to understand the importance of publishing and reading diverse fiction, especially #ownvoices. I read and review a lot of queer fiction and books by and about marginalised people, but there’s still a large gap between the amount of diverse books published versus the amount of books that are published by straight, cis, white people. Take a look at Alice Oseman’s kickstarter for her Heartstopper comic (m/m webcomic) that was fully funded in just 2 hours! There’s definitely a market for diverse books but very few publishers are acquiring and publishing these books! There’s been an increase in diverse novels in the past few years, but nowhere near as many as there should be.

5. What is your blogging mojo? How do you stay inspired and motivated to continue running your blog?

I’m not going to lie: sometimes it’s hard to stay motivated to blog. Earlier this year, I had to take a small hiatus from blogging, due to personal issues and university commitments. But sometimes it’s important to take a mental health break! It’s no good to overwork yourself – in fact, taking time out gives you enough time to creatively refuel. Finding a good balance between downtime and posting is really important. I set myself a weekly schedule of posts – at least three a week. But this is completely dependent on the type of writer and worker you are. The main way I stay motivated is by writing about things I’m passionate about: reviews for queer fiction as well as important discussion posts that relate to the publishing industry.  

6. What is your long-term goal/plan for your blog?

I would absolutely love if I could receive some kind of monetary award from my blog, although that’s not something I’m actively working towards at the moment. I would love to work with more publishers to promote queer fiction, especially #ownvoices. I also want to reach 5000 views/unique visitors for my blog per month – which I’m slowly getting to!

7. Who is your favourite marginalized main character? It doesn’t have to be from a book, it could also be from a movie, tv series, games, comics etc. Why is this character your favourite? Marginalization is the process whereby something or someone is pushed to the edge of a group and accorded lesser importance. This is predominantly a social phenomenon by which a minority or sub-group is excluded, and their needs or desires ignored. A marginalized person can be people of colour, the disabled, mentally ill, the lgbt+ community etc.

My favourite marginalised character is Evelyn Hugo from The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Evelyn is a Cuban bisexual woman who falls in love with a lesbian woman in the novel. Evelyn is an incredible character: she is fiercely ambitious, brave, unrepentant, and so very empowering. The reason I love her so damn much is because she is unapologetically bisexual. Many people in her life try to invalidate and demonise this part of her – even the love of her life. This is something so many of us bisexual people have experienced in our lives: the comments from both straight and queer people alike – ‘You’re not gay, you’re straight’ or, ‘You’re not straight, you’re gay.’ No. I’m bisexual. This is not an either/or situation and you cannot fit me into a little box and label me how you see fit. No one has the right to tell you how you should identify – and that is something Evelyn is fiercely passionate about, and something she states multiple times in the novel when people mislabel her sexuality.

8. It is important that marginalized people are given platforms to shine and bring awareness to their movements and plights. If you believe so, why is it important to you?

I agree 100%. Without marginalised writers and bloggers to bring awareness to issues, the publishing industry wouldn’t have progressed as much as it has today. While there is undoubtedly a massive area for improvement, without marginalised bloggers with powerful platforms, I don’t think books like THUG, The Belles, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue or Of Fire and Stars would have been given the chance they did today – which is egregiously unfair, but I also think we have to give credit to the amazing marginalised bloggers and readers who helped bring this community so far. They’re doing amazing work (some would say they shouldn’t have to, there should already be fairness and equality in publishing), and they deserve recognition.

9. It is crucial that in whatever we do, we should always strive for both equity & equality, what advice can you part with, when it comes to using our platforms to give a voice to the marginalized?

Boost marginalised readers and reviewers! The publishing industry is definitely making strives towards more diverse novels, but a lot of the time, many books seem to get it wrong. So many marginalised bloggers bring to light the issues in novels and we need to be supporting them. As a white reader and reviewer, I would never engage in a discussion around representation of race in a novel (that’s out of my lane: I don’t have the right to say if racial representation in a novel is good or bad), but I 100% boost reviewers of colour, primarily by retweeting their threads on Twitter and supporting their blogs. I think that’s the best way to show support to marginalised bloggers and writers – by listening to them.

10. Last but not the least, what’s your take on the blogging communities? What has been your experience within the community?

I’ve been incredibly lucky to have had a great experience in the blogging community. I’ve found an amazing group of blogging friends, who are all amazing and supportive. I definitely think there’s room for improvement: I’ve seen a few arguments here and there, and some people who refuse to listen to marginalised people. That being said, no community is wholly perfect, but I do think we’re getting there! I’ve definitely had an amazing experience in this community. I’d like to take this moment to boost my amazing friends and their blogs, if that’s ok!

Nadwa @ Painfully Fictional (she’s on hiatus at the moment, but occasionally pops back in to post reviews); Silvia @ Silvia Reads Books; Rae @ Bookmark Chronicles; Steffy @ Little Booky Nook; Becca @ Bec and Bones; Shan @ Little Irish Bookcat; Sakhile @ Sakhile Whispers; Ash @ Wild Heart Reads.

Posts
I’ve been subscribed to Laura’s blog for a while now, I might not see all her posts, because of the hundreds of blogs I’m subscribed to via WordPress Reader, but I do read most posts, even if I don’t comment on all (commenting gives me apprehension sometimes) These are some of the wonderful content she writes.

If you like that, try these … The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Welcome to If you like that, try these … my weekly post series where I share book (and sometimes movie or TV show) recommendations based on a book I’ve read. A new post comes…

Hating on YA: Adults Reading Young Adult Fiction

The Grapes of Wrath,” I say, or, “Animal Farm.” I watch as they nod their head knowledgeably and remark, “Oh, such fascinating symbolism, do you remember when …” and then I put on a strained smile, all the while pretending that I have read either of those books…

A Guide to Bingeable “Kids” Cartoon Shows

What I mean by this is that there is often complex and mature themes and ideas hidden in shows that are often viewed as children’s cartoons. These subtle adult themes are what…

Social

You can find Laura on the Social Media sites, listed below, clicking on the various names, will lead you to her account.

Twitter • Pinterest • Goodreads • Instagram

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You also can be featured, so everyone can also see your thoughts, I’m too lazy to change the questions right now, but I just might in future, but I’m still taking on people who want to be featured. This series I hope can go on until December. Here’s the link to all the information you need to know —> PSA: Sign Up for my Guest Feature Post

Thank you

Lara Kareem

6 thoughts on “Guest Feature #6|Meet the Blogger: Laura, of The Book Corps!

  1. Reblogged this on thebookcorps and commented:
    Please check out my feature with the amazing Lara over on her blog! Lara and I discuss the importance of publishing diversely, why we should support marginalised authors and reviewers, and more!

    Thank you for thinking of me, Lara! 😘

    Like

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