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This month’s featured book blogger is Ashley Evans from Nose Graze. You may know Ashley as the code master behind the amazing Ultimate Book Blogger Plugin. She also designs WordPress themes (some of them specifically for book bloggers) and offers boutique web hosting to the blogging community. Ashely’s motto is “make WordPress your bitch,” which pretty much sums up her can-do attitude!
Welcome, Ashley! First of all, tell us a little bit about yourself. What are some of your interests outside of blogging?
Is reading too obvious? 😀
Other than that, it boils down to:
- Coding (I love creating plugins and themes!)
- Weightlifting (this is a more recent interest, but I’m hooked now!)
- Sometimes video games (my interest comes and goes)
Give us some insight into your psyche. What is your Myers-Briggs type?
I just took a free test so I’m not sure how much it’s like the real thing, but I got INFP-T. This description is soooo me though:
While they may be perceived as calm, reserved, or even shy, Mediators have an inner flame and passion that can truly shine. Comprising just 4% of the population, the risk of feeling misunderstood is unfortunately high for the Mediator personality type – but when they find like-minded people to spend their time with, the harmony they feel will be a fountain of joy and inspiration.
Around people I don’t know, I’m quiet, shy, and I’m not the first person to start a conversation. I usually get a very bad case of “I don’t fit in”. But put me in a room full of my friends (people I know and like), and I come alive. I can actually appear like an extrovert when this happens.
How did you discover the blogging world and what made you decide to start a blog of your own?
My book blog wasn’t my first one. Before that, I also had a relationship blog (with zero readers, hah) and a web design blog.
I started my book blog when I was desperately hunting for book recommendations. I used to have the hardest time finding new books to read. I loved reading, but never knew what to read next.
I think I stumbled upon book blogs during my crazy search for recommendations. I’d never thought of book blogging before and thought it was the coolest thing! I saw it as a great way for me to keep track of which books I read and what I thought of them.
[bctt tweet=”Q&A with #BookBlogger Ashley Evans from @NoseGraze | @parchmentgirl37″ via=”no”]
You’re known in the book blogging community for your Ultimate Book Blogger Plugin and stylish WordPress themes. How did you transition from hobby blogger to professional?
It was a very slow, subtle change. Even now, the line is so blurry because my “professional career” is so deeply entwined with my hobby/passion. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that I’m supposed to be a professional.
The thing that started it all was the Ultimate Book Blogger plugin. I created the plugin (or a similar version of it) for myself – to make my own blog easier to manage. I thought other people might enjoy the features and decided to sell it.
At the time, I was still in university. By the time I graduated, I was making enough money from sales and services to go straight into building my business full time.
As a WordPress expert, what is one tip, trick, or fact you wish all bloggers knew, but most don’t?
Well I’m not sure this is a tip or a trick, but it is a pet peeve of mine:
Keep your WordPress installation, plugins, and themes updated. And delete any things you’re not using.
I’ve logged into a lot of client sites because of my business, and you’d be amazed at how many people have plugins installed they’re not using (and the menu items really clutter the admin area), or how many people haven’t updated anything in months.
One of the #1 ways to get your site hacked is by not doing your updates.
I hate it when people ask me what my favorite book is–such an impossible question! So give us your top five…or ten.
This changes all the time, but here are my current two favourites:
Do not let the covers turn you away! They’re funky and look like cheesy soap operas, but the books are INCREDIBLE! I’m determined to have the entire YA fantasy book blogging community devour these books! I even wrote an entire post about how much the Tairen Soul series destroyed me.
Time for some either/or…
Mac or PC? PC! I was raised a Mac girl but converted to PC. And not just any PC – custom built PCs.
Coffee or tea? Coffee, but I can only drink lattes and with some sugar free hazelnut syrup!
Flying or invisibility? Flying, 100%!
Historical or dystopian? Dystopian.
Long epics or short novellas? Long epics. I can’t read novellas at all. There’s not enough time for me to get invested.
If you could live in any country for a year, where would you go?
Tough! I don’t have a specific place in mind, but I have two types of places in mind: either a remote countryside house, maybe somewhere in Scotland; or some kind of beachy place.
Name two famous people, living or dead, you would most like to meet and why.
This is going to sound awful, but – no one. When I’m with people I don’t know or have never met, I’m boring. I suck at starting conversation, I’m not really the type to ask questions or want to get answers, etc.
So if I had to choose, I’d probably pick people I know from Twitter or blogging that I talk to often and may not be awkward around, so we could just hang out and have fun.
If you could pick three books you think everyone should read, what would they be and why?
See my list of favourites! 😀
First read The Winter King by C.L. Wilson because it’s a standalone (well there will be more books, but they’re more like companion books that follow different characters). The Winter King has one of those all-consuming, earth shattering romances. The kind that destroys you.
If you read and love The Winter King, then move onto the Tairen Soul series also by C.L. Wilson. I suggest this one after because it’s a five book series. But if you love The Winter King then I think you’re guaranteed to love Tairen Soul!
Lightning round! Name your favorite…
Song: Changes a lot, but maybe “Ex’s & Oh’s” by Elle King (it’s one of my “get powered up” workout songs!)
Movie: Maybe Frozen <3
TV show: Outlander, Prison Break, Spartacus, Person of Interest (one does not simply pick one TV show)
Comfort food: Nando’s
Celebrity crush: I have a girl crush on Sameen Shaw from Person of Interest (the actual character)