Interview with Champion Vlogger and Best Growing Blogger 2018 Winner Zoe Collins

Huge thanks to Zoe (www.nosaferplace.co.uk) for this brilliant interview with the YAShot Interns to help celebrate the UKYABA2019!

Do you have any stand-out moments or favourite memories from last year’s UKYA Blogger Awards?

I feel like winning two awards goes without saying; as those two moments were so overwhelming. Those aside, the stand out moment for me was being on my own panel with some of my best friends. I was incredibly nervous about doing them, and I felt like I had really conquered a goal when I did that.

The calibre of the bloggers and vloggers longlisted for each category was absolutely outstanding. How did it feel to win and has it changed anything for you?

Oh, the quality of bloggers and vloggers were phenomenal, and I was shocked at every stage that I was getting closer and closer to potentially winning. When my first award win was announced, I just completely broke down into tears. Bloggers and vloggers work so hard to make content, so a night that celebrates that is one I fully support. Winning hasn’t really changed much; but if I’m lacking motivation, or self-doubt creeps in, looking over at my bookcase and seeing those two awards makes me feel I’ve got this.

UKYABA is about celebrating the UKYA Book Blogging community as a whole. Did the Awards help you to discover new blogs and/or form any new friendships in the book-blogging community?

The awards introduced me to so many new blogs. I think it’s quite easy to stay in your little bubble of comfort when you’re a book blogger – but the awards really make you explore blogs that you maybe wouldn’t have without that push. As for friendships, I met a few people for the first time that I’d been speaking to for years, at the awards – and have seen them several times since!

How do the Awards relate to bigger discussions in the blogging community?

I think book bloggers in general get a lot of slack compared to other communities. We’re not recognised as much as other sectors, even though we do the same amount of work. So these awards really make members of the bookish community feel valued, and appreciated.

Finally, do you have any advice or tips for nominees attending the ceremony this year?

Just relax, and enjoy yourself! On the night, it’s not about winning or losing – it’s about being part of a community, and celebrating all the amazing achievements everyone has made in the past year.

 

Blog-specific questions

How long have you been blogging about books and what prompted you to start your blog? Is there a specific genre or type of book that you focus on?

I’ve been blogging for just over 3 years now. I started my blog because I read a book called The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon, and I needed the world to know my thoughts on it. I typed up my review, and shared it with the world – and have been addicted since. I predominately write about YA, but I do love crime and thrillers too.

Do you have a favourite type of blog post to write? Could you share with us what goes into these posts and why they’re your favourite?

Reviews are always my favourite to write. Some people don’t like writing with a structure, but it really helps my reviews. I usually scribble notes down beforehand, and bookmark quotes as I’m reading; these really help when I’m typing up and struggling to read my handwriting!

What is one of the hardest things about running a book blog that most people who read them might not be aware of?

Time. Finding time is always tricky. I try to put a lot of thought into my reviews, so sometimes they can take hours! I run a YA book subscription box now, and it’s so much harder to stay on top of a blog, as well as a YouTube. It’s definitely a juggling act.

Could you share a favourite memory of something you got to do or participate in because of your blog?

Besides UKYABA? I’d have to say my nosaferplace Book Club. I had some of my favourite authors choose books, and get involved with bookish chats on social media – it was absolutely incredible.

Is there one important tip you would give someone who is thinking about starting their own book blog?

Make sure your blog reflects you. It’s easy to see what works well for other bloggers and do it on your blog; but what works for one person, might not work for you. So just do you – and make sure it reflects your love of reading!

Thank you so much for having me!

 

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