Thursday, April 9, 2009

Binoculars! Ink and Paper's Jo Stapley

Welcome everyone to the first installment of Binoculars!

Jo Stapley of Ink and Paper has graciously done an interview with me for this piece. Jo hails from London, UK and writes an incredible blog full of fantasy book reviews, several weekly memes, and her very own weekly piece called Belle's Library "which shines the spotlight on beautiful libraries across the world - ones that inspire great awe and make you catch your breath when seeing them, like the one Belle received." Read on, you won't be disappointed by your binocular view into the world of Jo! Let's get started, shall we?

IHM: What is your blog about?

Jo: My main focus on Ink and Paper is fantasy, whether it’s high fantasy, urban fantasy, or paranormal romance, for YA or adult. Every now and then a review of a book from another genre may creep in if I’ve been recommended a book, or it’s something I have to read for class, but otherwise, it’s fantasy.

IHM: How often do you blog?

Jo: I pretty much blog daily, though every now and again I won’t post anything. I tend to find things to say every day, more often than not posting several times. Blogging is addictive; I enjoy discussing things with the people who visit and post to talk some more. It’s fun!

IHM: Do you post questions for your readers to answer?

Jo: I don’t post to specifically ask questions, but on my non-review posts, I tend to ask the reader’s opinion on what I’ve discussed, or something that links. For instance, I wrote a post a few weeks ago about how my Dad thought it was wrong to give away books on Book Mooch, and discussed my personal idiosyncrasies when it comes to books, then asked for readers to share theirs.

IHM:Why should we read your blog?

Jo: Oh, this is tough! There are so many other great blogs out there, I think mine probably pales into insignificance in comparison.

If you like reading fantasy, I’d say come check out my blog. Other than the reviews, I do post fantasy related posts, such as 10 Top Male Characters in Fantasy Novels, the same for female characters, and Redheads in Fantasy. If you like discussing different aspects of fantasy, then come have a look. Also, I’m a pretty friendly girl, and all my posts are informal and easy to read. And I would love to hear from you!

IHM: What made you want to start blogging?

Jo: When I first started blogging just before Christmas last year, I didn’t realise I was book blogging exactly. I didn’t know book blogs existed, I just wanted somewhere to discuss books as I was getting more into urban fantasy and my usual book buddy – my Dad – isn’t a fan. I also wanted a place to talk about reading in general, and about the writing I did in my few creative writing classes at uni.

But once I discovered Book Blogs on Ning, it all changed! I realised there were a lot of people out there blogging about books, and there were posts to make your blog better. My blog improved, my reviews improved, I became a more confident blogger, and the visitors increased! I love it now, it’s awesome!

IHM:What is your favorite blog?

Jo: Ohh! There are quite a few book blogs I follow, but I have two favourites. The Story Siren run by Kristi, because it’s such a friendly, happy blog, and the reviews are awesome, and Confessions of a Convicted Bibliophile run by Bella, because of the great reviews and the cool book discussions. Plus both ladies are lovely!

IHM: Now, a little about yourself...What are your hobbies?

Jo: Other than reading and blogging, I like trying my hand at making cards and jewellery. Every now and then I try sewing, but that never lasts very long. I like playing point and click computer games, such as the Monkey Island and Simon the Sorcerer games. Mum and I have a monthly cinema trip for just us, and I love going to the pub with the whole family. I’m pretty big on music, and love going to small gigs, though I haven’t been to one in forever!

IHM: What is your favorite book of all time?

Jo: That’s hard. There are so many books that I love! But I think I’ll have to say the book that really got me into reading, which was Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings, the first in the Belgariad series, a high fantasy story. The characters in it are just amazing!

IHM: Which would you rather have living next door: a vampire, a zombie, a werewolf, or a ghost? and Why?

Jo:Probably a vampire, because they tend to be sexy in a lot of urban fantasies, like Bones in the Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost. However, if you said werecat instead of werewolf, I would have trouble picking. There are several male characters in Rachel Vincent’s Stray that are pretty damn cool.

IHM:If you were going to write a book, what would it be about?

Jo: I had a dream not that long ago about guardian angels. It was pretty cool, and have always thought I should trying writing it down and seeing where it took me, but I’m just not really much of a writer; I don’t have the patience, and I’m such a procrastinator.

IHM:If you could live the life of any fictional character, whose would it be?

Jo: I wouldn’t mind being Raine Benares from Lisa Shearin’s Magic Lost, Trouble Found, a high fantasy. The pick of two hot guys? What girl wouldn’t want that?!

Thank you Jo, for being so open and honest with us and so willing to participate in Binoculars! I am very honored to have you as my first interviewee!

Check out Jo's awesome fantasy book reviews at

Connect with Jo at Myspace and Twitter.


Jo said...

Thanks for interviewing me! I really enjoyed it! :)

The Story Siren said...

Awesome interview! I loved getting to know more about Jo! And thanks for the shout out as well!