Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Meet the Panelists : Tirzah from The Compulsive Reader

One of my favorite things about being a panelist for the Cybils was getting to know my fellow panelists.  We bonded over plot likes and dislikes, cover critiques, and the joy of coming home to boxes of books.  In anticipation of the Cybils Awards announcement on February 14th, I thought you might like to get an inside look at the panel.  I'll be featuring one or two panelists a day through Saturday in a feature that I'm calling Meet the Panelists.

First up, I'd like to introduce you to Tirzah from The Compulsive Reader.  Tirzah was a fun addition to our group.  She's currently a student and she collects fairy tale retellings (as she put it, "even if they are the old, weird, no-one-has-ever-heard-them-before kind).

When did you start blogging and why?
I started blogging about 5 years ago on Xanga, but I didn't get serious about it until a year and a half ago when I switched to Blogger. At first, it was something mainly for my own amusement and a great way to hone my writing skills, but as my blog grew in popularity, I was able to get more serious about it and start working with authors and putting together features.
What are some of your favorite posts that you did?
Last July, I decided on a whim to devote the whole month to "Books That Suck "...vampire books! It was great fun, and I was surprised that I could get 30+ YA books about vampires. That month I also got a record amount of site traffic. It was tons of fun, but after Breaking Dawn came out, I was through with vamps for quite a while...
What was your favorite part about being a Cybils panelist?
Reading books I normally wouldn't have picked up. There was a TON of great books I either hadn't heard of, or hadn't been motivated to read that I got to experience, and it really made me broaden my horizons.
 What books are you looking forward to this year?
There's a LOT, but here are a few that come to mind: Crazy Beautiful by Lauren Baratz-Logsted, The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting, The Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink, The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
 Why do you blog about teen books?
First, because they were what I knew, and now I keep doing it because it's such a diverse and fun community to be a part of. The books are fantstic, and the authors are all amazing.
If you were a Cybils judge, which category would you like to judge?
Hm, probably either YA or Sci-Fi/Fantasy, as they are my favorite genres, and their shortlists are always fantastic!
Any advice for future panelists?
Um, use the database...I was totally that one person who hadn't updated her page, which made for some frustrating moments when we went back to determine the final shortlist. Other than that, don't worry about getting to absolutely every single book, because it may be impossible. Just get in as many as possible and be smart about organizing your time and reading list.
 Where is your favorite place to read?
 In the summer, I love to read out on my back deck--it's very sunny and peaceful.
Having read so many science fiction and fantasy books, do you have any suggestions for authors in those genres?
The more different, or odd, or weird, the better. Really. There are many standard sci-fi and fantasy books out there, but if you can create a completely weird or unique world/situation, and still manage to make it realistic to the reader, then you've done your job. Don't settle for a watered down version of someone else's world.
Thanks for chatting with us, Tirzah!


  1. What a fun idea; it's always nice getting to "know" other bloggers.

    I was thinking this morning that I'm getting really excited about the announcement on Saturday, and was wondering if I was the only one. Guess not.

  2. I can't believe I just saw this: Thanks Tirzah for listing The Body Finder as one of the books you're looking forward to in 2009! You made my day!!! :)

  3. Wow... Thanks so much, Tirzah, for adding Prophecy of the Sisters to your list! I'm honored, truly.

  4. Thank you so much, Tirzah, for the shout-out to Crazy Beautiful!

  5. Thanks Em for featuring me!

    And Kimberly, Michelle, and Lauren: I should be thanking you for writing some drool worthy books! I can't wait!

  6. Tirzah has great taste so I'll definitely be checking out her recommendations! :)


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