[Armchair BEA] Day 1: Introduce Yourself

Hey guys!

So, being in the book community these days have been a little overwhelming because of Book Expo America, or BEA. It’s THE PLACE to go to for any book blogger, reviewer, author, or agent to go to, from what I gather. The hype on Twitter as well as blogging sites have made it seem irresistable to me, so how could I not feel a little envious?
Thank God that just yesterday, I came upon the jewel Armchair BEA. This sounds a bit cheesy, but I think that this is a great idea for the many bloggers like me who feel left out of the fun going on in New York (where BEA is)! I don’t have real life blogging friends either (nor many close online ones), so I’ve decided to step out of the zone and do a little more things I haven’t done before. Armchair BEA being one of them.

The hosts for this online conference have given some questions to anwer, so I’d love to share mine and read yours!

Tell us a bit about yourself:

How long have you been blogging?
I started this blog around spring of 2014, I believe. However, my friend and I (the co-blogger in the About Me page) weren’t really involved in the blogosphere. We usually just put up our own opinions and reviews and never tried to connect to other people.
However, in December 2014, I started picking up this blog. Now it’s just me running it, but I’m also starting to reach out to other bloggers. Reading is what gets me going through life, and I hope I can spread that love to other people.

Where are you from?
Florida! Land of sunshine and oranges and old people.

How did you get into blogging?
There’s actually a story behind that!
This blog came up the day that Jessica Brody, Jessica Khoury, Anna Banks, Christina Farley, and some other lady authors went to my high school and introduced their books.
You see, before that happened, I was a little disconnected with books. Although I spent my middle school career in the media center, when I entered high school and got inundated with classes, new friends, and a new environment, my book-reading teetered to a stop. When these super nice authors came to my school though, my interest got revamped and One Way Or An Author came to be.

What does diversity mean to you?
Diversity is my life. 
Not to be dramatic or anything, haha. I’m an ABC, or American Born Chinese – first generation. This makes diversity a major part of my life. I grew up reading about caucasian characters my age going through adventures in America. And while I love reading about my favorite wizard or demi-god, there has always been a feeling of discontent about the lack of representation in children/young adult literature.
Why aren’t there any Asian characters?
How come the main characters are always white?
If this book takes place in Egypt, where is the culture?
I’m not saying there aren’t books out there with non-white characters, but they’re never as exposed.
Fortunately, this has changed with awesome campaigns like We Need Diverse Books and more and more people realizing that there are WORLDS out there that literature has not explored yet.

What is your favorite genre and why?
Fantasy, hands down.
I read to escape from my life, and the amalgam of different worlds in fantasy books provide the kind of escape I’m looking for.

That’s it for me! If you leave a comment or link up your own introductory post, I would be happy to read it. Thanks for stopping by!
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20 thoughts on “[Armchair BEA] Day 1: Introduce Yourself

  1. readerbuzz says:

    Odd (oops! time for a little personal rant) but diversity isn’t always that diverse. I’m white (or so people would say who see me) but what does that mean? I don’t identify with anything about being white (and what is there really to identify with?) So it’s the rare book, even when I was first reading in the 60’s, that includes characters with which I identify, and just having a white face doesn’t do it.

    (stepping down…apologies) Let me start over…Welcome to Armchair BEA! Hope you have a great time!

    http://readerbuzz.blogspot.com/2015/05/armchair-bea.html

    • sourbamboo says:

      Thanks! And you’re totally right. Sorry my examples came out a little ignorant. Personally for me the representation of non-European cultures is an important part of diversity, but more importantly are the characterizations of the characters. For example, sexual orientation and mental illnesses are becoming popular in YA fiction. Thanks for being up your opinion and showing me another perspective!

  2. Juli Rahel says:

    That happened to me last year as well, where I saw all the hype around BEA got a bit jealous and discovered ABEA on the day it started! Loads of catching up to do but it was a lot of fun, so yaay that you’re joining in today! I also didn’t get into the social side of blogging for a long time but now I enjoy it a lot 🙂 Diversity is such an important topic and I’m really glad we’re discussing it so openly this year. Although I’m as white as it gets (Dutch/German), diversity has always been a big part of my decision in what to read! I’m loving all the ABEA fun 😀 Thanks for sharing! I’m following on Bloglovin’!
    My Intro and Library post
    Juli @ Universe in Words

    • sourbamboo says:

      As another commenter brought up, diversity isn’t all about ethnicity either. I enjoy the way YA authors are scoping out more towards characterizations such as mental illnesses and sexual orientation. I’ll follow back! Thanks for checking me out. 🙂

  3. louloureads says:

    I am definitely jealous of everybody who can go to BEA–I’m on the other side of the pond, so no chance that I will get to go (this year or any time soon). Really enjoying this remote version, though!

  4. Lindsey says:

    Welcome to ABEA! This is my third year as a blogger and sponsor. I totally agree with you about diversity. It would help so much if more children’s literature diverted from the norm.

  5. Suzi Q., The Book Dames says:

    I love your blog title! Ha! I love Florida, but we always joke about the driving and all the elderly. It is a dangerous place to drive! I live about thirteen miles away from Florida in Alabama.
    Happy ABEA week! I will see you around this week, I’m sure.

    • sourbamboo says:

      Thanks! I hope so too. Ah I totally agree with you about the driving though, people can go crazy in these roads haha. I hope you have a blast this week!

  6. Allison Bruning says:

    Hi. This is my second year doing ArmchairBEA. My goal is to attend the BEA conference in New York as an author and publisher. I started writing because I noticed there were many historical books with the Shawnee people but all the books were focused on the white perspective. I wanted to change that. I wanted readers to be able to read a Native American book from the Shawnee people’s perspective and I wanted to portray a story where the Shawnee were not depicted as blood thirsty killers. Calico (Children of the Shawnee: Book 1) was released in 2010. I’ve continued to write stories where the point of view is from a character most people haven’t heard from before. I really like changing the point of view that way. It adds a depth to historical fiction and makes reading history fun.

    BTW: I’m second generation American on my dad’s side. His parents were immigrants from Germany. My husband is Hispanic. His grandparents came from Mexico. I love cultural diversity.

  7. Joey @ thoughts and afterthoughts says:

    Diversity is a pretty fickle thing. I’m CBC (just swap the American in ABC to Canadian haha) and while I have often seen the marginalization in the Asian voice, it’s sometimes curious to me that so many who call for diversity don’t actually look for “diverse” texts outside of mainstream YA/Adult fiction. This doesn’t even discount fiction that’s written one’s native culture. Ahhh–I should stop before this gets too ranty haha.

    But definitely hello to you and best of luck on your studying endeavours!

    Cheers,
    Joey via. thoughts and afterthoughts

    • sourbamboo says:

      No no, you make really good points!
      The problem for me is while I bet there are TONS of “diverse” books outside of mainstream fiction, well, they get pushed out of the way in favor of the books that make top bestsellers’ lists and all. I can even admit to foregoing a multicultural book in favor of something that has numerous accolades yet cliche characterizations. (Sad but true.)
      Dude, if I could read Chinese or other languages, I would be devouring the books from those countries. Alas, ignorant American here. :’)

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