Welcome to the return of the Friday feature. First one for 2019 and I have a nerdy lady all the way from New Jersey for you to get to know !!
Get To Know Your Blogger
Pleased to introduce to you guys for this Friday Feature Blogger Amanda from Nerdification Reviews. I first discovered Amanda through Instagram and her wonderful nerdy site. Amanda has a massive love in pop culture specifically anime, manga, K dramas, video games and books. Like most of us bloggers Amanda created her site to speak her thoughts on the things she loves, you can see this in her reviews in particular. On the side Amanda loves to write stories and fan fiction from her ever-growing passion for stories in general.
There is nothing not pop culture you will not find on Amanda’s site and also her instagram, where she posts books reviews and all that nerdy goodness!!
Posts To Check Out:
Strong Female Comics – A top ten lists of recommended comics with strong female protagonists
Shinobi Life Manga Series Review – All of Amanda’s manga reviews are well laid out but this particular ones described well the love story and use of intertwined time travel. How it gave the story a uplift.
Lita: It’s a pleasure to have you on the Friday Feature Amanda. You’re the first person outside of wordpress I’m interviewing. I happen to discover you on instagram start of this year and your blog name was very appealing to the eye, Nerdification Reviews. What made you first venture into starting up a blog for yourself? Any influences or inspirations that made you want to?
Thanks so much for having me on Friday Feature! Especially since I’m blogging outside of WordPress. I sometimes feel like my blog lacks that community feel. I’m currently using Wix, which made website design fun, but most of my reader interaction comes through different sources like instagram, My Anime List, or Goodreads.
Originally my blog Nerdification Reviews was documenting my own “Nerdification”. I was working my first full time job and suddenly had money to spend on my nerdy hobbies. I joked with a friend of mine that I was undergoing the nerdification process into my true form — and that’s where the name comes from. Some inspirations were youtube reviewers Whimsical Pictures, Gigguk, & Jean Bookishthoughts. I like the way their own personal tastes come through in their reviews.
I’ve always been a person who looks at reviews before investing my time or money into something, but I was having a hard time finding reviews for certain things I was interested in & thought maybe I could fill that gap for other people. Flash forward to today, I still try to make reviews a big part of the blog. But I also find I’m now more-so interested in writing up long form posts breaking down some really great aspects of the stories I enjoyed.
Lita: Nerdification Reviews certainly covers all your varied interests Amanda anime, manga, books, K dramas. Where did your interest begin with each of your interests? What are some favourites that you hold close to you and have significant meaning? Feel free to share any funny or childhood stories because us all nerds have one.
My nerdy interests are rooted in the fantasy genre. I remember the year I got the Lord of the Rings Extended DVD set for Christmas. I wanted to watch them right away & in the best possible quality so I put a big blanket over the dining room table, to make a dark room, and laid underneath it watching on my laptop (our TVs were old at the time). At some point my mom crawled under there with me and we actually watched all three movies that way.
Reading for fun in high school & college was tough. Often when I tried to, I would fall asleep, so I stuck to mostly fantasy movies and TV shows. Some favorites are King Arthur (2004), Firefly (2002), BBC Merlin (2008), & Legend of the Seeker (2008).
Anime was really limited to me at that time. The internet wasn’t what it is today. Imagine watching these long series — just whenever you could catch them on TV late at night. Usually missing important backstory, and episodes in between. Shows that come to mind from this time are Wolf’s Rain, Inuyasha, Witch Hunter Robin (which I rewatched this year & loved), the original Fullmetal Alchemist, and Naruto. From this exposure I had the impression that anime was confusing and pretty dark.
I got into anime later on with show like Break Blade (2014), Legend of the Legendary Heroes (2010), and A Certain Scientific Railgun (2009). My love of manga really took off when two of my friends started reading the comedy, action, romance series, Dengeki Daisy. And the Korean Drama world opened up after seeing a trailer for Descendants of the Sun (2016).
My mother and I used to watch fantasy movies together & now we’re all about KDrama.
Lita: On your about page you describe what stories intrigue you “The stories I reach for are character driven, quirky slice of life, or satirical social commentary — Also fantasy realms with curious magic”. What are some stories have you come across in all you’ve read and watched that have covered in what you quote here?
Yes! I’ve had a hard time explaining what kind of stories I generally like because my favorites are in all different genres and categories. So I sat down one day with a list of all my favorites to identify what I liked about them so much better than the rest.
Quirky character driven stories such as the anime Non Non Biyori & Barakamon, or even the KDrama Goblin (2016) — which is a supernatural love story, but really, it shines because it’s characters are delightfully odd & in a cosmically odd predicament.
Appreciation for the natural world in stories like the movie Little Forest (2018) and Hakumei to Mikochi (anime & manga). They remind us to get outside & get clear on what really matters.
Satire & Social Commentary as written by fantasy authors Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman, or even the middle grade Ever After High series, which asks the heirs of fairytale characters, “Do you REAALLY want to stick to the script?”
Some good old saving the world like in Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson or Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood (2009).
But I also like stories that highlight the feeling of alienation in our modern day, as explored in the novels Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata & Spring Garden by Tomoka Shibasaki.
In the end all these stories are complex & inspiring to me. They might take a simple concept and turn it into something profound, or maybe they just mix genre elements together in interesting ways.
Lita: Your instagram is a joy to follow, posting about your newest blog posts and what your currently reading or writing. I love how you don’t follow a particular theme like most other people I follow. Your layout is very simple as well as your photos, Do you find ‘simple’ is the best way to go when trying to engage with your audience? Have you find enjoyment in having your instagram account?
Thank you! My only rules for posting on instagram are not to post the same style of picture in a row or post the same book too many times. I enjoy following lifestyle blogs and minimal aesthetic accounts, so I might subconsciously take pictures in that style.
Sometimes the part of my who loves cute, sparkly, kawaii things incorporates stickers from LINE Camera ^.^
I have always enjoyed taking & editing pictures so I think instagram as a platform is really fun & effortless. Post what you think looks great & don’t stress it if you want to experiment with something new.
Lita: I read on your website you love writing and write your own fictions, are you working on anything exciting right now? If, so what is it about? Also what do you find yourself writing about all the time ?
I have been writing on and off since I was a teen, but really making it a priority this past year. I experimented with different genres to see what I might be good at, and studied writing craft in books and videos. A craft book I recommend is Getting the Words Right by Theodore A. Rees Cheney. And Brandon Sanderson has BYU scifi/fantasy writing lectures free on youtube.
I wrote a fantasy novel about a Potion Witch named Ophelia who is trying to keep her Potion Shop afloat in a new town while everything is seemingly going wrong. I wanted to write about the struggles many people in their 20s-30s are facing today, like the decision to follow the status quo, even if you hate it, or take career risks that might lead you to a more fulfilling life. The idea of a young entrepreneur potion witch seemed perfect to explore that in a fun satirical fantasy setting. I will query this project for an agent.
I also got really interested in exploring our virtual lives in fiction. So I have some short stories about people who live heavily in the virtual world… but as we all know, still exist in the real world. Stories about a real life death in an MMO Gamer Guild, an anonymous internet poet on a hiatus after getting real world famous, a vlogger taking a brand deal in a new country & worrying about coming across as ignorant, and a girl who loves playing otome games using that knowledge to navigate a supernatural experience. I would love to publish these short stories online in the future, perhaps in a new section on my blog or on Wattpad — but i’m unfamiliar with that platform.
Lita: An individual as yourself Amanada with many interests. Balancing all your hobbies is never an easy thing. How do you balance all of them during your daily life? Do you just go by your mood or have specifically set time aside to read a book or watch a series?
You have found me at a particularly unstructured time in my life. Lol. Having a plan cuts down on wasted time, but as of the last few months I haven’t had one. When it comes to deciding what to read or watch next, I go based on mood. Otherwise my potential enjoyment of that story will suffer.
Lita: A regular problem in blogging, myself no exception is bloggers worrying they have barely posted on their site. I noticed you only post so often, are you someone that just writes in the moment or their is something specific you want to talk about?
I try to keep in mind how I feel as a blog reader / youtube subscriber. Yes, I do wish there was new content when someone hasn’t posted in a while, but I also get really bummed if they post content that isn’t very engaging. I like to post what I think feels like quality over quantity, but I also must admit that recently my posting has suffered quite a bit while I work on fiction writing.
Focusing on writing original fiction is rewarding in the sense that I’m working towards a goal that is important to me, but it’s a long game. And a real exercise in patience =].
But in general, to post what I think would be a quality review, I sometimes need to let the story sit in my brain for a bit. Did it actually stick with me? Or was it forgettable in the end? What really stands out about it over time? What does it mean to me? The nice thing about instagram & instagram stories is that I can engage even when I don’t have a blog post ready. I like to story when I’m out book shopping to get opinions on a manga I might buy. And I will sometimes post a short, first impression, review of a story right when I finish it.
Please do look forward to some new blog posts from me ^.^
Lita: Nerdification Reviews was started up in 2015 and till now is there anything important or gained from when first starting up your site? Were there any particular goals you made for yourself and have reached? Where do you see your blog going from here or happy to cruise along?
The only real goal I had in mind was to maintain a blog I would be proud of showing to anyone. I’m proud of the new design for the desktop version of the site.
The biggest lesson I’ve learned from starting a blog is that you can’t level up your work before you do it. So you can plan as much as you want beforehand, but inevitably, you’ll learn more as you go. Each small improvement you make builds on a previous one.
In the future I would like to add a section of free original short fiction so people can sample my writing & give feedback.
Anime, Books, Manga, K Dramas whenever you’re indulging yourself or have time relax with your hobbies, For every nerd there are always the necessities to have nearby, snacks, blanket, lit candle etc is there a particular space you like to read your books or watch your shows? Vital snacks that are a necessity?
My favorite time to read is during the day with natural light coming in through a big window.
Being cozy is a must & my favorite candle is Sage & Citrus from Yankee Candle. I’m a big iced coffee drinker & I currently like to snack on Flamin’ Hot Cheetos — but you gotta eat them with either chopsticks or a spoon, because your fingers can’t get dirty while reading. Sometimes my male cat, Oreo, gets jealous of all the attention I’m giving a book and tries to crawl onto my lap in front of it. My female cat, Penny, is far more understanding.
I like to watch anime & KDrama at night with some string lights on.
Lita: As blogger to blogger is there any advice you’d like to pass on to fellow bloggers or writers out there about blogging or writing in general. Anything that is important to you that you’re always telling others?
Pursue what interests and excites you & take the time to do it well.
Think deeply about why you enjoy the stories you enjoy. This will lead you to write unique & meaningful reviews. And if you want to write original fiction it pays to understand what makes a great story.
Writing can take quite a bit of time. You might hear writers talk about letting an idea “stew” in their brains — just thinking about it. I think this is an important step because ideas need time to move from the short term memory to the long term memory. Once ideas are in the long term memory we can make connections from them to other ideas and get those oh so important, AHA! Moments.
If you do something too quickly, I think you risk missing out on those aha moments that can take a project from good to great.
Also… when it comes to making blog graphics, canva.com is free =]
I would like to say a massive thankyou to Amanda for being apart of this Friday Feature and do go check out her wonderful site and what she is all about over at Nerdification !!! Hope you guys enjoyed this Feature Friday and look forward to more through the course of 2019 !!
For those that may have not read my plans for 2019. My Friday Feature will be a bi-weekly segment coming out every second Friday, so you guys know. !!!
I’ll see you all for Next Friday feature and next post!!