An interview! Meet the girl behind AESTAS, an amazing romance book blog


For those of you who don't yet follow Aestas Book Blog on Facebook or her website, I highly encourage you to check her out. She is the most active romance book blogger I have ever seen.  She's always on Facebook, reading, talking about books, sharing bargains and good reads, and hosting awesome giveaways.  She is one of the most indie-friendly bloggers out there, which makes her very near and dear to my heart.  She helped launch my career into romance writing and I'll forever be grateful to her for that!

I was shocked out of my gourd when I realized that she'd never been interviewed by an author before.  When I sent the idea her way I was expecting a “no, I'm too busy” response.  Seriously, I'm pretty sure she never sleeps.  I see her Facebook feed going all day long and we live in different time zones!

She graciously agreed to let me interview her, though, so we all get to benefit.  Take a gander at her answers to my questions about blogging, reading, and where the romance market is headed…


Hi Elle!!

First, thank you so much for having me here!

Hi, Girl-Behind-Aestas!  It's my pleasure.  I'm so glad you agreed to be here with me and my readers. 🙂  I have about 100 questions for you, but I've cut them down to 10.  I'm afraid you can see by the ones I chose how much I struggled to limit myself.  So … let's get started.

1.  I've read your bio on your webpage, so I know Aestas is not your “real” name. Care to share the meaning behind your choice of name?

About a year before I started my blog (or honestly even considered the remote possibility of blogging) I started a Goodreads account with the username “Aestas”. It was a name that had very special meaning to me. I was new to the online reading community and Goodreads seemed like an awesome way to get started and find new books. Over the course of that year, I built up a wonderful network of friends on there who all knew me as “Aestas” and called me that. So when I finally decided to start my blog, it just seemed natural to keep the name. And so…. Aestas Book Blog began 🙂

2.  You have one of the most popular romance book blogs/Facebook pages in the known universe with over 26,000 followers on Facebook (as of the time of this interview), and it grows bigger and more popular every day.  How long have you been blogging about books?  How did you grow your fan-base so quickly?

I've been blogging since April 2012. I didn't really do anything in particular to grow numbers though so the growth has been entirely organic. I just love books, love reading, and almost as much as that, I love talking with other people about the books and sharing recommendations and such so the blog really gives a great platform to facilitate that and I'm really just lucky that there are so many other people out there who love chatting about the books they love as well.

3.  What got you started with your book blogging?  Was it something that just jumped out at you as an obvious thing to do for a bookworm or did someone push you in that direction or otherwise inspire you?

I honestly think it was the sheer volume of books. There were too many books to keep up with and I needed a way to organize everything. At the time I started it, I didn't really think anyone would actually pay attention to my blog — I thought maybe a couple friends might check in every now and again but I never dreamed it would actually become something that people visited regularly. But my husband actually sort of nudged me in the blogging direction originally. He'd been suggesting I start one for a while and I guess the timing of everything just worked out here.

4.  You're active on your Facebook page all throughout the day, seven days a week.  When do you sleep?  Do you have a family?  Another job aside from blogging?

Haha! Sleep?? I'm not sure I remember what that is! In all honesty, I don't sleep much. I'm constantly thinking of just one more thing I need to do, or just one more book I need to finish, that sleep just doesn't happen as often as I'd like. I'm married to my high school sweetheart who thankfully is extraordinarily supportive and understanding of my crazy reading addiction. He's even written a few guest reviews for the blog! I also do have a job aside from blogging too so I'm on the go and traveling a lot — which all feeds into me not sleeping very much, lol. My phone and iPad are pretty much glued to my side at all times 😉

5.  You have some guidelines that you ask authors to follow when submitting a book for review by you.  Tell us about those and how they came to be.

I've had many authors chuckle through my review request questions. I guess they came about because there are a lot of books out there and I needed to find a way to make sure that I was finding the ones that I would be most likely to love. At the end of the day, each reader is different — one person's favorite book might be one that another person can't finish. But that's a huge part of the beauty of reading — we can all find something that we like. The trick is actually finding it. Personally, I don't like to ever go into books blind. While I keep my reviews spoiler-free, I do actually like to know certain things about a book in advance of reading — and these things often will tell me how likely I am to love a book. This is the reason why most of my ratings are quite high — not because I just hand out high ratings, but more because I just do a lot of research before starting.

I think the tricky thing though is to be aware of the fact that those answers can't be the only thing I base my decision on. A lot of it is just my ‘feeling' toward the idea of that story.  Several of my favorite books have stepped outside of my regular ‘happy' zone and I've still loved them. So there are always exceptions to the rules. But in general, my questions are extraordinarily helpful to give me a feel for the story I'm considering reading.

6.  What do you see as the newest trends in romance writing?

Everything and anything. The romance world is been growing so fast that the possibilities are endless. We've got billionaires, Doms, rock stars, bikers, the guy next door, the unlikely underdog hero, the uber Alpha males, bad boys, military guys… you name it, it's available. Literally every day, new books of every type are being released in each romance sub-genre and so it's pretty much guaranteed that everyone will be able to find something that they'll love.

It might sound weird, but I don't want there to be any clear trends. The books that I love most and that I spend all my time searching for are the ‘different' ones — the ones that stand out to me and make me go ‘wow, I have never read anything like this before'. Don't get me wrong, I know that there will always be a measure of similarity between them since they're all romance but personally I look for books that either put their own spin on a popular trend or even step outside of the trends entirely and show me something I've never seen before.

7.  Do you have any thoughts about where the romance genre is going or should go?  What would you like to see more of and less of?

You know… it's funny, I've been sitting here thinking about this for the last few minutes and honestly for me, I just want to see good writing and good stories. I love how with all the books that have come out in the last several years, the selection of stories to choose from is nearly endless and new books are being released each and every day. It's exciting, it's thrilling, and I hope they just keep more and more books coming. It's pretty much bookworm heaven to be honest. I feel like a kid in a candy store with all these choices.
Personally, I have to say that my favorite types of stories are either standalone novels with resolved endings, OR (and I love these equally) series of books withOUT relationship cliffhangers. I want to read a complete story — either that or a part of a completed story that leaves me in a good place. Honestly, with the volume of books out there, it messes with my mind too much to be left hanging in the middle of a zillion series with unfinished stories waiting for sequels. I mean, there are always exceptions, but I generally do prefer resolved endings.

8.  What's your favorite part of being a blogger?

Without a doubt, it's chatting with the readers who participate in the discussions. I love how we all share recommendations and share an enthusiasm for the same kinds of books. It's so wonderful!! I also love the thrill of finding these brand new books that literally no one has heard about — it's like treasure hunting! Also, connecting with all the talented authors of these beautiful books I'm reading — they're all so kind and sweet and it's exciting to work with them and publishers too to help bring more exposure to the books I love.

9.  You have people suggesting books to you every single day of the year, sometimes many in a day.  How do you keep up?  How do you decide which books will be read and which won't?  How many books do you read in a month?  Tell us what you consider the perfect romance novel.

I go entirely based on my mood. I never schedule my reads and I don't usually commit to deadlines for review. This allows me complete freedom to genuinely choose the absolute best book for me in the moment. In the end it's better for everyone this way because chance are a lot higher that I'll love it if it's a book I want to read as opposed to a book I have to read. There are a lot of books though and I guess it can be overwhelming if you think of them as a whole. But I think the best any of us can do is just go through our reading lists one book at a time and enjoy each one to it's fullest as we go 🙂

The book I end up reading is almost always a last minute decision. My friends often joke to me when I tell them what book I've decided to read that “Yeah, yeah, I believe it after you've started”. But I very rarely will fully reject a book unless it has things that I know I'll hate in it. I've had times when a book didn't interest me at the time I heard about it but then randomly a month or two later, it caught my eye. So I don't like to say ‘no' per se. I have a “top TBR” of about 25 rotating books but I mean, a brand new one is almost always popping up and, if it really catches my eye, it can often jump to the top of the pile, and then sometimes I'll go back and pick one that I've had on my list forever. Honestly, there's no system. In the end, it's all about my mood and what book I find best suits it.

Interestingly, I used to read a lot more before I started blogging. I find that blogging slows me down in many ways because I post updates as I read, I have to make graphics to go with each review, and also even writing the reviews takes a while, so I used to read about 5-6 books a week but now it's probably less.

My perfect romance novel? … oh gosh, that depends on a lot of things and there's such a wide variety of them that I love. I think the tagline of my blog says it best: “Books that make my heart race, have a beautiful love story, and a happy ending.”

10.  How do you feel about movie adaptations of popular romance novels?  Are there any you're looking forward to?  Do you have some favorites we can go rent on iTunes or Netflix?

I love that they're happening!! I mean, I have the same fears and reservations as anyone else but I'm willing to reserve final judgement until I see the finished product and until then, I just love watching the process of them getting made. Right now, I'm most looking forward to Fifty Shades (movie) and Outlander (TV) but I know that several other of my favorite books and series have gotten deals so we have a lot to look forward to in the next few years. I'm excited for all of them!

I have to say though that a few years ago, I used to literally see tons of movies and watch many TV shows, but honestly since I started blogging I've barely watched one movie a month and really haven't kept up to date on any shows so I don't really have any movie recommendations for now. Hahaha, but ask me for a book recommendation and I can give you hundreds!! 😀



Aestas Book Blog

Follow Aestas in these places:

Aestas Book Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads

4 comments on “An interview! Meet the girl behind AESTAS, an amazing romance book blog

  1. She is my role model in the book blogging community! I wish someday I’ll be at least half as trusted as she is today! Congratulations for the idea and for the relationship you have! And congratulations to Aestas Book Blog for her amazing activity!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *