By: Cait Marie
A year ago today, I shared Functionally Fictional’s very first blog post! I had worked on setting up the site and Twitter account for a week prior, and the first post was technically just leading readers to an article I wrote for Coffee House Writers about my favorite books from 2017, but still!
I’ve gone back and forth about what I wanted to do for today, and ultimately decided to give a little background of why I started all this, plans for the future, and a GIVEAWAY!
Why I Started Functionally Fictional
I’ve always loved books. However, they didn’t truly consume me until the fall of 2017 when I read A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. It took me a couple months to read the three books, but by mid-A Court of Mist and Fury the obsession began taking hold. Something inside me started to crack open, but I had no idea it’d lead here.
After that, I read the seven Throne of Glass books (that were available at the time) in about a month. Then I read the five Shatter Me books (that were available at the time) in a week. There was just no going back at this point. My reading goal at the beginning of 2018 was 30 books. I raised it twice–to 50, then 60–and ended up reading 72. Until 2018, I read maybe 20-25 books a year. I had almost reached that by mid-February.
For years, I had followed Epic Reads almost religiously. Then, in 2017, I started watching other “booktubers.” I had no idea what a huge community this was, especially the blog side of it all. I kept wondering how to work for Epic Reads, or something similar, and I had this epiphany:
“Why don’t I just make my own website?!”
Again, I had no idea that this was such a big community. I didn’t know book blogs existed, so I thought I was on to something genius… My bad!
Anywho… so, I messaged a friend of mine who is always super encouraging (shout-out to Sydney!), and told her my idea. She listened to me babble about all these plans and ideas for at least a month. Then she gave me feedback as I started putting it together. She even came up with the name “Functionally Fictional.” I still go to her for advice, encouragement, to vent, and to talk about exciting things happening because of this blog. I would probably not be here without her.
I reached out to a handful of friends I knew loved to read, and asked if they were interested in writing reviews for the blog when they had the time. They all hopped on board and we began!
Last month, we started a Book of the Month event. Each month, a book is selected by yours truly, and a random winner is selected via a Twitter giveaway for a free copy of said book. The plan is to have a live chat at the end of the month, but I am still working out the logistics of that. I’m debating on whether to do it through YouTube/Google Hangouts or Twitter, or something else entirely. What works best for you all?
This month’s book is Bloodleaf by Crystal Smith. I was able to review an ARC of this book and it’s fantastic (full review here)! Because last month’s chat had to be postponed, I’m going to be talking about both this book and last month’s book, A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer. As of now, the meeting will probably take place via Twitter until we get something else set up. Date TBA.
I’m personally participating in the O.W.L.’s Magical Readathon throughout April, created and hosted over on Book Roast’s YouTube channel. Basically, you pick a Harry Potter-themed career, and then you follow the set challenge based on that career. There are different categories of books, and the challenges range from (I believe) 3-12 books, so you pick what works best for you. For more information, check out her video announcement here!
There is another really exciting event starting in April that we’re a part of, but I can’t say anything yet. The final pieces are being put together and it should be announced soon, so keep an eye out!
The gang and I are going to continue reading and writing reviews. A couple of us are working on being more consistent with the scheduling to get them to you all more often.
We do take review requests, but most of us are students, have jobs, have families, or all of the above, so we appreciate your patience. If you want a specific person on the team to read/review your book, or you need it done by a certain date, let us know. The more time you give us, the better.
We’re promoting any and all books! If you want your book on our Promoted Books page, let us know! We also have a Featured Book of the Week on our homepage, so, again, if interested reach out.
Now, the reason you’re all really here… GIVEAWAY TIME!
Not only is it our blogversary, I hit 1000 followers on my personal Twitter!
That was my goal for the year and it’s only March! I said that for every 100 followers, until I reached 1000, I would do a giveaway, and it ironically happened today!
So, here we go!
One random winner will be selected via a Rafflecopter giveaway on Wednesday, March 20! The winner will receive their choice of any book, with a $20 maximum (including tax and shipping).
Let us know below or on Twitter what book you’d ask for if you won!
I’d ask for either Long May She Reign by Rhiannon Thomas or Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge.
Yaaay! So much to celebrate! Congratulations on this first blogiversary, everybody! ♥ Here’s to many more, and many fantastic projects for the future! And Cait, congratulations on the amazing milestone on Twitter, lovely! ♥
And of course! Thank you so much for the kind giveaway! If I were the lucky winner, I’d definitely pick GIRLS OF PAPER AND FIRE, by Natasha Ngan. I’m dying to read this book, and now that we have a title and a release date for the sequel, I NEED IT WITH MY WHOLE HEART ♥
Thank you!! Anto, are you in the U.S.? I actually have an extra copy of Girls of Paper and Fire. If you are, and want the ARC, email me your address and it’s yours! firstname.lastname@example.org
Oh, this breaks my heart into a million pieces! AN ARC OF GOPAF?! I don’t even own ARCs ahaha I’m actually an international reader, Cait, SO SORRY! But thank you so much for your generous offer, lovely! Hope you get to find that beauty a loving and closer home! ♥
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I was actually sent it from another blogger and then received the hardback for Christmas, so I thought I’d pass it on again! I’m sorry! If it wasn’t so expensive to ship internationally, I would!