Continuing the series of fabulous bloggers, inspired by the Litsy Feminist Bookclub reading of Americanah, we are lucky to have Candice Montgomery with us today! For the earlier links for interviews in the series, see the last post, here.
Candice (you may recognize her as @CandiceAmanda on Twitter) is a YA Romance writer and blogger over at The Amazing Interrobang. Candice’s book, HOME AND AWAY, is available at Amazon, Indiebound, and you can add it to your shelf on GoodReads! Make sure to check her work out!
1. How did you get into blogging?
I actually started blogging before I started writing fiction. I used to review the books I was reading or had read. To the surprise of absolutely no one – I wasn’t nice about it. But I think that’s kind of the beauty of reviewing books with literally of people as your audience/readers. I was basically doing that thing where people are like, “DANCE LIKE NO ONE IS WATCHING.” Except I was reviewing YA like no one was reading me. Because they weren’t.
From there, I sort of lapsed into other kinds of blogging. I went from reviewing books, to reviewing book covers, to reviewing ONLY the romance inside of the stories, and then I started writing about how the romances mirrored my own – or how they didn’t, as the case sometimes (often) was. I fell face first into personal essays and never escaped.
2. What are you favorite kinds of topics to tackle?
My favorite thing to talk about now is – tbqf – Blackness. I spent a lot of time avoiding my own Blackness and now I’m really fucking entrenched in it. Shit. Can I swear in this interview? (Sorry.) But it’s just… everywhere. Color is all I see now. So I spend a lot of time tackling Blackness and all its nuance, all its intersections, all its facets. The grittier, the better, IMO. The more personal the piece, the better.
3. What post are you most proud of, and why?
I wrote a piece about growing up Black, once.I love that piece. It’s been published across 6 different publications and it was the first true GOOD thing I wrote. The first honest thing I ever wrote. It’s just a really IN YOUR FACE kind of piece. It doesn’t waste time – it jumps right into how Black I was and am and how maybe others – non-Black people – differ from me and my experiences. I love that piece. It informed a lot of who I am as a personal essayist/blogger.
4. Who are your favorite blogs to follow?
I used to know this girl a while back. Liz. She actually reached out to me when the aforementioned essay was published on Thought Catalog. That’s how we met. Google her. Liz Lazzara. She’s a good writer, if nothing else. I used to read her personal essays religiously.
I also really dig Camryn Garrett’s blog. She’s a really good friend of mine. Also, Redbone Afropuff and Black GRITS, Bim Adewunmi and Rahawa Halle’s personal blogs. I’m a bigggg personal essay reader.
5. What’s the weirdest/best/worst interaction you’ve had with a follower?
I always get really confused when people just seem to know me, but I don’t personally know them. It sounds like I’m just really gassing myself up, but I promise I’ve got my narcissism in check. Mostly. I went to a major convention earlier this year and got recognized by so many people whose names I didn’t even know. I’ve also had a follower I wasn’t very familiar with suggest they were “in my neighborhood” and wanted to meet up. I’m so much less awkward online than I am IRL, so it just really confuses me when people are that friendly with me.
6. Best book you’ve read this year?
Hands down – I beta read Emery Lord’s latest, THE NAMES THEY GAVE US. It’s got the absolute smoothest Black boy love interest on the block. I adored that ENTIRE book. Swallowed it whole after living in a reading drought for most of the year.
7. Favorite track on Lemonade?
Thank you so much for your time and recommendations! It was awesome to have you as part of the series.