Ask the Bloggers: How did you get your start? – SMD Version

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I’m not a selfish guy, so I thought I would repost SMD’s response to several of my ask the Bloggers questions while he is away. You can see other responses at my blog, Grasping for the Wind, but for now, enjoy SMD’s.

What got you started in blogging, and why did you choose to become an SF book reviewer?

I guess technically my blogging started long before I created I had a LiveJournal that I used to babble about my personal life, but I stopped that after about six months when I realized that whining and complaining about life wasn’t really all that interesting. Besides, I got over that stage and came to the conclusion that there was no point being depressed and upset all the time when you could spend your days being happy (or at least try to be).

So I stopped blogging for a while. Some time later I started getting the urge to write a novel noticed that some folks were doing blog novels. After looking into it I thought, “What the heck. Why not try one of these things?” I did, creating WISB (which went through several name changes beforehand). I spent almost a year writing and posting The World in the Satin Bag and babbling about science fiction, fantasy, etc. After I finished the novel I decided to keep blogging and plan a second book, and I’ve been doing it all for almost two years now.

As for doing reviews: I started doing them randomly on my blog, decided I liked it, and ended up becoming involved with SQT’s blog ( doing reviews. Now I review for small presses and the occasional big press and it’s fantastic. Not sure why I chose to become involved, though. I enjoy reading and enjoyed writing the reviews. There’s always that side of you that goes, “Hey, I get free books.” That’s always a perk. I also have the fortune of reading new works I might not have seen in the bookstore or maybe never would have picked up in the first place (and should have). Once I got involved I couldn’t stop. I love small presses. Some of the best works I’ve ever read have come from such places. Hopefully I’ll get to keep doing this too. It’s opened up a few doors for me, I think (such as becoming a judge for the Gaylactic Spectrum Awards and speaking directly with writers/authors/publishers).

About the Author:

Shaun Duke is an aspiring writer, a reviewer, and an academic. He is currently a graduate student at the University of Florida studying science fiction, postcolonialism, posthumanism, and fantasy.

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