Tuesday’s With Jena: Meet Aarika!

Another Murdering Monday has passed my lovelies! And that means ***enthusiastic trumpeting*** it’s time to meet another awesome ‘grammer of the books! After seeing that little boys face light up when those trumpets heralded this weekend, I’m a firm advocate of trumpeting to announce everything. But, I am getting off track…

This week, I am so happy to be chatting with one of the first writers I met over on the ‘Gram. You may know her as @readtolivetowrite, please give a warm hello (and some trumpets) to Aarika!!!


Besides having excellent taste in books, one of the first things I quickly swooned over was her Flash Fiction Friday feature on her blog. That’s a lot of F’s, which is one of my favorite letters, but her ability to take photos or other prompts and turn them into cohesive stories GIVES ME LIFE!!! Seriously, go check out her latest HERE.

Besides being an awesome writer with a penchant towards horror and fantasy (enter another swoon here), she refers to her children as wee dragons, which makes her, MOTHER OF DRAGONS! AND! She has a hedgehog! I mean, we’re practically the same person, RIGHT?! Alright, fine! She’s way cooler than I am.

So wrangle your own wee dragons into submission, grab your coffee, and settle in!

When did you start your Bookstagram account?

April of 2016

Why do you bookstagram?

I had no idea there was such a thing as bookstagram. I just wanted to share my love of reading and writing, hoping there were others out there doing the same.

Favorite bookstagram account?

Oh, no. I’m horrible with decisions. I have so many.



@nikasbooklounge the neutrals and outdoorsy, gothicky pics just speak to me.

Relatability to books:



Favorite non bookstagram account?









Theme or no theme?

I do like my feed to be aesthetic, but I’m not too worried about theme. I’m not picky about accounts I follow, whether they follow a theme or not.

Favorite photo on your account?


That photo is so gorgeous! Why is it your favorite?

I love the warm and dark colors. The shoes and book of choice speak to who I am and I believe reflect my style of writing.

What do you do when you’re not on the Internet?

Step into my role as mother of dragons (mommy duty). Writing. Reading.


Musing with the plants in my library.

I love plants! Do you have a favorite?

My favorite plant in my library is a little succulent housed on my window sill. I adore plants and dream of having various species throughout my home. No go though. I do not have a green thumb and typically kill those unfortunate plants that come home with me. Not my succulent though. Not only does he survive my neglect, he thrives the most out of my green friends.

Favorite place to read?

My library/office.

Favorite genre?

I’m not too picky. If its recommended, I’m likely to read it. I tend to read more fantasy. I write in an array of genres too. But I love to delve into the eerie and dark parts of my mind, producing horror or supernatural stories.

Top five books right now!

You aren’t making it easy on me, huh? Ha! These books never really leave my ‘top’ shelf.

  1. Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta
  2. World War Z by Max Brooks
  3. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
  4. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  5. Ugh, why is there only one spot left? I Am Legend by Richard Matheson

Ebooks, audiobooks, paperback or hardcover? Rank them for me.

  1. Paperback
  2. Hardcover
  3. Ebook
  4. Audiobook

Book boyfriends? For or against?

FOR! We all need to fantasize about our own Mr. Darcy, or Kaz Brekker.

Speaking of boyfriends, tell me about this guy!


Tom, the hedgie. Last name Riddle. Tom is cute and fun to watch, but beware the snobbery. He considers himself the dominant species of this planet and thus ‘allows’ the occasional interaction with him. Such a diva! But, we have an understanding. I don’t implement healthy food into his diet (#catfoodordie), he doesn’t cruciatus my fingertips when I go in for a pet. Lol. Really though, hedgies are cool pets. They don’t all have Tom’s temperament. 

What book represents your life?

Ocean At The End of The Lane by Neil Gaiman

It took a few weeks after I initially read this book to appreciate what Gaiman had written. I could easily see myself as the young protagonist, interpreting the events of his adolescence through a fantastical filter. Enchanted and terrified by the changes in the norm of his life, and then later reflecting on those memories and wondering if it was as I had recalled, or if it was something much simpler.

Do you have a blog?

Yes. Readtolivetowrite.wordpress.com I wish I was more active with my blog, as I was in the beginning. But you can usually find my Friday Flash Fiction every Friday.

I LOVE your Flash Fiction Friday! When did you start blogging?

April of 2017

Favorite blog post?

A letter to the protagonist in my novel. It was an excellent exercise, one I have continued along my journey.

Favorite blogs?

  1. Jenabrownwrites.com because her reviews are in depth, truthful, and well written.
  2. Lavockins.com because he is transparent in his journey to publication, is a fantastic writer, and his dark stories speak to me.
  3. Kmallanblog.wordpress.com because she offers great nuggets of wisdom for writers on their journey to publication
  4. Uninspiredwriters.com This girl has great content on her blog for struggling writers. She offers fresh perspectives of how to get inspired and stay confident on their journey.

I’m going to have to check them out! Especially that Jena, she seems alright… Alright, last question: favorite reading snack?

I don’t usually snack while reading. Maybe goldfish and water.

Oh, I’m a sucker for Goldfish. What’s your go-to flavor?

Xtra cheddar. I don’t buy it often. The wee dragons (my children) try to wipe their dirty hands wherever they please, and those particular goldfish leave a cheesy residue. But, occasionally I buy them and hide them behind the prunes. Lol!

Hey, you gotta do what you gotta do in this snack world!


Did I forget to mention that she frequently posts beautiful quotes in addition to everything else?! Well, she does. So, head on over to Aarika’s account and give her some hearts! And, if you’re in the mood for some short stories, hop over to her blog and read a few of her flash fiction posts. You won’t be disappointed!

I hope you enjoyed meeting Aarika and Tom. Thanks for reading! Stay tuned next week for yet another interview getting to know the people behind the account.

Want to be featured? Follow me on Instagram @jenabrownwrites and send me a DM!


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