I’ve spotlighted some wonderful writers, and I have loved reading the answers they give to my questions. These ladies are supportive and funny and whatever other positive thing you can say about them.
However this week, I wanted to change it up a bit, so I asked questions two of my FAVORITE bloggers who have been so encouraging and kind. Lisa runs Reading My Way to Penned Con, and Jenn runs Back Off My Books, and both are seriously the most hysterical, fun, kind, crazy and lovely ladies. I love them so much…can’t even put into words how much! Below are their answers to my questions…and I encourage you to go like them on Facebook or follow their blogs!!
What made you want to start your own blog?
RMWTPC – When I made the decision to attend Penned Con, I thought it would be fun to chronicle my experience of preparing for and reading through the author list in a 365 day kind of way.
BOMB – I just wrote this long wordy answer that was totally boring and I was like, “meh.” The short of it all is I was frustrated that some of the books I loved were not getting as much book love on the current blogs out there. Easiest solution I realized was to spread the love myself. The result was starting my own book blog. I never expected to make so many amazing friends from it and I have. What started as a hobby to spread my love for books turned into so much more. It has given me back a sense of self if that makes sense. I love that I took a hobby such as reading and turned it into not only something constructive but something that has connected me to amazing people.
What genre do you prefer reading the most? The least?
RMWTPC – I enjoy romantic comedy (my movie preferences run the same way) but can read most anything….except for stuff with lots of blood and guts. No blood and guts for me thanks.
BOMB – It would appear that I am an anything Romance girl. NA/YA, Contemporary, Dystopian, Sci-Fi, Paranormal, Comedy, Urban Fantasy. Just tack Romance in with it and I am there. Granted I also love more than that but that is where I am knee deep right now, in the past the works of Dan Brown and Michael Crichton captivated me.
What are your thoughts about reviewing books? Do you find you hold back in reviews?
RMWTPC – When I started my blog, I decided I would not write reviews of what I had read for a couple of reasons. #1 I was reading authors based upon their attending Penned Con so not all books would be something I would normally select to read and #2 I did not want angry authors waiting for me in St. Louis with baskets of rotten tomatoes.
BOMB – I do not hold back and can’t find it in me to do so. If I finish a book and found issue with it I will tell it like that in my review. I will post reviews less than a 3, if I finish it I tell it like it is. Now granted, I believe in critiquing the work, not attacking the author. So that said if I rate a book under a 3 you will know why and I will explain it as clear and concise as I can without taking shots at the author. Things I will note and often will cause a review to be rated low include but not limited to: Continuity problems, believability of plot, editing issues.
Not everyone likes all books, so how do you handle it when you either, don’t like a book, or don’t finish it? Do you still review?
RMWTPC – Once again, not really reviewing the books I read but more providing a recap and interview questions. I like to understand where the stories come from and this provides me an opportunity to get some additional backstory and share it with my blog followers.
BOMB – I abandon the book if I really can’t get into to. Books are for enjoyment and escape; they shouldn’t feel like work for me. If I abandon then I wont review because it isn’t fair, something might have happened that would have turned the review around but I never got to that point. If someone personally asks me I will tell them straight up I abandoned it and the reasons why.
Is there one story that has stuck with you over others?
RMWTPC – This blog journey has introduced me to so many wonderful authors and their stories. The stories that stick with me most are those that draw out raw emotion either in the happy or sad variety. So on that subject I can say that Lori Otto’s Emi Lost and Found series put me through the ugliest cry of my life, but the book was so well written, I could not help but love it.
BOMB – I have a list of them that stick with me! Sadly the list is getting so long and my memory so sucky that I know I forget them sometimes when people ask. I am going to tell you though that the longest lasting story that hails from my childhood would be The Chronicles of Narnia. I remember first reading that in middle school and can’t wait to share it with my children.
Can you name a character that you have read, that you feel you connect with?
RMWTPC – I think that maybe my emotional reactions to Emi from Emi Lost and Found by Lori Otto and Lacey in Destructive Silence probably hit home the most, but I also feel like Janie from Neanderthal Seeks Human is my kindred spirit.
BOMB – There is one character I read recently who I wish I could be more like, does that count? Ellen James from The Infamous Ellen James. I love strong female leads that know what they want and go for it, that exude intelligence and dependability and have a bit of the crazy in them.
What do you feel makes a great story?
RMWTPC – One that takes me somewhere I’ve never been in a way that makes me glad I am along for the ride. Stories that make you think, aren’t predictable and have great character development.
BOMB – Great character development, strong plot, answers questions and attention to details. If I get distracted over questions and details that pop up and remained unanswered or are not clarified it detracts from the story for me. When all those line up then the foundation for a great story is made. After that point it is the individuality of the story and the characters.
Who are your top 5 favorite authors?
RMWTPC – Let me preface this by saying I am fascinated by African, Asian and Middle Eastern culture so my go to authors are:
Pearl S. Buck
All the authors attending Penned Con…because they rock!
BOMB – I can’t pick just 5!! Lol. Here are just a few of my favorite authors:
Have you been to any author signings? If not, do you plan to attend any?
RMWTPC – I went to my first author signing in Detroit in September. I was able to meet Tara Sivec, Jasinda Wilder, Denise Grover Swank and Sandi Lynn who are all attending Penned Con. I was also able to meet Jack Wilder, Jasinda’s husband. I plan to attend the Cleveland Author event in April thanks to my lovely lickie friend Kimberly Stedronski and I cannot thank her enough for the tickets! Then the Penned Con big event is in September where I am going to be fangirling you like crazy Ton!
BOMB – No, but I am going to Penned Con in St. Louis this September to meet some awesome authors and bloggers! I am getting quite excited and hope I don’t chicken out when it comes to getting on the plane.
You have quite a few followers. What is the nicest compliment you have received?
RMWTPC -Honestly, I think the nicest compliments I receive are from the authors I have gotten to know through my blog. They are extremely appreciative of any and all promotion they receive from bloggers and are generous to a fault. I have done a few live interactive author events, and when other authors who attend approach me and ask if I can help them, well that is about a big a compliment as I could ask for.
BOMB – One of the winners of a giveaway I ran came back to tell me how much she enjoyed the book she won; then told me because of my recommendation of another book she started that series and was hooked and loved it. Knowing that my recommendation got someone to read a book and they loved it means the world.
What are you reading right now?
RMWTPC – I am reading two ARCs right now. One is entitled Exquisite Betrayal by A.M. Hargrove and it is actually about a blogger and an author who fall in love. The other that I am reading and cannot wait to get back to is Mine To Lose by this incredible author that I love dearly by the name of TK Rapp. I call her Ton because I know people and am kind of a big thing.
BOMB – I just finished Hard As It Gets by Laura Kaye and I freaking LOVED it!
With New Years around the corner, what books are on your top 5 for 2014?
RMWTPC – Lol, top 5, try top 70. I have about 70 more authors to get through before Penned Con and need to get back on schedule if I am going to make my goal.
BOMB – Crap! I can’t even think of what is coming with all that I have to finish reading now and the new releases this month. Okay I got to think about it a little and these are the books I am very excited to see released at least in the first part of the year:
Mine To Lose by T.K. Rapp
Famine by Monica Enderle Pierce
Fade In by M. Mabie
Scare Crow by Julie Hockley
Point of No Return by Tiffany A. Snow (Team KADE)
I know for a fact there are like 20 more that I am dying for too but again my mind and you said only 5.
If you could say anything to your readers, what would you say?
RMWTPC – Don’t restrict yourself to one genre or authors on the best seller list. Through RMWTPC I have been introduced to genres and stories I would have never given a second look had it not been for this project. Authors like Kimberly Stedronsky and Eric R. Asher have opened my eyes to paranormal/urban fantasy. Authors like you Ton, Lori Otto, Penny Reid and Daisy Prescott have shown me that there are gorgeous stories out there if you look for them.
BOMB – Thank you. Thank you for following me, thank you for taking the time to read my recommendations and put your belief in my recommendations. It means everything to me