Category Archives: Reader Interviews

The Readers Speak! My Interview With a Reader, Cindy Young-Turner

Writers, listen up!  Here we find out what the readers really think.
  1. Why don’t you introduce yourself? Where do you live? What do you do for a living?

Hi, I’m Cindy. I live in Maryland but I was born and raised in Massachusetts. I like to think I’m still a New Englander in spirit even though I’ve been away for a while. In my day job I’m a technical editor and proposal coordinator for international health and development projects.

  1. What’s the first book you remember reading?

The first chapter books I remember reading are Charlotte’s Web and the Little House on the Prairie series. I absolutely loved those books and read them so many times my parents put them away for a while so I’d read other things as well.

  1. What is your favorite book/author?

Hmm, I’m not sure I can pick just one. Here’s a couple favorites: Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, On the Road by Jack Kerouac, The October Country by Ray Bradbury, The Road by Cormac McCarthy.

  1. What’s the biggest influence on what you read? Word of mouth? Cover art? Price?

Word of mouth is probably the biggest. A lot of my friends are big readers and I trust their suggestions. I’m also a sucker for interesting cover art. A friend introduced me to the Ballantine adult fantasy series at a great used bookstore and I bought several of them just because I loved the covers. Price isn’t as much of a factor because I don’t buy new books for myself very often. Usually I get them as gifts.

  1. Does advertising have any affect on what you read?

Not really. I ignore most advertisements. But if a book starts getting a lot of press, I might check out the blurb or read some reviews to see if it’s worth checking out.

  1. What’s something authors do that gets on your nerves?

Bad writing really irks me. (Dan Brown, yes, I’m pointing a finger at The Da Vinci Code.) I’ve been an editor for a while so things like grammar and spelling errors also bother me. Authors who don’t understand point of view get on my nerves as well.

  1. What’s your opinion on so called “mature” themes? Sex, violence, foul language? Do they affect whether you will read a book?

They don’t bother me. If they’re used just for shock value I might be annoyed, but I’m an adult so it’s no big deal to me. I’m not a big fan of extreme gore, though. It’s just not my thing.

  1. Writers do a lot of spamming on social media sites. Annoying or influential?

Being a writer myself I’m finding the marketing aspect challenging. It seems like most readers don’t like authors who promote themselves at every turn and I agree with that. I think you have to put on your reader hat and participate in the discussions as a reader. Otherwise you’ll alienate your potential fans.

  1. Is there any genre you would never read?

I’m willing to try everything at least once. There are so many sub-genres out there these days that you’re bound to find something you like. For example, I’m not really into mysteries, but I became interested in the Brother Cadfael books by Ellis Peters because I saw the series done on PBS a while back and I’m fascinated by anything medieval.

  1. If you could be a character in any book, what would it be?

This is a tough one. So many choices! Today I think I’d like to be Lyra Bellacqua from Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass. It’s such a richly developed world and she is a feisty heroine who has some amazing adventures. I wish the series had been around when I was a kid.

  1. Have you ever considered writing a book?

Actually, yes I have. I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. My first fantasy novel, Thief of Hope, was finally published last year. I’m embarrassed to say how many years I spent working on it. I hope the next book won’t take as long to write.

  1. If you were a writer, what kind of book would you like to write?

So far I’ve been writing fantasy, but I wouldn’t rule out other genres once the series is finished.

  1. Do you have a blog where people can follow you?

I do: http://cindyyoungturner.com/blog/

  1. What book are you reading now/next?

I’m currently reading Blood Soaked and Contagious, a zombie novel by James Crawford who is a good friend of mine. I have Game of Thrones waiting on my Kindle and I have heard so many good things about The Hunger Games that I think it needs to be bumped to the top of my list.

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The Readers Speak! My Interview with a Reader, Kat (an Aussie!)

Now that I have angered the approximately 85% of college football fans who disagree with my stance on a playoff, let’s do another reader interview, shall we!  This reader is Australian.  Notice all the funny spellings.  Lots of ou’s in words that only need an o.  Like favorite (favourite), for instance.  She offered to let me change them to the correct spelling, but I decided to let her speak in her own funky spelled voice.

 

Writers, listen up!  Here we find out what the readers really think.

  1. Why don’t you introduce yourself? Where do you live? What do you do for a living?

My name is Kat and I was born in Australia, but nearly four years ago I moved halfway across the world to the Netherlands for love (cue ‘awwwwww’). It’s been a great experience living here but in 2013 I will be moving back to Australia – I can’t handle the winters any longer! I work in Human Resources (maybe that’s why I like zombie books, all the irritating people get eaten!) for a consumer electronics company, but my Dutch is limited to about 5 words. I love reading, particularly zombie, horror and post-apocalyptic books, but I also read a fair amount of contemporary fiction and non-fiction (particularly based around WWII).

  1. What’s the first book you remember reading?

‘Where’s Spot’ by Eric Hill – I was maybe 5 or 6 at the time. These books were insanely popular in my school – I remember my first boyfriend used to hide them in the library for me.

  1. What is your favorite book/author?

Is this a trick question? No? I read such a wide variety of books it’s hard to pick a particular one.

In my teens John Marsden was definitely my favourite author, and I read and re-read his Tomorrow series until the books were falling apart.

Now that I’m twenty-old I don’t have a particular favourite author, but when it comes to Zombies Jonathan Maberry is my hero.

  1. What’s the biggest influence on what you read? Word of mouth? Cover art? Price?

I spend a tremendous amount of time researching books through Amazon, Goodreads and specific genre forums – in recent months I’ve started following numerous blogs to find new reads as I find bloggers are far blunter than Amazon reviewers.

Cover art isn’t a clincher for me – 95% of my books are e-books and it’s stopped me from judging books by their covers. Of course I’m more likely to pick up cheap or free e-books but if it’s a book I really want to read, then price is not the biggest factor when deciding to purchase.

  1. Does advertising have any affect on what you read?

If I see something pop up on Amazon or Goodreads that looks interesting, I’ll likely click for a peek – but I tend to ignore them for the most part. I’ve watched maybe three book trailers ever as I don’t find they tell me much more than the actual blurb.

  1. What’s something authors do that gets on your nerves?

Introduce a parade of characters with similar names all at once – particularly with military or adolescent characters called Jenny, John, Steve, Kate etc.

My biggest annoyance is cliffhangers when there is no mention of the book being part of a series until the very end. I’m not good at reading series as they are released (I’m getting old and tend to forget to keep an eye out for the next book), I much prefer to either read them in order all at once, or at least have them accessible to read when I’m ready to jump back into it.

  1. Writers do a lot of spamming on social media sites. Annoying or influential?

It depends on which social media they use. For me, Facebook is my personal place where I keep up with family and friends – I follow a few authors but they have to be one of my favourites. I use Twitter primarily for interaction with authors, readers and bloggers and click a lot of links! As long as their posts are funny, varied and they interact with others, I don’t find it irritating – I’ve found some great books this way.

  1. C.S. Lewis once said, “A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.” Do you agree with that statement?

Definitely – I think a children’s story should also appeal to readers of all ages. I’m not a parent, but if I was, I would want to also enjoy the books I read to, or with, my kids. And there’s always the little kid in all of us adults that love a good children’s story!

  1. If you could be a character in any book, what would it be?

If I could find a truly awesome chick in a zombie book I would totally want to be her! The closest is maybe Dez from Dead of Night by Jonathan Maberry but she’s got too much personal baggage to aspire to.

  1. Have you ever considered writing a book?

I’d love to, but I think I’m missing the creativity and the ability to put myself out there! Maybe one day I’ll write that zombie book with the truly awesome chick, who knows.

  1. Do you have a blog where people can follow you?

Yes – theaussiezombie.blogspot.com – I only started it in November and already I’ve had a massive amount of fun with it. It’s not as specific as it sounds; I also review some very non-zombie books.

  1. What book are you reading now/next?

I’ve just finished reading one book which brings my current reading down to three books – Don of the Living Dead by Robert DeCoteau, Far North by Marcel Theroux and The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay. I usually try not to have so many books on the go at once, but I’ve recently started to listening to audiobooks again so I’ll always have at least two that I’m currently reading.

Next I’ll probably be reading a review book for my blog, and Blood Red Road by Moira Young – I’ve heard some great things about it, and despite my YA-reluctance, I’m going to give it a try!

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The Readers Speak! My Interview with a Reader, Barbara G. (from Italy!)

Writers, listen up!  Here we find out what the readers really think.

 

1. Why don’t you introduce yourself? Where do you live? What do you do for a living?

Hi, there! *waves* I’m Italian, but I’ve become proficient enough in English to read and write fluently in that language – it took me years, though, so I’m not a young person, LOL! I still live in Roma where I was born and have a dreaded part-time Day Job that I hope to quit sometime in the future when my writing career takes off. I’m married to Writing and eventually my husband of 30+ years will pay the bills! *grin*

2. What’s the first book you remember reading?

Probably the collection of world tales illustrated (it’s like 8 volumes…) – I enjoyed fairy tales very much (and not in their Disney version). Or the books of Emilio Salgari (adventure in foreign countries, mostly India, Malaysia and his three Western books), soon accompanied by Verne & Dumas (I grew up in French-speaking countries, so they were school-reading. Sort of).

3. What is your favorite book/author?

I started writing after falling in love with Brunella Gasperini’s works back in the 1980s. I don’t have a favorite at the moment – also because I’m trying to discover new stories that grab ME, and adult halfway through her life who has long forgotten her teenage years but still loves to dream of other worlds.

4. What’s the biggest influence on what you read? Word of mouth? Cover art? Price?

In France/Switzerland I had learned to choose books by their covers. In Italy I discovered publishers “recycled” covers (like random Boris Vallejo paintings on the covers of David Eddings’ Belgariad…), so I stopped choosing based only on that. Yes, the cover is still the first thing that catches my eye, but I immediately go to the blurb to see if it’s something that I’d actually like to read. And if the blurb is too cryptic about the actual plot, I’ll check reviews for more hints on what the story is about.

5. Does advertising have any affect on what you read?

Nope – although the smart Amazon suggestions often got me to buy another. But more in the DVD department than books.

6. What’s something authors do that gets on your nerves?

The “editing” mistakes like confusing your own characters’ names, killing a character and have him show up in a later scene, etc. I’m also very plot-oriented, so if there’s a hole in your story, I’ll notice (although if it’s sci-fi, being technologically challenged, I might not notice).

7. What’s your opinion on so called “mature” themes? Sex, violence, foul language? Do they affect whether you will read a book?

I’m an adult, I don’t care. I do put them in my writing if I think the story needs them. I’m not a fan of erotica, but I can read it. I don’t like horror and its gory details, but I can read it. I even read gay porn once because I was curious (good research for writing M/M romance as well, LOL)! OK, once I had to stop reading a book because it was becoming too intense (torture porn?), but then I picked it up again and finished it anyway.

8. Writers do a lot of spamming on social media sites. Annoying or influential?

Very annoying. The constant “buy my book” makes me want to yell at the darn author “Go write the next one and prove me you’re not a one-shot wonder first, you moron!”

9. Is there any genre you would never read?

Probably not. I’m curious and think there are stories everywhere, even in non-fiction. OK, some non-fiction topics don’t interest me, and like I said I don’t like horror and porn, but that doesn’t mean I’ll never ever read them. Although… I’ve tasted enough South American literature, unable to finish any, to know it’s not my cup of tea, so I better stay away from them!

10. If you could be a character in any book, what would it be?

Dunno. Busy being my own character. Besides, I’m probably a “strange” reader. I tend to interact with characters I like (from books, movies, whatever), but I don’t want to be any of them. I want them as friends or lovers, but I’d still be me.

11. Have you ever considered writing a book?

I’ve been writing since my teens. I started indie publishing stories of my world, Silvery Earth, last year. I need time to translate and rewrite a lot of stuff (and some can stay in the drawer, thank you. Of 500+ titles, not all deserve to see the light of day – or meet the readers!), and I’m all set with a publishing schedule for the next 5 years at least. Not too mention the new ideas that keep popping up…

12. If you were a writer, what kind of book would you like to write?

I’ve written in many genres, but now I’m concentrating on fantasy. Except it’s adult fantasy, character-oriented and has none of the epic flavor of LOTR (which I never read, BTW). I like smaller and more personal conflicts, I’m tired of Quests or Good vs Evil stories. My world is in shades of gray and most of my characters are outcasts or outsiders trying (or not) to fit in in their society. No great battles and raging wars, but as I cover centuries of history of Silvery Earth, something is bound to happen – kingdoms and empires come and go, Magical Races come and go…

13. Do you have a blog where people can follow you?

http://creativebarbwire.wordpress.com. I don’t have an author webpage yet, but on my blog there’s everything – writing AND reading!

14. What book are you reading now/next?

“Away with the fairies” by Vivienne Tuffnell. Her first novel “Strangers&Pilgrims” was very touching and I look forward to read this one.

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The Readers Speak! My Interview with a Reader, Steven Beltzer

Response to the Reader Interview has been so positive that I am doing another one today!

Writers, listen up!  Here we find out what the readers really think.

1. Why don’t you introduce yourself? Where do you live? What do you do for a living?

Hello, my name is Steven Beltzer. I live in Washington State and work for an employee owned grocery chain as an over night stock clerk.

2. What’s the first book you remember reading?

Wow, that’s going way back but I believe the first book I remember reading was Where The Wild Things Are and I remember wishing I could find a place like that for real with big goofy looking monsters romping around. For some reason my favorite monster was Bernard. He looked the least ferocious to me. Hanging out with monsters would be fun but only if they don’t plan on ripping you apart and eating you.

3. What is your favorite book/author?

Now this is an extremely tough question because of how huge my favorite author list is. Have many favorite authors but with each author I think I have one title of theirs that stands out the most to me. Like with Stephen King it’s The Mist, With Dean Koontz it’s Phantoms or it could now be Odd Thomas, with Clive Barker it’s The Thief Of Always, and the list could go on but as you see with Koontz my favorite titles can change a bit as well. I think as we get older our perspectives change and maybe even what we fear and yearn for evolves into something new.

4. What’s the biggest influence on what you read? Word of mouth? Cover art? Price?

All these things are factors for me. I have found many new authors I have really enjoyed just by someone, a family member, friend, or a complete stranger recommending a title to me. I have had that happen many times in the library, bookstore and even while I was at work one time sitting on my break. A regular customer passing through the store on her way out noticed me reading and recommended an author named Nelson Demille to me, and let me tell you what a favor that was. Demille’s books were filled with such action packed thrills and suspense along with locations I could relate to. I ended up chatting about these books with this lady all the time afterwards.

As for cover art, it’s important but so is the quality of the book. Both paper and binding along with neat little illustrations and such. If all these things are included I would have to expect a higher price and yes price sometimes is a factor cause my allowance for books is sometimes thin. I really love finding hardcover books with great stories but with illustrations and quirkiness through out that makes it just stand out above others. Growing up I used to really enjoy 2 types of books; pop up books with their little cardboard levers and such that made things move and those horror titles with their hologram covers that turned the pictures all spooky, Rick Hautala had a few covers like that. Actually, it would be cool if one of todays bestsellers like Stephen King would put both those qualities back into a published book…just think of the possibilities.

5. Does advertising have any affect on what you read?

I think it probably does more than I or anyone else realizes. It helps inform that the book is coming out so we can save up, gives us a date and I have really enjoyed some of the TV ads that have the authors promoting their work. I’ve seen a few James Patterson ads that I liked and one for a Koontz book that was done all spooky like and really caught my eye and reeled me in. I wanted to jump up and rush out and get it…then I saw my check book and what was left after bills … total bummer :o( Actually, there was one ad that I saw in a magazine years ago for the first Maximum Ride book by James Patterson. Something about the words Angel Experiment just drew me in and I had to read this book. So, I had money :o) and ran out and bought a copy. Let me say I got more than my moneys worth with that title.

6. What’s something authors do that gets on your nerves?

Oh that’s a very easy answer for me. They create these awesome books series that I get into the first few books but I can’t afford to keep up with…oh and my local library sucks so buying is usually my only option. Oh and I know we are going into the age of ebooks but I can’t see me totally giving up a hardcover or paperback from time to time so I would really enjoy seeing authors going on more tours for signing and meeting with their readers. We have met a few this past year and each author my wife and I met was such a fun time.

7. Writers do a lot of spamming on social media sites. Annoying or influential?

I think if it’s legal and they have the ok through the people that run the sites it’s all good. It’s tough enough in today’s economy to do something creative like be an author and with the lack of funds for some authors a bit of free advertisement shouldn’t be such a big deal. Most authors I’ve talked with have never pushed their book on me. They usually just recommend it once and ask if I like it could I tell a friend about it and well yeah if I read something really great of coarse I will share that with others.

8. C.S. Lewis once said, “A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.” Do you agree with that statement?

Well I might have to agree cause if only the children enjoy it then sharing with older family members might not be as fun for them if mom, dad, or big sis or brother are bored and not listening…or maybe if everyone that grew up stayed a child at heart, which they usually do, then that statement would be bogus.

9. If you could be a character in any book, what would it be?

This was kind of a tough question cause I also enjoy comic books and well Batman would be my pick there but I’d be the older retired Batman with all the cool toys and money but just finally settled down with a nice wife that is an awesome cook and kids that I can share my toys and mansion with. But if we are going with novels I’d have to say Odd Thomas. Yeah he sees dead people but they are pretty quiet and share info with him that’s helpful. Plus, he would have the answer to the biggest question on everyone’s mind, Is there life after death? With a positive answer of yes, I think life may be a bit more comfortable and less worrisome.

10. Have you ever considered writing a book?

Actually, I have quite a few things I’ve started and I’m in the middle of but don’t know if I will ever get published or be ready to publish. Maybe when I have more time in the future after my kids are both out of school. I’d actually love to co-author something and maybe help out with chapters of a book sometime. I have ideas that are new and fresh and would love to share them with someone that has the time to write.

11. Do you have a blog where people can follow you?

I started something at a book blog site but never really go there. I usually just read, review, and blabber everywhere about what I’ve read at Goodreads, Facebook, and through emails to family and friends. If I did anything more I’d run out of time to read.

12. What book are you reading now/next?

I am reading Amaranth by Rachael Wade right now and I was pleasantly surprised at a twist in the story. I thought it was going one way and she through me for a loop…I like that.

And next I will be starting Toys by James Patterson & Neil McMahon. I grabbed this one because I’ve heard so many mixed reviews on it which some were really bad but I also watched this book get sold out off shelves everywhere in town this Christmas. So, thankfully there was one book my library had that I really wanted to read.

 


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The Readers Speak! My Interview With a Reader, Justin Bienvenue

Continuing what is to be a regular feature on The Site That Should Not Be, here is my interview with reader Justin Beinvenue.  If you are a reader who is interested in an interview, visit the Contact Me page and shoot me an email.

Writers, listen up!  Here we find out what the readers really think.  (Justin happens to be an author as well, but today he is putting on his reader hat).

1.      Why don’t you introduce yourself?  Where do you live?  What do you do for a living?

My name Is Justin Bienvenue, I’m currently 24 years old. I live in the New England area in the state of Massachusetts. Right now I am currently working at home as an author for a living.

2.      What’s the first book you remember reading?

My memory is good at times but that’s something I cannot remember lol.

3.      What is your favorite book/author?

“Pronto” by Elmore Leonard and I don’t really have a favorite author.

4.      What’s the biggest influence on what you read?  Word of mouth?  Cover art?  Price?

I’d say word of mouth and price. If someone is explaining their book to me or recommending it I usually listen and if it interests me I definitely look into it. Also price is a factor, you got to know to quality of what your getting and if its a reasonable price I’m all for it.

5.      Does advertising have any affect on what you read?

Not really, but it certainly grabs my attention to let me be aware of it.

6.      What’s something authors do that gets on your nerves?

Being an author myself I don’t think theirs anything all authors do that gets on my nerves but rather what some individual authors do such as lack of supporting fellow authors.

7.      Writers do a lot of spamming on social media sites.  Annoying or influential?

I’d say both. I myself do this but I try not to go overboard. You want to try to get the word out but your going to come off as annoying to some people.

8.      C.S. Lewis once said, “A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.”  Do you agree with that statement?

Yes, but I think it really all depends on whether you have an imagaination or are still a kid at heart, anyone can enjoy a book childrens or not.

9.      If you could be a character in any book, what would it be?

I’d say a vampire in one of Anne Rice’s Vampire series books. I read a few of them and being involved in the story would seem very cool.

10.     Have you ever considered writing a book?

I have! It’s called “The Macabre Masterpiece: Poems of Horror and Gore”, it was my first book i’ve ever written.

11.     If you were a writer, what kind of book would you like to write?

I am a writer and although I’ve written my first book on poems and horror its not what im all about. I will write about just about anything as long as I know that I and other people will be interested in it.

12.      Do you have a blog where people can follow you?

Yes, you can follow on my official website at http://jbienvenue.webs.com/

13.     What book are you reading now/next?

Not sure, I am currently waiting on a fellow author to send me his book so I may read that, or I have a couple in my library I need to get to.

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The Readers Speak! My Interview with a Reader, Richard Auffrey

I really enjoy a good author interview, and in my short time as a published novelist, I’ve been involved in several (on both sides of the questions).  But we authors can be an insular lot (some would say self-centered, aloof, arrogant), and it struck me that it would be interesting to get the views of some readers.  I’m going to try and make this a regular feature on the site, so if you are a reader who wants to give the writing world a piece of your mind, email me at brettjtalley@gmail.com and we will get one set up!

Today’s interview is with Richard Auffrey.  Richard has been involved in food and wine writing for over six years. He currently writes a food, wine, sake and spirits blog, The Passionate Foodie (http://passionatefoodie.blogspot.com) and also has a sake-dedicated site, Passionate Sake (http://www.passionatesake.com).  In addition, he writes a food & wine column for the Stoneham Sun newspaper and has been published in various other periodicals.  Richard is a Certified Spanish Wine Educator, a Certified Sake Professional, and a Wine Location Specialist who teaches educational classes, presides over tastings and dinners, as well as consults.  He especially enjoys promoting niche wines and beverages, trying to get others to expand their palates. He is also a voracious reader with eclectic tastes.  

  1.  Tell us a little bit about yourself.  Where are you from?  What do you do for a living? I was spawned in the depths of R’lyeh, suckled by a Deep One.  No, that’s not true. Or if it is, I must fully deny it.  I am actually a lifelong resident of Massachusetts and currently residing in a suburb north of Boston.  I am a licensed attorney (don’t hold that against me) though my current career is as a freelance food/wine writer and educator.  That is a far more satisfying career choice. I have been an avid reader since I was very young and my passion for reading has only grown as I have aged.
  2. Do you have a favorite genre that you like to read?  What attracts you to that type of book? I am a fairly eclectic and voracious reader, embracing many genres in both fiction and nonfiction. As for fiction, I am partial to horror, science fiction and fantasy, as I feel these genres offer the most creativity, and that is something that greatly appeals to me. Creating an entire fantasy world or SF universe is not an easy task, and I have great respect for those who do it well.  I attended my first science-fiction convention 32 years ago, and continue to attend them. As for nonfiction, I am partial toward history, philosophy and food/wine books.  But, I will read most any book if it interests me.
  3. Is there any genre you would never read? I generally don’t read straight romance novels, the Harlequin romance type, though have no problem if there is a romantic angle in the genres that I do enjoy.   If Fabio is on the cover, it is probably not a novel I will enjoy.
  4. Who is your favorite author?  Harlan Ellison, whose work I find thought provoking and entertaining, with plenty of irreverence. He has written so many classic short stories, and been an inspiration in my own writing.  But there are a number of other authors who I very much enjoy, those I eagerly await each and every of their new books.  Some of these include established authors like Dan Simmons, Mike Resnick, Brian Lumley, Clive Barker, and newer ones like Kevin Hearne, Jonathan Maberry, and Jon Merz.
  5. What about your favorite book? That is a much tough questioner and I really can’t choose just one such book.  There are a small group of books though which I find myself rereading time and time again, which really intrigue and please me. Some of these would include Deathbird Stories by Harlan Ellison, Carrion Comfort by Dan Simmons, Kirinyaga by Mike Resnick, Chung Kuo series by David Wingrove, Mongo mysteries by George Chesbro, Dune by Frank Herbert, Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, Battle Royale by Koushun Takami, Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield, and Replay by Ken Grimwood.
  6. What’s the most disappointing book you have ever read? This year, it would be a tie between Robopocalypse by Daniel Wilson and Zone One by Colson Whitehead. There was so much hype about these books and neither lived up to a fraction of that hype. Robopocalypse seemed so derivative and trite, and I have read much better books with a similar plot before. Zone One was just boring too me, and I really like a good zombie tale.
  7. What influences you the most when picking something to read?  Cost?  Word of mouth?  Cover art? Probably the most significant factor is the blurb about the book’s plot.  If it sounds interesting to me, then I am likely to pick it up. Though the other factors, from cost to word of mouth, play their role as well. I do know that with the surge in e-books, with so many available for free or only 99 cents, I do purchase more books as it seems such a small risk for such a little amount.
  8. Have you ever bought a book because of its advertising? Advertising can draw my attention to a book that I had not previously known about, but alone, it won’t get me to buy a book.
  9. Authors have developed the bad habit of spamming social media sites like Twitter and Facebook (in full disclosure, I am as guilty as anyone).  Do you think that kind of thing actually works?  Social media is fine for promoting your product or services, but there is also a line where it can become spam. The more times you push your book each day, the greater the chance it will be spam. Plus, the best writers know that social media should also be a two-way communication, a way to connect with their fans and would-be fans. That requires a dialogue with others, and not a one-way promotion of their books. I have unfollowed authors who only promoted their books and didn’t engage anyone.
  10. Have you ever thought about writing something yourself?  If you did try your hand at writing, what sort of story would you want to tell? I have written fiction before, mostly short stories, and several of them can be found through a companion site (http://passionatefoodie.blogspot.com/p/food-wine-short-stories.html) to my Passionate Foodie website.  These five short stories are all food/wine related, and generally have some kind of twist at the end. I am also currently working on revising the first draft of a horror novel, about demonic possession and exorcism. Essentially, the book tries to resolve some of the unanswered questions revolving around Roman Catholic exorcism. My hope is that it becomes the first novel in a five book series.
  11. Do you prefer paper books or electronic? I have a true love for paper books, and currently own thousands of them, paperbacks to hardcovers, and have two rooms in my home holding all of these books. But I have embraced electronic books as well, as they save me lots of room in my house, and often are cheaper than paper books. But for a true keeper, I generally prefer the paper book. Electronic books have though given greater exposure to many worthy authors.
  12. What’s your favorite drink, alcoholic or not? Another tough question as I love all sorts of drinks, from iced tea to wine, from vodka to tequila. I love to try new drinks, be they wines made from rare grapes or from less common areas like Lebanon or Georgia (the country). You can learn much more about the alcoholic drinks I like on my blog, The Passionate Foodie. I must mention though I have a strong passion for sake, that compelling Japanese brew.
  13. What book is next on your list to read? I am currently reading The Emperor’s Knife by Mazarkis Williams and then will move onto Empire State by Adam Christopher.
  14. You’re the host of a blog called “The Passionate Foodie.”  Tell us about that.  It is a food, wine, sake, and spirits blog which I have been writing for 4 ½ years. Like me, it is eclectic in the type of posts I write, from Rants to Restaurant Reviews, Histories to Wine Reviews. I especially like writing about less common and unusual items, to get people to expand their palates and minds. I post 5-7 times a week, so it keep me busy writing. One of my most recent additions was a new series: Alcohol, Authors, and Accolades, where I combine a couple of my loves, books and alcohol, to provide my readers with author recommendations and to delve deeper into the minds of these authors.

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