Q&A With Book Chick City
Hi BCC gals! It's a pleasure to have you here today! Could you please introduce yourselves and tell us a little about yourselves?
CAROLYN: I run the book review site www.BookChickCity.com. I’ve been blogging about books since July 2009 and still loving it. I now have four reviewers, including Laura (below) who I’ve become really good friends with – we’ve met a few times now and get on like with been friends for years. Outside of blogging I’m studying BSc Zoology – I love animals and nature.
LAURA: Hi *waves* I joined www.bookchickcity.com in 2010, when Carolyn put out a tweet asking for a reviewer. We've since become great friends and fellow book addicts! I love it too as I love sharing my thoughts with others. Other than blogging I became a Mum in October and work in fashion marketing.
How long have you been addicted to books? Did you grow up, nose in a book? Or did a story in particular get you hooked to reading?
CAROLYN: I grew up with my nose in a book. I was always reading and being called a bookworm. I loved Alice and Wonderland, Worst Witch, Nancy Drew and Agatha Christie, but around 12 I moved on to the classics and devoured all books by the Bronte sisters and Jane Austen. Then my tastes changed again when I read Dracula by Bram Stoker at the age of 14. I’m now very much into the darker side and read a lot of horror, urban fantasy and more recently paranormal romance.
LAURA: Always, always loved books. I remember friends would come back from their school summer holidays and they would have reluctantly read a book and I'd have read about twenty. My favs were Worst Witch, Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl, moving onto Sweet Valley High, Point Horror and Judy Blume. My first horror was either a Stephen King or a James Herbert book.
Now, I know you spend a lot of time reading, but what else do you do?
CAROLYN: I enjoy going to the gym, cycling and generally being outdoors. My hubby and I love to hike in the Lake District or holiday by the Cornwall coast. I’m also at university studying BSc Zoology, which is great.
LAURA: I'm a classically trained singer and have fortnightly singing lessons, I own a giant black dog called Boris and we like to go for family walks with him. I have a bit of a handbag addiction, I can't help it they just keep breeding....! And I work in fashion retail, specialising in Internet marketing.
Do you have a favourite genre or theme?
CAROLYN: My favourite genres as mentioned above are urban fantasy and paranormal romance with a lot of zombie fiction thrown in. I love zombies whether books or movies. Is that a theme? ;) I also love a little historical romance too.
LAURA: Like Carolyn my favourite genres are urban fantasy and paranormal romance, although I do like a bit of historical and a good old cowboy romance every now and then too ;) . I've not tried a zombie novel yet, although if Carolyn gets her way it won't be long!
CAROLYN: Favourite book of all time is Dracula by Bram Stoker, but I think it’s because it was my first step into darker literature. Not far behind is Wuthering Heights – I loved that book. Since then I’ve read some amazing books such as I Am Legend by Richard Matheson, Allison Hewitt is Trapped by Madeleine Roux, Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton, Archangel’s Kiss by Nalini Singh, the list could go on and on.
LAURA: This question is always so hard! I think it may have to be Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, I also adore The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. I agree with Carolyn on Guilty Pleasures awesome book and I have a soft spot for Bitten by Kelley Armstrong.
Is there a book that you’ve read over and over again – one you always go back to after you’ve had a tough day?
CAROLYN: Not really. Well, not in recent years anyway. I used to re-read Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and I’ve read Dracula 3-4 times. But now I read a book and that’s it, I move onto the next. However, if it’s a favourite, then I will keep it forever.
LAURA: Before I reviewed, I used to be a terrible re-reader. I like to read old favourites, it's like snuggling under a comfy duvet. If I'm feeling down even now, I want to pick up a faithful favourite that will give me a cosy happy ending. I actually tend to re-read romances for that reason. I have read nearly all of Catherine Anderson's stories more than once and Sherrilyn Kenyon's early Dark-Hunter books several times.
Do you have any ‘pet peeves’ when it comes to writing? A type of character that really winds you up? A personality?
CAROLYN: I have SO many pet peeves. Really don’t like repetitive words when I’m reading. I’ve read a page where one word just kept popping up all the time and it drove me nuts. I don’t like wimpy or whiney heroines, I like mine strong, but they can be vulnerable but that’s different to weak and pathetic. I hate the use of the “C” word (I think we all know to which word I refer) it’s just not needed. A sex scene can be sexy and well written without it. It just ruins the whole book for me – can’t get passed it. I have several more but I better let Laura get a word in, otherwise we could be here for sometime ;)
LAURA: Oh yes repetitive words! I once started counting how many times an author used a phrase, it drove me bonkers! And the 'C' word should be henceforth banned from all literature! I hate dream sequencers where in a romance their relationship is consummated in a dream, drives me mad. Heroes that are over the top alpha, they can be a little alpha, just not so much you want to hit them over the head with a baseball bat ;) . Also too much sex that it detracts from the story, and when I just cannot connect with a character.
CAROLYN: Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K Hamilton. In fact I would love the series to be taken up like the Sookie books with True Blood. Anita Blake is such a fantastic character that I think she would translate to the movie or TV screen really well. Only of course if they get the casting right.
LAURA: Carolyn and I are in complete agreement with this I think Anita Blake would make a superb TV series, I can almost see it in my mind. Not sure who I would cast as Anita... But we want someone better than Anna Paquin. Sorry Anna! X
Be honest here – what are the worst and best parts of being a book blogger? The highs and lows?
CAROLYN: The best side - I love reading books and then talking about them, and a blog lets me do that whenever I like. I love that people come to the blog to read what I have to say on a particular book and leave comments, it’s really fun. And then there’s the books of course, which I’m sent for review from authors and publishers. Not the reason I do it but it’s an awesome perk!
The worst side of blogging for me has to be the DRAMA. I just don’t go in for drama, so you won’t find any at Book Chick City. We’re all about the books.
LAURA: Books, books glorious books! I never knew there were so many people as crazy about reading as I am. Even now, every time someone comments on one of my reviews or posts it just makes my day. I love sharing and talking about something that I'm passionate about.
Downsides, I totally agree with Carolyn on the drama. I also hate it when people book bash. We all read books that we don't like or don't appeal to us. We're all different after all. But I always try to remember that this is someone else's livelihood even when I write a negative review. It's important that I'm constructive and not mean.
One of the other things that I sometimes find tough is that reviewing means I need to be quite structured with my reading. It's rare that I can finish a book and peruse my bookshelf to see what I fancy picking up next, as I usually have a book I've committed to reading and reviewing next. It's a small price to pay for all the upsides, don't get me wrong but it does require discipline.
How do you think book blogs and social media sites have changed publishing and book selling?
CAROLYN: I think book blogs have changed the way publishers market and promote their books. Since I began blogging in 2009, it’s exploded. There were a lot of book blogs when I started but now the Internet is chock full of them. People have really taken to it and I think publishers see this and since word of mouth is a pretty strong medium they are using it to great affect. We at BCC are very much into our social media, we ‘re on twitter, facebook and goodreads, which are the main places you will catch us. Therefore if we love a book or hate a book it gets splattered all over the place, and what better advertising is that for a book? The other thing, which I love is the proximity to authors. Most are just so friendly and it’s a real pleasure to get to know them, albeit it minutely via twitter or email. This is a big plus to all the social media sites we use.
LAURA: I really do. Never before has a normal person's view, been so important. Gone are the days when you check your local paper for a critic's opinion. I'm more interested in what my fellow book bloggers think of a book, than some stuffy old critic and publishers have realised this. Social media has made author's, publicists and even characters more accessible. I love chatting with authors on twitter, I can get quite fan girl excited about it!
Lots of bloggers say they want to be an author themselves - do you like writing stories?
CAROLYN: I have written stories every since I was six years old and I do still dabble. I have an unfinished urban fantasy in the drawer as we speak… maybe I’ll finish it one day.
LAURA: This is actually quite a timely question. I've been trying to write an urban fantasy novel for a few years now, it's at 80, 000 words and I'm kind of struggling to pull it all together. But I'm going on a creative writing course this Saturday run by author Julie Cohen, which I'm really quite excited about! Maybe it will give me the help I'm looking for!
Now onto the fun and silly questions! Let’s say you can go and live in any book – any book at all. Which book would you choose and why?
CAROLYN: Umm, not sure, there are so many. I’d love to get to know and become bff with Anita Blake, that would be very cool. Also the Sookie Stackhouse books would be a great – I’d love to get to know Sookie, and also get a little closer to Eric * sigh * need I say more?
LAURA: Ooh good question! I think I'd like to live in a happy romance, with a lovely hunk with a few super powers to cuddle me and give me foot massages! I think I'd like to switch places with Grace in Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon *blushes* .
If you could be any supernatural creature or have any super power, what would you be/have?
CAROLYN: I’d love to have super speed and strength and be able to use martial arts to great effect, then I could kick anyone’s butt.
LAURA: All of the above, I'd like to be like Buffy! But maybe some cool witchy powers too, so maybe Buffy and Willow combined that would be super cool ;-D
If you could have a perfect dinner party with any five authors or characters (from pages or on screen), who would you pick?
CAROLYN: I’m going to go with 1. Anita Blake as she’s the first urban fantasy heroine I read and I think she’s awesome. I’d ask her to teach me a few moves and also ask her a few questions about her dubious love life… 2. Chess from the Downside Ghosts series by Stacia Kane - she’s a great character, albeit a troubled one, and I’d love to get to know her better. 3. Sookie – she seems so sweet, I’d be intrigued to know if she really was that way in real life. 4. Elena from the Guild Hunter series by Nalini Singh – she’s an awesome character and I’d love to have a girly night with a few glasses of wine and hear all Raphael’s dirty little secrets. 5. Dragos from Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison – the only guy at the party, just so I could stare at him all night ;)
LAURA: Another excellent question... Hmm... 1. Eric Northman, do I really need to say more? ;) 2. Acheron from Kenyon's Darkhunter books, he's fascinating and thousands of years old and I would love to pick his brains! 3. Cat and Bones from Jeaniene Frost's Dark Huntress books, I'd like to see what they're like in real life, are they as cool as the pages say? 4. I'm a big fan of the show Sons of Anarchy, so Jax the lead character from there, to see if I could lure him into a life on the straight and narrow! 5. And finally perhaps a touch cliche, but I don't think I've ever seen her interviewed, I would be really interested to meet author Stephanie Meyer, what is the woman behind the books like?
What’s next for Book Chick City?
CAROLYN: Hopefully a few more years! As long as people continue to come to the site then we’ll keep blogging. I really enjoy it and have lots of ideas up my sleeve. I like to constantly evolve the site and keep it fresh, which we’ve just done recently with a gorgeous new design as well as increased content. We’ve refocused the blog, which we hope our readers enjoy.
Quick Fire Round...
Reading or writing?
Tea or coffee?
Vampire or werewolf?
CAROLYN: Archangel ?
Fantasy or reality?
Edward Cullen or Jace Wayland?
CAROLYN: Who’s Jace? Neither?
LAURA: I don't know who Jace Wayland is either. Can I have Eric Northman instead?
Thank you so much for taking part girls! Oh, and Jace Wayland is from The Mortal Instruments - it's a very good series and he's yummy! :D
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