This month’s blogger alert goes to a fellow igloo-dweller, Ana from The Book Hookup. There are five different bloggers that contribute to The Book Hookup, but Ana is the one I met first, and so she’s special. Because of this, you will love her, or there will be yellow snow coming at you.
An avid reader with eclectic taste, Ana has been reading for as long as she can remember. So today, we’re taking some time to see what else we can learn from the book-loving Canadian. She wants a story that can take her places, but let’s go deeper than that.
1. No messing around here. You read Fiction, Non-fiction, and everything in between. Is there any specific genre that you really don’t enjoy? If yes, what is it about that genre that turns you off?
I will pretty much read anything once. I’ll give something a try no matter what the genre is as long as the description and cover appeal to me (yes, I’ll admit being influenced by the cover). However, I have found that I’m way too squeamish and girly to truly enjoy a horror book. I like to read at night but I don’t enjoy having to leave the lights on or jumping at every sound after I put my book down! So, no horror for this girl!
2. You’ve been reading for as long as you can remember. What’s the first book you remember reading, and since that book, is there any one book that rocks your bookverse more than any other?
The first book that had an impact me was Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery. I vividly remember reading way past my bedtime and starting the book again as soon as I’d finished it. As a shy kid, I loved Anne’s spunk and her ability to win over even the most skeptical adult. She has so many challenges to overcome but she does so with great sass. I may have wished that I was her…or that I could have her as a best friend!
3. Hypothetical #1 – You’re trapped in a library of epic proportions. Everywhere you turn you see towering bookshelves lined with creased spines. Your TBR list is growing longer with each moment. The power goes out and you’re in complete darkness. You can hear the ruffling of pages and the sensation of magic crawling up your arms. Candles around the room ignite at once, their flames flickering on the air. You find not one, but three creatures of your bookish nightmares stalking towards you. You start to panic, all those horrifying pages coming back to haunt you, and those nightmares have come to life. Out of nowhere, three books fall from a shelf and land open on the table. Three fictional heroes step up from the pages to save you. Who are the villains approaching you, and why do they scare you? And who are your heroes, and what makes them amazing?
*takes a moment to imagine this library of epic proportions and sigh*
OK…wow, this is a tough one. So many scary villains to choose from and so many dreamy, I mean strong, heroes to save me!
If you know me, it won’t surprise you that Voldemort is my first villain. Everything about him scares me. His eagerness to cleanse the world of anyone who is not of pure blood, his lust for power and his disregard for human life (not to mention the fact that he doesn’t have a nose and has creepy snake eyes). And, the only hero who can protect me from him is the only person he could not beat, Harry Potter…the boy who lived!
My second villain isn’t really a villain but a bunch of characters that really creeped me out! The shadows that roamed the dark corners and sucked the life out of people in the Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning were beyond scary! Of course, the dark and dreamy Jericho Barrons is the only person who could save me from them! After all, he’s not quite human and his mysterious powers are sure to save the day. And, even if he doesn’t save the day, his extreme hotness with distract me from the creepy shadows!
Finally, Eirik from Raine Thomas’ Firstborn series is as creepy as they come. A man who’s not above kidnapping and torturing innocent people to get what he wants and who is selfish to the core, he’s not one I’d like to meet in a dark alley!! To save me from this awful man I’d select James from Raine’s Daughters of Saraqael series. He’s a Gloresti…a fierce protector who also happens to be super intelligent and distractingly attractive. Yup…he can protect me anytime!!
4. Now that was intense, am I right? Don’t answer that, I know I’m right. Back to the questions. Was it your of passion for reading and sharing books that got you into blogging, or is there a story to how you became one of the fantastic bloggers at The Book Hookup? What do you like and dislike about blogging?
The lovely litbrarians at the Book Hookup started the blog a few months before inviting me to join them. And, of course, I stalked them endlessly! Out of nowhere came a lovely email asking me to join them and, quite honestly, I felt a bit nauseous from the fear. But I agreed and haven’t looked back since. Without a doubt, the best part of blogging is getting to know the authors behind the stories. There’s nothing better than reading a great book and then being able to discuss it with the person whose imagination brought it to life! I know I’m about to sound like a whiner but the worst part is that there are SO many books to read that, at times, we have to turn down author requests (I know, I know..boohoohoo…poor little blogger girl has too many books to read!) My brain says what a great problem to have…but my heart feels bad that I don’t have time to read them all!!
5. What kind of advice could you offer to other avid readers who are considering sharing their thoughts with the world?
Do it!! It’s so much fun (especially if you are part of a great team like I am)! I would, however, caution people that they must be true to themselves and fair to authors and readers. When I realized that people were actually reading my reviews and then deciding to spend hard earned money buying books I recommended, I knew that the most important thing was to always be honest and respectful with my opinions. Not everyone will agree with you but your readers will appreciate it!
6. You’re a fan of fairy-tale romance and you prefer a slow-burn love, but what are your thoughts on love triangles? What is it about them you like/dislike?
I know that lots of people hate them but I’d say I’m in the “love to hate” category. For me, a triangle will only work if all the characters are strong and have an actual reason to be in the story. To me, the worst possible thing an author can do is to add a character who is only there as part of the love story! Also, there must be angst…the final decision must break your heart into a million pieces because you can see potential in both relationships! Easy right? Not really…and that’s why they’re so hard to do well. Of all the books I’ve read, only a select few have met those criteria for me!
7. Every book we read creates a new world around us. A universe that unfolds from the pages, becoming more in depth and articulate as we consume each page. As a reader who is passionate about well-built, descriptive worlds, if you could choose any one book world to live in, what would that be and why?
Without a doubt I’d live at Hogwarts! The world that JK Rowling created in her books (which was not always captured in the movies as far as I’m concerned) was so real, so vivid, and so all-encompassing that I became a citizen immediately…and learned to speak the language! When an author can build a world that is so complete that I don’t question anything on the pages, no matter how outlandish, I can’t help but fall in love.
8. Let’s talk pet-peeves. First, is there anything that happens regularly enough in books to make you angry or frustrated? And second, physically speaking, is there anything some readers do to books that drive you crazy? Dog-earing the pages perhaps?
I am a firm believer that the way an author treats the secondary characters will make or break a story. So often we see best friends or family thrown into a story in one scene and never brought back again. Or, worse yet, they’re later made to be the villain when they hardly played a part in the story at all. I think that introducing a character is, in essence, creating a contract with the reader…promising that this person will be important and meaningful in the story. Sadly, not everyone sees things my way.
As for the physical pet-peeve, I’d have to say that it breaks my heart when I see people writing in the margins. That’s OK for textbooks but not for novels. Anything that will distract a future reader and keep them from being immersed in the story is a crime…and messy notes will do just that! Get a notebook, people!! 😉
9. When it comes to Fantasy books, we see creatures of all types: Vampires, Shifters, Trolls, Sirens, etc. Do you have a favorite mythological creature? What about them captivates you?
Lately I’ve been intrigued by mermaids (and mermen, of course). I’ve only read a few books that featured mermaids but the creativity of these stories has left me wanting more. Imagine being more comfortable in the water than on land, being half fish but still be so beautiful that humans are mesmerized by you. The freedom of the sea and unending allure? Sign me up!
10. You’ve mentioned before that you would love a career that allows you to read books for a living. Have you considered getting involved in the publishing industry, or perhaps working towards becoming a librarian? If yes, what’s holding you back?
That’s a great question. I guess there’s nothing holding me back except my own laziness! lol I think that, if the truth were told, I’d probably go in a different direction than the publishing industry. I might harbor a secret desire to write. Wow…I can’t believe I said that out loud. Maybe that means I need to do something about it…maybe!
11. Obviously, reading is an incredible passion of yours. But what else, away from the bookshelf, do you enjoy?
I love to bake and have taken several cake decorating classes. I’m now the official birthday cake baker for all family and friend occasions! And, since I let the cat out of the bag above about the writing thing, I might as well admit that I’ve got a bunch of half-finished, quarter-finished, and barely started stories lying about.
12. Before we get to the short and sweet of all this, tell me what type of story do you want to read, that isn’t done often enough, or hasn’t been done in the way you want it. It could be a storyline, or a type of character/creature that is rarely seen in books, anything really. What does Ana want to see in a story that she hasn’t seen yet?
I long for a truly independent, strong hero…who also happens to be a girl! YA is such a wonderful genre and has the ability to influence how girls see themselves. But, right now, most of these characters spend too much time falling in love or being saved by the perfect boy. Many stories have come close to bringing us this fierce, awesome girl but I think we can still do better. Wouldn’t it be refreshing if she had the power…if she fought the bad guy with her own wit…if she saved the boy?
What’s your preference?
Paperback, Hardcover, or eBook: For the pure love of it…hardcover; for the ease of it…ebook
Dream Vacation or Dream Car: I lived my dream vacation a couple of years ago when I went to Paris and I’d do it again in a heartbeat!
Cats or Dogs: Dogs
Spiders or Snakes: Really?!?! Either one is fine as long as they’re in a tightly sealed box!
Chocolate or Caramel: Chocolate
Food: Thai (and chocolate…not necessarily together)
Color: Black (it goes with everything)
80’s Movie: Breakfast Club (although I have a soft spot for the Princess Bride – “Have fun storming the castle”)
Smell: When I go into the mall and I smell Cinnabon…stops me in my tracks every time…heaven!
Reading spot: My soft, warm bed!
Thanks Ana for kicking of 2013 with an awesome Blogger Alert! Like what you see? Check out more: