Today I bring to you a pretty kick ass book blogger. At least I think so, and since for today only I’m adopting this blogger’s blog philosophy of “this is my blog, so I’m always right,” it doesn’t make any sense for you to disagree with me. Good? Good!
I’ve spent some time getting to know Laura at Little Read Riding Hood, and I immediately liked her because she’s a dog person. So much so, that she actually works with dogs for a living. If I wasn’t a writer, I think working with animals would be amazing career. But this isn’t about me, it’s about Laura, my scuba diving, dog loving, Fantasy reading, occasionally adult-language oriented book blogger for March, so let’s get right to the interrogat—I mean the interview!
1. Laura, I’m going to ease you into this. Tell us about your earliest memory of falling in love with books.
I can’t remember a time NOT loving books. It was all I wanted when I was little, to have my parents read to me. Did I want to go outside and play? No, read me a story. I think they got tired of reading to me so they taught me to read at a pretty young age. I think they did that so when my younger siblings came along, I could read to them.
2. You primarily read Fantasy books in some aspect. In fact, on your blog you make a bold statement that says you read to escape reality, so you prefer not to read something based inside reality. I think that’s a fair statement, but is there any times that you venture out of the Fantasy realm, and if so, what are a few great books you’ve discovered since stepping out of your usual reading routine?
I have ventured into some New Adult, Contemporary Romance, and some Historical Romance, though those usually have some sort of fantasy/paranormal element to them! I am pretty loyal to what I consider ‘my’ authors (and before you ask, yes Matt, you are mine!) and if I’ve loved something they wrote in the paranormal/fantasy realm, I will try anything else they write. Some examples are Chelsea Cameron, with My Favorite Mistake and Deeper We Fall. They are in the New Adult category and take place in college. For the most part, I really liked college and enjoy putting myself in those books. Another example is Karina Halle’s newest release, Sins & Needles, which I am happy to say has been buzzing all over the book universe. It is of course well deserved buzz. That is NOT a story I would want to live, but man the ride she takes you on with Camden and Ellie is wild.
3. You’ve recently achieved your scuba diving certificate. That’s a much more outgoing activity in some respects, compared to locking yourself up in a reading chalet and disappearing into another world. What other things do you like to do that do not involve books?
Ha! I think you have listed all my hobbies … are you stalking me? 😉 – books and anything related to them, animals – having worked at a zoo, an aquarium, and now with dogs I have a large appreciation for all the critters – except spiders, they can burn in a hell of a thousand suns, and SCUBA which is freaking awesome and terrifying at the same time. I do like to try new things; one year for my birthday we went parasailing and it was amazing, right up until we saw lightening strike the ocean. I would eventually like to travel more, but having just got married in October, we don’t have the budget for that just yet. OH! I am a HUGE American Football fan. Though right now I am ashamed of my team so I won’t say who specifically, but I will say my husband roots for a different team and this year our house had a 4 – 28 record. Maybe next year.
4. Hypothetical # 1 – You’re on your way to the ocean for a scuba diving excursion. Naturally, you’ve always got a book with you, and this time, it just so happens to be a physical book, no eReader to be had. You’re driving a long when the cover starts to shift and flutter. You glance over, somewhat confused, and a primordial roar slips from the pages. Your books has been turned into a paper beast and is ready to attack. Fierce fangs have dropped from the book’s spine, and it’s chopping into your passenger seat, tearing it to pieces. Eyes bulge from the book’s cover and they slowly turn to you. A low rumble escapes its throat, and then it attacks!
In one paragraph, diffuse this completely unrealistic situation with the stipulation that although a monster book, it is still a book and you cannot destroy it. That’s a crime. Also, if the book successfully bites you, you will turn into a very realistic, completely non-fantasy, book. Not just any book, but your own personal memoir.
Way to set the stakes high! Since this a hypothetical, I am obviously going on a diving trip to help cull the wildly out of control Lionfish population in the Caribbean. So I would have the proper spears and bags (to store them – they have very venomous spines). And because I am a responsible diver I would of course have a buddy (never dive alone!) in the car. So, while I slowly pull the car to the side of the road, making sure the little beastie keeps its eyes on me without making any sudden movements, my buddy will grab the spear and slowly stalk up to it. I would then of course shake my head no, as we cannot hurt the poor beastie. Once the car was pulled over, we would release all the airtanks valves and hop out of the car, slamming the doors shut. If you don’t know, pressurized air is very cold when released suddenly. Which would of course make the beastie sluggish so we could safely scoop him up in the bag meant for Lionfish.
Yeah, I’ll leave the writing to the writers. Don’t quit my day job.
5. Since you work with dogs for a living, and you happen to own three yourself, do you have a favorite breed? If yes, what is it about that breed that you love so much?
Funny you should ask that. I don’t actually have a favorite breed, but the longer I work with dogs, the longer the list of breeds I will never own gets. You would be surprised at the breeds I would laugh in your face at if you tried to give me a puppy. For example, Labs, English Bulldogs, most Poodle mixes (but not poodles), Weimaraners, and Mastiffs. That isn’t to say they are bad breeds, just definitely not for me. Oh, and Huskies, Beagles … In my opinion, the best dog is a mutt. They usually end up with the best qualities of whatever they are mixed with.
6. Books are pretty powerful objects. Considering that it has all come out of a person’s imagination, it’s amazing the effect one book can have on so many people, and in such different ways. Is there a single book that’s really changed your life? What book was it and what did it do to shift your reality?
Books are amazing. Seriously. I think they all change my life in some small way. Early on I devoured anything I could written by Anne Rice. Her characters are so damaged yet so beautiful. You can’t help but feel everything they feel. More recently Stacia Kane’s Downside Ghosts series is actually the catalyst that got me blogging and introduced me to the world of online book communities. I remember reading the first three in a matter of days, and immediately went to her website to stalk find out more information on upcoming releases. On her blog she had written something about Goodreads, and as many of us know, it is all downhill from there. My TBR grew from a handful of books to an overwhelming amount that I will never finish.
There are so many more, but if I listed them all, I would forget someone, and feel like a jerk. So I will just say to all the authors out there – if I’ve ever read your book (even if it wasn’t for me), THANK YOU for writing it. I will treasure the time we spent together, and your book(s) forever changed my life, for the better, just by being there.
7. Can you tell us what it was that made you get involved in blogging? Was it simply the love of books? Did a friend push you into it? I’ve said on my blog time and time again that blogging can be a full-time job. Especially for how committed some of you are. So what made you want to invest so much time into sharing your love for stories?
Well I kind of started on this earlier, but Stacia Kane got me on to Goodreads. Once there, I realized how many people actually had blogs, and thought, “Hey, this might be something I could do!” Then a friend of mine started a health food/workout blog (Nutty About Health for those who are interested) and I realized that maybe I should do this. So I took the plunge. I honestly had no idea how much time it would take. Even now the dogs are sitting in the kitchen, waiting on dinner, my husband is out in the garage, using the fading daylight to build us a new composter (the old one needs to go), and what I am doing? Working on this interview. And mentally planning what’s for dinner. So that totally counts as being productive … right? RIGHT?!
My favorite thing about blogging has got to be when someone comes back and says “I read X book because you said you loved it, and I think it’s the best too!” Or even, “I read X book, and what the heck were you thinking? It was horrible!” Honestly, people taking the time to read my thoughts makes me a little queasy, in a good way. And even if we are on opposite sides of the book, I love discussing it. Trying to sway opinions one way or another is so much fun. And all the books I might not have ever heard of … that thought scares me. If for nothing else, I will keep blogging so I can find out about new authors.
8. March is the one year anniversary of Little Read Riding Hood. Congratulations! Is there anything you’ve learned in the last year that you think would help anybody reading this who might be considering getting into blogging?
Thank you! The thought that I was actually able to stick with something for a whole year … if you knew me well, you would be amazed.
For the love of everything holy, PLAN AHEAD. There is nothing worse than realizing you have no posts scheduled for the next week and it is suddenly Sunday night and you spend hours throwing stuff at the screen until you are positive none of it makes sense.
9. We’ve spoken very briefly about you writing. Is this something you do only for a hobby and for yourself, or are you hoping to see one of your books published in the future? And what kind of story do you have in store for us?
*snort* I’ve written some very short stories in a Goodreads group I am in. The problem I have is when I get stuck and don’t know where the plot is going, I just stop. I don’t write through it, knowing I can go back and fix it later, I don’t skip ahead to another scene just to get the juices flowing again. I stop. I don’t even attempt to come back to it later. So right now, my character is sitting in a bar booth, with some bad men & some friends, looking for a way to get the bad guys outside without making a scene or killing any innocents. Poor thing has been there since August.
10. Hypothetical #2 – While at work, you start to hear a strange banging on the doors. As you go to check the front door, you see nothing is there. Then the sound comes from the back. As you make your way towards the door, the sound gets louder, but now it’s coming from all sides of the building. You glance out the window to see a small army of eleven cats. At some point, one of your dogs chased the wrong kitty and now she’s back for revenge, and she’s brought all her friends.
The cats are under the impression that you’re the ring leader, and naturally, if they take out the head of the snake, everything else falls with it. Dressed in full ninja kitty apparel, their diamond dipped claws are cutting out windows and you haven’t got much time. Armed with a near-empty squirt bottle, a bag of dog poop, and a single cat kennel that is within reach, how do you defeat the onslaught of felines?
I am pretty sure you hate me Matt … working with animals, all the things you mentioned are always in easy reach. What you forgot is the catnip. Bam. Problem solved. And of course animal control on speed dial …
I want to point out for the record, that I did not give you catnip, therefore you cheated, and I win. *insert Matty’s winning dance here*
11. There has been mention that you would love to take your love of books to the next level. If you had to step away from working with man’s best friend, and jump into the book world professionally, what kind of career would you like to pursue?
A girl can dream … I would love to get into editing, and think I could be good at it. But my schooling background is in Science, so I would need to take some refresher English/Grammar classes. Or a publicist. Or an agent. Really, anything. I am not picky.
What’s your preference?
Paperback, Hardcover, or eBook: I hate to say it – ebook for the instant gratification & convenience. Though I love having physical copies of my favorites
Dream Vacation or Dream Car: Easy, Vacation. Cars come and go, pictures & memories are forever
Cats or Dogs: While I own both, I would have to say dogs.
Spiders or Snakes: Snakes are awesome. Remind me to show you pictures of the two headed snake I used to work with …
Chocolate or Caramel: Chocolate. The darker the better.
Food: I’m a Midwest girl all the way. Meat & potatoes are the way to my heart.
Color: Dark purple.
80’s Movie: The Breakfast Club. I mean hello? They are in a LIBRARY for crying out loud.
Smell: My husband’s cologne. Yup, go ahead, make fun. I can take it.
Reading spot: When the weather is nice, the hammock out back. Though I usually fall asleep pretty fast out there. I do have a big chair in my front room, though I do most of my reading in the car (audio books) or in bed.
Need more Little Read? Hell yes you do. Check her out:
And keep your eyes posted on her website. March 23rd is going to kick off her one year blog anniversary. There will be some great prizes and lots of fun posts!