Keira: You write and run Babbling About Books, and More! Tell me, what is your favorite aspect of blogging and what posts do you think people shouldn’t overlook when they visit your blog?
KB: I love the interactions the blogging community has. It's a great way to be vocal, as well as learn new things and meet new people.
Everyone should read all my posts! LOL. Because my blog is for the publishing industry, author and books, I would hope people would read my books reviews, mainly because the amount of time I put into writing them (haha). Knowing that at least one person will by an author's book based on my suggestions and opinions give me incredible joy.
I also hope when I come up with an opinion or commentary post on something that concerns me, people will read and think about the points I have raised. I'm all for discussion, regardless if you agree with me or not.
Keira: You list the following as your favorite books. If you were to give them alternative titles what would you call them?
- The Stand
- The Host
- Wuthering Heights
- The Bronze Horseman
- The Passion
"The Devil Went Down to Las Vegas"
"A Body Snatchers Love Story: Tales from the Secret Cave"
"The All Consuming Passion on the Moors"
"The Girl in the Cherry Dress and the Lusty Boy Who Loved Her and Wanted to Own Her Soul"
"The Most Tragic Werewolf Romance Ever Told"
Keira: What is your favorite and/or least favorite plot, character type, or literary device?
KB: I despise the hero who sleeps with too many women to count to the point he would have an STD because he never wears protection. My ideal hero is not some man whore who can't keep his "manhood" in his pants. I also hate a hero who refuses to love a woman, but will engage in very intimate acts with the heroine and enjoy giving her pleasure and want it in return. But the moment she speaks of her feels toward him, or ends up pregnant, he's out the door. That's what I call a loser, not an ideal man, aka the hero. I'm also sick of these rich, powerful lord type heroes who end up being part of a secret group of spies in England circa the year 1820.
I absolutely love a hero who is dark and brooding, but the minute he meets the heroine, he has a new outlook on life and wants to do whatever he can to be worthy of that woman's love. A heroine who is intelligent, strong, does things her way and doesn't care what others think, is exactly what I want to read in any book.
Keira: Okay let’s look at your bookshelf now. First, which authors occupy the most space? Second, are they mostly older or newer romances? Third, what would you say the average color cover is? Why think you bought them? Fourth, how many are unread?
KB: My top three authors on my bookshelves are JD Robb, because I have every single book in the In Death series, which is now up to 30 books. JR Ward's BDB series, and almost every single book written by Lisa Kleypas. Because I'm sent and buy the most up to date releases, I tend to newer romances. But I'm also addicted to used book sales, and will go out of my way to buy many older, out of print books I can find, especially old Loveswept category and Harlequin Silhouette reads.
I noticed lately many covers are dark colors with purple, blue and blacks. I'm not a big fan of anything too pastel or floral, unless it happens to be a historical romance. Historical romance covers seem to be big on bright, shiny colors.
Cover can grab my attention and visually I'm a sucker for the man chesty ones, as well as the ones with the woman looking over her shoulder as her dress falls down and shows her back. I also like covers with interesting backgrounds, such as urban settings.
My unread book pile is literarily in the hundreds. Last time I counted, I had 300 books that still need to be read.
Keira: What tips would you give to readers who want to read more books?
KB: I would recommend you set time aside each day to read. If you commute to work on the bus or by train, that's a perfect way to catch up on your reading. I also make sure to read before I go to bed each night. Usually 90 minutes before my bedtime, I will shut down for the day and relax with a good book. Helps calm down your mind and takes you away from all the stress and worry in your life.
Keira: You have received some very good news recently! Let’s talk about that!
KB: Since I was thirteen, I have wanted to be a writer and to walk into a book store and see my book on the shelves. Finally my dream has become a reality. I sold my first book, which happens to be something very different for me. It's a contemporary lesbian romance set in New York City about a thirty-five-year old woman, who runs a hotel empire, and falls for one of her employees, a twenty-five-year old college student. Lovestruck is all about opposites attracting and overcoming those odds to be together.
Keira: What was the very first thing you did after hearing that Lovestruck was being picked up by Noble Romance Publishing?
KB: First thought was, "Holy BEEP!", I grinned like a loon and then the shock set in. I was speechless, excited and nervous, all rolled into one.
Keira: What were some of the challenges you faced and things you learned in the process of writing and getting published?
KB: One of the biggest challenges is those internal things we do to ourselves. Self-doubt, depression and questioning our abilities to succeed are the hardest things to deal with. There will always be others who will criticize your work, and you have to learn how to deal with it and either, learn from it, or move on to something better.
Writing can be a love/hate process. One minute you find enjoyment in what you're doing, the next you want to fall to the floor and have a tantrum because a scene, character or the words aren't coming out the way you want them to. One of the worst possible things a writer can do is not having those you trust read your work. Criticism should be a welcomed step as you work toward your goals, and this goes for both unpublished and published authors.
I also found out that the publishing industry is very different from the other industries I worked for. Whereas you can use your connections and networking to hand over your resume to someone to possibly get you an interview or a job, that's not the case when you are trying to get published. It seems to be an unwritten rule, where you can't go to an author and ask them to put in a good word with their agent or editor, unless they come to you first and want to help you. Also, just because you may be on good terms with an author, agent or editor of a publishing house, that doesn't necessarily mean you have a foot in the door, so to speak. It all comes down to the quality of your work and if doesn't fit for that person who can extend you a writing contract, than you have to go back and do all the leg work yourself. Don't rely on others to help you succeed. They can give advice and support, but in the end, it all comes down to you.
Keira: Is there anything else you’d like to share? What’s next for you?
KB: The next step is working on my final edits for Lovestruck, waiting for it to be released and try not to chew my fingers down to the nub to see if people will read it and like it. I'm also in the process of selling another lesbian romance, but nothing has been made official yet, when it is, I will definitely announce it. I'm also working on various other writing projects that are different from my GLBT titles, such as two young adults and an erotic straight romance. I guess you can say I'm a big multi-tasker!
I will continue to do what I've been doing. Reading, reviewing, blogging, writing and enjoying my other bloggers and the newbies who are bringing something new and exciting to the blogging community.