Ambassador of Books ~ Book Club Madam ~ Blogger Gal

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

OCD, vampires, and amusing rants, oh my!

No, that's not what this post is about ... it's who I'm interviewing for Book Blogger Appreciation Week! The idea behind these interviews is that we can all get to know our fellow book bloggers a little better. And who wouldn't want to know more about OCD, vampires, and amusing rants, oh my!? Below are my questions and Anna's answers, and you can read MY answers to ANNA'S questions by clicking here.

Welcome Anna! Here's what I want to know about your blog, OCT, vampires, and amusing rants, oh my!

1. That title! How did you come up with it? What's the story?
Ha! The title was a fluke, actually. We were tooling around, trying to figure out what we were going to call our site, and eventually just put down the three things we figured would pop up most frequently. Most of the OCD happens behind the scenes, I think, but the vampires and rants are pretty regular features. Which reminds me, I'm not sure if I've properly ranted about vampires yet. I may have to fix that.
2. I see that there are two of you contributing to the site ... do you know each other IRL or did you meet online? Do you have rules about who posts what and when? Do you usually agree with each other's reviews or not?
Well, Sarah's from California and I [Anna] am decidedly Canadian, so we've never
actually met in person. We met online through a mutual friend and hit it off. We enable each others' obsessive behaviours, so hey, works for us. We don't always agree on absolutely everything, but we have similar enough tastes that neither of us have hated anything the other one loves yet. I'm kind of waiting for that to happen, it'll be interesting. It'll probably be me, I think I'm the picky one.
3. Do your IRL friends know about your blog? What do they think?

They do! I spread the word everywhere. I've always been the literary geek, so my friends have always come to me asking for recommendations or to borrow a book from my ever-growing library. I don't know if any of them follow the blog regularly, but they do check in from time to time, if only because it's easier to get my recommendations online where they can skip over my extra-long rants about the pros and cons of any given book. I think most of them think I'm nuts for taking on
something as time consuming as a book blog, but since they all thought I was nuts to begin with, it really hasn't changed anything.

4. Each of your reviews begins with a critique of the book's cover ... what is the WORST cover you've ever seen? Do you have a favorite cover?

Worst cover... well, romance covers are notoriously bad. Pictures of half-naked manflesh groping some chick in an ugly dress left over from the 1970s? Ugh. As for good covers, we actually did a short list of them by request. In general, I'm a sucker
for strong, monochromatic images with interesting lighting. *snobby accent* It is aaaaart!

5. You review a crazy variety of books over there! Your tags go from Romance and Erotica to Space Opera to Horror to Paranormal with stops all along the way. Is there anything you WON'T read? What is your absolute FAVORITE genre?

There isn't much I won't read, although not everything goes up for review there. We put an emphasis on genre fiction, so anything non-fiction or non-genre that I read doesn't get reviewed on the blog. I do try to avoid things involving child abuse, though, mostly because I know it'll bother me for days. But I mean, if I'm willing to read and review a novel written by Fabio, it either means I'll take a chance on anything or I completely lack the ability to say no.

Lately I've been on a serious urban fantasy kick. I love the gritty tone and the strong female characters that come out of that particular genre.
6. Inquiring minds want to know - what's the one thing you are most OCD about, the thing that drives everyone else batty?
Haha, I actually use my powers of OCD on the blog all the time.

"OH NO, it's been at least 25 hours since I last posted! My latest book review went up 4 days ago! Must update..." The one that really drives my husband nuts, though, is my obsession with keeping some order to my bookshelves. They're organized a lot like the bookstores, first by genre, then by author in alphabetical order, then by series in chronological order. So while it means I always know where everything is, nobody else is quite sure where to put things. "Is this one fantasy or horror...?"
"GAH! NO! That's book 3, it doesn't go after book 5!"
7. You have the most original (albeit creepy) rating system I've ever seen. Books are rated from 1 to 5 Pints of Blood, with 5 being the best. Are you sure you're both not REALLY vampires?

Well, I'm pale-skinned, nocturnal, and light-sensitive. You tell me!

8. On the subject of Romance Novels, complete this sentence: I'll always fall in love with a hero/heroine who _____________.

is self-aware and has a sense of humour. I love characters who can recognize their own strengths and weaknesses and remember to act accordingly. And nothing is sexier than someone who can make me laugh.
9. Since your read horror books, I'm guessing that NOTHING creeps you out, but I'll ask anyway: Have any of your commenters ever creeped you out with one of their comments?

Not yet, but good luck to anyone who wants to try! Hehe, I'm probably creepier than anyone actually reading the blog.
10. How do you choose what books to read? Do you get lots of ARCs? How big is your TBR pile/list?

I wouldn't say we get a lot of ARCs, but we have had a few, and those always get
priority. Um, new releases get higher priority than older books, and as a general rule I try to keep the reviews spread pretty evenly across the genres we cover. Number of sci-fi reviews dipping low? Time to check that section of the TBR list!

I also have a habit of "saving" books I'm really looking forward to and know I'll enjoy. Those get pulled out after I wind up reading something absolutely dreadful, or when I've had a really long stream of books that just made me go "meh." Every so often, you have to read something that fires you up and gets you excited about reading again, y'know?
11. Are you a book keeper, a book swapper, a book borrower, or something other species of reader?

I'm definitely a book keeper. It's mine, my precioussssss. If I think there's the slightest chance I'll want to re-read it, it goes on my bookshelf. Or, well, in that vicinity, since I'm out of shelf space again. Go figure. Books I really don't like get swapped on
12. What do you love about blogging? Hate?
I love the sense of community. Book blogs have a tendancy to gather intelligent, open-minded people who are up for friendly debate, which turns my crank like nothing else. I've met some really great people I'd never have met otherwise. As far as hate... this is going to sound funny, but I hate summarizing books. Trying to condense a four-hundred-page book into three paragraphs, keeping it coherent but trying not to give away plot points... it takes me forever, and I agonize over what details I can and can't stick in there. Oh coherency, the bane of bloggers everywhere!

13. What is a book you LOVE that you'd be embarrassed to be seen with?

It's pretty hard to embarrass me most of the time. I do carry around novels with shirtless Fabio on the cover, after all. I do have a habit of looking up older romance and fantasy novels where even the plot summary on the back sounds like the author must have been on crack. It's like watching the B-movies from the 60s; they're just unintentionally hilarious.

14. What author's book would you buy ASAP knowing nothing about it but who wrote it? What's so great about that author?

Oh man, buckle yourself in for some serious gushing. I would buy Tanya Huff's grocery list, I'm pretty sure. Actually, she said once that authors write about what they think is cool, and she likes strong women and witty repartée. Just so happens, those are my exact weaknesses. She's been one of my heroes for a long time, and I was fortunate enough to have met (read: stalked) her earlier this year. She's even more awesome in person (did not run away screaming even once) and I've pretty
much decided I want to be her when I grow up. The world could do with two, right?

15. If you were a Muppet, which one would you be?

Rizzo the rat. I'm short and have a wicked sense of sarcasm.

16. Give me one book I absolutely have to read, one book blog I have to visit, and one fashion trend I have to avoid at all costs.

Ah, and karma comes back to bite me. One of each, hmm. I'm going to cheat a little, since I know you're a fan of historicals I'll recommend Joanna Bourne's My Lord and Spymaster. Great book, interesting characters, complex plot, and just overall a lot of fun. Smart Bitches, Trashy Books has to be one of my favourite book blogs. They
just genuinely have so much fun with what they do, it's infectious. As for trends, this return to the 80s thing has to die, especially the potato sack tunics. They have no waist, and are not flattering on any body type, I don't care how "in" it is. Unless
you're inexplicably looking to add ten pounds to your frame, I honestly don't understand why people wear those things. Just say no!

Now wasn't that fun?! And guess what? Anna interviewed me at her blog today too! To find out what Muppet I would be (and lots of other strange things about me) go on over and check out her interview.


Anonymous said...

This was too much fun. Thanks, Heather!

Anonymous said...

Anna sounds like quite a character!

My BBAW interview is up.

Ali said...

"If you were a muppet, which would you be"--Love that question! Great interview!

Florinda said...

That's a new-to-me book blog - love the title, and I enjoyed learning more about it!

I really enjoyed reading Anna's interview with you too, Heather! Due to some LiveJournal oddity I couldn't leave her a comment, though, so I thought I'd just tell you :-).

Anonymous said...

I got a kick out of this interview! Anna's answers were very entertaining!

Literary Feline said...

Great interview! I am so glad you asked about the title, Heather. It's very catchy. :-)

Anna has a great sense of humor and I could see myself in several of her answers.

Anonymous said...

Great questions, Heather. And I agree with everyone else, Anna's answers were interesting and amusing.

I'm glad I read this interview, because I had seen the blog title before and thought the only books reviewed were vampire/fantasy.

Now I know better!

Ana S. said...

From this interview alone I can tell that this is a blog I have to start reading!

I love the Muppet question too.

avisannschild said...

Great interview! I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who organizes her books by genre and then by author!

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