I thought that I wouldn’t have much in common with the girls at Genre Reviews: OCD, Vampires, and Rants, Oh My! I don’t read “genre fiction,” I didn’t think. But I learned that even the classics can be considered “genre fiction!” And I loved discovering how their reasons for blogging are similar to mine.
We all read and blog because we love books, and realizing that is what BBAW is all about.
Go check out Genre Reviews‘ interview of me today.
About Your Blog
Who are the people behind Genre Reviews?
There are three of us making trouble over here. We’ve got Sarah, our California-based evil genius; Shannon, our prolific Australian babe; and I’m Anna, the Canadian supergeek. And, well, there’s Nico, my sexy Sony reader. He doesn’t write posts or review books but he does make reading much easier.
When and why did you begin blogging about books?
Genre Reviews started in February 2008 when I told Sarah I needed a proper outlet to rant about the books I was reading. I am a sick, sick person who loves to analyze and dissect what I’m reading (and what I’m watching. Incidentally, I’m the worst person ever to watch a movie with). Unfortunately, most of the friends and family I see on a regular basis are not readers and aren’t particularly interested in hearing me ramble on about why the last thing I read did or didn’t work for me, so you can imagine how well a two-way discussion works. And, of course, Sarah is brilliant and said there were people online, at which point I shanghaied her into blogging with me. Shannon joined us a little later, when the site had grown enough to be a juggling challenge for just the two of us. So, uh, I guess the short version is just that I wanted to meet other bibliophiles with whom I could talk about the books I loved and even the ones I hated.
What do you enjoy most about book blogging?
The discussions. I never know what’s going to set people on fire, but it’s always a fun day when people get excited about whatever we’re chatting about that day and have full discussions in the comment sections. Book folks are intelligent and fun, and whether they agree or disagree with me, the back-and-forth is enough to help me keep my sanity even on days when the kids decide to gang up and shave the cat. (That is, of course, an exaggeration. My children are better behaved than I am and wouldn’t think of shaving the cat. Also, I lost my sanity long before they came along.)
About the Books
What are some of your favorite books? Who are some of the literary characters you’d like to meet?
I hope you have a very long time to sit here and let me ramble on, if we’re going in this direction! Let’s see… I absolutely devoured Jacqueline Carey’s original Kushiel trilogy, with the gorgeous language and the extensive worldbuilding and an awesome spy heroine. Eric Flint and Dave Freer’s furry space opera Bats, Rats, & Vats is hilarious, and stays funny even on re-readings. Same could be said for Tanya Huff’s Summon the Keeper, where cats speak their minds and Hell is a somewhat schizophrenic hole in the basement. I know I’m missing some obvious favourites here, let’s see… I love anything by Patricia Briggs, Victoria Dahl, Ann Aguirre, am a longtime fan of Kelley Armstrong, Barb Hendee, Jennifer Crusie, EE Knight, Michelle Sagara/West, Laura Resnick… uh, my shopping list is long.
For literary characters, well, some of the most interesting are people I’m not sure I’d actually want to meet in real life. Let’s go cliché and say Dumbledore. I’m pretty sure he’d provide some fun dinner conversation I’d live through.
What book(s) are you dying to read next?
My brain goes to upcoming releases at first, but if you look up at the previous question, I’m pretty sure you can figure out which books I’m anticipating. I do have a few carrots lying around the house, though. I always keep a couple of books I’m excited about in my TBR (to be read) list, as rewards for whatever achievement I figure earns a little spoiling. The carrot dangling at the end of the stick to keep me going, you know? Or sometimes I’ll use a “reward” book to break up a bad streak, if I’ve read several books in a row I’m just not crazy about. Right now I’ve got Daniel & Dina Nayeri’s Another Faust, Chris Roberson’s End of the Century, and Vicki Pettersson’s latest.
What do you like most about genre fiction?
Anything is possible. There’s a whole other world inside your wardrobe, that hunk down the street has been eyeing you while you aren’t looking, that monster under your bed is actually a pretty friendly guy, and at the end of the day we all get to live happily ever after. Genre fiction stretches the boundaries of human imagination and gives me a whole new place to visit when I get a few minutes to myself to hide from real life. Besides, it’s fun!
I am not very familiar with the term “genre fiction.” How do you define it?
Well, technically speaking, genre really just translates to category. So the types of books that are easy to categorize, like fantasy or romance are known as genre fiction. We mostly review fantasy, science fiction, romance, and horror, but occasionally other things like YA (Young Adult) or mysteries fall in there, too. Of course, there’s a lot of variety within a genre. Alternately, you could head over to the geek section of the bookstore, where you’ll find me sniffing the pages and pawing at the covers.
I’m interested in giving genre fiction a try. What is one book that you’d recommend to someone who, like me, may be new to that type of book?
You might be surprised by what could be considered genre fiction! Jane Austen wrote romance and Shakespeare wrote both fantasy and horror, but they’ve been around for long enough they’re now shelved as classics. As far as recommendations go… for romance, I loved Joanna Bourne’s My Lord and Spymaster, which is just beautifully written and a really fun plot that doesn’t centre around the “will they or won’t they” factor. For those new to fantasy, the urban fantasy subgenre is a good place to start, since it generally features a few fantastical elements in what is otherwise our world. Patricia Briggs’s Mercy Thompson books are excellent, or Ann Aguirre’s Grimspace has a similar tone in a space-flying world.
Thank you so much, Anna! That was so much fun!