Did you know that it's Book Blogger Appreciation Week?
One of the many cool things about BBAW is the interview swap.
What is an interview swap, you ask?
It's where one book blogger interviews another book blogger in celebration of BBAW!
I had the privilege of interviewing Marg Bates from the Reading Adventures Blog! Below are my questions for Marg, which she kindly answered for me. Enjoy!
1. Marg, I notice that you use the English spelling of words (favourite as opposed to favorite). May I ask where you are from?
I live in Melbourne, Australia, and yes, we use the English spelling! I have lived in a couple of other cities in Australia, and spent five years in the UK as well.
2. If you had to pick one genre to read, what would you pick--and why?
Don't make me pick just one genre! I like to read across a variety of genres because I think it helps avoid the dreaded reading slump. If I absolutely had to choose, then it would have to be historical fiction. I love reading about people and events in the past and there are some really good historical fiction authors out there right now!
3. I don't like reading history because most of it is rendered dry and boring...but I'd like to expand my horizons and I see that you specialize in historical fiction! What books would you recommend for someone like me that doesn't usually like "history"? Why might I like them?
It would depend on what kind of era you would be interested in. Michelle Moran writes very accessible historical fiction set in Egypt, Elizabeth Chadwick writes excellent medieval. If you like drama, adventure and romance, then Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series might do it for you, or Susanna Kearsley writes really, really readable books with a hint of gothic in terms of time travel or ghosts in the style of Mary Stewart.
When written well historical fiction has the ability to transport you away from the here and now to a time where life was very different, but the underlying emotional needs were still the same and therefore you can still relate to the characters.
4. Amelia Earhart is pictured on your blog banner. What affinity do you have with her?
I can't take credit for the inspiration to put Amelia Earhart. When I got my blog redesigned, I gave Alex a pretty vague brief of what I wanted, and she came back with the idea of a 1920's female explorer, saying that she saw me who explored my way through a variety of books, and genres. I was actually very touch when she came back with this theme, and now it is my avatar just about everywhere including on Twitter.
5. Your blog notes that you find it very hard to resist a challenge. What challenge have you taken up in life--reading related or not--that you have found the most rewarding?
I would guess that would have to being a single parent. Some days it is very hard especially juggling full time work, social life, kid's sport and more, but for the most part it is extremely rewarding, and hopefully my son is turning out all right. I think he is.
It's hard to go past YA at the moment. Books like the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, the Queen's Thief series from Megan Whalen Turner, and just recently I have discovered the books by Australian author John Marsden. They came out years ago, but I am reading them now and finding them to be really compelling read.
7. What book did you think you WOULDN'T like (or be caught dead reading!) but found that you ended up enjoying?
I am pretty open when it comes to reading. I can't think of a book that I have read recently that I didn't think I was going to enjoy. Maybe part of that is because I don't tend to pick up books that I don't think I will like because there are so many books out there that I do want to read that I am pretty sure that I will enjoy.
8. What do you like most about book blogging? Why do you do it?
This is a tough question to give a short answer to! There are so many fantastic things about book blogging. The main reason I started, and the main reason why I continue to blog, is to be able to talk about the books that I read with other people with a passion for reading. I do have a few other readers in my life, but I am sure that they get bored listening to me rave about book after book, whereas online there is almost an unlimited audience!
Book blogging is such a big part of my life now. It takes up loads of time, and some times I put unnecessary pressure on myself to keep up, but I can't imagine not being a book blogger. In a way that amazes me a little bit seeing as I have been doing this for nearly 5 years, and I am still passionate, and finding new ways to participate in the book blogging world.
I get introduced to books that I probably wouldn't have found without other blogger's encouragement. I always read a few genres, but for example, I read a lot more fantasy than I ever read before blogging.
The best thing though is the friends that I have made. There are people who I will likely never meet in real life who I count as friends, and who make my world a better place.
9. Have you ever wanted to write a book? If so, what kind do you see yourself writing?
Oh no, I am not a writer! lol.
10. I see that you've reviewed Janet Evanonvich's Eve Plum series (I haven't read any of them yet). I once heard an interviewer mention that the guy in her novels has a scar that seems to move to various parts of his body (lack of consistency). Is this true, from what you've read? Does this bother you at all? (If it's not true, just ignore this question!)
Hmmm, I can't remember a moving scar. To be honest I don't really read the Stephanie Plum books for that kind of detail. I am not actually that much of a details oriented reader. What I am looking for in a book is the ability to get lost in the pages. Some times language or details will completely throw me out of the story, but usually once I am immersed in that world it takes me a lot to get out of it.
11. Can you judge a book by its cover? What are your thoughts on appealing (or lackluster) covers?
I would hate to be a book cover designer, especially for those books that have lots of very opinionated readers. I do get a bit bored by the same old, same old covers that you see. For example, the headless woman trend which has been so prevalent in historical fiction over the last few years, and more recently the Twilight-ish covers that seem to have taken over urban fantasy.
For a good cover I want something that gives some reflection of what is in a book, I want something that is pleasing to the eye, and something that you can read on the train or in other public places!
Marg, thank you so much for your time! It's so nice to "meet" your through the Book Blogger Appreciation Week interview swap.
-- Janet Boyer