Tuesday, September 15, 2009

BBAW - Interview Swap

So, my partner for the BBAW interview swap is Melanie from The Indextrious Reader! It was all very last minute because we did not hear from our original partners. We asked each other the same questions. My answers are here and her answers can be found on her blog!

As a Canadian blogger, do you make an effort to read Canadian or does the 'nationality' of a book matter to you? What is your favourite Canadian novel?
Before I was even a blogger it was important to me to read Canadian authors. When I was a kid I read Lucy Maud Montgomery in bulk. I loved her! When I got a bit older I knew I had to read more Canadian authors, but it wasn't until high school that I made it a mission. In grade 12 especially I discovered Carol Shields, Douglas Coupland, Thomas King, Lesley Choyce, Thomas Wharton, Mordecai Richler, and more that I can't think of right now. I am actually impressed that I remembered that many! Then, in university I took every Canadian Literature course offered, so I discoverd a lot of great Canadian authors that way. Needless to say, I didn't need to be a blogger to consider Canadian literature important. I consider it important to not forget where you come from and to support the locals. As to my favourite Canadian novel? That's hard... I love so many! One that I think everyone should read who is by an author from my province is The Republic of Nothing by Lesley Choyce. I love that book! I need to do a reread...

Do reading stereotypes bother you? Do you prefer/avoid any genres due to lurking stereotypes?
I came up with this question because I was reading at work the other day and someone automatically assumed I was reading a romance novel! That drives me crazy. Words do not describe how much they bothers me. Nothing against romance novel readers, but I do not like the fact that people assume just because I am female I am reading a romance. Just like I am sure men don't like it when people assume they are reading a thriller or a western or whatever it is that they are stereotyped for the most! Or, even that it is 'uncool' to read because you are a male. I hate stereotypes! That being said, I have issues of my own and I admit them. I largely avoid the romance genre. Maybe I am being a bit snobbish, but it's true. I can handle some romance, obviously, but a lot is just not for me. If it gets to be too much (*cough* Laurell K. Hamilton *cough*) it will just turn me right off from a book. I do love Colleen Gleason, though, and she is the only author I have bought in the romance section, um, probably ever!

How do you feel about covers of books? Do you judge books by their covers? Is there something that could appear on a cover that would make you not want to read the book or be seen in public with it?
This topic also drives me crazy because there are so many authors that I love, but I know that men are largely going to stay away from them because of the covers. I actually have issues with a lot of the covers and reading them in public, but I pretend I don't and read them anyways! It's interesting to see my reading tastes from someone elses' point of view, though. The charming comedian would see my books laying around and I would watch him. He doesn't read really, but he would pick up books and browse through them. He went by the cover, though. It's unfortunate because I know that if he did read, there are a lot of books that I could recommend to him and he probably wouldn't read them because of the cover. This happens a lot and it really limits readership. I know they market to those that they think the most likely to read the books, but they shouldn't get rid of the other market at the same time!

Do your real life friends/family know you blog/read your blog? Does this make any difference to how you write?
I have been blogging since 2005, so it is pretty much common knowledge nowadays that I blog. Does anyone I know read it? Well, not very many people. The charming comedian read it, but mostly if I told him something was on there that would interest him and then he would read back through my older posts. One of my real life friends reads it, too, and she comments and guest posts! Other than that, if anyone I know reads it I don't know about it. I don't really say anything on here that isn't common knowledge and I am not exactly shy, so I doubt my readership really changes my writing.

What's the biggest change in your reading habits since you started blogging, if any? Reading choices or ways of reading?
I don't know. Frankly, it's hard to compare my reading now to back before I started blogging because I have went through life changes since then that would affect my reading, too. I think mostly I have read a lot of books that I would not have read otherwise. Colleen Gleason, for example. If someone told me that I would go into the romance section of the bookstore and buy a book I would've laughed at them back before blogging. I was a bit more of a snob back then, I guess. I don't think I read any differently, but it's been a few years now, so maybe it is getting harder to remember a time when I wasn't a blogger!


  1. I hate romance. I'd be offended if people assumed that is what I read because I'm a girl.

    BBAW Interview

  2. I do not mind reading romance novels but I love a good historical fiction, fantasy, action and adventure novel.

    I do not like romance novel covers...yuck!

  3. Great post Kelly! Very interesting and insightful.

    I also agree on the whole romance novel thing. Also assumptions about all women only read chick lit irritates me too! I mean yeah in some ways chick lit and romance is the same thing but in my mind romance = Harlequin type stuff and chick lit is more like Candace Bushnell. Regardless, I am not a big fan of either.

    I also find I steer away from hugely popular books like the Harry Potter series, Twilight, The Da Vinci Code etc because I would hate the stereotype/ assumption that I am reading it just because everyone else is. This is probably short-sighted but it's just the way it is. Although I *did* actually try to read Twilight but 100 pages in I could just no longer continue.

    I am so bad at judging books by their covers. Shame on me!

    Kelly, I would say blogging has changed your reading. It seems to me as someone who has known you before and after that blogging has definitely opened you up to more variety. Your blogging has also opened ME up to more variety too lol!

  4. Oh dear, I meant "assumptions that all women only read..."

  5. You know I totally understand the romance thing. Right now I'm reading a book about the pakistan/India conflict over the region of Kashmir. It's fiction but I certainly did not think I would like it so much!! Never assume anything right?!!
    Great interview post and I also need to add more Canadian authors into my reading!

    I love word verification. Mine is DORKI!!! How perfect is that? :)

  6. Fascinating interview! I enjoyed the questions and the responses. : )

  7. Great interview answers! I too read Lucy Maud in bulk when I was younger; after reading the latest bio I want to back and read all the novels again. And I agree, Lesley Choyce's The Republic of Nothing is a wonderful book! I've read it twice myself.

  8. Certain cover stereotypes drive me crazy, too. Urban fantasy covers are my biggest beef right now. They're all more or less the same, and it makes it really hard to tell which books are story-oriented and which book are basically just sex-fests. Sigh. Plus, like you mentioned, they're the sorts of covers that a lot of people, (especially guys), aren't going to want to be seen with, and that cuts out a large number of potential readers.

  9. Wow, I don't think I've ever had someone assume I'm reading a romance novel! I am not a romance reader myself (not that there's anything wrong with that), but I don't mind when there's a little romance thrown in, as long as it's done well and to my taste.

    Sadly, I've never read anything by Lesley Choyce. Would you say The Republic of Nothing is a good place to start?

  10. Anonymous12:41 AM

    I tend to love Canadian authors (not that I've read all that many). Maybe I was born in the wrong country? ;-)

  11. Nice interview!

    I do need to point something out- if you dislike people making assumptions about books, perhaps you shouldn't make assumptions about romance novels! (Not YOU you, but in general.) Just like any other genre, there are both good and bad romance novels, and just like any other genre the covers can be very misleading. I know that's not what this interview was about, but I have to throw that in there!

  12. The interviews are my favorite part of BBAW. I just wish I was better at keeping up with them all.

    I'm embarrassed to say that nationality of an author has never really played a part in what I choose to read. I started keeping track because others were doing it for my end of the year stats, but that's about all.

    I can't say I avoid a genre or book type because of stereotypes, but I admit that I was a little embarrassed the day I took a graphic novel to work and was reading it in the breakroom during my lunch half hour. I mentally kicked myself for thinking that way. Hadn't I just the week before been defending reading graphic novels to a couple of my coworkers? I got over myself pretty quickly.

    There was one person once who thought I was reading a romance at work. He was very condescending about the way he asked about what I was reading and that's really what pissed me off. I had a cloth cover on my book at the time because I was trying to protect the cover. I haven't used the cloth cover since (and it's such a nice cover).

  13. Great questions! I had to laugh when you said "it is getting harder to remember a time when I wasn't a blogger!" You've been at it longer than me but it's true, I vaguely remember having more free time! ;)


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