Reader’s Nook: QA with Jody

Image Source: Flickr

Image Source: Flickr

About Jody: I have been a keen reader since as long as I could remember. I was a late bloomer when it came to learning to read. Once I did, I ate books for breakfast. I spent the first thirteen years of my life on a tiny island in the Shetland Islands, so our school only had about ten students and that was across all year levels for primary school. We had a very limited book collection there, no actual library, but I would regularly borrow from there and I spent all my pocket money on books. I am also a keen artist of many mediums and I began to illustrate from my dreams and imagination, and from there stemmed a vast collection of books I have written that has only grown with time.

I am hoping in the future to publish all the books I have written, but I expect it to be a few years before these can hit the shelves as my kids are still young and I need the time to be able to write long into the small hours of the night otherwise I lose my mojo!

I currently live in a remote area of Western Australia, which is in the middle of a desert. I live next to the biggest open pit mine in the world (I think!), and in summer temperatures can reach over 50C and winter, you can see frost on the grass!


 

1. Name 5-10 of your most favourite books

This is a tough one! my fav books are in no particular order

1 Dietland

2 The Way We Fall

3 A Year of Marvelous Ways

4 Shamsuddins Grave

5 Mango Girl

6 The Bone Collector

7 Einstein’s Beach

8 The Immortal Empire (it’s a trilogy)

9 Priests of Mars

10 The Lovely Bones

2. A book that you have re-read the most

Earthsong would have to be the most re-read book I have, I read it when I was very young, and I read it again recently.

3.Favourite authors and why

It’s hard to pick my fav authors, there are so many! Kate Locke, Kylie Chan, Jacob M. Apple are some of my favs though.

4. Genre you dislike

I haven’t yet found a genre that I haven’t enjoyed, it really depends on the author. There is always the potential for even the best genre to be awful if it isn’t written well.

5. Character crush

Character crush? It has to be Vex from the immortal empire trilogy.

6. Character you strongly identify with

I think most of the main characters in books I have read, I have been able to identify with in some shape or form. The older I get the more life experience I collect, so I always find a piece of myself in characters.

7.One character you want to bring to the real world

Too many to be able to pick a single character.

8. What is your ideal reading space/environment

Best reading space is the hammock on a nice spring day after dosing myself up with coffee.

9. Must-have books in a collection

All my favs I’ve listed, and then some 😀

10.Earliest memory of books and reading

I remember being the only kid at my school of 10 kids (I was raised on a small island in Scotland) that liked reading as much as I did. I was always borrowing from our limited collection, and would spend all my pocket money on books, Animal Farm was my fav series. I used to record all the books I read, and today, we have goodreads to do it for us! I wish I still had that list!

11. Weirdest book or reading experience

Forty Bibles and Forty Dictionaries. Absolutely bizarre, made no sense and I never finished reading it.

Reader’s Nook: QA with Edvin

Image Souce: Flickr

Image Souce: Flickr

Bio: I’m a young guy from Sweden, running the blog As the oatmeal swell, and I publish posts about things I find value in. I devour simple and granted things and make them complicated and long, and the opposite. I post social criticism and paintings. I philosophise about things I’m not sure about. Why? Because I think that nothing exist. And, I call myself an artist, and my works focuses on delivering something in a ‘raw’ way. Or something completely different. I dream about doing performance art!


Name 5-10 of your most favourite books.

Thank you so much for allowing me to choose more than one. You know bibliophiles well! Stoner (novel), Capital, Silmarillion, The Tolkien reader, Momo or the Grey gentlemen, Power Systems, Goya and Anders Petersen (1966-1996.)

A book that you’ve reread the most.

Darn… I don’t reread, because I have a good memory, but Silmarillion.

Favourite authors and why.

J.R.R. Tolkien, because he made a very large impact on me; his stories has engraved themselves in my heart, and they are intertwined with many things I do, John Williams because he can embrace the reader and create a bond between them and the story and Noam Chomsky because he delivers his messages in an upright and clear way, while also complicating them in a way that is challenging for everyone.

Genre you dislike.

Horror. I’m scared shitless out of those things.

Character crush.

I really don’t know.

Character you strongly identify with.

Niggle. He is and artist valuing loneliness, and above all his art. People in his surroundings takes distance from him, and it seems like he is not of the world. It results in sad things happening to him, but he still shrugs his shoulders; he knows they have no importance. Niggle finds comfort in himself!

One character that you want to bring to the real world.

Master Secundus Minutus Hora. He is a very interesting man, because he has seen the roots of time, and since he doesn’t have the , he can delve deeper into other things, and he values thinking and waiting.


Like the questions? Why not participate in it? I am all up for it 🙂 Just drop me an email.

 

Author Interview: Melinda

Author photo

It is lovely having you with us Melinda. Tell us something about yourself. And because this is such a boring question, why not spruce it up with some random facts ? J

Hi Sucheta! Thank you for having me on your blog today. It’s actually rare that people want to know more about the author behind the books, and you’ve obviously done your research about me, which is admirable. I’m a more or less ordinary person, with an extraordinary love of books. Ever since my mom taught me to read at age four, I’m having a passionate love affair with literature of all kinds. I also love classical movies, music and walks. And even though I’m a tidy little housewife, I hate ironing, cooking and cleaning. My husband and I don’t have children yet, but our house is pretty much off limits to guests, because often I hide myself behind my fictional characters and avoid doing housework. Hubby sighs and orders pizza. He is a wonderful man, who’s been supporting me for ten years and puts up with each of my oddities. We’re pretty much solitary people, who prefer sitting at home instead of going out with friends. Think of us like Morticia and Gomez Addams. It’s a perfect comparison.

What made you a writer? Tell us about your writing journey so far.

It was actually a sad fact that started my writing career, but as it turns out, I’m grateful for it now. I was a professional target shooter for more than a decade, but a few years ago I started having health issues and was forced to give up this sport. Naturally, I fell into a state of depression and was at a loss on what to do next. Then my father gave me the idea to start writing. I’ve been a journalist since I was eighteen, but it never occurred to me to write fiction until the age of twenty-three. So that’s how Rendezvous, my first novella, was born. From that moment, writing became my purpose in life. Writing is who I am and who I’ll always be.

Since it is the beginning of your writing career and you are mostly into romances, could you tell us what makes you love this genre and in the future, what other genre of writing can we expect from you?

Currently I write in two main genres: Suspense Romance and Romantic Comedy, also known as Chicklit. I love Romance because it’s optimistic, it’s fun and it’s what every person dreams of, deep inside. I will always write stories with a happy ending, maybe because life isn’t always like that, and readers – especially me – need to escape from reality in a better world. That’s what Romance is to me. No matter what genre an author writes in, there always has to be a love story. Love is what makes the world go round, and the most beautiful thing in life.

Which is your native place and what do you like about it? Does it have any influence on your writing/writing style?

I was born in Romania and currently reside in this same country. I adore its history, for which every Romanian is proud, its gorgeous and picturesque landscapes, and our magnificent food. I mention the Romanian food often in my books, and people always tell me or write in reviews that reading my books gives them an appetite for rich European food. I even put up some traditional Romanian recipes on my blog now and again.

What is your inspiration for your books and the characters in them?

I get my inspiration everywhere, but mostly I think I have so many ideas because I read a lot. I have thousands of books in my library, books I like to read and re-read, and I think that broadens my horizon. As for my characters, I usually get inspiration from real people, people I know, or even from myself. I try to put myself in the place of each character, to imagine how I would react in a certain situation, and how I should develop the plot, so it would be plausible.  

What is the USP of your books according to you?

I think one of the things I have going for me is the surprise element. Readers never know what to expect for me next. I always like to experiment, and unlike most authors, I don’t want to limit myself to a single genre. I just wrote a book with a dark, psychological plot, whose heroine was a victim of human trafficking and whose hero was a thief. In total contrast to the story of these two misfits, now I’m working on a Romantic Comedy that makes even me laugh out loud when I write or read it. I guess the secret is to be original and always offer variety to readers. Something for each taste.

How difficult or easy was it for you to get your works published? Any tips for budding writers on getting published?

Actually, it wasn’t so hard to get published. I wrote my first novella, Rendezvous, in Romanian, but oddly enough, I had no chance of publishing it here in my own country. So I decided to translate it in English and submit it to a few dozen American publishers. About fifty rejection letters later, I received a contract offer from a small, new publisher. That’s how I entered the international literary world. I’ve learned a lot in the two years since I’ve been a published author, and I’m always improving my writing style. As I said before, the first thing an aspiring author needs to do is read. A lot. After that, learn the basics of the genre you want to approach, and write. And submit. And no matter how many rejections you’ll get – because you will – never let it discourage you. Write, read, then write some more. I believe this is a quote from one of my favorite authors, Sandra Brown. 

Where do you want to see yourself as a writer in the near future?

Well, at twenty-nine I’m pretty much proud of what I’ve accomplished so far, but I still have a long way to go to reach my goal. For the moment, I have my books published internationally in English, and I’m happy to say that in September my books will begin to be published in Romania as well, and be distributed as paperbacks in bookstores and book shops. So for now, I plan to become a local celebrity (LOL), and then an international one. After that, the sky is the limit. My biggest dream at the moment is to see my books turned into movies. Watch my blog to see when that happens: http://melindadeross.com/


This was Melinda for you 🙂 I thank her for appearing on my blog. If you are an author and wish to get featured, drop me an email and I will get back to you.

Reader’s Nook: QA with Cherrie

Image Source: Flickr

Image Source: Flickr

There is something about Cherrie 🙂 And you can read it in her bio:

I live in the centre of Amsterdam, with my husband, a 9-year-old daughter, a cat, and about 600 books. I work in IT, but my real passion is travelling (a passion I share with the family) and books. If I’m not travelling, sailing our own boat, or busy making plans for upcoming trips, I will be sitting somewhere reading. I have always been a reader, and I read for the same reason I travel; they satisfy my curiosity about the universe, while at the same time let me escape into other places and be in other people’s skins.  When in need of some excitement, I enjoy a bit of adrenaline rush doing rock climbing, bungee jumping, sky diving, go on a tree top zip line, or hang upside down doing some aerial yoga. I just love the sensory feeling of being higher than the grounds, which is probably a compensation of me being short.

If I won the lottery, I would spend the money to sail around the world, build a library (or two) somewhere in the world that needs it, and buy designer chairs for my house.

I write about my travels in my travel blog: https://deliciouslydoingnothing.wordpress.com


  1. Name 5-10 of your most favourite books

This is a hard question for me, but in no particular order:

Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov

A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry

Angela’s Ashes – Frank McCourt

The Road – Cormac McCarthy

The Hunger Angel – Herta Müller

Battle Royale – Koushun Takami

Hideous Kinky – Esther Freud

The Reader – Bernhard Schlink

The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

Genome: the Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters – Matt Ridley

  1. A book that you have re-read the most

The Shrinking of Treehorn, by Florence Parry Heide, illustrated by Edward Gorey. I picked it up from a library when I was 3, not even yet able to read. We never returned that book to the library (I’m such a criminal!), and I love to the book so much, rereading many times after I could read, even into adulthood when I’m able to get more from the story and the underlying dark humour. This book was also the reason Edward Gorey became my favourite illustrator and later on led me to discover his other, more grown up works.

  1. Favourite authors and why

The thing is, I don’t have a favourite author because for me, limiting my reading to favourite authors is like travelling to the same place over and over while there are many other destinations to go to. I tend not to seek out a book from the same author even if I loved their books (with the exception to series). But if I have to choose a favourite author, it will be Frank McCourt. I can’t help getting drawn into his words, his genuine personality that shone through all his books, and the Irish charm that makes me want to invite him over for tea.

  1. Genre you dislike

Romance, because I find it mostly boring and formulaic. Self-help and inspirational books, because, well, I don’t like being told what to do.

  1. Character crush

I thought long and hard about this question, but the truth is, I never had a character crush. Perhaps because the best books I’ve read tend to have flawed characters, which make for great storytelling, but not so much as a crush.

That being said, I wouldn’t say no to a date with Mark Watney from The Martian. An intelligent, cool headed and resourceful man is always sexy.

  1. Character you strongly identify with

Emily the Strange. I could really relate to this brooding introverted girl with poker face and her anarchic tendencies. In fact, I had the exact same hairstyle as a kid.

  1. One character you want to bring to the real world

Pippi Longstocking. It would be interesting to find out what kind of adult she grew up to be (even though I always imagine Lisbeth Salander as a grown up and darker version of Pippi).

  1. What is your ideal reading space/environment

I can read pretty much anywhere, from a noisy public transport to a secluded beach, but nowhere is as comfortable as my own bed.

  1. Must-have books in a collection

When I was 8 or 9, my grandmother gave me this huge Random House College Dictionary, and I thought it was the best book ever. Not only it contained word definitions, but it also includes illustrations, diagrams, the full periodic table under ‘element’, a language tree of Indo-European languages, and several different alphabets from around the world. In the pre-internet days, it became my go-to resource for a lot of things. Today, whenever my kid asked me the meaning of some words, I told her to look it up in the dictionary even though she could also Google them. There is something about searching for a word in a physical dictionary and along the way found some other beautiful or weird words that you haven’t known to exist before, and there is always something to discover. Mine is an old one now, and you wouldn’t be able to find more modern words in it, but I think every household should have at least one very good quality physical dictionary on the shelf.

  1. Earliest memory of books and reading

My parents took me to the library as a toddler, and I always loved the library and I would pick books I found interesting for them to read for me at home. And that was how I came to my answer for question no.2

  1. Weirdest book or reading experience

I love reading weird and random books! From Alice in Wonderland, a book narrated by a bowl (The Collector Collector – Tibor Fischer), the story of the invention of currywurst (The Invention of Curried Sausage – Uwe Timm), the history of the screwdrivers (One Good Turn: A Natural History of the Screwdriver and the Screw – Witold Rybczynski), a hyper-detailed narration of a game of Go (The Master of Go – Yasunari Kawabata), to a book containing 99 identical stories told in various writing styles (Exercises in Style – Raymond Queneau). The weirdest of all was probably The Curious Sofa by Edward Gorey. It was supposedly written as a satire to The Story of O, in the truly wicked and bizarre Gorey way.