This year my interview swap partner is (as the title of the posts suggests) Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader. I’m a long time reader of her blog so I was happy to be able to ask her a few questions!
You’re involved in several awesome book blogger community projects, like the weekly Library Loot meme and the South Pacific Book Chat. What inspires you to be a part of these?
A lot of the time I get involved in various things because it fits nicely with my interests. For example, I am constantly at my local library and so when the call went out for a new Library Loot co-host there was no question that it was a good fit! Sometimes though ideas develop a bit more through seeing a gap. When we (Nat from In Spring it is the Dawn and Maree from Just Add Books) started #spbkchat on Twitter it was because we would wake up and see that everyone else had been having awesome chats about books….while we were sleeping (darned timezones!) so we started our own! It was recently the first anniversary of #spbkchat and we are still finding plenty of people who want to talk books and still have lots of topics to talk about! And you don’t have to be based in the South Pacific to join in. If you happen to be on Twitter and see our hashtag and the topic interests you please join in!
The best thing about getting involved is definitely getting to know people better!
Which book blogger would you bring with you to the official Bonjour, Cass! bunker, sponsored by the Bonjour, Cass! Book Apocalypse Protection Agency (BCBAPA™)?
I think I will have to bring Kelly from The Written World. We have been online friends for many years now even before pre-blogging days and have had many marathon conversations via chat and email. I am pretty sure we wouldn’t run out of things to talk about!
I see you’re a big fan of reading challenges. Do you have a favorite?
I have actually cut back a lot on the reading challenges that I participate in this year. I still love all the challenges out there but there were quite a few that weren’t really challenges (for example, I loved the 100+ Reading Challenge where you have to read more than a 100 books in the year, but I easily exceed that each year so I would be signing up for signing up’s sake). The only challenge that I signed up for this year that I knew without doubt I would finish was the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge which is hosted by Historical Tapestry. Seeing as I am one of the people who runs Historical Tapestry I needed to participate in the challenge! I do have to mention that even if I wasn’t going to do any challenges at all next year I would still have to do Carl from Stainless Steel Droppings’ challenges (Once Upon a Time and RIP in particular). Love his challenges!
Do you think there are any unique challenges to being an international blogger? If so, what do you think would make it better?
The hardest thing about being an international blogger is really around availability of books! There are lots of awesome sounding books that get lots and lots of really exciting buzz in the blogosphere that never see the light of day in bookshops here! It can get particularly disheartening to see lots of contests giving away those same books away but the conditions of the giveaway are US/Canada Only. A lot of the time that is a publisher dictated thing, and it is sometimes is a cost related factor which is fine (because really having sent books overseas for years now I get how expensive international post is) but sometimes you can’t help but wonder whether those restrictions are just habit!
You would think that in these days of digital reading it wouldn’t matter as much but geo-restrictions make it even more frustrating. Recently, for example, I was reading a series for which the author had made up a small book of recipes about twenty pages long. I thought that would make a fun Weekend Cooking post and so went to buy it but couldn’t due to the geo-restrictions. Now, the likelihood of an Australian publisher buying that book of recipes and making it available is remote so what is gained by making it so that it can only be purchased in certain territories? Publishing rights is a very complicated question though and I am only looking at it with my reader hat on.
In terms of making it better, I am not really 100% sure. I think that in due course things will get better but I think it is happening a bit slower than most international readers would like.
Which three books do you wish more people would read?
Oh dear. Only three?
I am going to start with The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley mainly because I read it three years ago now and just loved it so much and have been pimping it to everyone I can ever since!
Next up is a book that lots and lots of people have read, but it really got me back into obsessive reading – Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. This is also the book that led me on journeys that helped me discover many of my favourite authors like Sharon Kay Penman, Elizabeth Chadwick, Paullina Simons to name just a few.
Finally, I think I will choose a book that taught me that long classics need not be totally intimidating – Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. Of course, even though I learned that lesson, I still don’t read that many classic novels!
As a frequent romance novel reader, what attributes would you say make up the perfect hero?
I read across a lot of genres – historical fiction, mystery, YA, fantasy and yes, romance to name just a few. For me, the characters have to be interesting and complete. If I have to choose one type of hero only, I must confess that I have a thing for the dark, emotionally tortured heroes with a terrible past who really has a heart of gold that is just dying to get out when he meets the person who can see beneath the exterior mask.Of course, in real life I would run away whimpering with fear if I met such a man but still!
Marg is a single mum, working full time, and spending the rest of her spare time reading and blogging or thinking about what she can blog. She lives in Melbourne, Australia, but reading provides her with adventures through time and place all without leaving the pages of her book. You might find her immersed in historical fiction or romance, literature, young adult, a mystery or a fantasy, but you can be sure that where ever she is, she will have a book or two with her!