It’s Book Blogger Appreciation Week…a wonderful celebration of the bloggers who make it their business to entertain, inform, elucidate and extend the hand of bookish friendship.
One of the activities for this year’s festivities was to interview another book blogger. I had the happy task of interviewing Casse from Litter Box, Scoop Daily.
Let’s face it- even when we don’t read the same genre of books, we can always talk about books! It was wonderful to get to know Casse!
Okay, let’s start by having you tell us a little bit about yourself…as much or as little information as you’re willing to share.
I am an aspiring writer. I am 26 years old and books are my first love. I find the perfect amount of anonymity behind writing words which is why I like writing books and blogs. I am pretty much an open book when it comes to words. I write paranormal and urban fantasy. I am working on a manuscript for Golden Hearts. EEKs! I finished a novella awhile ago and published it through lulu. But I was 18 and I am embarrassed by it. It was garbage. So I just want to keep getting better and better with each thing I write. And read a lot of great books in-between. I am very shy, which is also why I love reading and writing.
How did you get started in the world of blogging?
I have been blogging for a while now on Xanga and myspace just life things for my friends. To make them laugh about my daily life stories. I was big into the Christian music scene so I would frequent as guest reviewer on the blogs on those sites. But books always snuck in all my past blogs so I was like everyone knows where my passion is so just this summer I started a Book Blog. I love doing it too. I can’t figure out what took me so long!
Do you have a favourite bookstore? Tell us about it.
My favorite bookstore is one with books lol seriously there isn’t one I like over the other. I like being in them surrounded by books and book lovers. I want to own a book store; it’s my dream. The smell of new books thrills me. I like having to step over a fat cat sleeping half off a shelf. That’s what my store will be like; I want to know my regulars so I can say “hey I got a book in today that I know you will Loooove.” That’s what I like. The big chains are great but I am a regular in the small ones. They cater to their customers more because everyone counts there.
Tell us about what books you like to read. Do you ever stray off the beaten path?
I LOOOOVE urban fantasy and paranormal romance. I used to HATE straight romance, well romance period and then I bought a 3.99 book on a whim. It was Forever Yours by JanMarie Anello. It was so great! I use to read historical biblical fiction before Forever Yours and it opened my eyes. Now I buy all books that don’t have the “Clinch” covers. lol But usually it’s Urban Fantasy. Oh YA fantasy too. Because I am bit of a prude, I skip the ba-rump-pa-pum pages in romance and YA there is none of that lol.
For those of us who don’t know – what’s the difference between urban fantasy and paranormal romance? For someone who hasn’t read either, recommend the best book you’ve read in each genre and tell us why that should be the first book we read.
That is a good question. The lines have been so blurred lately. The way it was explained to be on Jeri Smith-Ready’s blog a while ago is…Um in paranormal the plot is the romance often times the couple’s romance isn’t resolved until the last page or after the big events in the books are handled. Which is just a means to showcase their luuurve strength. Fantasy the EVENT is the focus and the romance is the happenstance like a just so happen or sometimes not there at all really. Fantasy is all about the what’s going on, the quest and mission of the main character. Paranormal the romance IS the story.
First book-wise I can only recommend my first because they hooked me. Cast in Secret by Michelle Sagara it is one of the non-blurred Urban Fantasies. Then read Urban Shaman by C.E Murphy also UF then Eyes of Crow by Jeri Smith-Ready. If that has you wrapped like they had me you will go out and buy the rest in those series. They each are the first books of a series. Paranormal romance: Playing with Fire by Gena Showmaker was my first, though shape shifting isn’t my thing. I can never get into the romance of it because its like ewwl beastiology lol. I’m weird; it’s the same with Beauty and the Beast. He is a giant St Bernard that she falls for! lol Back on topic, my oddness aside, Playing with Fire is a perfect genre example of paranormal. I just realized I’m more Urban Fantasy then Paranormal. Oh Shape-Shifters done right, Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs. They both have an animal form so it’s like ok it’s hot. They’d both have to or it be odd and squeeewy. Their wolf or animal side is so much apart of them even as human they have that beast in them so they both would HAVE to have that animal side or it’d be like call animal services this chick is gross but no so its great because the animals are attracted to the animal and ect. I talk too much when I get on books. Oops. Sorry.
While reading your blog I came across the line: “I have nothing but fan girl rants”. I, too, am a fangirl. Tell me what it means to you. What do you fan girl over?
FanGirl to me means the feeling of closing the book at the end and its “ohmygod ohmygod ohmygod!” And that’s all I can say. And it just puts the world right…for a while at least. lol I go fangirl over Jeri Smith-Ready books and C.E Murphy’s and Prey by Rachel Vincent and My Soul To Take by Vincent as well. Where they can kill my favorites off and tick me off royally but still it doesn’t ruin the book. And they still write a dang good book. Michelle Sagara’s Chronicles of Elantra is pure urban fantasy greatness. I went fangirl for the first time with her!
It looks like you read eBooks. I’ve never read one. So tell this newbie what the appeal is.
There is nothing and I mean absolutely nothing like opening a book. I mean turning the pages and all of that. It’s very…calming. I am sure you know that. But sometimes a book comes out and I can’t find it in my small town and I can NOT wait for shipping. That is when E-books are very convenient. A lifesaver to me sometimes. Or at work when I can’t hide a book I am always on my phone and my current e-reader is small enough to be taken for a phone and I can READ! At work! That is the appeal to me. It’s convenient, it’s easy and it’s just another format to get good books out there. Books are also sometimes given away free e-book format. Depending on the websites. I find Microsoft reader the easiest format to use.
You seem to know your way around the eBook world pretty well. Take the rest of us on a tour. How do we get started?
Okay first you have to realize that there isn’t just one e-book format. I didn’t know that at first. Kindles are pretty popular but they ONLY take kindle formatted books which I think is limiting themselves and its owners which I would hate. I like to shop around with kindle – you have to get it from amazon. I use the Microsoft reader because it’s compatible with Windows on my computer and on my device. It’s a pretty universal format. Meaning book availability is high. You want to be able to find any book you want to read in the format you use so being universal and availability are a must. PDF format is sort of high in availability, but my device doesn’t really like it too much. Well actually it’s me who doesn’t. The only two formats I see consistently is Microsoft reader and mobipocket. To start, go to an e-book site (diesel-ebooks.com) was the first store I bought from and they tell you how to download a free reader first (with links to the different format sites) and then a test e-book download to see if it is compatible and working correctly so when you buy the book its not a hassle, waste of time or money. It sounds Ahhh! But it’s not really if you have it right in front of you doing it.
You’ve said that you’ll never give bad reviews because you’ve never finished a ‘garbage’ book. What happens when you finish a mediocre book…or a book that you liked all right, but had flaws?
I get so frustrated! It’s a let down because I see the potential. I try and dwell on and pick out the good stuff and let the flaws fade away. If the characters are strong enough and the love portion is believable, I can get past a lot of plot garbage. But if the characters are the problem or the chemistry and romance is the problem oh for-get-it! Book closed.
You’ve told us a little bit about what doesn’t work for you in a book. Tell us about the perfect book for you. What are the ingredients that make it perfect?
I love a good best friend in a story. I like to see the characters interact with other people besides each other so I can see if it’s consistent. I love when the hero isn’t too what’s the word too grrrr. Like take the manli-ness down a notch. Testosterone! He is too testosterone filled. So if the guy is manly but not overbearing with saying ‘mine’ all the time and if he has this brooding quality *swoons* the book has me! And when the heroine makes real choices that are realistic. Also chemistry has to be like a charge for me to buy it and I hate boring predictable couples – so no fighting all the time and not just sex all the time either. Some books act like we are just rutting bulls ready to hump every hour. I like books that have a couple romance each other and kiss goodnight and go separate ways on the first date. A lot a books just hop in bed the first good convo the hero and heroine have.
What other blogs do you read regularly and why do you like them?
I read Smart Bitches because they are funny and they say somethings that I think while I am reading. I also read I heart book gossip and leontine’s book realm. I have a list so I will go down it: Romance book wyrm, book girl of mur-y-castelle, Rachel Vincent’s blog, Jeri Smith Ready, and C.E Murphy’s blog. I read author blogs because I need to see how excited they get about their work for me to say oh they really worked hard let me spend my hard earned money on it.
Tell me about your blogging habits…do you read your favourite blogs every day. Do you write in your blog everyday?
I don’t usually read blogs everyday and when I do it’s only a few. I try and make time to but I am just so forgetful! I forget to get online.
I always say I am going to get a blogging schedule but I am so not organized I hate schedules and deadlines. I never can make myself do something when I don’t have that mood.
What are your best tips for increasing readership at your blog?
I don’t really have tips I’m still building mine up, too. Ask for help from other bloggers similar to your likes and style. I guess just be consistent, have your own blog voice. If you are honest and not trying to be anyone else’s blog you build loyalty. Also getting out on books sites and forums and making friends. Chat with other book bloggers and that helps too. They have readers and they may mention you. But first and foremost I book blog for myself because I love it.
How about giving us your Reader’s Table. That’s a table with your top 20 books on it…books you think everyone should read. What are they and how come they made it to your table?
Only 20 let’s see. Cast in Secret, Cast in Courtlight, Cast in Shadow, Cast in Fury and Cast in Silence by Michelle Sagara. It’s a vivid world and they each stand alone but also connect its weird. But its so fantastic. It pulls you in. Though none go with me by Jerry B Jenkins. I rarely read men authors I am not sure why. I guess I am all about the girl power. Its a book about a woman’s relationship with God at every stage of life. Awesome. Broken days by Ann Ranaldi because its the first book I can remember really blowing my mind. Winter Moon anthology from Luna. It opened my eyes to new authors and now they are on my regular reading lists. Heart of Stone, house of cards and hands of flame? By C.E Murphy. It has everything love, every single creature, and a black heroine which is rare for a mainstream book. Eyes of Crow, Voice of Crow and reawakening by Jeri Smith Ready. It is a unique trilogy and It was in my dreams for WEEKS. Forever Yours by JanMarie Anello. It was just entertaining. I loved it. Divine by Mistake by P.C Cast I was a good book but it sort of angered me but it was different I didn’t agree with some of the stuff but Cast writes an amazing story. I commented on the book and she is very involved with her readers I love that. Another book that enraged me because I am such a, femanist isn’t the right word but it fits but the book is so awesome and just read it. Beloved Leah by Cynthia Davis. Its about Leah from the Bible. Her husband was tricked into marrying her but he wanted her younger sister. Well its from the Bible but still men were buttholes back in those days…I never would have made it. They’d stone my butt but I’d be throwing those rocks back! Moving on. Elphame’s choice also by PC Cast. Now the next two books are my all time all time ALL TIME favorites, The Weeping Chamber by Sigmund Brouwer. It a biblical fiction. I use to only read those I was so closed up to all things outside of my faith I am glad I expanded but still I look back on them foundly which leads to the next on my list. The Witness by G.W Griffiths and that is 20 I believe.
That was terrifically fun! Thanks, Cassie- for taking the time so answer so many of my questions!