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A few weeks ago, I was asked by Marie Borthwick of Write Panic Live to participate in a reader interview. Of course, I was happy to help! Marie asked a lot of great questions, forcing me to really think about what I like, why I like it, and how I developed as a reader. Be sure to check out her site and my responses. Hopefully you’ll learn more about me in the process.

Copied below is a brief excerpt from the interview:

Q: What is your favorite genre and why?
A: I love SFF, in just about all of its subgenres, because I love being taken away to other worlds.  SFF authors have to develop new worlds and alternate realities, and can’t rely on just the real world for their inspiration.  Not that I’m downgrading the creative ability of other authors — writing in any form is a challenge to master — but when done well, a fantasy or science-fiction novel is transformative and more than the sum of its parts.  In my opinion, people that snub SFF a) haven’t read the good stuff, and b) don’t understand that SFF isn’t just about elves or space travel or vampires or interplanetary wars…it’s about the conflict between people and cultures.  Often, there’s an underlying question of morality and investigation of the gray areas between good and evil.  It also doesn’t hurt that there are good looking men, beautiful women, and supernatural creatures to dream about!  I don’t think it affects my opinion of the other genres, I still read outside of the genre a lot, but I do tend to pick fantasy over other books.

Q: What grabs your attention most when shopping or considering books to read?
A: I hate to admit it, but first impression is always the cover.  It’s what draws me to click on the thumbnail for the book.  Then it’s the description: does it sound like a unique take on the theme, do the characters sound interesting and the plot fun? After that, I often look at the reader reviews, both good and bad, to see whether the good features outweigh the bad.

Q: What are your feelings on traditionally published authors vs. independently published authors?
A: I read and review both traditionally and independently published authors, but I hold them both to the same standards.  I don’t give indies slack just because they’re selling their book for $0.99 or because they didn’t have a big-time editor reviewing the work.  With the digital age, I think it makes sense for many authors (not all) to publish electronically and offer their work at a lower price than the traditional houses.  But those authors need to act professionally when putting a book on the virtual shelves.  It needs to be edited, they need to have a good cover, and the story should hold its own in the marketplace.  Some authors aren’t ready to tackle the challenges of being both a writer and a publisher.  Those authors need the traditional publishing space.  But I don’t punish indies that have done their job and published a good book.  In fact, you’ll find some really positive reviews of indie books on my blog.

Check out the rest of the interview at Write Panic Live!

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