This week guest blogger is someone i really just meet by accident on the net. As i did my daily trawl i found this wonderful site with a fantastic banner – need i say more, i was hooked. The banner is eye catching if nothing else and i have to admit i paid more attention to the dog on the banner before i noticed the owner of said dog just on the other side.
CLOSETWRITER is this wonderful blog and since i have found it, i have laughed, not cried yet but a whole lot of stuff resonant with me, but mostly i keep wondering, how can i get that dog – i mean really – I need a plan. You have to jump on CLOSETWRITER’S Blog, to just simply fall in love with this ball of no fur.
Although fairly new to the world of blogging, she is an experience hand at the business of reading. This has naturally lead her to the wonderful job of writing her thoughts – her loves, her likes and her dislike – for us all to share in her delight at the simply things in life. I have had a whole lot of fun on her blog – it’s one of my daily haunts and i can enough.
Along with the “dog” (Big sigh here!), there's a little bit of everything on this blog, and you get to experience CLOSETWRITER’S brand of sassiness first hand in her wonderful comment and feedbacks. I am very pleased to have found a new blog and hopefully a new friend on my never ending quest to get people to enjoy reading and writing.
Without as usual giving away the interview, i had fun learning about the person behind the pen of CLOSETWRITER.
Please join me in welcoming CLOSETWRITER (and the “dog”) to the Erotic Horizon.
-1- Firstly you have promoted your site as "Closet Writer" can you let us know what's your specialty romance area and how/why you got into it.
Thank you so much for inviting me to guest blog at Erotic Horizons, I have to say, I was quite thrilled and honoured to be invited.
I can’t say that I named my blog “closetwriter”, for any promotional reason. I’ve been writing “in the closet”, for decades now because I enjoy it and I guess it is part of who I am. However, my writing is a very personal thing and something I have shared only with a select few.
I’ve always been committed reader and my favourite romance sub-genres are erotic dark paranormal and erotic contemporary. Last year I read Larissa Ione’s book “Pleasure Unbound”, and I loved the book so much I wrote a review on Amazon. I noticed Larissa had a link to her blog from the Amazon site and “let my fingers do the tapping” as it were. I really had no idea what a blog was at that point. Larissa Ione is a very gracious, lovely person and she actually answered my comment on her blog and on the Amazon discussion board. Through her blog I linked up with a yahoo chat group she frequents and from there became more “educated” with respect to blogging.
I was astounded at the number and diversity of blogs out there concerning the romance genre as a whole. After a while I decided blogging would be a good way for me to comment on author’s work that I really enjoy and to support them in whatever small way I could. In addition, I love chatting about books and none of my “in the flesh” friends or colleagues enjoy the same interest. It has been wonderful to network, make new “online” friends and chat about a mutual interest.
What I am trying to say is that “Closetwriter” is metaphorical because I enjoy writing about what I glean from reading romance novels in my little corner of the “blogosphere”.
Historically I’ve only posted reviews on my site of books I have thoroughly enjoyed and want to share that enthusiasm about said novel with others. Now I have to preface that by saying I have been getting a few more Advanced Review Copies of books lately through either blog contests or author request and those come with a commitment to post review either positive or negative. I am suffering a little angst with respect to that but so far I’ve been very lucky and have liked all the books I’ve read. It’s been a wonderful experience.
I’ve been writing reader reviews as a hobby for about a year. I don’t pretend nor have I ever advertised myself as a “professional reviewer”.
-2- What are some of your daily net habits.
I check all my usual blogging haunts each day; I have a number that I follow and try to keep up with. There are new bloggers coming on the scene all the time and I try to keep on top of the ones interested in romance. It’s awesome when I see a comment from someone new on one of my posts.
I also try and visit as many author blogs as possible and leave a comment when it’s appropriate. I’m finding, on the whole authors enjoy hearing from their readers and I’ve learned so much about the craft and profession of writing through the online community.
As far as editing, is concerned, well if there are any volunteers out there I’d be more than happy to hand it too them! Lol I tend to have a bit of a perfectionist personality and I re-read and edit the review posts for days afterward. I tend to do that best after the review is posted and I have a good night’s rest. Punctuation and grammar errors drive me insane, its one of my faux pas and therefore I do tend to stress about that aspect of blogging.
-3- How much of your personality is reflected in you blog. It's quite streamline and there is an element or structure and organization to it - is this an element of you.
Thank you for the lovely compliment! Well, I’m not sure if you would say that if you saw my house! Lol I have books and paper laying everywhere and I’m a post-it-note person so when I’m doing reviews those are stuck all over the place! But with the blog, I’ve really enjoyed (except the html part, at least initially) organizing it and keeping it updated.
The blog is a hobby and something I therefore enjoy doing. Plus I like to have a nice presentation for those who visit so they will want to come back. The other issue is organizing so folks can find their way around easily if they are looking for something specific. I’ve had to be organized in my professional life and I think the blog reflects that.
My little dog Tori is front and centre on my blog. As it clearly indicates she is my heart and my muse and she more than anything personalizes my blog from my perspective.
-4- What widget or must have would you say made a difference to your blog.
I think a nice banner adds a very positive and appealing aspect to a blog. Something that reflects the name and nature of your blog is key. I had mine made up by a lovely lady by the name of Valerie at: vtibbs.wordpress.com
As far as widgets are concerned, I am constantly changing and altering the ones on my blog so I can’t say there is one specifically. Amazon has some great book ones. I am using widgets from a site called “Goodreads”, right now, which I find very versatile.
-5- Where do you see your blog in a year from now.
I have some ideas for posts regarding the romance genre and general reading that I would like to focus on. I’ve also been working on something like a weekly theme day for a post that folks may like, I’m not too sure yet. I working hard to try and improve my reviews too.
Folks love Giveaways, I can only do so many of those but I’m hoping to host more over the next few months, and a couple of authors have approached me about hosting which is wonderful.
I will likely “renovate” I get bored easily and I’m sure will be keen for maybe a colour or banner change before the New Year comes.
-6- While the web is world wide, do you find you have a dedicated home crowd that follow your blog or is it a mix bag any noticeable differences.
I do have a dedicated crowd that seems to come out for every post, and I really make a concerted effort to follow their blogs too. These are the folks who have become online friends.
There are also some that are irregular and it’s always nice to see a comment from time to time from them. Folks have busy lives and varying amounts of time to devote to blogging and visiting so I do my best and I know others out there do too.
I have to say, this is a hobby and I try to keep it in perspective. The minute it becomes a chore or a second “job”, I think my enthusiasm will wane.
-7- While blogging gives away a piece of our identity - do you feel you have changed (become more adventurous / more aware) since blogging.
Interesting question. Well, I’m what might be best described as an animal loving, vegetarian, tree hugging cave dweller. So, in answer to your question, I would say yes because blogging provides a certain anonymity, essentially it allows me to be more adventurous with respect to writing and expressing my thoughts without the pressure of having to actually meet people face to face. I don’t think it has changed me personally. However, I have learned a great deal and I think one grows as a person through knowledge. At least I hope so.
-8-What would be your ultimate blogging/site experience.
I just have loved meeting so many new and really nice people who I share a commonality with through the online community. I so enjoy it when folks drop by and comment on a review or a post.
Blogging has opened up a whole new opportunity of reading Advanced Review Copies of books for authors and posting my thoughts. I love doing this, especially if I’m really enthusiastic about the book. I try and relay that passion to other readers so they might look forward to the read too.
-8- One or two of the most memorable events on your blog/site.
In late December 2008 author Beth Kery, contacted me through the Amazon loop and asked me if I’d be interested in reading and reviewing her book “Wicked Burn”. After picking myself up off the floor I responded I most definitely would. “Wicked Burn”, for me is one of the finest erotic contemporaries I’ve had the pleasure of reading this year. I posted a review on my blog and Ms. Kery seemed very happy with it. Then she contacted me again a couple of months ago and sent me an ARC of her new erotic fantasy “Daring Time” that is going to be released early May. That book,
IMHO it is simply wonderful. I guess because the impetus for the story is Shakespeare’s 114thSonnet made it even more special
because I love his work.
I’ve sort of become Beth’s Internet stalker now. LOL But, seriously being given the opportunity to read and comment on her work has just been a tremendous honour and I don’t think I would have had that opportunity without the blog.
-9- What are some of the more noticeable positives and negative of the romance genre over the past few years for you.
Oh wow, on the positive side? I think because romance readers have become more sophisticated over the past decade, publishers have had to respond to that and offer more diversity than what was historically available, which is excellent. I mean there are books that I can’t finish now too but that is no different from what I was reading a decade or two ago.
I have to say that I did go through a period where I didn’t read romance at all preferring classic literature and fiction but eventually returned to romance. I do think diversity is a good thing for readers. Even now I read a little urban fantasy and horror as well as romance.
Negatives? The main thing I’ve noticed are editing issues. There seems to be such pressure on writers to produce and get novels written and out I don’t think the same care is taken during the editing process as was historically. And, of course I’m sure there is increased reliance on word processors during editing as well and they are only so competent.
-10- Now to get to the books. Tell me all - the ones that started you off onto the genre, some favourite through the years and looking forward to books.
I started sneaking and reading my mother’s Harlequin’s when I was about 8 or 9 years old I think. lol But the first romance novel that I remember being totally enamoured with was, Kathleen E. Woodiwiss’ “The Flame and the Flower”. I read all her books and pretty much devoured every historical I could lay my hands on from there.
However, “Fear of Flying”, Erica Jong’s wonderful 70’s novel was the first real book of erotica I think I ever read, with the exception of “Lady Chatterley’s Lover”, by D.H. Lawrence.
At present time, I think I already mentioned my current addictions are paranormal romance and contemporary.
I just finished an ARC of the third book in Larissa Ione’s Demonica series, “Passion Unleashed”. It is a stellar novel. The review is up on my blog. I am hooked on that series and pretty much anything Larissa writes.
I am a devoted fan of Devyn Quinn, she is another extremely talented author. Her next book “Man After Midnight” is to be published March 31st and I’m really excited to read that one. She also has an anthology coming out the same day, “Dangerous Ties”.
I love Lara Adrian’s, “Midnight Breed”, series, and “Ashes of Midnight” is going to be released in May.
Jaci Burton and Maya Banks are also favourites; I read all their books. Jaci’s latest “Wild Rider” book “Riding on Instinct”, is going to be published on April 7th, wonderful erotic romantic suspense. That whole series is a favourite of mine.
Sydney Croft’s next book, “Taming The Fire”, is going to be published on April 28th. I’ll be first in the store for that one.
Beth Kery has a new book coming out in July called “Sweet Restraint”, which I am really looking forward too as well.
I’m a total book addict so my TBR shelves are just overflowing, but you never can have too many books right EH?
-11- With technology now walking hand in hand with our beloved print book - do you own an e-reader -
A. Yes, I own an e-bookwise and I don’t know what I ever did without it. lol
B. Have you named it yet?
Absolutely not. lol I name my dogs and cats, kids, not my e-reader. lololololol
C. Are you still at the gushing and can't get enough stage or have you started to take it for granted?
I don’t think I ever gushed; I love my paperbacks and hardcovers too much. I love the feel, the smell, just the weight in my hand. However, I like the convenience of the e-reader.
D. Last book you read on your reader and the one you have next up.
Last book was “Riding On Instinct”, by Jaci Burton. Next up is “Flirting In Traffic”, by Beth Kery.
E. What do you think of the e-reader /e-book craze.
I don’t see it as a craze at all. I think e-books are here to stay. I think e-readers will continue to be improved like technology generally really.
F. Since the inception of e-book - any noticeable difference in the print book industry.
I think the e-book is certainly proliferating and I worry that we are going to lose print books in the future. While I am a tree hugger, I hope there will continue to be a choice between print and e-book format.
G. Last book read that you thought - it can't get any better than this (Print).
Larissa Ione’s, “Passion Unleashed”.
-12- Any tips for new and future bloggers.
Just stick with it, give yourself time to make your blog a little corner that “reflects” you basically. It does take a lot of time. Especially when you start fiddling with html. lol
I’ve been referred to some really great sites that have helped me to design my blog to my liking so anyone new is welcome to drop by and ask anytime. I’d be delighted actually.
-13- Sneak peek at any future plans for the site or any upcoming events for you, and let us know where else we can find you on the web.
Well, I’m reading a couple of more ARC’s right now and hope to have reviews up for those soon.
I’m hosting a Devyn Quinn “Man After Midnight”, Giveaway at the end of this month.
In the middle of April I’ll be hosting a Beth Kery “Daring Time”, Giveaway.
Then April 27th Devyn is taking over the helm to do a e-book promotion and Giveaway as part of a blogging tour.
We will see what May brings.
As to where else to find me on the web, I belong to Goodreads and can be contacted through that social network (my name is Lea). I also belong to a couple of yahoo groups, but the blog is my main focus. The day job gets in the way of my hobby time. lol And, no, I don’t “Twitter”. lol
Thanks Again EH