Monday, 20 July 2009

Kristie (J) - Ramblings on Romance, etc

This weeks guest is none other than KRISTIE (J) from Ramblings on Romance, etc, and  I have to really thank this guest blogger this week for being determined to get this post up today.

Kristie is on a RWA overload and was still hard at the type-mill getting this to me in the wee hours of the morning. Thanks Kristie.

I know Kristie from her blog and I must admit I joined her band wagon straight away because I love the rambling part of her blog, she tend to highlight some hearts and bones matters that are near and dear to me. She is also a huge fan of NORTH and SOUTH and is currently on a reign of terror trying to convert people over to being crusaders – Join if you dare…

Join me in welcoming Kristie (J) to Erotic Horizon. 



fairy in a field

-1- Firstly you have promoted your site as "Rambling on Romance, etc" is there a story behind the names and how much rambling to you actually do..

When I first started the blog, it was because I wanted to delve into the issues of romance, whether it was my thoughts on a book, authors, genres - whatever stuck my fancy. But I knew sometimes I'd go off in other directions too - just general life stuff so I added the etc. part. My motto has always been why say in ten words when you can use 100. My family and friends are constantly urging me to get to the point *g*. Ramble is what I do when I tell a story so I figured it would be a good name for the blog. So Ramblings on Romance, etc. just seemed to fit what I had in mind for what I wanted to do.
And rambling on etc stuff is what I've done a lot of! I've done a post on underwear, toilet paper, babysitting a dog when I'm a cat person (that was one of my favourites), my frustrations with technology - all kinds of stuff. But at heart, it's about

-2- Can you let us know what's your speciality reading area and how/why you got into it.

I know this is going to sound weird, but I still have a hard time saying I review books. I consider it more like giving my gut feelings on books. To me a reviewer makes notes, bookmarks pages, takes days to write up a review and is more 'technical' then I am. I just wing it and give opinions and thoughts on how I "feel" when I'm reading a book. I only started when I started the blog - back in February of 2005.
I got into it when I found myself unemployed and with time on my hands.
Unlike many readers, I love just about all genres from RS, to paranormal to medieval to historical, My newest genre is erotic romance and I still find myself blushing while reading it - enjoying it mind you - but blushing.
I've loved reading all my life - since Grade 1 on. And in the past I've read all genres, not just romance, but for the past number of years, with all the different genres within the romance genre, I find all my reading needs met.

-3- With work and life in general how much time do you spend on the net and your blog in a day and weekly.

Both too much and not enough!! Some evenings after work, I could spend hours blog hopping and doing posts for Ramblings and I miss not reading. Other nights I just read or watch TV and I miss not blogging. I wish there were more hours in a day and I worked fewer hours a week so I could satisfy both interests.

-4- What are some of your daily net habits .

*g* First thing when I get up in the morning, I head to the computer and to blog land. Depending on what shift I'm on determines how long I'm at it. But I seem to make it to work just in time even if I'm on the later shift. Now that I have a laptop, when I get home, I can multitask and watch television AND blog hop. I like that. This is awful but in the huge world of the internet, I spend the vast amount of time just visiting romance themed sites and blogs - though this is a horrible confession, I have started visiting the message boards for the The Bachelorette - eek. I also have lost many an hour on YouTube.
As for doing posts on my own blog - I try and do one at least every other day, but I'm more a "when the mood hits me" kind of blogger.

-5-Best thing about having a blog..

Wow - where to begin??? I had no idea when I first started blogging, how it would change my life. I thought it would be just a little hobby, instead it's rocked and changed my life. Blogging was one of my life lines when my husband was diagnosed with cancer and through the entire time until I lost him and after.
I've had the remarkable adventures of meeting fellow bloggers in person. I'm about to head out to my third RWA convention - by the time this is posted I will have returned. For a former non-traveller, this has been incredible.
Through meeting other bloggers online, I've discovered what an intelligent, thoughtful group they are and I've totally come out of the closet I was in for years when it came to my reading preferences. And since my romance reading has been such a passion and a big part of who I am, this has been really liberating.

-6- Are you the sole user of your blog -

Yes and no.

I 'met' Katiebabs of Babblings on Books and more and asked her if she wanted to join me on Ramblings on Romance, etc and she was a great partner. But then she started Babblings and it's just me again on Ramblings

-7- What widget/promotional site or other must have would you say made a difference to your blog.

*g* The Great North and South Crusade on the left side. I watched this incredible series (Not the one with Patrick Swayze - the BBC one which has NOTHING in common with the Patrick Swayze miniseries) and became totally captivated with it. Katiebabs and Sula, another blogger started this whole Crusade to get romance readers to watch this as to us, it was a romance novel come to life. The results have been wonderful. I think a lot of romance readers have watched it.

And I don't know if it does any promoting or not, but I love the LibraryThing widget. I have accounts with three different book accounts but LibraryThing is my favourite.


-8- How many blogs are you actively a part of.

I wouldn't call me active in it, but I was one of the original bloggers in the DIK blog. That's about it

-9- .Where do you see your blog in a year from now.

After just getting back from my third RWA conference, I'm even more convinced that I'm not a writer. While I may have a
story or two inside me, they aren't busting to get out. Instead I'd like to become more consistent with the blog in some ideas I've had. For example, I've done two author spotlights. I'd like to continue that and do one a month. I'd also like to feature new and midlist authors more. The big ones don't really need me - they do great on their own. But in this market these days, there are a lot of great authors who just don't get as much notice. I was overjoyed for example with the success that Judith James received for Broken Wing. I'd also like to promote the advantages of lesser known genres such as Westerns and Medievals.
I'd also like to do more reviews - but in order to do that I need to get my butt away for the distraction of the telly and do more reading!!
But overall - I still want to keep it the way it is with a dose of other 'stuff' too.

-10-While blogging gives away a piece of our identity - do you feel you have changed since blogging.
I think I've become more open if anything. A lot of times I think I'm too open about other stuff. Another reason I don't think I could be a writer is I don't do a whole lot of editing in what I write and to write a book - you need to be good at that.
I've also become more adventurous in my reading. Even a couple of years ago I wouldn't have tried erotic romance. Now while I'm still only ankle deep in that genre, at least I'm giving it a try.

-11-What are some of the no no's for you in relation to reading and reviewing.

Big no no's include trashing authors. Even if I don't like an author's particular style, I have a lot of respect for them as a writer.
Even if I dislike a book, I'm not going to trash a book. I will always try and find something good about it - since I think there will always be something positive. And I know that one readers A is another persons F. So I will never say to anyone 'don't read this book.'
Inciting flame wars. Though I'm like everyone else in that I rubber neck on them, I'm just not controversial enough to start any. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with strong opinions - I have a lot myself, but it's just not 'me'.

-12- Other than your own blog are you active in any other blog community or contribute to any other blog..

I also do a monthly column at Readers Gab - a part of Access Romance. But my brain seems to want to go dead right about
when my turn is up. What I need to do is get ahead I think and have some columns already done!

-13- Now to get to the books. Tell me all - the ones that started you off onto the genre, some favorite through the years and looking forward to books.

I've been reading romance in one form or another but I've had time to think about this question and while I'm not sure you can call them romance - some authors that I loved for the strong romantic elements are Daphne DuMaurier, Anya Seton, Mary Stewart and Georgette Heyer.
As for books I'm looking forward too - here are just a few
Jo Goodman's upcoming book, Never Love a Lawman - it's a Western!!
Lisa Kleypas upcoming book, Tempt Me at Twilight. She is my biggest autobuy author.
Elizabeth Hoyt's To Desire a Devil. I'm thrilled that Reynard St. Aubyn is still alive since even though we haven't 'met' him, he seemed such a vivid character even in memory.
Nalini Singh's Blaze of Memory. I just finished Branded by Fire earlier today and can hardly wait for her next one in this series!
Those are the top ones at the moment. Now I'll probably think of a lot more

-14- With technology now walking hand in hand with our beloved print book - do you own an e-reader -

Nope - they scare me. I can't even work a cell phone so the thoughts of downloading an e-book is frightening! But I think the day is coming when I'm going to have to tackle that fear as there a lot of books and authors I want to try who write in eform.

-15- Any tips for new and future blogger (can be negatives or positive, just be as true as possible).

I think the most important thing is 'be yourself'. We all have a different 'voice', a different style, different everything.
Have fun. When it becomes work, I think you need to step back and remember why you started in the first place.
If you are going to be 'off' blogging for a while. Even though many of us never meet, we really do become friends and if you disappear, just if a friend vanishes in real life, we worry,
In order to get visitors and have comments and discussions, visit other blogs and leave comments. Whenever someone new visits, I always 'go to their place' to visit.

Don't blog for hits. Sure I think we would all like the kind of traffic that DA or Smart Bitches get, but for the vast majority of us it's never going to happen. But if you get caught up in the number of visits you get, it's easy to lose focus and lose your voice.
Respond to commenter's. I try to do it as often as I can. I'm not always successful - things come up and I'm away from blogging for a few days at a time sometimes; that happens to everyone, but don't ignore commenter's on a regular basis as chances are you will lose them as visitors. There was one blog I visited and often left comments. The blogger never acknowledged any comments by myself or anyone else. I don't go there anymore.

-16- 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.

I think I mentioned them earlier on - being more consistent with the ideas I have had and trying to think of others. Odd as it sounds, my recent trip to RWA invigorated me as a blogger too. But since I just got back a few hours ago, I'm too tired to think of anything new at the moment *g*.

9 Speak To Me:

Leontine on 20 July 2009 at 10:32 said...

Hi Kristie,
I absolutely loved to get to know you better and had a blast reading your review! There was much recognition from my part and was nodding my head upon reading you're scared of e-readers and you can't even work a cell phone.

Family and friends know I have a cell phone but it is either battery dead or I can't seem to find the right buttons LOL And e-readers, like Kindle, I need me a 101 if I ever take one.

I visit your blog from time to time and I always enjoy your posts, though I do not always comment *blush*

Amy C on 20 July 2009 at 12:25 said...

HA! I can work an ereader but can't a cell phone! I'm getting better :).

Great interview, Kristie and EH :). I've been stopping by Kristie's blog since I started blogging over a year ago!

Donna on 20 July 2009 at 12:51 said...

Hi Kristie,

Love your blog's header, it's gorgeous. I plan to pop over and visit your blog.

Well, I've been fighting the eReader battle for awhile but I finally broke and bought one last week. I love it and it's so easy to use. Once you get one, you'll wonder why you ever doubting getting one.

I appreciate your advice for new bloggers, I've been trying to find my stride between blogging, work, family and reading.

Thanks E.H. and Kristie, enjoyed the interview.

Blodeuedd on 20 July 2009 at 14:33 said...

Hi Kristie,
Fun to take a better look at your blogging.
So you like the old romances, I really should read Heyer one of these days

Tricia on 20 July 2009 at 15:16 said...

Hi Kristie and E.H.,
What a wonderful interview! Kristie I always enjoy reading your ramblings since I tend to be the same way.

Lea on 20 July 2009 at 21:28 said...

Kristie and EH:

This interview is awesome and so comprehensive. I love the cover art for "Lord of Scoundrels", it is just beautiful.

I'm just so impressed with your knowledge of romance Kristie and it is so lovely the way you reach out to other book bloggers who are "new on the block".

I'm hearing wonderful things about RWA and am so happy you had such a great time!


Kristie (J) on 21 July 2009 at 01:13 said...

Leontine, hello and thanks for reading my long winded answers *g*. I do want to get into ebooks - there are so many out there I want to try and instant gratification is always a great thing. And I have downloaded a couple to my computer. But it's transferring them to a second device that scares the dickens out of me!!

Amy: Hey there!! Digital cameras - I had to have my son put my camera on another button so he could see my pics, cell phones, DVD, - anything electronic scares me

Donna: Isn't it gorgeous??? I can say that and not be annoyingly boastful since someone else did it for me. And really - the best advice for new blogger is to just have fun. It's as fun for me today as it was when I first started

Hi Blodeudd: Hi right back at you *g*. I haven't read Heyer for years, but back when I first started reading romance, I read most of her books. I think everyone should try at least one of her books since she is a part of romance book history.

Tricia: Hi!! And it's true! My family is constantly trying to move me along when I'm telling a story. When I do a blog post, there's no one beside me trying to make me condense things *laughing* My youngest son is the same - or was when he was young. He would take forever to tell a story. I loved making him tell his stories to my sisters 'cause he would go on and on and on. And now he's one to make me try and hurry it up - humphff.

Lea: Hi! Fancy seeing you here *g*. I'm knowledgeable about so few things - it's nice that I am about romance - since I fail totally when it comes to technical things.
And RWA was AMAZING!! Though I'm still tired as anything. When I read what I said - there was almost a whole sentence I forgot to put in *gulp*

Anonymous said...

Hey Kristie!! Out of all the readers I've met, your taste in books is most similar to mine. I can't believe I still haven't read Lord of Scoundrels!!! I'm the worst!!

Great post!!!

Erotic Horizon on 22 July 2009 at 09:35 said...

Thank you all for coming by and making Kristie feel welcome ...

I also wanted to say thanks to Kristie for service over and above the call of duty...

Hope you have now recover from RWA - like that will ever happen..