I’ve been sadly neglecting my poor blog readers for the past several weeks, but I’m back today with a lovely interview with a fellow book blogger. We, along with many many others, are participating in Book Blogger Appreciation Week. (You can check out more about it by clicking the button on my sidebar.)
In celebration, I had a chance to interview a fantastic book blogger, Hagelrat. She is the founder of and a major contributor to the blogzine Un:Bound! www.unboundblogzine.com
Let’s get to know Hagelrat a bit more, shall we?
Lizaanne: What inspired you to create Un:bound! and how did your other contributors get involved? What has been the most satisfying thing about the blogzine for you?
Hagelrat: Ok, I was thinking about book journals, you know when you are a kid and the school has you keeping a list of all the books you read and a few comments? I found myself wondering how many books I have read in my lifetime and which books, I remember certain ones but I doubt I could list every book I’ve ever read and I sort of wish I could. I wondered about starting to keep a log of books from that point on and then figured since I was a casual blogger anyway I’d do it that way.
After a few posts I put a call out for contributors because I knew I couldn’t keep it rolling regularly on my own and I realised I wanted it to be a bit more. Chris in America and I had been talking online, commenting on each others blogs for a couple of years and he stepped forward, as did Choochoo who is in Norway, sadly her final year of studies got in the way but she is murmuring about coming back on board.
The Ravenous Romancers came next out of my ongoing online stalking of Dana/Inara and getting involved with their first blog tour. Dana organises the RR gang for me and hosts them but I consider them all an important part of the team and they really bring a lot of fun.
My newest acquisitions are my youngest brother (in law) and a colleagues daughter who are both students and just had such fun reading tastes I pretty much beat them into submission and threatened dire consequences if they didn’t come and play. Turned out I needn’t have beaten them so hard, they were quite willing to join. Finally, on the youth site I kidnapped a friends children in the UK and Pizza answered the call in much the same way as Chris.
The most satisfying thing? Seeing it grow and develop, it’s not the same blog it was just over a year ago when it started and that delights me. Also, the interaction with other bloggers and my team has been a source of tremendous pleasure for me, Harry at TLR stepping in while I went away, getting to post on World in a Satin Bag when SMD was elsewhere, it’s a community I am very proud to be part of.
Lizaanne: Un:Bound! focuses mostly on fantasy, manga, and science-fiction. What attracts you most to those genres?
Hagelrat: I’ve been trying to remember when my reading made the switch from teen fiction to horror and then to fantasy and other genres and I think I have to credit two authors with that. Clive Barker for Weaveworld, I was about 15 when I first read it and it totally changed my perspective on reading, really blew me away and I started to seek out more of his fantasy leaning novels rather than the strong horror of Damnation Game or the Books of Blood. Also Terry Pratchett who I was introduced to about the same time. His sense of fun and the way he took from all sorts of real religions and philosophies to build Discworld drew me and made me look at sci fi and fantasy differently looking for something more than just escapism. Manga is MangaCat’s world and having enjoyed anime since I was a student I am looking forward to seeing where she takes us.
Lizaanne: I saw a note about the Un:Bound podcast/ author interviews on your site. Tell me more about that.
Hagelrat: We have been doing author interviews for a while by email when one of the authors I was interviewing turned out to live only an hour away. We met and I recorded the interview for reference, which is how it has stayed for now, but after that I switched to email interviews for non local authors but anyone within a reasonable distance who is willing I do a face to face with. It allows for more random tangents and is great fun. I am not a professional however so background noise can be an issue. It’s great fun to actually meet people and naturally I take my books for signing and send them off with a stack of bookmarks.
Lizaanne: What books or authors do you drive everyone nuts trying to get them to read?
Hagelrat: Lol, I keep pushing books that people aren’t likely to see face out in Waterstones, so I recently bought copies of Hell Bent on Success by AMP Mills for both my sister and my mother, I want Mum to push it on her book clubs and I keep telling people about it. I also regularly recommend Dana Fredsti’s “Murder for Hire – The Peruvian Pigeon” which is a really fun murder mystery with noir elements and a great sense of humour. I loved Dana’s book so much I followed her across genres into Romance which is new territory for me. At the moment of course I would have to slip in plugs for Steve Savile who writes a lot of tie in fiction and has a thriller called Silver coming out soon, I really enjoy his writing and you get the sense he has fun doing it and finally Mark Charan Newton whose second book cover is all over the genre blogs at the moment as it should be. I could go on all day but I shall leave it there.
Lizaanne: Have you ever read a book that you subsequently threw across the room? What was it and why?
Hagelrat: Hahahahahhaa yes. Twilight. I eventually gave in and read it and to be fair to Meyer if I’d picked it up at random I probably would have finished it and been “yeah ok, fine, nothing special” about it, but after all the hype I was actually paying attention and not just flying through it as a brief diversion. I found myself wanting James who was the big villain of the piece to drain both Bella and Edward for being such utter drips by the end of it, also the message it sent to me was “if some hot guy stalks you in weird and creepy ways it means he loves you and you should definitely go out with him”. I hurled it across the room scaring the cats and then passed it to a friend to determine whether it was suitable for her daughter who had bene asking for a copy.
Lizaanne: (and for fun…) Favourite fantasy/ sci-fi television shows?
Hagelrat: Oh wonderful! Ok I love what my friend and I call Shiny & Shallow American TV shows so Buffy, Supernatural, Firefly (awesomness squared), I liked Charmed for a while but it sort f got a bit silly when they brought in the school and I tailed off, Angel is in there but only just, I loved Cowboy Be Bop when CNX existed over here and am totally sucked in by TruBlood at the moment, although I want Eric to be hotter sexier and more Nordic.