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Can you read in the car?
I suffer from motion sickness, and at times it can be terrible, especially since a good chunk of my ‘car’ time is on a bus. But I’ve learned to live with it and push through when I can because it’s honestly one of the few times when I get to read. I do MOST of my reading in the car, even if it leaves me with a headache or nausea on occasion. That’s dedication, I suppose! It’s also a place where I can get a lot of writing done. My day job commute is a good 40 minutes, and I like to use that time productively.
How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?
Just look at my given ratings on Goodreads. My average rating is over 4.5! When I love a book, I feel compelled to say so, but if I dislike something, I often don’t want to think of it again. I have to dislike something with a visceral passion to leave a negative review. Mainly because, if I don’t like something, I don’t want to keep reading. And if I haven’t read an entire book, I don’t feel it’s appropriate to leave a review. What I’ll never understand is serial reviewers, people who have an average rating of 3 or lower that they give, who seem to go out of their way to read things they don’t enjoy just so they can tear them down. Why would you want to do that to yourself? I think it’s much more fulfilling to spend time on things we enjoy than things we hate, so for the most part, leaving bad reviews just puts me in a bad mood. All that said, I am currently forcing myself to finish The Bell Jar, something I never read in high school, so that I can leave the most scathing review possible and be able to speak from authority that I did in fact read it from beginning to end.
Name a book that you could/would not finish.
It’s actually never happened because I disliked a book. These days I’m better at recognizing if I’ll like something, but in the past, I would always push on to finish, thinking that maybe the book would get better. Vampire Vow is the best example of that, my number one most hated book of all time. It did not get better. But I have several books I just lost interest in or got distracted from and wasn’t invested enough to persevere. The best example of that would be Lord of the Rings. Everyone says that if you can just get past the Tom Bombadil part, it gets really compelling. Well I made it to Rivendell and just couldn’t enjoy it enough to keep reading. But I certainly don’t consider it a bad book, and I love the story when told cinematically, I just don’t enjoy that style of writing. The other example would be A Kiss of Shadows by Laurell K. Hamilton. That IS very much a style of writing I enjoy, but I got distracted and never could get myself to read on. I think knowing it was part of a huge series always stuck in the back of my mind to dissuade me. I don’t like overly long series. I like more self-contained books or trilogies.
Favorite film adaptation of a novel?
Interview with a Vampire and Fight Club are first of all just generally two of my favorite movies, but also examples where I think the films are better than the books. Chuck Palahniuk himself said that he liked the film ending for Fight Club better than how he wrote it. They’re both great examples of taking a book and managing to expand and polish something for the screen, while cutting out the right things and never losing the heart of the source material.
Most disappointing film adaptation?
The Seeker: The Dark is Rising. The Dark is Rising book series by Susan Cooper is one of my all-time favorites, so when I heard they were finally adapting it to film I was ecstatic. It doesn’t really matter if you read The Dark is Rising or the technically first book Over Sea, Under Stone first, so it didn’t bother me that they were starting with book two, but then the real differences revealed themselves. They made the main character and his family American. Even though it’s still set in the UK! It told a very dumbed down version of the book, with the weirdest changes, and had an overall feel of throw-away young adult movie of the 2000s. It also made the 11-year-old main character an older teenager, I can only assume to avoid comparison against Harry Potter, which seems so silly to me since this book series is from the 60s/70s. It was just awful, but at least it inspired me to reread those books.
How often do you skim a book before reading it?
I am that person who turns to the last page and reads the end before I decide if I want a book. It’s enough not to spoil things, while giving you a feel for the writing and a sense of what’s to come. It’s a terrible habit I try not to do as much anymore. But I don’t skim. I definitely need the description at the back of the book (reviews are NOT helpful, as one person’s experience doesn’t dictate another’s), but I’d rather dive right in if a story interests me.
Your favorite fictional hero/heroine/villain/etc.
Over the last few years I have become increasingly attached to the comic book character Captain Cold, the nemesis of DC’s The Flash. I’ve been a huge Flash fan for years (you can see references throughout my books), but I’d never felt any real attachment to his villains before, other than liking that there’s often a friendlier tone, as several of his villains, particularly the Rogues led by Captain Cold, have a code of honor they follow. But when the CW started airing the new TV series for The Flash, I became hooked. I was a fan of the original 90s series, the Justice League cartoon (which has Wally West not Barry Allen, but I still love him), but this new series not only gave a fresh spin on Captain Cold portrayed by Wentworth Miller, it rekindled my love of the comics and made me go back and reread tons of my favorite stories and recognize what a wonderful and multi-faceted character he is. Intelligent but without a formal education or superpowers, even though he’s pitted against one of the most powerful superheroes. The puns, oh god, the puns. How much he actually likes his nemesis. His softer side, where he’ll give back something he stole to help out a bunch of orphans at Christmas. But most of all, his redemption arcs. He’s a huge Wonder Woman fanboy, always trying to pretend like his sister is the one who would want an autograph, when he’s the one who adores her, and their interactions when Cold is actually on the hero side are so much fun. What can I say, I love a good redemption story, and his, in all its various incarnations, is one of my favorites.
It was a trick. Emery had made it all up, knowing that the details would lead Connor to vampires. These were just Halloween fangs. Connor wasn’t really hypnotized into submission; he was just stunned, believing his own crazy imagination. He’d longed for years to have Emery this close, after all, crowding him into a corner, lips descending. He’d just imagined them descending a little closer to his mouth, though his neck wouldn’t be so bad…
…if not for the sharp sting, the breaking of the skin and rush of blood sucked out of him so fast he felt dizzy, and then—wow.
It didn’t hurt at all. It felt like Emery was tucked into his shoulder intimately, fully aware of the pleasant buzzing he caused in Connor’s gut every time they touched. Connor had dreamed of this, imagined it just like this, and felt lulled by Emery’s body being so close, and the way he shivered feeling those lips on his skin. He almost thought he heard Emery’s soothing voice whispering affirmations he’d always wanted to hear.
“Em…” Connor breathed out, barely audible.
The room was dimming, but he felt cozy where he was. His arms were limp and heavy as he lifted them to pull Emery closer, feeling the soft fabric of the sweater against his somewhat numb right palm. He pulled tighter, twisting flesh and plastic fingers alike in the fabric, pulling…with the faint sense that he should be pushing instead.
“Em…” he choked out like a whimper, like he was crying. Why was he crying? This was everything he’d ever wanted…
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