Book Addiction and I swapped interviews for Book Blogger Appreciation Week. Heather's reviews are wonderful, and I always love finding a new eclectic book blog. Here's a little more about Heather from her About Me section:
Hi everyone! I’m Heather, I am 26 years old and reside in Orlando, Florida. When I am not at work I spend most of my time reading (obviously), hanging out with my husband and our three cats, going out to eat (I love restaurants in a dangerously expensive way), spending time outdoors, and doing fun things with family and friends. I’m especially inclined to do just about whatever I can to spend time with my two year old niece, Adrianna.
Have you ever thought about not blogging? What keeps you going through the harder times?
I don't ever think about quitting altogether, but I have taken breaks. Every time I go out of town (usually 2-3 times a year) I allow myself a break from the blog. And sometimes during my regularly scheduled life I just find myself abandoning the blog for a week or two. Sometimes I just need to clear my head, and short breaks usually do the trick. When I'm feeling overwhelmed, I think about what I love about blogging and allow myself to relax and take a week or two off if I need to. I always find that I'm more motivated and excited to blog after I've had a bit of vacation from it!
You have mentioned in the past that contemporary fiction is your favorite. What speaks to you about this genre?
I enjoy realistic fiction with well-written characters, and contemporary fiction usually delivers that. I like characters I can relate to, and stories that seem like they could happen to myself or people I know. And I find that contemporary fiction (at least the books I pick up) can be counted on to have solid writing and a plot that moves along at a good clip.
If you were going to write a book, what would it be about?
Gosh, I've never really contemplated writing a book. I don't consider myself much of a writer, yes I write this blog, but this is much more casual than writing an actual book. I think that I would probably write a young adult novel, because in many ways I can relate to teens. I feel like I understand teenagers for some reason, and I think if I did write something I'd be most compelled to write about and for them.
You indicated in your survey that your favorite book was The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. Give me an elevator pitch (short description, plug that could be given if we were on the elevator together) on why I should pick up this book and read it.
Okay, where do I start? Well, I suppose I'll just tell you that this is a book that asks The Big Questions but allows the reader to formulate his/her own answers. It is a book full to bursting with love, in every sense of the word. It is one of those books that, regardless of what you think of it, you will be dying to discuss when you finish it. And it has some of the most authentic, interesting, well-written characters I've ever come across.
As bloggers, sometimes we get really weird pitches for books. What is the strangest book pitch you have received?
I have a very clear review policy, and I get pitches all the time that don't fit my review guidelines even a little. But I think the most odd request I've ever received was one that started off with "Based upon your review of xyz, I think you'll love my book" when I hadn't reviewed (and didn't have a desire to even read) book xyz that he was speaking of. I figured he'd sent a mass email to a ton of bloggers hoping that most of them had read the book he was talking about. I've gotta be honest - that email didn't even get a reply, it was thrown out immediately.
I saw that you recently reviewed Mockingjay. How well do you think the trilogy will translate into films, and do you have any thoughts in general on books to movies?
I think it will translate well into movies, if done with the right director and actors. I do think they'll have to tone down the violence quite a bit in order for the movies to be suitable for younger audiences, but I'm sure Hollywood will manage to accomplish that. I typically don't love movies based on books, but sometimes they work out really well, and I figure they get people talking about the book, and some of those people might actually pick up that book, so the whole concept of turning books into movies is a good one overall.
Are there any genres or subjects of books that you flat out refuse to read? If so, why? Not really. The genres I don't love (romance, horror, science fiction to name a few) I'd be open to reading if someone gave me the right pitch for a particular book.
How do you feel about cliffhanger endings in books? Is it important to you that all books (even in a series) have some kind of conclusion? Or do you like the suspense that a cliffhanger ending provides?
If the book is part of a series, I don't mind a cliffhanger because it gets me excited to read the next book. In a standalone novel, I want some kind of resolution. If the ending is somewhat ambiguous, that's okay, but if it leaves a HUGE question in my mind I get pretty frustrated.
Which is more important to you in a book, a well-crafted plot, or dynamic, well-rounded characters? Why?
Characters, absolutely. I find that my absolute favorite reads have all become favorites in large part because of the characters. I need to connect with a character in some way in order to love a book. If I am repulsed by a character, or annoyed with them, or creeped out by them, that's fine but I just need to connect emotionally in some way. If I can't connect with a character, there's no way I can love the book. It just doesn't happen for me.
Why do you think that book blogging is important?
When I started blogging, I didn't think of it as important, I thought of it as a fun hobby. But now that I've been doing it for 3 years and have met so many amazing, inspiring bloggers, I realize that blogging is important because books are important. Bloggers are not (for the most part) paid to represent the books we talk about. When a blogger is passionate about a book, it's a pretty safe bet that the passion is authentic. We have the unique opportunity to showcase books we love, authors we love, publishing houses we love, and bookstores/booksellers we love. Reading matters, and consequently bloggers matter. I personally feel incredibly lucky that I'm able to talk about books, connect with other bloggers, and spread the bookish love. :)
Thanks to Heather for stopping by! Visit her at Book Addiction to see an interview with me.