Sunday, 18 January 2015

Chatting With Katy

Here's Katy.  she loves all things Indie and quality and is not afraid to tell you if she doesn't like your story.

If you could live in the age and setting of a book, which book, and why?

That's really tough. I have been on some amazing journeys within books and it is really difficult to pick just one place or time!

I think that if I had to pick, I would choose to live in the Onktor Valley from David Staniforth's Fuel to the Fire trilogy. It just sounds like an absolutely amazing place to be!

Does it annoy you the book finishes well before 100% because the author mentions their other works at the back of the novel. Do you mind if the author includes a synopsis or even an excerpt?

I hate to say it, but yes! It does annoy me! I don't mind the author including a little bit about their other works, or even a little about themselves, but excerpts tend to get on my nerves and I tend to not read them, particularly if the excerpt is from a book in a different series!

Are you put off if you see a book is part of a series? Or does that entice you, knowing that if you like it there are more books to enjoy?

No, definitely not. I quite enjoy reading a series. I like to be able to get to know the characters and share their adventures. Having said that, I like books to have a natural ending (though this can include cliff-hangers). I don't like it when a book ending feels forced and ends too abruptly in order to make the reader pick up the next book in the series. 

Do you read the Look Inside before purchasing? Always? Sometimes, depending on the reviews? Never?

It would depend on the book, I guess. A lot of what I read is based on recommendations. If a book has enough recommendations, then I will happily give it a go. However, if it was a new book by an author that I have not heard of, I would be tempted to use the 'Look Inside' feature to get a taste of their writing style before buying.

Do you read for hours at a time, or in short bursts, or a mixture of the two?

A mixture of the two, definitely. I am lucky, in the fact that I can pick up and put down a book at any point in the story, so I can quite happily read for, say, 10 minutes between lectures. I have been known to stay up way too late reading, though!

How important are reviews of a book to you? Would they influence your choice to buy it?

Reviews are quite important to me when I'm buying a book, but they are not the only reason that I would buy. Unfortunately, I am starting to rely less and less on reviews, especially on Amazon, because a lot of them seem to be fake. I tend to pay more attention to reviews on Goodreads.

Do you think you remain unbiased when reviewing books by people you know or interact with on the internet?

I think I do, yes. I write reviews more for myself than for other people, to remind me what I like or disliked about that book, particularly if it is part of a series. I am also greatly aware that readers can tell when a review is biased and if I was biased, it would make other readers either not trust my reviews or not want to read that book. Biased reviews also don't let the author know where they need to review. To be honest, I don't think that biased reviews help anyone!

How do you feel about leaving negative reviews?

Leaving negative reviews always makes me feel awful! I always worry that I am being mean rather than constructive, as I would like to be. However, I also feel that negative reviews, if they are well written, can greatly help the author to know where to improve.

Are you more lenient with regards mistakes if you know a book is self published, or do you believe the authors should have hired an editor to make sure it's the best it can be?

I wouldn't say that I am more lenient with mistakes if I know that a book is self-published. At the end of the day, an author should feel happy that their book is the best that it can possibly be, whether they have self-published or gone through a publisher. I think that the use of an editor is up to the author and their particular circumstances, but a couple of proof-readers would be a good idea. Many readers, including myself, are happy to offer to proof-read a book.

I tend not to notice the odd mistake if the story is gripping enough, though I do make a note and send a message to the author in order to help them improve, as mistakes are bound to be missed. I haven't had any nasty comments from authors so far!

If something an author did upset or bothered you, would it stop you reading more of their work, even if you've read their stuff before and enjoyed it?

I'm afraid that it would. I have had instances before where an author has disagreed with my review and sent a nasty message or email in return. It has definitely made me not want to read their books again!

With the internet, it is possible to see how authors interact with their readers or reviews left on sites such as Goodreads and Amazon. If an author is disrespectful to their readers or other authors, it would definitely put me off reading anything from them!

You can find Katy's Review Blog here:

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Marriage to Measure by Talli Roland

Marriage to Measure is the third in the Serenity Holland series.  This time, Serenity has a wedding to organise.

Whilst I adore Talli Roland's writing and books, I was less enamoured with this one as I kept getting frustrated at Serenity's inability to say no to people.  As with any chick-lit story, true love never runs smoothly, but, oh, was Serenity more of a wimp than previously!  I wanted her to get a back-bone and sort everyone out.

Talli Roland's writing is a joy to read.  Once I start, I can't put it down, it's so easy and light, yet full of depth.