Loch Awe in spring - Photo courtesy of Neil Donald Photography






Saturday, 23 May 2015

Introducing April Wood: Book Blogger by Mary Smith


I thought I’d do something different for my post this time and was delighted when April Wood, agreed to be interviewed.

April Wood is an aspiring romance author, book blogger, author interviewer, and a caffeinated book reviewer. When she is not glued to her computer or a book, she is busy taming wild spiderwort, obsessing over her gardens to the point of insanity, feeding wildlife, and propagating her ever-growing collection of African violets. She lives in a beautiful historic Tudor colonial with her Rock Star husband and their beloved black cat Madison, in Massachusetts, USA.

I can’t remember quite when or how we ‘met’ but I’ve been following April’s blog for a while. I got in touch to ask if she’d be interested in reviewing No More Mulberries. She was, she gave it a great review, which by the way led to a quite dramatic sales spike mainly in the UK. She has also interviewed me and later she interviewed Miriam, one of my book’s characters. I was very pleased when she agreed to a change of roles and be on the receiving end of the questions.

Hi April, it’s great to welcome you to Novel Points of View blog.

Hi Mary! Thank you so much for inviting me for an interview. I will TRY to be interesting. ;)

I have no doubts about that, April. First off, can you tell us for how long you been reviewing books?

I have been reviewing books since May of 2013.

Over two years now. And I know you have quite a following both on your blog and Facebook. What got you started as a reviewer? Did you start with your blog or did you review firstly on Amazon/GoodReads and other sites?

Originally, I had a blog titled, ‘In Case You Were Wondering…’ and I wrote about current events, dream interpretation, and book reviews. One of my best friends, author Jennifer Allis Provost, suggested that I should create a blog dedicated solely to book reviews. I thought it over and eventually made the switch,

I love the quote about a well-read woman being a dangerous creature – how did you decide on that name for your blog?

Oh, I love that quote too. I was trying to think of a clever blog name, and that quote kept popping up in my brain. Eventually, it stuck!

What’s the motivation to review books publicly?

Good question. Honestly, I like the free books, book swag, and getting to network with my favourite authors.

What sort of feedback do you receive from authors? Go on, dish the dirt – but don’t name names!

LOL! Oh boy, would I ever love to name names. I write fair and honest reviews, and not everyone agrees with what I have to say. I hate giving anything less than three stars, because I know I’m going to hear about it…I’ve been attacked on Amazon, and through personal email by people with fake accounts, regarding my reviews. I have my suspicions as to which authors are behind these incidents, based on my latest negative review. Fortunately, I LOVE most of the books I read. I only accept books that I think I will enjoy, but once in a while, I am WAAAY off. That sucks!

You say you won’t accept books you don’t think you will enjoy – what might be included in your ‘not going to enjoy’ category?

‘Rape fantasy’ drives me crazy. Once in a while, an erotic romance author will sneak that into the book somewhere and my eyes will roll back into my head. I recently read a book that featured this throughout the novel, and I gave it two stars. Really, two stars was generous. Basically, if the novel doesn’t fall under the category of ‘romance’, ‘paranormal’, ‘fantasy’, or ‘women’s fiction’, I’m not interested. However, if I have read something by the author before, and enjoy their writing style, I will give their book a chance regardless. J I’m flexible.

From the reviews on your blog you seem to have fairly eclectic reading tastes – do you have a favourite genre? If so – what is it?

My favourite genre is women’s fiction, but paranormal and fantasy novels have taken over my blog! J Fortunately, I love fantasy and paranormal. I’m also a huge fan of the romance genre.

Have there been surprises? Books you were looking forward to reading, which disappointed?  Or the other way round?

Actually, yes. I can’t even tell you how many books that I thought would be okay-ish, that ended up being my favourites. It is so funny how that happens. Good writing = good writing, whatever the genre is! I can always appreciate good writing.

You review books which are traditionally published and indie published – do you think indie publishing has now become accepted as mainstream? What differences have you seen in self-published books over the years?

Oh yes. I definitely think indie publishing is accepted now. Back in the day, it was considered embarrassing to indie publish. People would think that your book was lousy, and that was why you published it yourself. That just isn’t the case anymore. So many authors are taking their rights back on their traditionally published books, and publishing them on their own. It’s like the cool thing to do now-a-days.

You do author interviews – did that come later and what prompted this aspect of your blog?  Do you interview authors whose books you haven’t read or do you always read at least one of their books first?

I prefer to interview an author after I have read their book, but I have made exceptions.
Author interviews did come later, and at first I was just “playing” around, interviewing authors who were also friends. Then I interviewed author Zoe York  and I felt like a real interviewer. LOL!

I haven’t read any of her books but I’ve seen the sizzling covers! Tell us about interviewing characters from books?

Actually, Mary, I’ve only interviewed Miriam from your novel, No More Mulberries. I have another character interview in the works, but that’s it. I enjoyed interviewing Miriam, because it brought the character to life for me. It was such a neat experience.
 
I’m sure other authors would be up for letting one of their characters loose to do an interview with you. I found it fascinating because, after I started answering the questions, I found Miriam taking over and not always giving the answers I would have given. That’s the trouble with character – they tend to take over.
You also write – can you tell us a little about what you are working on? Are you looking for a traditional publisher or do you plan to indie publish?


Yes, I wrote a romantic, medical suspense called Pathological Lover that I sent to several publishing houses. I received a lot of excellent feedback, but have put that project on hold for now. I keep telling myself to dust if off, and work on it some more, but I’ve lost the passion I had for it.
 
Oh, April, I hope you regain your passion for it or for writing another novel. Don’t give up. Okay, I’ve been dying to ask about this rock star husband of yours. Is he a professional musician? Does he tour and do you go with him – or is that when you catch up on your reading?

YES! LOL! He is a vocalist for the hardcore/metal band Speak Well Of The Dead. They play out locally, around New England, and have opened up for some major acts. They have also made two cds. I used to make every single show, but lately I have been a lousy ‘band wife’, and have chosen to stay home for the last few. I’ll get back out there, because I do love the atmosphere and watching my husband sing.

How should people get in touch if they are looking for a review? Interview?

If authors are interested in a review or author interview, they can visit my website at http://www.aprillwood.wordpress.com, where they will find my official policies.

April, thank you so much for doing this interview for Novel Points of View. I’ve really enjoyed it. 

Thank you. This has been fun!

29 comments:

  1. Wow! What a fab idea you had, Mary, for this blogpost. It's always hard to think of something different to say about writing and you have come with a really original, interesting, idea. It's been really good getting to 'know' April. Rock Start husband, eh? Wonderful house, eh? Magnificent cat, eh? Hmm...do I feel a novel coming on?

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    1. Hahahaha, go for it! :) Just don't kill me off in the end. :)

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  2. Thanks, Linda. I'm glad you enjoyed meeting April. She's a star and sooo supportive of authors.

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  3. Really enjoyed this interview Mary, so glad you invited April. I've been following the 'Well Read Woman' blog for a while and it's fascinating hearing how it came into being and a bit about April. Love the photos too.

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    1. So happy to hear! Thanks for the support!

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  4. Fascinating insight into the world of a book blogger. Thanks Mary and April...

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    1. Thank you, Jennifer! I appreciate you reading the interview and leaving a supportive comment. :)

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  5. Fascinating insight into the world of a book blogger. Thanks Mary and April...

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  6. Great interview, Mary and April - thanks for the insights. I always find it shocking that people are prepared to 'troll' over poor reviews, but then, I'm an innocent abroad ...

    April, authors NEED reviewers like you - well done for giving us a chance to get our work out to a bigger audience.

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    1. Thank you so much, Jenny! I try my best, and appreciate the support! :)

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  7. April got your comments before I did - good on you, April. I'm glad people have enjoyed your interview.

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  8. What a great interview - really enjoyed finding out about you, April, and I'll definitely have a look at your blog! Writers really appreciate good reviewers.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Rosemary. Yes, do have a look at April's blog - her tatses are eclectic and she gives fair reviews.

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    2. Thank you, Rosemary! I appreciate your support! :)

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  9. What are tatses, Mary? Just kidding!

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  10. Ooops! They sound like something to eat, Jenny, don't they?

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  11. Great to read your blog, and interview, April. And well done Jenny, really interesting. :-)

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    1. Thanks for droppingin , Julie. Glad you enjoyed the interview with April.

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    2. Thank you very much, Julie! I appreciate that a lot!

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  12. Hello April, This is a thoroughly enjoyable interview. Great to read the views of a book blogger. I think every reader or reviewer has a right to express their views on how much or how little they enjoy an author's work.

    My husband sings as well and as much I would love to be at every show, it isn't always practical. And, you should pick up Pathological Lover and continue writing until it is published. My first historical romance - Royal Cowries - was published in Mar 2015. I started writing the story about four years ago. It was so fulfilling to finally get it done and published.

    It would be great to have you read my work. I will pop over to your blog. Nice to 'meet' you.

    Good luck,
    Stella

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    1. Hello Stella - we meet again! I enjoyed your interview with Patricia on her blog and I'm delighted you found Novel Points of View and enjoyed the interview with April. I'm sure she'd be happy for you to get in touch with her about your books - and do encourage her to carry on with her own book!

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    2. Yes, Mary, I searched you out on Facebook😁. I will get in touch with April about my book. And I will surely give her a push to publish. And I'm now following your blog from mine.

      Have a great day.

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    3. Great. I'll go and sign up for yours.

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    4. Hey, Stella! Thank you so much for your words of encouragement! Please do contact me! I'd be more than happy to review your novel. :)

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