Saturday, 23 May 2015
Introducing April Wood: Book Blogger by Mary Smith
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.
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!