It was my pleasure to interview the fantastic Michelle recently. We have been working closely together on a major project that we hope to unveil soon!! Please check out all of Michelle’s fantastic blogs! She works hard at what she does and they are all amazing!
R2R: Tell us a bit about yourself
MM: I’m a forty-something mom of two crazy boys, an avid reader, writer, book blogger, cat lover, and Christmas fanatic who sings in her spare time.
R2R: How many sites do you own and how are they different?
MM: I have a total of 8 personal blogs and one blog which I co-host with another blogger. The True Book Addict is my main book blog and my primary focus there is historical fiction, with some classics and literary fiction thrown in. Castle Macabre which focuses on horror and some speculative fiction (paranormal, fantasy, etc). Historical Fiction Connection is a historical fiction site which I co-host with Marie from Burton Book Review. The Christmas Spirit is my year round Christmas blog. I post there every 25th of the month (Rudolph Day), all month in July (Christmas in July), and throughout the official Christmas season, which for me means Thanksgiving week (U.S.) through Twelfth Night/Epiphany in January. Told you I’m a Christmas fanatic! Challenges of The True Book Addict is my reading challenge blog where I track my progress in the bazillion reading challenges I sign up for every year. 101 Fantasy Reading Challenge is a dedicated blog for the perpetual fantasy reading challenge I host. The Michener Challenge is a dedicated blog for the perpetual reading challenge which focuses on the reading of the works of James Michener. A Huge Library in a Small Apartment is a blog where I plan to eventually list my entire catalog of books in my home library consisting of 3000+ books, 2000+ of which are fiction. I’ll also showcase pics of my library. Yes, my library has its own blog!
R2R: What is your favourite site and why
MM: I love all of my sites, but I would have to say that my favorite is The True Book Addict because it was my first book blog and the one I have put the most work into. I’m happy with the look and feel of it and I’m always thinking of ways to improve it and add interesting and meaningful content. Wow, that’s a loaded question! LOL! There are so many favorites. Of course, Read 2 Review is one of them. Also, my book blogging bestie and one of my favorite book blogs is Ryan’s Wordsmithonia. One of my favorite author sites is Melanie Clegg’s Madame Guillotine. She blogs about her own books, but mostly historical figures, art, and places. A favorite for historical fiction is Amy’s Passages to the Past and I’m a regular participant on her Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours . Like I said though, I really do have many favorites.
R2R: What reading challenges are you taking on this year?
MM: I have signed up for 22 challenges this year and one long term challenge. Some of them are the Historical Fiction Challenge, Horror and Urban Fantasy Challenge, Witches and Witchcraft Challenge, and Back to the Classics Challenge. The long term challenge is The Fill in the Gaps: 100 project, where you make a list of 100 books you’ve been wanting to read (preferably from your own shelves or tbr pile) and you have five years to read them all. Love it! To see all the challenges I signed up for, visit my challenge blog.
R2R: What book are you most looking forward to this year?
MM: Hands down, Anne Rice’s “The Wolf Gift“
R2R: Do you have a layout for your reviews?
MM: Basically, my reviews are my thoughts on the book. I always list my thoughts first and then info about the book (synopsis, etc.) last. I rarely, if ever, regurgitate plot details and spoilers will be prominently warned of.
R2R: What is your favourite book blog on the web (apart from your own and why?)
MM: Wow, that’s a loaded question! LOL! There are so many favorites. Of course, Read 2 Review is one of them because you feel like a partner to all book bloggers and authors, a real community site. Also, my book blogging bestie and one of my favorite book blogs is Ryan’s Wordsmithonia. He’s the one who got me started in book blogging and his blog is all about well-written and honest reviews, as well as entertaining content about movies and fictional characters. One of my favorite author sites is Melanie Clegg’s Madame Guillotine. She blogs about her own books, but mostly historical figures, art, and places and it’s always interesting and funny. A favorite for historical fiction is Amy’s Passages to the Past and I’m a regular participant on her Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. Like I said though, I really do have many favorites. She posts some of the best content to do with historical fiction books and authors.
R2R: What type of music do you like?
MM: Here we go again! So many favorites. I would have to say that rock, specifically alternative and some metal, is my favorite. Some favorite bands…The White Stripes, Muse, The Killers, AFI. My favorite band of all time is Aerosmith. I’ve seen them in concert 7 times and I have their logo tattooed on my ankle. Other classic rockers I love are David Bowie, Kiss, Led Zeppelin, The Who. I also love world music and Celtic music. Enya, Loreena McKennitt, Celtic Woman. And some other faves are Adele, Florence and the Machine, Lily Allen, Feist, Madonna, Sinead O’Connor. I have a strong dislike for most country, which is funny because I live in Nashville, Tennessee! So, my top three favorite artists are Aerosmith, The White Stripes, and Sinead O’Connor.
R2R: What are you top 5 films of all time
MM: Braveheart is my number one, always and forever! The other four are The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Excalibur, Elizabeth, Pride and Prejudice (Colin Firth version), and A Christmas Carol (all versions).
R2R: Who are your favourite authors?
MM: Anne Rice, Stephen King, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Ken Follett (because of Pillars of the Earth and World Without End), George R.R. Martin, J.R.R. Tolkien. There are really SO many here too!
R2R: Has being a book reviewer made you want to explore writing of your own?
MM: Well, I wanted to write before book blogging and had actually dabbled a bit, but book blogging…working closely with authors and getting to know them…has really sparked my exploration a lot. Since starting book blogging in 2009, I’ve written two short stories which I entered in a Writer’s Digest contest in November and I finally started my novel in November.
R2R: Who do you think will be an author to watch this year?
MM: Stephen King has some interesting stuff coming out this year. A new installment in the Dark Tower series, The Wind Trough the Keyhole and a comic book collaboration with his son Joe Hill, entitled Road Rage, which is a tribute to Richard Matheson’s Duel. Also, Anne Rice’s return to the traditional paranormal genre with The Wolf Gift will most likely create a lot of buzz.
R2R: What is your favourite food?
MM: I love Mexican food, but rarely get to eat it because of my new way of eating. I also love a good steak and grilled squash…yum!
R2R: Do you have any hobbies aside from reading reviewing and writing?
MM: I’m a singer. I moved to Nashville twenty years ago to try to break into the music (not country) business. Obviously, that didn’t work out, but I still enjoy singing and I go to karaoke nights at local bars occasionally.
R2R: If you had a selection box of books, what chocolate/candy would be what book and why?
MM: I struggled with this question…LOL! So I decided to just go with a couple of my favorites in candy. My favorite chocolate bar is Hershey’s with Almonds and it would be Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice. I think that Hershey makes some of the best chocolate and I think Queen of the Damned is the best of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles and it’s also my favorite book. Another candy fave is any kind of sweet and tart/sour candy, like Sweetarts, sour gummie worms, or Sour Patch Kids. My book equivalent for this candy would be The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. If you’ve read it, you’ll know what I mean. It’s a book that is sweet and sour at the same time. A wonderful book.
R2R: What are your plans for 2012?
MM: My best laid plans are to read more, finish my novel, continue to lose weight/get healthy (I lost 40 lbs in 2011), and to keep my home clean and organized.
R2R: Do you have a bucket list for 2012?
MM: My main bucket list is to catch up on my backlog of review books by the third or fourth month of the year. Also, to read the second installment of George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series (the book after A Game of Thrones) and to read a lot of books off of my own home library shelves.
R2R: What is your snack and beverage of choice?
MM: Well, it used to be cream cheese and crackers before this diet. Now, it’s a good hard cheese of honey peanut butter. My beverage of choice is Diet Coke. I also like coffee and tea occasionally.
R2R: Have you ever felt a book has been written about you? if so what was it and why?
MM: Well, one of my favorite books is Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I always felt a kinship with Jo March…that she was most like me…with her independent spirit and her writing and putting on of plays and the like.
R2R: Shameless Plug time: What would you like to see from Read2Review in 2012
MM: How about more historical fiction? Or more giveaways/competitions…LOL! On a serious note, you all have a great site, as I mentioned above. I have enjoyed working with you from the start. And Kate and I have a little project up our sleeves that I’m currently working on. We will probably make the announcement early next week. I know the suspense is killing you, dear readers!