Today I’m excited to share a special interview with our review team. I have the opportunity to work with this rockin’ group of women on a regular basis, and I can’t wait for our readers to get to know them better. I’m happy to introduce Gabryyl Pierce, S.J. Byrne, and C. Whetzel!
Hi, ladies! In a few sentences, can you tell everyone a little about yourselves?
Gabryyl: I'm Gabryyl Pierce, a terminally single full-time freelance writer/proofreader/reviewer from Cincinnati, Ohio. My name reflects my Welsh heritage (they do love their Y's) & is pronounced like Gabrielle. And no, it's not my real name. I made it up years ago, for a variety of reasons. You can read about them here. In addition to my freelance work I write paranormal romance/urban fantasy; you can find my novels in the many 3-ring binders in my office closet. (OK, so they're not quite finished yet.)
C. Whetzel: I am a 30ish (once you’re over 30, does age really matter? I think not.) full time (outside of the home) working mother of 2 young boys. Hoping at some point to have a girl to whom I can pass down my love of paranormal romance books. Wait, did I just really say that? I have my Ph.D. in the sciences which has absolutely nothing to do with paranormal books. In fact, it’s a little counter-intuitive, don’t ya think? However, I love to edit and review books. I’m a bit twisted in that sense. I adore editing. Do they make a 12 step program for that? I have waaaaaay too many books on my Kindle from awesome authors. I trade sleep to read. I also trade housework to read. Am tempted at times to trade my children for good books…Naw, just kidding!
SJ: Well...I’m a single mom who picked up writing after a 15 year hiatus and spent 5 years struggling before finally publishing my first book. I have a teenage daughter who is co-authoring my second book with me and I have a house full of small animals. Anyone want a bunny? hehe
I know you’re all fans of paranormal books, but what was it about this genre that made you a lifelong fan?
SJ: It allows me to suspend what we perceive as reality for just a little while. I may write stuff that is true to life, but I don’t always want to read it. I like the possibility what else might be out there just beyond our imaginings!
Gabryyl: One word – Dracula! (Vampires are my weakness.)
C. Whetzel: I love this genre because it is an escape from the everyday mundane life. I live a pretty routine, safe, and normal life. Reading helps me spice it up! I also don’t want to pick up a book and read about some crime that I can see a news report on TV that is eerily similar. I want fantasy. I want to use my imagination to create beautiful worlds to escape in to.
Along those lines, is there a paranormal story or character you’d love to read about, but haven’t found?
C. Whetzel: I’ve read so much, from so many talented people that I’d have to think about that question. You (being all the authors out there) amazeballs me all the time with the stories you come up with!
Gabryyl: There really is nothing new under the sun, but an interesting take on any story is always welcome.
SJ: Not yet, if I come across one I’ll just write about it myself! =)
What’s the hardest part about reviewing?
SJ: Being honest but positive. As an Indie Author I’ve seen a lot of really nasty reviews that were literally targeting the fact that the author wasn’t traditionally published. I always try to keep my reviews in the positive light while pointing out the things I thought could use work. I also try to remember that reading is a subjective thing, what I love someone else will hate and vice versa.
C. Whetzel: Because I’m an editor at heart, it is really hard when a manuscript comes across my desk that isn’t edited well.
Gabryyl: Phrasing criticism is a delicate balance for me -- I want to be kind as well as constructive to the author but I also have a duty to the reader to be honest about the book.
Okay, now for some fun questions. Serious readers take their reading experience to a different level. Do you have a reading routine or ritual you have to follow?
Gabryyl: No, I can read anytime, anywhere…even upside down (the book, not me).
C. Whetzel: Anywhere. Anytime. I need to design a hip holster for my Kindle. The books I love, I have a hard copy as well as a digital copy, just so that I can have them at my fingertips AT ALL TIMES. I need to read before bed.
SJ: Naw...though I admit, I love having a good glass of wine when I read, but that’s only because it enhances the experience (especially when the book is particularly difficult to get through!)
Who’s your ideal book boyfriend (by the way, I’ve already claimed Jerico Barrons from Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series)?
SJ: Darnit!!! Well, if I can’t have Jerico...then it’s gotta be Mick Macgraw from Nikita Black’s Slave to Love...yea, I know – not paranormal. But daggum he is steamy! Lol.
Gabryyl: I adore Jean-Claude from Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series and Sinclair from MaryJanice Davidson’s Queen Betsy series. Maybe they should fight it out to see who gets to be my favorite. Shirtless. In mud. Hmmm… Sorry, what was the question?
C. Whetzel: Let’s see here. I think sparkly, obsessive vampires would get old (please don’t shoot me, I like reading about them, I just don’t think he’s for me!!!) Jace, from Mortal Instrument series can’t cook worth a lick…I’m kind of drawn to Damon from Crystal Ward’s Supernova…Elijah from Fierce Dawn is pretty bad a** and hot. See, I could just take a bit from SO MANY CHARACTERS!!!! Don’t make me choose, please!
Have you ever visited a haunted location?
C. Whetzel: On purpose? No. I like to read about it, I don’t like to experience it in real life.
Gabryyl: I’ve been to a few places near my home (Bobby Mackey’s nightclub and Waverly Hills Sanatorium) which have been featured on shows like Ghost Hunters and Unsolved Mysteries, though I’ve never seen anything exciting at either, unfortunately.
SJ: Yes!!! There’s a castle in Scotland, on the eastern coastline – Slains Castle. Town folklore has it that during a visit there, Brahm Stoker created the idea of Dracula. I know – lots of towns have that same lore, but THIS castle has the eerie factor to back it up! It’s not protected by any historical society and is even slated to be converted into holiday apartments. If you happen to be in the Peterhead way, look up Slains Castle and see if it still stands – you won’t be disappointed.
And finally, what’s the last book you read that made you want to call in sick, order takeout, and hire a babysitter because you just *had* to finish it?
SJ: Shadowfever of course!!! Lol. Only because it was so thick! I’m a fairly fast reader when reading for pleasure – but that one I took my time with and really let it sink in. Mmmmm dreamy! Lol
Gabryyl: As I’m terminally single (and childless) and work from home I only really do one of those, but I’d have to say Blackbirds by Chuck “The Penmonkey” Wendig really kept me awake, even after I finished reading it. His style is insane and it’s not an easy book but oh, is it worth it!
C. Whetzel: City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare (they just got better and better as I read them, and I actually DID have the stomach flu this week which allowed me to stay home and read it! HA! But the down side is I have to wait a whole FRICKIN’ year before the next one is out…)
The Mind Thieves by Lori Brighton (a big angsty- but aren’t the middle of the trilogies always that way?)
Angel Fire by L.A. Weatherly (I hate when a series keeps me hanging…Who knows when the next one is going to be out!!!)
Of Darkness and Light by Lily Crusswell- newbie on the Indie scene- haunting scenes.
Angelfall by Susan Ee--brilliant. I can’t say enough about it.
Fierce Dawn by Amber Scott. Awaiting the sequel (ahem) any moment!
Tales of the Guardian by Brianna Merrill – Last one out in Sept! On my calendar.
Ordinary Angels by India Drummond- awaiting next one.
Anything by Amanda Hocking. Hollow Land, Hollow Men, Trylle Trilogy, My Blood Approves.
Thanks so much for letting us get to know you better! We’re looking forward to seeing more reviews from all of you, and we hope our readers will follow them. If you haven’t already, you can find us on Facebook and Twitter. We’ll have another installment of reviewer interviews coming soon!