As my longtime readers know, I love doing quizzes, which for me are actually fun interview questions some magazine or blog gave to a celebrity, and then I do my own take on the Q&A. Today I’m combining a few questions from a recent People magazine interview with Liam Hemsworth and some from an interview my friend Cara Bristol sent me that BookBub did with James Patterson. (Because Cara knows how much I enjoy doing these things – thanks, Cara!)
Last time I sang out loud: Yesterday in the car driving to my essential grocery store, belting out rock oldies. Drive time is song time. Before that it would be the Octonauts’ Creature Report song with my grandson. It’s very catchy…
Last recurring dream: I don’t tend to have recurring dreams. I do have recurring locations for the dreams. It always used to be my junior high school, of all places. I never could figure out why since I remember the time period happily, there were no open issues to resolve, surely high school was more important…nope, the dreams would place me – as an adult, not a student by the way – revisiting the junior high school. Go Westlawn Tigers! (And actually the school no longer exists.) Since I left the old day job, I find to my annoyance that junior high school has been replaced with NASA/JPL and I’ll find myself there in dreams, usually realizing I no longer work there but under some pretext of being a consultant brought back to help with various things. In about half of the dreams I’m in my old office or at least my old building. In the other half I’m usually walking down from the upper Lab (because JPL is HUGE) and although it all looks familiar, I get lost. No idea what’s underneath this because I’ve never regretted leaving to become a fulltime author.
Last time I was recognized: I’m not a celebrity so my version of this is when I go the grocery store and run into someone from my time at JPL. They invariably ask how I’m doing and I’ve learned to lead with the information that I’ve published forty books and been on the USA Today Best Seller list three times. I’m not trying to be boast-y but I’ve found ‘civilian’ non-authors can relate to those benchmarks AND somehow they’re always surprised. I think people had a hard time believing how serious I was about being a ‘real’ author – kind of “oh she wrote a book, how cute”….nope, I’m as real as it gets. (A big thank you to my readers!) But I can understand where they’re coming from – if they only knew me in my role on the business side of the Lab, scifi romance author might not be a natural fit for their expectations of what I’d leave JPL to do!
So that was a shorter version of the People interview….now a few questions from the BookBub discussion:
The person who helped me fall in love with reading: Both parents actually because they both read voraciously and thought books were important. My Dad was into science fiction and thrillers and while I skipped over my mother’s love for long boring Russian novels and poetry, I did pick up on her fondness for historical fiction.
One book I love to give as a gift: I don’t give people books as gifts with the one caveat that I always give a child’s board book or two as part of a baby gift package. Usually I go with Goodnight, Moon, maybe an Eric Carle Hungry Caterpillar story or something similar and timeless.
One book I think deserves more attention is: If I think a genre book or an author deserves more attention I put it in my Wednesday report of new releases or I try to interview the author for Amazing Stories Magazine’s blog or include the title in one of the themed posts I do periodically for various platforms. Or I’ll tweet about it, or post on my Facebook author page. I don’t usually discuss my nonfiction book choices because either they’re for research or they’re related to my non-author interests.
The person I turn to for reading recommendations: I’m pretty self-sufficient on keeping my kindle loaded up with books. I do read the threads in Cara Bristol’s Sci-Fi and Fantasy Romance Facebook group, the Scifi Romance FB group, the SFR Brigade FB group and others where readers and authors list books they recommend with various tropes or settings. I like the Whiskey With My Book Blog….I sort of gather inputs from everywhere.
My favorite place to read: Anywhere, anytime. Having said that, you’ll usually find me sitting in bed, with my kindle, a cup of tea and Jake the Cat.
If I could only read one book for the rest of my life: Honestly, I’d write my own before I’d re-read the same book that many times! I do re-read some books and have sentimental favorites I revisit often but to be limited to ONE forever – NO!!!!!! That’s why I write – there aren’t enough of the kind of books I want to read.
Last few books I read: I’m currently reading Apokalypsis Book 4 by Kaye Morris but with trepidation because this is the book where she’s bringing together the main characters from the first three books in the series and I’m afraid the plot may ruin what I love so much about Book 2 especially. I know I should just trust her! Before that I did a complete re-read of the Murderbot Diaries series by Martha Wells, because the new book Network Effect is just out (and I devoured it). Before that was After Sundown by Linda Howard, an End of the World As We Know It novel. I hadn’t read anything by her in years and I enjoyed it, kind of apocalypse-lite IMHO. Cat Pictures Please by Naomi Kritzer, fun fantasy and scifi short stories. Four books in a row by Kim Fielding (working my way through her backlist because I love her work). Cold Storage by David Koepp. I wanted to read many more by him immediately because it was so good but…it’s his only novel so far. Culture Shock by M. G. Herron. Scifi mixed with a detective story with a Men In Black vibe, very good and fun. Guard by Anna Hackett. Some re-reads….some nonfiction….did I mention I’m voracious?
That’s it for today – sending you my best wishes for your health and safety in these uncertain times!