I have been lucky enough to sit down and chat with Deb, the awesome host of The Lesbian Book Blog.
Authors and readers alike rely on the time and effort put into those all-important reviews and so I wanted to find out more. Check out the interview below for Deb’s thoughts!Lesbian Book Reviewer @Deb48128553 talks to Niamh Murphy about starting a review blog, her favourite book of the year, and the importance of LGBTQIA + fiction! Tweet This
What made you want to become a LesFic/wlw book reviewer?
Short answer: I was writing reviews on Amazon and Goodreads anyway, so I thought, “Hey, I should just create my own book review blog!”
Long answer: I’ve loved to read since I was little. For me, there is nothing like reading a good book. When I first started reading lesfic, there wasn’t the availability there is now. Thank goodness things are starting to change for lesfic ! The internet, along with digital books, has made it much easier for readers like me to find lesbian fiction and lesfic authors. However, I’m sure it’s still a struggle for many lesfic authors to get their books out there and in the hands of prospective readers. Through my blog I hope to connect lesfic readers with wonderful lesfic authors and their stories.
What do you look for in a book to give five stars? Do you ever give out one-star ratings?
I’ve never given a one-star rating. As for a five-star rating, the plot has to be well constructed and plausible; it is just too hard for me to buy into something that doesn’t seem to “fit” or make sense. The beginning, middle and end must flow together nicely. Also, the main characters need to be believable and unique. They need to have flaws and quirks, as well as strengths. For me, that’s what gives the characters dimension and depth. It makes them interesting, not generic. If they aren’t interesting, I won’t care about them. Additionally, I look for well-constructed dialog, dialog that helps me “see” who the characters are. I like dialog that shines a light on the connections between the characters and underlines the conflicts and emotions between them. Finally, the ending has to be satisfying and properly concluded. I especially like books that leave a strong impression on me, ones that have me thinking about them long after I’ve finished.
Do you remember the first LesFic book you ever read? What did that experience mean to you?
Oh, geez….that’s a hard one because I’ve read so many lesfic books over the years, but it was probably Karin Kallmaker’s Painted Moon or Wild Things. I was blown away! When I finished it, I set out to find everything ever written by her. I remember going to Barnes and Noble and searching high and low. The selection at the time wasn’t great, so I took my search to the internet….and that’s when I discovered fanfiction…
AH! Fanfiction! So many of us started out there! 😀
Do you have a favourite fanfiction pairing that you go back to again and again?
Well, I will always be partial to Xena and Gabrielle. Royal Academy of Bards is where I was first introduced to so many great lesfic authors. It’s where I first read the Shaken Series by KG MacGregor. It’s where I spent hours devouring the I Found My Heart in San Francisco Series by Susan X Meagher. However, I do have a fondness for Rizzoli and Isles, too. KD Williamson’s Cops and Docs Series is one I’ve read a couple of times. Oh, and I can’t forget Callie and Arizona…..Shonda is always overpowered in fanfiction!
Fanfiction really fills a need… why do you think we need more LGBTQIA+ representation in our fiction?
LGBTQIA+ needs more representation in fiction because we exist! Every home does not contain a heterosexual couple with 2.3 kids and a Labradoodle. Shocking, but true. We want to have the choice to read about ourselves in books. We want to be able to relate to the characters in books. When we are able to have this experience, we are better able to understand something about ourselves. It is a vital part of self-discovery, awareness and understanding. These kinds of stories can act as guideposts. They can be a positive source of entertainment and enlightenment for so many."We want to have the choice to read about ourselves in books. We want to be able to relate to the characters in books. When we are able to have this experience, we are better able to understand something about ourselves. " tweet this interview
What has been your favourite LesFic/wlw book of the last 12 months? What did you love about it?
That’s a hard question! I’ve read so many good books this past year. The Goodmans by Clare Ashton is definitely at the top of my list though. It had so many good things going on between its pages. It had a great plot with an intriguing subplot; it was very intricate and complex, to say the least. The subplot may have been just as driving as the main plot. I’ve never read anything like it. Also, Clare did an excellent job developing the characters in this book. Both the main and supporting characters worked together so beautifully to create an amazing story. Additionally, the dialog between the characters was outstanding. Basically, this book just drew me in from the start; I couldn’t put it down. It was charming, funny, dramatic and heart-tuggingly sad at times. I thought about it for days after I finished it. I was so blown away by it.
If someone told you they wanted to start a book review blog, what advice would you give to them?
If you decide you want to start a blog, be aware that it is going to take a bit of time at first. You will need to utilize social media to generate traffic on your blog site. You want to steer people to your blog, and linking your social media to your site is a great way to do that. I would advise making daily posts on your social media sites, too. I often post book quotes or sayings, but anything book related is great. My final bit of advice is to become a NetGalley member. It is a great way to get access to books before they are released.
That is fab advice! Thank you!
Do you have any advice for authors trying to get reviews?
There are several sites, including this one, that list places authors can solicit book reviewers for book reviews. Many book reviewers have blogs, and bloggers often list their contact information on their website, usually in the main menu. Often times bloggers have their contact page set up so that authors can email them directly. My contact page is set up that way. I feel like it makes it easier for people to contact me.
Thank you so much for all your advice and you recommendations!
I have loved having you here, it’s been a pleasure! Thank you.
I am an avid reader. I love to read! I love to read lesbian fiction, especially lesbian romances. I enjoy books that are well written and have interesting characters. I appreciate stories that have strong female leads and beautifully told love stories. I get excited about stories that make me think and cause me to wonder about their characters long after I’ve turned the last page. These are the books that inspire me, and fuel my love for reading.
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