Reading and Writing (but No Arithmetic, I Promise)

So I found this questionnaire the other day and thought, “Yeah, sure, why not?” The questions are mostly related to reading and writing, which interested me, so here we are. I found the questions on Things Matter, but they originally came from Blu Chicken Ninja, so check out both sites!

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#1. What is your favorite book?
I’ve answered this question before in other posts on this blog, and the answer hasn’t changed. Though I have lots of favorites, the one that I always return to over and over again is “Invitation to the Game” by Monica Hughes. It’s a short novel, but she managed to pack a lot into it, and I absolutely love her version of a dystopian future on Earth. It’s absolutely, definitely worth a read, I promise you.

#2. What are your goals? For the year? For life?
If you follow my blog you already know what my goals for the year are: to take better care of myself, to build my readership/viewership, and to write a lot. But what about my life goals? Mostly they’re pretty simple, common things: raise my daughter to be a good person, keep my marriage strong and happy, avoid ever getting into any kind of debt again, stay healthy. But there’s also the one that’s always niggling at the back of my mind: become a successful writer.

#3. Are you a writer? If so, tell me about your work.
Obviously the last question gave this one away. Yes, I am a writer. I have completed and published one novel (so far), a zombie apocalypse story called “Nowhere to Hide”. It’s a story of survival, mixed with lots of horror and a little bit of psychological drama, and I’m pretty proud of it to be honest with you. I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback, both from friends and family as well as complete strangers, so I feel confident that I did, in fact, write a good book. Now if only I could convince several more thousand paying readers of that fact. Ha!

#4. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I don’t think I really have one answer to this question. I mean, if I had no ties, no responsibilities, and didn’t have to worry about money, I’d probably visit a lot of different places, but I don’t really think there’s one particular place that I desire to go above any other place. And if I’m being totally honest with you, being a fly-in/fly-out worker has given me one hell of an appreciation for home, or wherever my husband and daughter are. So seriously, if I could go anywhere, it would just be wherever the three of us can be together.

#5. What was the last movie you saw in the theatre, and was it worthwhile?
I have a horrible memory, and I’m sure my husband while correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure the last movie we saw in theatres was “Guardians of the Galaxy”. And if I’m correct, it was absolutely, totally worth it. Going in, hubby and I didn’t really know much about the Guardians other than the fact that Rocket Raccoon was one of them, and also some talking tree thing. We came out totally hooked on the characters. The movie was awesome; it was tons of fun, didn’t take itself too seriously, and also told an epic story. I’ve since watched it multiple times, and it’s even become one of the little missy’s favorites.

#6. I’m curious, are there any books that you’ve tried to read and simply couldn’t finish? This is a no judgement zone.
Lord of the Rings. There, I said it. And I feel like I lose geek cred for admitting it. The thing is, I loved the movies because it really is this truly amazing, epic adventure, so I figured of course I’d love the books as well. So, years back when the first movie had just come out in theatres, I asked my parents to get me the books. They got me the big three-books-in-one version, and I set to it… But I never made it past about halfway through the Fellowship. I couldn’t do it! There is so much excess stuff that is painstakingly boring. Tolkien tells an amazing tale, but he intersperses it with the completely unnecessary backstories of every race in the world, along with pages upon pages of describing things like what a forest looks like. I actually, literally, fell asleep with the book on my chest one night because my brain couldn’t handle reading any more descriptions of trees. I’ve often tried to convince myself to go back and give it another go, but I’ve got so many other books in my backlog now that I don’t think that’s going to happen for a good, long while.

#7. Are you currently working on a new book/project right now? If it’s secret you don’t have to tell me about it. If so, however, I hope it’s going well.
My current project is a four-part series that is a kind of young adult fantasy. I’m tentatively calling it “The Other World” and it involves a teenage girl being pulled into a parallel universe and finding out that she was actually born there and is the key to defeating a great evil that has taken over the throne. I’ve been working on this story for pretty much a decade, and it’s changed multiple times, but I’m confident that this is the one that makes its way to becoming a completed, published series of novels.

#8. If you could live in any of your favorite books, which one would you choose?
Oh lord…I don’t think I’d want to live in the world of any of my favorite books. Most of my favorite books are super-freaky horrors or the kind of epic tales where half (or more) of the characters die. Would you want to live in a Stephen King novel, or in the every-freakin-body-dies worlds of George R.R. Martin? No, I didn’t think so.

#9. Are there any book-to-movie adaptations that you think are just incredible? That you absolutely hated?
If we’re counting comic books, I’ll definitely have to mention “The Avengers”. I absolutely loved that movie, and I thought that the actors (particularly Robert Downey Jr and Tom Hiddleston) did an outstanding job of representing their respective comic book characters. I also thought that the first “Harry Potter” movie was amazing, and though “Game of Thrones” is a show, not a movie, I think everyone involved in it has done an absolutely astounding job.
As for ones that I absolutely hated? I could probably sit here all day and list movies that didn’t do their books justice, but the one that first came to my mind was “The Mist”. It was actually a good movie, and I really enjoyed it, but the ending (which deviated from the ending of the book) seriously made me want to kill myself. It was the most god-damned depressing thing I’d ever seen, and I felt like just watching it took years off of my life.

#10. What do you look for in a book that you want to read? What’s the first thing to capture your attention?
Monsters or magic. I love all kinds of creatures, especially the ones that are actually monsters and not just over-sexualized playthings, and anything magical or fantastical gets my attention right away. I love epic stories with evil creatures and struggling heroes. That’s my jazz.

#11. If you’re an author, what do you do when you first get an idea for a book?
I obsess over it. For ages.
Usually, when I get an idea for a book, it starts out as an idea for a scene, around which I then create a reason for the scene to exist. And once I’ve got that scene it usually takes over my brain like a parasite. I play it over and over in my head. I put music to it. I sketch it out. Sometimes I’ll write and rewrite that scene a dozen or more times, trying to get it just perfect. And then, hopefully, a book forms around it.

#12. How do you feel about different genres? Romance? YA? Sci-fi? Poetry? Do you have any favorites? Any least-favorites?
My favorite genres are definitely horror and fantasy, no question. I love the creepy and the epic. When I was younger I used to read a lot more sci-fi as well (mostly because I was obsessed with Star Wars and had to read every available novel), but that’s tapered off to pretty much nothing. Romance? Hate it. I enjoy a good romance as part of a story, but when the story is just about the romance? No go. YA I can handle as long as it’s well-written. Poetry, totally not my thing.

#13. If you could meet any writer in the world, dead or alive, who would it be?
I’ve mentioned this before, but I don’t think I’d ever really want to meet any of my favorite writers. I know some excellent writers personally, so they don’t really count, but my feeling about a lot of big writers is that they tend to be very judgemental about other writers. Some of my favorite writers have said some pretty awful things about other writers, and many of them have this horrible attitude that a book has to be written in an exact formula, and anything that deviates is trash. I don’t like that attitude, and I’d like to avoid it if at all possible.

#14. Do you prefer fiction or non-fiction?
Definitely fiction. Non-fiction has it’s place, and I do enjoy reading a bit about some historical stuff, but mostly I want to escape to another world when I’m reading. I’m all about the speculative fiction, and all the crazy stuff that is sort of grounded in reality but could never really happen. That’s the stuff that really gets me into a book.

#15. Are there any characters that everyone loves that you can’t stand? Or vice versa?
How about that twit in the “Fifty Shades of Grey” books? That seems like a cop-out because, in reality, there are probably as many people who hate her as there are people who love her, but man, I really hate her. I just thinks she’s so horribly written, and her thought process makes me wonder if she’s completely brain damaged or something. Even if she weren’t falling in love with a guy with an extremely abusive personality, she’s just such a horrible character that I can’t feel the least bit of empathy for.

#16. What do you do besides reading/writing?
Well, I’m a mom, so there’s everything that that entails. I also play video games, make YouTube videos (mostly unboxing videos), and watch a lot of TV shows and movies with the hubby. It’s a pretty simple (but enjoyable) life.

#17. If you could be remembered for one thing, what would it be?

Well, I’d like to think that I’d be rememberd for being a good daughter, a good wife, and a good mother, but obviously. Aside from those, I’d like to be remembered for being a good writer, someone whose books were enjoyed by many. Hey, a lady can dream.

#18. What is your favorite guilty pleasure book?
Guilty pleasure? Gonna have to go with the Twilight books. Despite being horribly written, with idiotic characters who you want to strangle, for some reason I still find some strange little bit of pleasure in these books. It’s kinda the same idea as enjoying B-movies. They suck, but somehow they’re still kinda fun. Feel free to stone me now.

#19. Do you have a reading goal set for this year?
No goal in particular, no, but I have been trying to convince myself to read more often. Somehow, in the past couple of years, I just started reading less and less, so now I have this huge backlog of books that people got me for holidays and the like, and I’m starting to feel bad about myself for not getting around to them. In the past couple of weeks I’ve nearly polished off the entire “House of Night” series, and I’m currently working on finally finishing “A Dance With Dragons”, after which I plan to grab a couple of the Stephen King novels that have been piling up on my shelf.

#20. Tell me anything about yourself that I haven’t asked. Random fact. Weird human trick. Whatever.
Completely random fact: despite doing absolutely nothing special to take care of it, I’ve been told I have wicked-awesome hair. I rarely get split-ends, it takes, like, three or four days of not washing it before it gets greasy, and no matter how many times I straighten it it never dries out. Unfortunately I have absolutely no skill in styling it, but we can’t have everything, now can we?

Did you enjoy the questionnaire? Anything you’d like me to elaborate on? Don’t forget to check out the websites above, and leave a comment below if you answer the questionnaire yourself so I can check out your answers!

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