This week we have an interview with Graeme Flory of Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review – watch out next week for his guest post!
Why did you start blogging?
A number of things kicked it off, all inspired by a hellish commute and a dull job at the end of it. That kind of start to the day can really inspire you to do something creative! I guess I just wanted to see if I could dig a little further into my reading than ‘Wow! I loved it!’ or ‘Urgh, I hated it…’ The challenge then was to see if I could write something that people would want to read as well as get to grips with Blogger. I’m getting there :o).
What keeps you blogging?
I know it’s a simple answer (almost too simple) but I love reading fantasy, sci-fi and horror; that’s what keeps me coming back each day. It’s really easy to just pick up that next book and keep going. That and my ongoing challenge to write coherently about why I thought a certain way about the last book I read.
Are you on Twitter? If so, do you think it’s useful?
I am on Twitter (@graemesfantasyb) and I think it’s a brilliant resource for anyone who wants to find out more about their favourite writers or just books in general. A lot of the ‘news’ features, on my blog, come from Twitter. It’s really easy to log on and start talking to friends as well; something that always comes in handy when it’s three in the morning and I can’t sleep…
What are your favourite blogs and why?
This list changes constantly as it really depends on what posts catch my eye on a given day. Right now, I love reading Civilian Reader (he’s into a lot of the same stuff that I am with excellent coverage of comics) and Pornokitsch (because you can never tell what’s coming up on that blog and it’s always entertaining and well written). The Wertzone is another blog that I visit regularly (for its detailed and very written reviews).
What are your all-time favourite reads?
My all time favourite reads? If it wasn’t for the blog I’d have a hard time telling you what I read last week! Series that have stuck in my mind though are Michael Scott Rohan’s first Winter of the World trilogy (well worth tracking down, written in the 80s but read like they were written today) and Tad Williams’ Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series (GRRM may be doing it better but Williams did it first and got me hooked way back when). I would mention Erikson’s Malazan books but I got bogged down in Dust of Dreams and never finished the series. Deadhouse Gates and Memories of Ice are incredible reads though.
What are you reading at the moment?
Well, I’ve just finished up reading Strontium Dog: The Life and Death of Johnny Alpha this morning and I’ve been casting my eye around trying to decide on the next read. It will probably be either Jonathan Oliver’s Magic anthology or Daniel Polansky’s Tomorrow the Killing (although it could be both of them at once, what with the way my reading schedule is constantly changing!) Steven Erikson’s Forge of Darkness is begging to be read as well.
Has blogging changed how you read?
I’d like to think that blogging has made me look at what I read a little more closely. I’d also say that I’m reading a lot more widely, within the genre, than I was five years ago. I do have my favourite genres but I’m a little more willing to give other stuff a go as well.
What platform do you use when blogging?
I do like to stand on my soapbox :o) I’ve always used Blogger, mainly because I’m not very technical and Blogger was incredibly easy to set up and get going (even if it’s not particularly well supported). I can’t see myself switching platform any time soon, if ever.
What is your best blogging moment? (i.e. did you get to interview a certain author? Were you contacted by a publisher personally?)
Interviewing Michael Moorcock was probably the biggest highlight but being exposed to books that I wouldn’t normally read . . . That happens almost every day and never stops being cool.
What advantages does blogging have for you?
Blogging has proved to be a great way of cramming my shelves full of books and justifying it to my wife :o) Other than that, it’s a great extension of something that I’ve always loved doing (talking about books) and I get to do it with more people now. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Have you met any other bloggers?
I have, mostly in the signing queue at Forbidden Planet. There’s nothing like a book signing to bring the bloggers out and they’re all lovely people. It’s half the reason I like to be in those queues actually :o)
Has blogging changed your social life? (i.e. attending conventions, meeting other bloggers) If it hasn’t, would you like it to?
It did and then I became a Dad which changed my life a whole lot more… I used to have a social life, it was fun… I’d love to go to a few conventions actually, maybe next year.
What content does your blog cover? (i.e. Just books, or other things?)It’s books and comic books mostly although that does offer a lot of scope to mix things up and do something a little different most days. If I ever get a chance to catch up on my DVD watching then you will invariably find a ‘Sci-Fi TV’ feature turning up as well.
Who are your blogging heroes?
We’re all blogging about the same thing so anyone who can make that well trodden path their own is a hero of mine. I’ve already mentioned Jared Shurin (Pornokitsch) but Aidan Moher (A Dribble of Ink) is another and Niall Alexander (The Speculative Scotsman) is another. If I can blog half as well as those guys then I’m doing a good job.
Do you write yourself? If so, has blogging helped or hindered your writing?
I dabble, a little bit, but have never got far enough into anything for the blog to have either helped or hindered the process.
What’s your most popular blog post to date?
I’m awful with the stats side of the blog so couldn’t give you an overall answer. Way back in 2008 though, my review of Paul of Dune scored a never-since-beaten four thousand hits in one day. I didn’t like the book and it turned out that a lot of other people weren’t too keen on Herbert and Anderson’s take either!
Thanks Graeme! And if you fancy seeing a little more of Graeme’s writing, head on over to www.graemesfantasybookreview.com, where you can find more news, reviews and interviews on speculative fiction!