kLover of the Month Spotlight Interview Questions:
1. What was the first romance novel you ever read? How did it affect
"The Wedding" by Julie Garwood was the first and the most influential
romance novel I read, not counting "high school day" books. I've
read it four times since being a teenager. This book touched me
emotionally, physically and mentally. I truly loved every moment of
it especially the characters and how they come together. That
experience was a blessing.
The "Historical Romance" genre changed how I viewed love, romance in
"real" life, relationships, etc. That particular novel really stands
out to me. Also, I really love Johanna Lindsey novels, too!
2. What's your favorite sub-genre of romance? What do you love about
Historical / Medieval & Paranormal. I know, I know, but it is a tie!
With Paranormal, I like the Vampires, Fairies, Warewolves and Shape-
Shifters with their magical, mystery, fantasy and radical twists.
Realizing the world is fake, it feels so real when reading which
makes me a happy girl. Abnormality attract me.
Historical... This genre takes me to another realm or place that I
would have never experienced because I was not a being of this world
yet (obviously.) Everything about the past before us fascinates me.
3. Here in the Kensington office, we were talking about our favorite
and least favorite romance tropes. For example: Michelle loves the
"pretending to be a couple and then falling in love" storylines; Jane
can't stand plots about secret babies. What romance tropes do you
love to read? Which tropes get on your nerves?
I love the "characters that do not know one another, run into each
other somehow, then there is a huge battle that they win together" or
"a journey they take which makes them be together." Sometimes not
necessarily being in love and possible not even knowing each other. I
also get my rocks off with "witty banter back and forth, sensual
exploration, may hate each other at first." I love love love when
they finally fall for each other.
I DO NOT love "cliche' one setting meetings, fall in love
immediately, or any instant sex/screw on first date." I prefer depth.
Deeper themes with plot and twists, not "meet, sex, marriage, happy."
4. What would you say to the romance haters out there?
I would tell them: You cannot judge something you've never tried.
Everything deserves a change before judgement.
How can you understand or comprehend a real romance novel if you've
never EXPERIENCED(read) a REAL romance novel? Understand how much it
touches your heart and your world personally.
5. When did you start your blog? What made you want to start
I started a year and a half ago. Lots of fails and mistakes, which I
use to learn from to achieve my goals.
I've been reading all my life and always wanted to be involved with
authors/writing/editing. I saw very quickly how I could express my
thoughts with a blog; expressing my thoughts being very important to
So, I started blogging, reviewing books and reaching out to authors
which has taken me to this point today. Now, I am a personal/virtual
assistant, hosting online parties with a growing review blog.. all
for authors. I took steps towards realizing my dreams and now pushing
to make them come true.
6. What's your favorite thing about being a blogger?
Absolutely favorite thing is being able to reach out to fellow
readers such as me. Also, I'm able to express, with my honest
opinion, what I think about books with reviews that I share to my
Kilted Sisters. I relate with them.
Other likes: knowing I help authors to succeed, gives me writing
practice, helps me expand or grow as a woman with my own business. I
am very excited.
7. What has surprised you about your blog? About your readers? What
did you find in blogging that you didn't expect?
Main surprise? All the attention I've got now. I started kind of
low-key; like a blog for personal use. I was wanting to simply give
my opinion on books. Still, I am surprised that it drew people in so
quick and I've gained such a following.
Readers? How personable they all are, especially being through the
internet. How much we start to care for each other as we become
You want to do extra things, that extra mile, to make your readers
happy. Also, luckily in my case, vice versa!
I definitely did not expect how hard it is to give a bad review. When
I don't feel so positive about a read I communicate to the author,
which is hard. You want authors to succeed; great book = lots of
sales which benefits us all in this field. But, there is always the
ones we just do not like.
Also never expected the time and effort it takes to keep a blog
together; editing posts, appearance, newsletters, etc.
8. Do you do any special or unusual types of posts on your blog? Any
particular memes that you participate in? What kinds of blog posts do
you find get the most attention?
Author Interviews/Spotlights and "swag" are special posts I've done
so far. Now with a newsletter I am spotlighting members which is
starting to get a ton of attention.
In the past, reviews for "bigger" authors get a lot of views.
I do not participate in any Memes yet, but I will sure start since
you guys have asked me!
9. How do you balance your personal life and your blogging life? How
do you make time to read?
I admit it is HARD but, I get it done with help of my husband and
I mainly read at night after working, spending time with family and
putting kids to bed etc. Lay down and read, baby!
10. Any tips for would-be or aspiring romance bloggers?
Always post your honest opinion no matter what. Keep a schedule and
stick to it. I use pen and paper mostly as it fits for me. Do not get
so stuck working that you forget to spend time with family and
friends. Balance is key; fun, work, family, etc.
Do not spend time on social media playing around! Make sure you are
getting things done/being productive. Schedule helps with that.
11. Where on the internet can people find you? Goodreads, Twitter,
Facebook, blogs, etc.
Here are all my links:
Official Blog/Website: http://www.thesecretrealm.com
Services Offered for Authors: http://www.thesecretrealm.com/services
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Secretrealmnation - Secret Realm
Kilted Sisters: https://www.facebook.com/groups/824236350961441/
PA/VA Services Page: https://www.facebook.com/secretrealmpava
Goodreads Group: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/154813-ebooks-ibooks-
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/114655261353247034040/posts