Happy Sunday, RG2E Peeps!
Welcome to The RG2E and/or Welcome Back!
It’s time for another RG2E Reader2Author Interview…brought to us by the A-mazing Alicia Street!!!
Here’s the waaay fun scoop on Alicia:
In addition to being part of today’s Indie writers movement, we (she and her co-writing DH Roy Street) are traditionally published authors and recipients of a Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense.
We share backgrounds in the performing arts and spent many gypsy years living and working in the different neighborhoods of New York City and Philadelphia. Alicia as a dancer, choreographer and teacher; Roy in theater, visual arts and standup comedy.
Alicia is a chronic reader of every genre including the classics. She also loves old black-and-white movies, making organic soups from recipes she invents, working out and, of course, dancing. Roy’s into sweaty workouts, too, as well as watching boxing on HBO and eating Alicia’s organic soups. Our cat’s name is Wallace, an orange ten-pounder who’s crazy over pizza. He and Roy do slices every Friday night.
Take it away, Alicia…
Today’s post is another entry in my series of Reader2Author Interviews, where authors mix it up with one of their readers.
Welcome Talli Roland, author of fun, romantic fiction and a member of the WG2E blog family.
Talli’s books are bestsellers on both sides of the Atlantic, with several chosen as top books of the year by industry review websites. Born and raised in Canada, she now lives in. Despite training as a journalist, Talli discovered she preferred making up her own stories—complete with happy endings!
Talli’s chosen reader is Glynis Smy.
Born in the UK, now living in a rural village, on Cyprus, Glynis is married with three adult children. When she is not cross-stitching, swimming or reading, she writes historical romance.
Alicia to Talli and Glynis: When did you first become an avid reader? As a child or an adult? What got you started?
Talli: I always loved reading, even from a young age. Every few weeks, my mum would take me to the local library, and I would come away with an armload of books. Those first few days after a library visit were a feast of reading – I loved curling up on the sofa or hiding away in my room and escaping to other worlds. Even now, there’s nothing as satisfying as a good read. Except maybe wine!
Glynis: I cannot remember ever not reading. From what I gather, I learned to read quite early. Enid Blyton fed my need for adventure. Later I adored Nancy Drew, and Little Women is still my favorite read.
Alicia: Does your family read?
Glynis: My DH doesn’t read books. My children all read, and my seven-month-old granddaughter already has a collection of books on her shelf.
Alicia: How often do you read? And where? Do you have a special time or place to read?
Talli: Nowadays, it’s mostly in bed before I go to sleep. There’s something very relaxing about it (as long as it’s not scary!), and reading helps me turn off my own frantic brain. On the weekends, I love lying across the bed in the sun and turning the pages of a good book.
Glynis: I read every day, and I’m fortunate that I can read whenever the mood takes me. I enjoy reading on the back porch, by the pool and in bed. I now have Kindle on my new phone, and while DH is in his hobby shops, I read.
Talli to Glynis: Do you read more ebooks than paperbacks now? Has technology changed your reading habits in any way?
Glynis: I love paperbacks, always will. The feel of them, the way they decorate a boring spot in the home, and the fact I am holding something a person created. It is like artwork on a canvas. I own a Kindle, and never thought I would enjoy reading from one, but I do. I love how it is easy to carry a large quantity of books around. No longer do I have to wait weeks for a book to arrive. I read more ebooks because my friends and unknown authors tend to be releasing them in this format first.
Alicia to Glynis: What genres are your favorites? Any you absolutely would never read?
Glynis: Historicals and historical romances, not the bodice rippers, but those with a trickle of history or down on their luck characters, are my favorites. I must confess I am not a sci-fi or vampire fan. I have read a few fantasy/Fae books, and enjoyed them, but Zombies are a no-no.
Alicia to Talli: Do you read across genres, or stick to mainly one? Which?
Talli: I read everything! I love travelogues – Peter Mayle is a favorite. What grips me is the story, so as long as the book has characters I care about and a plot that’s interesting, I really don’t care what genre it is. As a writer of light women’s fiction, I also read a lot of fun, entertaining novels to keep up to date with what other authors are doing.
Glynis: Have you ever considered writing a different genre?
Talli: At some stage, I would like to write more serious women’s fiction, with less of a comedic element. Right now, though, I’m very satisfied with the genre I’m writing.
Alicia: Do you have an author you currently read that inspires your writing?
Talli: I’m conscious of trying to have my own voice and I always strive for something a little different, so when I’m creating, I try not to read authors who might influence my work. On my downtime, though, I really enjoy reading Emily Giffin for her very real characters and Sophie Kinsella for her sense of fun.
Alicia: What about an author you read for pure pleasure?
Talli: I love love love Maeve Binchy’s novels. They’re so absorbing and you feel that instantly you’re in the world of the characters.
Alicia to Glynis: How did you discover the first Talli Roland book you read? How did it affect you?
Glynis: I stalked Talli for a period of time, and got to know the author and her bubbly character. Chick lit is not a genre I had read much of prior to her books. Her first title grabbed me and I just had to read. When the chance to receive a review copy of The Hating Game, came along, I took the opportunity to read. Talli hooked me. I am now a fan of certain Chick Lit authors. And most definitely a fan of Talli Roland. I can’t wait for her next novel.
Alicia: Which one of Talli’s characters is most compelling to you? Any that you don’t like?
Glynis: I enjoy all of her characters, but the one who sticks with me is Willow Watts from Watching Willow Watts. I loved her vulnerability but determined ways. Serenity in Build a Man made me smile. Her bumbling efforts struck home a little. Each of Talli’s characters has, well, character. So I enjoy them all. Gosh, I sound stalkerish now, but it is true. Even Silver Hatchett, in The Hating Game is supposed to be a nasty managing director, but how can you not love a woman who chomps on chipolata sausages in front of a weakling male?
Alicia to Talli: Is there a character you’ve created that is your personal favorite?
Talli: Definitely! I love Serenity, the main character in Build A Man and its sequel, Construct A Couple. As a transplant to London trying to find her way, her observations remind me of my own time attempting to adjust to the foreignness of my new home.
Alicia: Is there a particular character you get the most compliments or complaints about?
Talli: Um . . . yes. The main character in The Hating Game, Mattie Johns, is a love or hate character. She strides across the pages with a definite attitude, and she’s not instantly likeable by a long shot. I didn’t realize what intense reactions readers would have to her, though! I wanted to make her a strong character who could withstand the trials and tribulations of the reality game-show she agrees to go on. If she was too weak, she’d seem like a victim. And Mattie Johns is anything but!
Talli to Glynis: You read across a lot of genres, helping to support many authors. Why do you think some books have the X Factor while others fall flat?
Glynis: Ooh, I think it is when the writer forgets the reader. They become so engrossed with their vision, that they ramble. The ones that make me yawn are those books that have lost their minor characters along the way. Just as I start to relate to a minor character they disappear into nothing. Not recognizing a strong character is a weakness I have found with some writers. Often I want to yank the character out of the book and rewrite their life. I feel sorry for them being left to flounder in a nothingness.
Glynis: I would love to know where you draw your inspiration from. Your novels are so mixed, I wonder if you spend time people watching?
Talli: Yes, I spend a lot of time people-watching out my office window! It fronts onto a very busy central London road, and it’s fascinating seeing the different characters stroll up and down. I must admit, though, that the majority of my inspirations come from The Daily Mail. The articles in there are so outrageous — it’s a veritable fount of ideas!
Alicia to Glynis: What kind of heroine or hero do you usually like to read about? One that you will go back to again and again?
Glynis: I like a strong heroine. A female with a soft side, but strength of character enough not to be trampled upon. Not too Amazonian though. Jane Austen, Catherine Cookson, Norah Roberts and Barbara Erskine produced just the types that get me reading over and over.
Glynis to Talli: In photographs of yourself I note you change your hairstyle/color and clothing style at times. Is this triggered by the main character you are writing about at the time? Does it help you get into their skin, so to speak, or is it merely a fashion thing?
Talli: I get bored very easily, which is why writing novels is the perfect job for me! You can create any world you like and there’s always something to learn.
Alicia to Talli: What was the most satisfying response you’ve gotten from a reader? The most unusual?
Talli: I adore any and all reader emails, so it’s hard to say what the most satisfying is . . . although I did love one that said she’d read all my novels and had yet to find more than one typo (and she pointed it out, so I fixed it!). That meant a lot, because my editor and I work very hard to have professional, clean copy.
Alicia to Glynis: Is there something you’d like to say to most authors? Something you wish they’d understand better about readers?
Glynis: I think I would have to say, sometimes too much is…too much. Allow us to use our imagination. After all, we had brains enough to select your book to read, let us use them to create the imagery you offer us. Don’t spoon-feed us every little detail, it can become boring wading through too much airy prose.
Alicia to Talli: Have you ever had a reader’s feedback influence your work? Or your perspective?
Talli: I always keep my readers in mind when I’m writing, but I also have to stay true to the characters and the situation they’re in. Some readers have said that I tend to rush my endings, which is a personal preference; I don’t like long-winded mushiness. However, I do try to take that feedback into account and make the ending as satisfying as possible.
Glynis: What do you hope your readers achieve by reading one of your novels?
Talli: I’d like readers to be entertained and engaged, but also come away with a sense that there is a deeper message of empowerment.
Alicia to Glynis: What prompts you as a reader to contact an author?
Glynis: If their work has touched me in some way, or if their personality is approachable on the social networks. I did email one author once as I had noticed a typo on the front page of her website. I felt it let her down, and she didn’t deserve it. We are now friends on Facebook and communicate regularly.
Talli: What do you think is the best thing an author can do to get readers interested in their novel?
Glynis: I think some readers want to enjoy the author as well as the novel, so I would say share yourself around. Be approachable. Tweeting constantly with the link to your book without participating in a conversation is not polite, and could put readers off. It has certainly put me off a few times. Joining places such as Goodreads.com is another way. Giving away copies as prizes or for. Have a welcoming website or blog. Lastly, but by no means least, have an appealing cover and back page blurb. Make the reader want to follow the three R’s…Read, Review and Recommend.
Alicia to Glynis: What is the reason you continue to read Talli’s books?
Glynis: She entertains me, pure and simple. I can laugh, sigh and feel for each person she writes into her stories. I put her books down feeling satisfied, and I wait with eagerness for the next.
You can connect with Talli using the following links:
D. D. here…
Well done, Alicia, Talli and Glynis!
Thank you sooo very much for this RG2E Reader2Author Interview!
And y’all know what’s comin’ next…
Who all wants a superfab Talli Roland Ebook Gift Copy?!
***We’ll Ebook Gift up to 50 Copies today!***
We’ll treat ya to one (which has a sequel coming soon :-) ), and you can also download one of Talli’s wonderful novellas for FREE on Smashwords!!!
Price: 99 Cents
The perfect man is out there . . . he just needs a little work.
A Top 15 Pick of 2011 by Chick Lit News and Reviews
Voted a Top Ten Book of 2011 by Trashionista
PRAISE FOR BUILD A MAN:
This is a hugely entertaining book, light-hearted yet with hidden messages of self belief, hope and about following dreams. –Kim the Bookworm
Talli’s writing is fresh, lively and different . . . If you want a book that will make you laugh and make you cry, then this one comes highly recommended. –Bookersatz
Build A Man had characters I really, really cared for, it had an inspired plot (Talli is a plot genius!), it had warmth and humour . . . I can’t recommend it enough. –Chick Lit News and Reviews
A light and charming read, I found the main character, Serenity Holland, to be reminiscent of the loveable awkwardness of Bridget Jones. –Novel Escapes
Slave to the rich and the rude, cosmetic surgery receptionist Serenity Holland longs for the day she’s a high-flying tabloid reporter. When she meets Jeremy Ritchie — the hang-dog man determined to be Britain’s Most Eligible Bachelor by making himself over from head to toe and everything in between — Serenity knows she’s got a story no editor could resist.
With London’s biggest tabloid on board and her very own column tracking Jeremy’s progress from dud to dude, Serenity is determined to be a success. But when Jeremy’s surgery goes drastically wrong and she’s ordered to cover all the car-crash goriness, Serenity must decide how far she really will go for her dream job.
***Y’all can get this one for FREE on Smashwords***
Does every relationship deserve a second chance?
When chief romantic Rose Delaney scores her dream job at London’s quirkiest new attraction, The Museum of Broken Hearts, she thinks she’s got it made. Sure, it’s a little depressing dealing with relics of failed relationships each day, but Rose is determined not to let it break her ‘love conquers all’ spirit. After discovering the museum’s handsome curator is nursing a broken heart of his own, Rose steps in to fix it. Can Rose heal the rift, or will this happy ending go awry?
Miracle at the Museum of Broken Hearts is a novella of 20,000 words.
And you’ve still got till tomorrow night at midnight to enter to win our 3rd Kindle Fire Giveaway!!! Enter Here:
The Best of RG2E Ereading Wishes — D. D. Scott, RG2E Founder