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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Blogger on Blogger Interview: Danielle @ TBQ's Book Palace


Happy Thursday!!

I interview a lot of authors, we all do.  And it is really a lot of fun, right?  But who is it behind those interviews?  You!!!  So now I want to interview you! This post will run every Thursday (give or take a day due to scheduling) as long as I have people who want to be interviewed!  Check out the tab up there in my tab index for this feature.  That's where you can check out past interviews, upcoming bloggers, and sign up for your own interview! :)


Hi Danielle! So nice to meet you and have you over to Fictional Candy! Thanks for coming by!
 * waves * Hi Liz! Thank you so much for having me!
First, let’s start with your website, TBQ's Book Palace.  When and why did you decide to start this website? And are you the only blogger, or do you have other reviewers?
 Oh, where to begin? Well, I started TBQ's Book Palace 4 years ago (my blogoversary was actually back in June). At the time, I was on LibraryThing a lot, and in one group discussion for romance fans, a few readers convinced me I needed to read Outlander. When I did, I was suppose to “report” back to them what I thought of the book. I loved the book, and told them as much. A few of them had blogs, others just posted reviews on LT, and it got me to thinking---I should do that! Not because I thought I would be good at writing reviews (ha!), but rather because I wished to share the books I read with others. Like many romance readers, I do not have anyone nearby to talk to about these books, but online? I have hundreds of friends, and they don't judge me because of the books I choose to read. Who wouldn't want that kind of support group? ;)

I am the only blogger. I don't see that changing anytime soon—simply because I do not receive enough review copies to warrant needing help (my personal TBR pile is another story...). BUT I am considering taking on a few guest reviewers here and there. (They would be reviewing books that they already have—I wouldn't be providing any.) So if you are interested in having one of your reviews posted on TBQ's Book Palace, please send me an email and we'll discuss it!
And what kind of books do you mainly focus on?
 My main focus is romance---from historical to paranormal, fantasy to contemporary. I do some erotica (though mild in comparison to others, I'm sure). I also have a fondness for YA (fantasy mainly). People—there is more to this genre than just Twilight, I promise you! :) I occasionally read other books, but rarely do I review them. It just depends—if it's something I wish to talk about, I do; if not, well, that's the end of that. :)

You have a weekly meme, Lusting For Covers. What’s that all about? 
I am a self-professed Cover Whore. :) It may seem shallow to some, but let's be honest—most often the first thing that grabs you is the book's cover, whether it's in the store or online. A few years ago, I decided to start Lusting for Covers, as a way to help spread the cover love. This meme is held every Sunday, anyone can join, and the idea is to post a cover that you are lusting for. It can be a new release, an upcoming release, or even an old release. And despite the name, it doesn't HAVE to be a sexy cover. Some of the ones I've picked are tame, even a few YA covers have been shown—beautiful, captivating, and gorgeous covers are just as eye catching as ones with half-naked couples on it. Although I post a fair amount of covers that fit into that latter category, too. :D

I'm always on the lookout for lust-worthy covers, both for L4C and just for eye candy enjoyment. It's a hard job, but someone has to do it, right? :) If you are a Cover Whore as well, or think you might be, come join the fun!

You are also about to start another feature, Ink Readers. I thought this sounded really fun. Can you tell our readers about this new feature?  
I'm excited to launch Ink Readers—hopefully I'll be doing so within the next month! * fingers crossed *

The idea for Ink Readers came to me a few months back when my best friend and I decided to start writing letters to one another (as a belated Pen-Pals journey). Obviously our letters include many things, but, as we are both readers, there is always a good portion of the letter that has something book related in it. Our thoughts on a recent book we read. A question about a book we both read years ago. Books we're looking forward to, etc.

I started thinking about how it's so rare for people today to write letters to one another. Personally, I've only written a handful of personal letters in my life—and to me that's just sad. What happened to the romance of the hand written letter? Well, it's obvious—technology and social media sites make it “obsolete”. But I want to change that, as much as I can at least.

So instead of just starting a regular Pen-Pal program, I decided to combine this idea with the one thing I love—books. And so Ink Readers, a Pen-Pal program for Book Lovers, was born.

Once the program launches, I'll have an entire post on my blog about the specifics, as well as any instructions, but here's the basics. The idea is to find other readers, people who share some of the same likes and dislikes as you, perhaps people you are already talking to via emails or social media sites, and begin a Pen-Pal journey with them. Obviously talking books is the main idea, but what you decide to write to one another about is purely up to you. Perhaps over time you'll find a new friend, despite the fact that she (or he!) may live hundreds of miles away from you.

There are no limits on how many letters you send, or to whom you decide to send them. I'll have a sign up sheet available once everything's finalized. And in case you are worrying about putting your address out there for everyone to see—don't. Worry that is. I'm not going to have you put that information on the sign up sheet. Instead, you enter your email address. Then, someone looks at your genre likes and dislikes (wouldn't want a YA only fan to receive letters from a kinky erotica fan!), and contacts you by email. I suggest to participants that you begin the journey with a few emails back and forth, and then, if the other person wants to do it, they may then give you the address to send the first letter to.

It's not a perfect system, obviously, but my hope is that it will work. We'll just have to wait and see!

Do you participate in any memes hosted by other sites?
 I do, but not regularly, I'm afraid. I'm horrible sometimes at remembering, and sometimes I'm just too busy to do it. I wish I could participate in all my favorite memes every week, but, alas, this only happens in a perfect world!

I've done more than a few Teaser Tuesdays in the past, as well as Waiting on Wednesday. I've done a few Sexy Snippets (Tuesday), and different variations of “In My Mailbox”. Even if I don't always get to join the fun, I still stop by and see what others are posting for the week. :)

I see you also host for a couple tour companies! Personally, I love tours. Do you have any advice for new bloggers who want to get involved with tours? 
I'm so glad I found out about tours—I love finding new authors, and sometimes I'm even lucky enough to find tours for authors I already enjoy. It's a win-win! :)

My advice would be...pick tours that interest you. It's nice to offer up your blog to upcoming authors to help them out; but if their work isn't something that you are interested in, and therefore also may not be the genre your followers read, it may not be the best stop for that author.

Also, don't overwhelm yourself! There are a lot of tours out there, I bet hundreds with open spots any given day. But don't overbook yourself (I almost did at first). Your followers want to read posts from you, too, not just day after day of blog tours, as fun as they are! Take a break and do some reviews, or book talks, or memes—whatever you would typically do. Interact with your readers, don't just post and walk away.

If you could cast a movie for any book, what book would it be and who would you cast? 
Oh, I can never answer questions like these. First of all, I think I'd love any book being turned into a movie—as long as it's done well. And, obviously, no matter how well it is done or not, I will always prefer the book. As far as casting—I would just pick whatever hot actor I'm currently in the mood for to play the hero and the heroine—as long as she's not blonde, annoying or too perky, she can get the job. LOL. Really, I'm not good at coming up with possible actors for movies.

And even more fun, if you could actually be in a book, which book would it be?
Um...All? For different reasons, of course, but the main reason on all books being that they are nothing like my life, and who doesn't want a break from that sometimes? I'd love to be in Harry Potter, I don't care how old I get, I'm still dreaming of getting my Hogwarts letter. It would be fun to go back to a historical romance time—Scotland, please. I want to find my brawny Highlander. I'd kill to enter any number of shifter romances I've read over the years—sexy Alpha shifters = HELL YES! :D Etc, etc, etc.

Danielle, do you get involved with all of the social media outlets very much? Do you have a favorite? 
I'm involved with many of them, yes. Facebook, Twitter, GoodReads, and even LibraryThing. I never could get into tumblr or pinterest. I think like many of my fellow readers (and authors, too!) I find myself spending far too much time on these sites, finding great images and links, quotes and discussions..and somethings that you just stare at for 10 minutes and think 'WTF?'.

Hm...if I had to give a favorite, I would say...Facebook, only because I've become slightly hooked to a game or two on there. ;-)
Are there any other book bloggers out there that you might consider to be an inspiration, whether it be for reviews, design, or anything at all?
 Oh, there have been a ton of them over the years! I'm not sure if I can even remember some (I took a break from blogging for a year, I'm still trying to get “caught” back up on some things). Lets see...I think the first blog I visited, and often, was Julie at Outlandish Dreaming. She helped to get me started with the Highlanders. Another blog would have to be Seductive Musings—I just love the layout of her blog, and she always has great reviews, guest authors and man candy—we can't forget the man candy! :) Lately I've been in awe of Jamie and Kati from Romancing Rakes for the Love of Romance. Not only do they always have great graphics and layouts, but tons of man candy, tons of great giveaways and authors—and they just do so much, plus help some of their favorite authors out....I want to be Kati, end of story. :D

But really, there are a lot of other bloggers that I have not listed, but who should be listed. I think I take a little inspiration from almost every blog I visit, though.

How about villains – do you have a favorite bad guy or bad girl? What makes them your favorite?
Hm..Nope, I can't say that I have a favorite, sorry.  I would say Snape, but as we all know, he's not a villain (at all). Still, for his complex bad boy/good boy character, I think I'll stick with him for my answer. :)

Are you an ereader person or a print copy person?
I will always be a print girl—always!  BUT I do enjoy my e-reader, and no matter the format, I'll never turn down a book!

Lastly, do you have any news or events coming up that your readers can look forward to?
Let's see...Well, I am super excited about my new blog design and graphics. After four years, I decided to change things up. I just finished having everything uploaded last week, and I LOVE it. Thanks again to the amazing JennJ from Sapphire Designs—really, if you are looking for graphics, blog designs, or anything else, check out her work!

For upcoming events...I already mentioned Ink Readers, I hope to have it up and going by the end of this month, if not then in October. I've got a fair amount of guest authors stopping by over the next few months—and yes, almost all of them are tours. :D

I think I'll be doing some sort of giveaway soon. If I reach 300 followers on my blog, I'm going to giveaway some great books and other prizes (not sure what I'm just under 200, so this could be a while...But if you want to hurry up the giveaway, you know what to do! Spread the word and click “Follow” over on TBQ's Book Palace. :D

Thank you for allowing me to stop by, Liz! If it's okay, I'd like to ask your readers a question:
Do you tend to forget about blogs if they are not updated daily? Or do they have to go for a long period of time before you write them off your list?

Now go visit Danielle @ TBQ's Book Palace