Hi Dave, thanks for answering my questions! Tell me a little about yourself in a few sentences. What do you do for a living, and other than reading, what do you do for fun?
My wife and I own an on-premise winemaking store in Ontario Canada. Our customers come in to make their wine on our premises or they buy kits and supplies to make their wine at home. My father-in-law was always amazed at what a happy place it is. No-one is in a bad mood when they come to make or bottle wine. I’ve had the store since 1996, before that I had a corporate job which wasn’t anywhere near as much fun.
How and when did you pick up your first romance? Was it in a sub genre (as in paranormal, thriller, contemporary etc)?
My first romance was Dragon Flight the first book in Anne McCaffrey’s PERN series.
I’m not sure that I knew that it was a romance; it was more the sci-fi fantasy stuff that caught my attention. I’ve read all of Michael Crichton’s books for instance and my first books were the Star Wars books that came out of the movies. I was never much of a reader before the Star Wars books but my wife has a theory that EVERYONE is a reader once they find that one book that ‘hooks’ them. Sadly not everyone finds that one book….
Anyway, I was without a book to read and my wife suggested that I try Anne McCaffrey. She still complains at the speed I flew through the series of books she had on her shelves. She’d spent 25 years getting them, waiting not-so-patiently for years between books. There’s an advantage to coming late to an author and I loved all of McCaffrey’s books. I read them all, not just the PERN books and then sent Peg out to buy me more (she hadn’t kept up on all of McCaffrey’s series).
Why does reading romance “click” for you? Conversely, do you find room for improvement in the genre in general (or any sub genre in specific)?
I like the imagination that goes into creating and building new worlds and different ‘spins’ on old myths which is why sci-fi and fantasy caught me. I think the romance part was just there and although I enjoy it, I’m not sure it’s what ‘clicks’ with the stories. I like to learn new things and what’s better than learning new worlds or new twists to historical ‘truths’? Like werewolves and vampires having been an important, secret, tool used during wars up to and including WW1 and 2. Who knew? I like it best when the new twists to historical ‘truth’ are firmly based in what we know – that is that the research is done and the facts are correct before the author takes it her own way into her own version of what happened. Of course when the whole world is the author’s then there’s no limit to where I’ll follow….
Who are your favorite romance authors? Non-romance authors? Can you give a percentage (just a rough off-the-top-of-your-head guess) about how much you read of each?
Michael Crichton’s books are my favourite no question but I’ve just finished Micro which will be his last book unfortunately (someone else finished it from his notes). Todd McCaffrey has taken on his mother’s series so I’ll still be watching for new ones from their worlds. I like anything around the Mayans so Jessica Andersen’s Final Prophecy series is top of my list to be bought, Nina Bangs’ Gods of the Night series too – although not Mayan it’s based on the 2012 doomsday prophecy as well and she has a very interesting twist to it.
I was very happy when I heard that Jennifer Lyon had decided to self publish the next book in her Wing Slayer Hunter series (was very UNHAPPY when I heard that it might not be picked up by her publisher). We met Bianca D’Arc at a con 4 or 5 years ago and she’s become a good friend to Peg and I – I read everything she writes. In addition to her dragons she has vampires, were-everything, some great ‘space-opera’ series and her Guardians of the Dark series is great too. There are so many excellent authors and series out there it’s hard to just name a few. Right now I’m reading Mercedes Lackey’s Beauty and the Werewolf and waiting for Kerrelyn Sparks’s next book. And there’s this amazing series called The Elder Races by Thea Harrison that I can’t get enough of…..
Since my wife (who is an avid reader) is the one who passes me books for the most part I’d say that about 75% of what I’m reading now are romances. Sci-fi and fantasy exclusively though. There are several series that Peg is no longer reading but continues to buy the books for me as I enjoy them. And she has an enormous TBR pile that I take advantage of while waiting for new books from authors I enjoy. The remaining 25% of what I read are mystery and biography, travel, that sort of thing.
If you could make a wish-list of a story you would like to read but haven’t yet, what would it be?
Can’t think of anything, you authors have WAY better imagination than I do. I just follow along and enjoy the books.
Since I’m approaching this as a conversation, would you like to ask me something in return?
We like the approach you’ve taken with your Elder Races with publishing some stories though Berkeley and some through Samhain. Was that a conscious decision that you made to split the series or did it just happen?
ME: It actually kind of just happened, and I’m glad it did!
Do you have an end in sight for the series or are there still lots of ideas ‘talking’ to you so that we can look forward to lots more books in this series?
ME: I have lots of ideas ‘talking’ to me, so hopefully there won’t be an end any time soon!
Is there anything you would like to add?
Well, it’s rare that I have to go looking for new authors since my wife’s TBR pile fills in nicely between ‘my’ authors’ books. But I like it when there’s a note on the book blurbs when they fit into specific sub-genres. For instance, I’ve no interest in LGBT books and there are several other twists that I’m not particularly interested in reading and it’s not always clear from the description when books fit into some sub-genres. It’s good when I know immediately and can move on to another book description and conversely it also helps people FIND those books when that’s what they enjoy. Changeling Press does this well and Samhain has their ‘warnings’ as well which are good to help people find the type of books that they’re wanting to read. If the pub doesn’t do it then it’s nice when the authors’ website does.
It’s been awesome to get acquainted, Dave! Thanks for the visit!