"...when he is best, he is little worse than a man, and when is is worst, he is little better than a beast..." - Merchant of Venice, William Shakespeare
Code Name/Alter Ego: Wenj
Primary Specialty: Graphic Designer
Secondary Specialty: Student
Favorite Word: Shanningans
Q – wenj, let’s start with the Dorchester/Leisure controversy. Are you familiar with what’s going on with that? If so, what are your thoughts.
*crickets* Um...runs to Google.
Wow. I honestly hadn't been aware of that, but I have heard of several authors running into similar problems with other publishers. It's extremely sad and pretty despicable how the authors are being treated. To actually sell their books in e-format without the authors' consent, especially when they aren't receiving royalties for their already published works is theft, pure and simple, several times over it would appear. I wish those authors luck with resolving this issue, but know that relief will be a long time in coming in a matter such as this. Very disappointing and maddening.
Q – wenj, you’re a part of a large community of people that takes the time to read books and review them. What made you decide to pursue that endeavor?
Honestly, it just seemed like a good idea at the time. I was already pretty established on GoodReads with a lot of my friends interested in the novels that I was reading and my thoughts on them, but I wasn't really happy just giving general thoughts without any analysis. I suppose I can thank my high school English teachers for that, they were always eager for me to more fully explore the novels that I read and really break them down. While I certainly don't go in to that amount of depth for my reviews, I still feel that I do give a more in depth idea what is good and/or bad about the novel without being overly critical. I definitely believe in being honest about what I read, whether it be positive or negative.
"I'm expecting papers from some of you. I'm not joking. This is my job."
Q – How many books to you read a month, on average?
On average I would say at least 15 a month, sometimes more, but it depends on the time I have available and the length of the novel.
Q – With the advent of Kindles, Nook, and Smashwords, do you find yourself reading books from these new devices?
At the beginning of the summer I invested in a Nook and absolutely love it. I don't know what I would do without it now because I am constantly reading from it. It makes books instantly accessible which is something that I really enjoy, especially if I finish a novel and find myself needing the next installment. I always hated having to wait until I could make it to the store, or which was more common, waiting for it to arrive in the mail. I love my Nook!
The Nook. The future is wow.
Q – What do you anticipate for the future of printed text?
Honestly, I don't see E-Readers making printed text obsolete. As much as I love my Nook, I still also love reading hard copies and often find myself picking them up while browsing at the store and I know other people do too. There's just something about an actual book that can't be replaced and I think a lot of other people share this opinion as well.
Q – As a reader, you must have books that are special to you. Share a few.
CHRISTINE by Stephen King which was the first full length novel I read so, so, so many years ago, DRACULA by Bram Stoker gave me my love for vampires in literature, BRAVE NEW WORLD by Aldus Huxley, and THE THINGS THEY CARRIED by Tim O'Brien which gave me insight in to war and it's effects on those who fought in Vietnam which gave me a great sense of respect for soldiers.
A classic horror story
Q – When you’re writing reviews, what criteria do you use to judge it?
There are certain things that I expect from novels, the most important among them are characterization, world development and the quality of the writing. These aspects, to me, are extremely important in drawing a reader into the story and creating a atmosphere that takes root within the imagination. When judging novels, I look at these qualities and determine how enthralled I was by the story. Did it speak to me in a way that will make it unforgettable? Did I care about the characters and the relationships that they formed? Was the plot interesting? All of these things culminate to make a novel more then just mere words. They make it really come to life which is something that I am always fascinated by.
Q – So, Zombies, Fights, or Blood?
Fights, definitely. I love the struggles that characters have to endure, be it physically or metaphorically.
Q – If you could listen to an author from any era speak about writing, who would it be?
Oscar Wilde. I loved his novel THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY. There were such great themes of dealing with the duality of man and the effects of good and evil on the human soul. His writing is always so eloquent and I just think he would be fascinating to hear speak about writing.
Oscar Wilde once visited the haunted Menger Hotel in San Antonio
Q – Which of the titles you’ve read would you like to see made into a movie?
Recently I read one entitled STATE OF MIND by Sven Davison. It's an amazing novel about a society ruled by technology. It's edgy, smart, and thought evoking with lots of action and subterfuge that is perfectly suited to the silver screen. Another one I feel is wonderfully suited to being made into a movie is THE PASSAGE by Justin Cronin. I know a lot of people have mixed feelings about this novel, but I adored it. Lots of great themes and wonderful characters that I would love to see brought to life.
Q – What would you like to say to authors?
Thank you. Without authors, life would be so dull. It's through their wonderful imaginations that readers, myself included, can get lost in worlds so unlike our own where monsters really do lurk in the shadows or in an era long since passed. So much creativity and wonderful talent is shared with the world and I really think it's taken for granted. Writing is hard. Putting characters and worlds spawned from your imagination out there for others is even harder, especially when it's open to blogger reviews. It has to be scary and I think that's truly admirable, so just, thank you.
Q – What are things you look for in a good book?
Good stories, good characters, and a plot that will keep me interested. If there's some nice steamy romance, who am I to say no.
Q – Where can people check out your reviews online?
People can find my reviews at my blog, Black Lagoon Reviews (http://www.blacklagoonreviews.blogspot.com) and GoodReads (http://www.goodreads.com/wenj).
Q – Any shout outs to your blog followers?
I just want to say thank you to everyone who follows my blog and takes the time to read what I have to say. I'm glad that my reviews are helpful and that people have found some titles they might not have taken the time to read otherwise. It's a very humbling experience and I deeply appreciate everyone who supports my blog. I've met some truly wonderful people, authors, bloggershope that I can continue to provide the quality reviews and features that they've come to expect.
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