Today I’m being interviewed by Sharon Goodwin, lovehappyending.com’s resident astrologer. Hope you enjoy it…
Shaz’s Stars – Welcome to the regular feature on ‘The Buzz’ of Shaz’s Stars!
Using sun sign astrology I will be interviewing loveahappyending.com Associate Readers to see how the traits of their sun sign affect their reading habits.
I hope you enjoy getting to know our Associate Readers as much as I’ve enjoyed interviewing them.
Twitter @shazjera: http://bit.ly/m4lPE2
In the hot seat today I would like to welcome: MELANIE ROBERTSON-KING
Hello Melanie, thank you for letting us have a peek behind the scenes. Your sun sign is SCORPIO.
Q. Scorpions are said to have an excellent memory. Are you able to stop reading at any point ………….. and then when you pick the book up again remember exactly what has happened, who the characters are and where you are in the story?
When I’m reading, I prefer to stop at the end of a chapter but we all know that isn’t always an option. Quite often, I read during my lunch hours and when it’s time to go back to work, it’s mark the page if I’m reading a physical book or shut down the reader device. I have a Sony and the Kindle app on the iPad.
I don’t have to go back normally to refresh my memory of what’s happening. Usually, once I pick up the story and begin to read again, I fall into the familiarity of the people and places that I’m reading about.
Sometimes, my memory about books is a little too good. I read a book by an author a year ago. I read the second one by the same author this year. When I got to the ending of this second book, I felt a déjà-vu moment. I had read this before. I checked the first book, because after all, an author wouldn’t end two books the same way but in this case that’s what happened.
Q. Associate Readers are avid readers. Scorpions are very conservative about spending their money. Does a novel have a set criteria for you to purchase it? What attracts you to the books you choose to buy? Do you use your library?
I haven’t used my local library much of late, I’m ashamed to say. I’ve used it for researching my articles of a historic nature that are set in the area. I have borrowed books and as a young girl, I practically lived there—taking books out and returning them on a regular basis.
When it comes to books if I want it, I go ahead and buy it. I’ve built up quite a collection of physical and e-books. I do like the fact that most e-books are a fraction of the price of physical books although I’m not so sure that’s my inner Scorpio or my Scottish roots and their thriftiness.
As far as a criteria for novels to purchase goes, if the cover is interesting enough to make me want to pick it up off the shelf (again we’re talking our local independent or chain bookstore), then I read the blurb on the back. If it sounds like something I’d be interested in, then I buy it. I’m particularly interested in novels set in England, Scotland or Wales.
The e-books I’ve purchased have been recommended by friends or authors I know.
Q. A typical Scorpion never gives up, they are determined to reach their goal. Does this affect your reading? Do you read to the end of a book even if you’re not enjoying it? Does this affect your choice of book?
I’m on a reader panel for a well-known publisher and some of the books they’ve sent me are a struggle to get through but I persevere. I’ve almost put a book down because of bad copy editing. The storyline was good so I kept reading and I’m very glad I did.
There’s only one book that I couldn’t read. Not that it was badly written but when you move a castle from within the heart of rural Aberdeenshire and plunk it on the North Sea coast south of Aberdeen… I draw the line. I’ve travelled to that area of Scotland many times and know the two castles… the real one and the mis-located one. I couldn’t get past that flagrant error.
Q. Scorpions are known for being interested in the paranormal, the occult, conspiracy theories and mysteries. Does this interest extend to your choice of genre?
Since I was young, I loved the idea of ghosts. My grandmother’s house was close to a cemetery so I played there a lot with my cousins. The stories we conjured up there, well we were kids, but at the time were fantastic. I spent many a happy hour having séances or with the Ouija board. Vampires and werewolves were favourite subjects. Some of the earliest books I read (borrowed from my local library) were Alfred Hitchcock mysteries.
I love a variety of genres—crime, romance, paranormal, mystery, occult. I have a couple of books from my younger years… Tales to Tremble By and Ghosts around the
House by Suzy Smith that I refuse to give up. Not to mention earlier works by Stephen King. The scarier books are the better I like them. I hope I haven’t deviated from your question too much.
(Ed. No deviation from your question – we want to get to know you ?)
Q. Scorpions always seem to accomplish their goals. This is because they set tangible short-term goals that they know they can achieve. Do you use this trait in scheduling your book reviews? Do you plan which book you will read next? How do you choose which book you will read next?
If I’m reading a number of books by one author then I tend to read them in order of publication. As far as book reviews go, I tend to write them after I’ve read the book while it’s still fresh in mind. Some folks say they keep notes while they read when they know they’re reviewing a work, not me.
When it comes to what book I’ll read next, I would have to say what mood I’m in at the time. If I’m feeling dark, then I’ll pick up a crime or mystery. Otherwise I’ll grab something at random off my overloaded bookcases.
Unfortunately, when it comes to my writing (revisions especially), I’m not so good at achieving my goals. I usually manage to write something every day but it might not be on my WIP. My goal for 2011 was to write every day. That fell by the wayside some time ago.
Q. On the ‘outside’ a Scorpion sun person will present a cool, detached and unemotional air. However, on an inner level, they are intensely passionate. When you write your reviews, are you cool, detached and unemotional or does that passion come through?
I’ve not written many reviews so this is a hard question to answer. I would have to say so far I keep my reviews on the cool side and stick to the plot and characters. I suppose the more reviews I write, the more passion I’ll inflect into them. I do agree with the statement that Scorpios present a cool, detached and unemotional air but underneath lies a totally opposite person. I think that is a self-preservation measure that Scorpios have constructed to keep our passionate inner selves safe, lest we crumble.
(Ed. Thank you for your honesty)
I consider myself a romance writer but write in other genres, too. Currently, ten of my non-fiction articles have been published, with one being a feature cover article.
I have two novel-length manuscripts completed. One is languishing with a publisher waiting for a yay or nay, the other (my first) is undergoing a major revision. When I need a break from it, I pick up a book and read or I write short stories.
My father was a Home Child who came to Canada through the auspices of The Orphan Homes of Scotland in 1930. My article Always a Home Boy is his and his siblings story. I also speak to local historical and genealogical societies on the subject of Home Children.
My father encouraged me to study Highland Dancing and take part in local competitions. I last competed in the summer 1969, a few short months after his death, at the 1000 Islands Highland Games and won the Silver Medal in the Sword Dance. In addition to Highland dancing, I took piping lessons and own a set of bagpipes which haven’t seen the light of day in a number of years – probably much to the relief of my neighbours.
I love to read but now that I’m writing, I have to be careful what I choose. I don’t want things from other people’s writings finding their way into my own work. So, to that end, I try to read from totally different genres. I don’t think I could write it effectively, but I love to read crime fiction – Ian Rankin, Stuart MacBride, Val McDermid, PD James, and of course, my good friend Chris Longmuir.
My other interests include genealogy, especially the study of Home Children, photography and travel – particularly Scotland because of my kinship with my father’s homeland. It was on a trip to Scotland, that I had the honour of meeting The Princess Royal.
To find out more about Melanie, please visit:-
Twitter Account @RobertsoKing: http://bit.ly/iiFKlE
Melanie’s Celtic Connexions Blog: https://www.melanierobertson-king.com/wp02/