Mike recently came to my attention with his reviews of Patricia Briggs and Ilona Andrews books in the fantasy genre. Both of these authors are among my favorites and of course, I HAD to see what Mike had to say! Isn’t that the reason why we blog about the books we love? We want to talk about them with SOMEONE! Mike very kindly responded to my comments and that was the beginning of our blogging friendship. Mike has some great insights that he shares about the books he’s reading and I would encourage all of you to look through his review list and strike up a conversation, he will not disappoint!
I was excited that Mike agreed to answer my 10 questions. Here are his answers!
Blogging is universal and even though we inhabit the same community, we don’t always live in the same country. What country do you live in?
I live in a small Swiss village in the hills above Lake Geneva.
What is the view outside your front door?
I live in an apartment so my front door is onto a landing by an elevator. I think of my balcony as the front of my house. It faces on the Swiss and French alps, the ones you see on the Evian bottles – they come from that side of the Lake. You get a glimpse of the lake beyond the village houses. Here’s a picture:
Most blogs have a fun story of origin. Please share the story behind your blogs name and/or why you started blogging.
When I started my blog, eleven years ago, I was an introvert in an extrovert’s job. As a consultant I was spending sixty hours a week working with clients and colleagues, most of it in meetings, presentations and workshops. I was also spending more that 150 nights a year in hotel rooms in various countries. Writing a blog gave me a quiet place to think aloud when I shut the hotel room door behind me. These days, I travel less and work less but blogging is now a habit I’m loathe to break. It’s become my way of getting more from the books I read.
Describe where you write your blog.
Introvert that I am, I live in my head, especially when I’m writing. I don’t have a special place. All I need is somewhere to put my laptop, preferably with a strong wifi signal. Today I’m sitting on my balcony on in the sunshine (I know people think of Switzerland as a cold place but I live in a wine growing region so today’s 28C/82F is typical for July).
My book stacks are all virtual these days. Typically I have an audiobook and an ebook in progress at the same time. I use audiobooks for the ten hours or so that I spend travelling a week and ebooks for the times when it would be impolite to wear headphones or when my ears need a rest.
Here are the audiobooks downloaded to read next on my phone:
The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware
On a day that begins like any other, Hal receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance. She realizes very quickly that the letter was sent to the wrong person—but also that the cold-reading skills she’s honed as a tarot card reader might help her claim the money.
Soon, Hal finds herself at the funeral of the deceased…where it dawns on her that there is something very, very wrong about this strange situation and the inheritance at the center of it.
Full of spellbinding menace and told in Ruth Ware’s signature suspenseful style, this is an unputdownable thriller from the Agatha Christie of our time.
The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
When Carrie Fisher recently discovered the journals she kept during the filming of the first Star Wars movie, she was astonished to see what they had preserved—plaintive love poems, unbridled musings with youthful naiveté, and a vulnerability that she barely recognized. Today, her fame as an author, actress, and pop-culture icon is indisputable, but in 1977, Carrie Fisher was just a teenager with an all-consuming crush on her costar, Harrison Ford.
With these excerpts from her handwritten notebooks, The Princess Diarist is Fisher’s intimate and revealing recollection of what happened on one of the most famous film sets of all time—and what developed behind the scenes. Fisher also ponders the joys and insanity of celebrity, and the absurdity of a life spawned by Hollywood royalty, only to be surpassed by her own outer-space royalty. Laugh-out-loud hilarious and endlessly quotable, The Princess Diarist brims with the candor and introspection of a diary while offering shrewd insight into the type of stardom that few will ever experience.
And here are the ebooks downloaded to read next on my iPad mini:
Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews
Mercenary Kate Daniels knows all too well that magic in post-Shift Atlanta is a dangerous business. But nothing she’s faced could have prepared her for what’s to come in this heart-stopping novel in the #1 New York Times bestselling series.
Kate and the former Beast Lord Curran Lennart are finally making their relationship official. But there are some steep obstacles standing in the way of their walk to the altar.
Kate’s father, Roland, has kidnapped the demigod Saiman and is slowly bleeding him dry in a never-ending bid for power. A Witch Oracle has predicted that if Kate marries the man she loves, Atlanta will burn and she will lose him forever. And the only person Kate can ask for help is long dead.
The odds are impossible. The future is grim. But Kate Daniels has never been one to play by the rules…
If you have had a bad day and want to spend an hour reading a book, what is your go to genre or favorite book that will lift your mood?
When you aren’t blogging, how do you spend your time? Work, Play, School?
At home, I’m a fiction junkie. I read more than a hundred books a year and regularly go to the cinema (films here are often shown in English with French and German subtitles). I love to cook and of course, to eat. I’ve been a vegetarian for twenty-four years now, so my kitchen always has at least four kinds of chilli and lots of spices – a habit that, in iZombie, would identify me as a zombie.
When I’m working for a living I’m usually trying to help global companies take a people-centric design approach to the use of Artificial Intelligence and digital technologies. Well, someone has to do it.
What is your favorite blog post you’ve ever written?
I’ve picked my review of Jodi Taylor’s first St. Mary’s book “Just One Damned Thing After Another” back in 2014 because it was the first review where the author wrote to me and told me that they were pleased that I’d captured the spirit of the book.
Have you ever met one of your favorite authors? If so, what did you say to them? Looking back, what do you wish you had said instead?
Introvert here. I meet authors in their text and sometimes in their tweets. I wouldn’t know what to do if I met them face to face. I mean, they’re probably introverts too so I doubt they enjoy the meet-the-fans part. Maybe we could just sit and read out favourite bits of favourite books.
If you could sit down with an author for a slice of cake and a question, who is the author, what kind of cake would you serve, and what is the first question you’d ask?
I’d meet with J K Rowling, as she seems comfortable with the public side of her work. I’d serve lemon drizzle cake as it seems to be her favourite (I’m not a stalker. I just looked it up) and I’d ask her who she felt should be judged most harshly for the way they treated Harry Potter, Voldemort or Dumbledore? (my vote would be Dumbledore).
Ooohhhh I love his question to J. K. Rowling..and the fact that he looked up her favorite cake! You can tell from his answers that Mike has a dry wit and that really comes across in his writing. If you are a fan of mysteries, please click on his link because that book sounds really good and his review deserved an answer from the author. That is so great! I think we all aspire to have the author read our reviews (at least the books that we liked!).
Mike’s taste in books is definitely eclectic and I love that. Sometimes I feel like I stay too long in one genre and forget what it’s like to read a great mystery or historical fiction novel and I’m glad he reminded me that there are some other great books out there to be read.
Have you read any of the books on Mike’s TBR?
What did you think about his questions for J. K. Rowling? Would you have asked her a different questions?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Thanks for reading Blogger to Blogger!