Hi all! I’m delighted to bring you my first ever #AskMeAnything!
First in the hot seat is Christina Huber.
Christina agreed to answer 20 random questions sent to me from readers, by email. Thank you so much for joining in Christina 🙂
“My name is Christina, and the Tomes and Tequila blog is my little empty-nester hobby after reviewing books elsewhere for quite a few years. I don’t enjoy talking about myself, I would much rather talk about books, Michael Fassbender or my dog…so this will be a short and awkward bio! I am a married mother of two whose day job is cataloging books at a military installation library. This means I get to touch everything that comes into my library…first! I have lived all over the world, so I enjoy reading about different backgrounds and cultures. I love birds, margaritas and hard cider, makeup (VIB Rouge card holder!) the Bee Gee’s, snapchat and anything French!”
Thank you to all you lovely people who sent me questions for Christina. Here’s her Q&A for you to enjoy…..
1 – What makes a book jump from 4*s to 5*s for you and keeps you reading well past bedtime?
I am a huge fan of smart…clever…witty books. I will read virtually any genre; I am not really picky. And I give a lot of 4 star reviews because chances are, if I’m reviewing it I finished it, and I normally don’t finish books I’m not enjoying. I think life is too short to read bad books, and my To Read pile is way too large. But the difference between a 4 and a 5 is akin to the difference between American and British television. A lot of American television spoon feeds it’s viewers…and British television expects you to have a little bit of a noodle between your ears.
2 – Hi Christina,
Let me introduce myself before I ask you my question. I’m Penny Fernandes and I have a Bachelors degree in Nursing and a Masters degree in Cardiovascular Thoracic nursing. Suffice to say that I have worked in hospitals a lot before I decided that I wanted to follow my long time passion ‘writing’. I would dream of writing ever since I was a little girl.
For the past two years I renounced nursing, got married and started writing. I started with my first book and I’m currently in the process of editing it. Now coming to my question. I’ve heard that getting a book out into the market is difficult but marketing of the book is even more difficult. Can you help me understand how that works? I’m really scared. To me writing seems like the easy part.
Hi Penny!! I am so sorry, but I really don’t have a good answer for you. Here is my take on book marketing right now: I think it is easier than it used to be, purely from a social media stand point. Now, in the palm of your hands, you have the capability of putting together a marketing kit, finding the info to send it out, and all the social media publicity you can wrangle. Is it that easy to get your book into the big guy’s hands? Clearly it’s not…but I think that right now is a great time to write a book. Plus, you obviously have the gumption or you wouldn’t have made it as far into the process as you have. Whatever you do, don’t lose hope. If you feel passionately about what you’re doing, it will clearly show in your work and your enthusiasm will jump off the screen at people and make them want to see what you’re up to.
3 – “Does cataloguing military books put you off ever looking at one in your free time, or does it do the opposite and make you want to rush out to read Tom Clancy & Co.? I know people who work with computers all day; I had always assumed they were computer nerds in their spare time, but it turned out that many couldn’t face a PC out of work, they were totally sick of them!”
I LOVE this question! The main difference between a military library and a regular public library, I would say, is the size and budget…although most libraries have budget issues right now. We have a little bit of everything in a small space, so try very hard to keep our collection uber current. I read all of the old Tom Clancy stuff when I was pregnant with my youngest…and we definitely have a lot of military-related fiction and nonfiction. The military section I find most interesting is the Chief of Staff of the Air Force selections, which are new each year. The Chief of Staff comes up with 10 or so new books every year that he recommends active duty read that are mainly leadership centric, but an interesting take on what is important in the military currently.
4 – I’d like to ask Christina, if she could sit down at a dinner party with 3 authors past or present, who would they be and why?
William Shakespeare, because I have always loved his plays, and I think his humour was ahead of its time. J.K. Rowling, because I think she’s a fascinating writer and an interesting character. And A.J. Jacobs…because he knows a little bit about everything, and would ensure we never ran out of conversation!
5 – What are your 5 favourite characters from books you have read, across any genre??
Isabel Spellman, Lord John Grey, Nina Popkin (The Survivor’s Guide to Family Happiness!!), Lily the Unicorn, and Scorpius Malfoy (I am laughing hysterically as I type this!!)
6 – If you were told you could never read another word again, what would you do instead?
I would fill the void with music, my second favourite hobby.
7 – If you were on Desert Island Discs, what book would you take with you?
I’m going to have to go with Bear Grylls Man vs. Wild book…or the Bible. Save my body or save my soul!
8 – Who’s your favourite fictional rogue or antihero?
Severus Snape. If I answer any differently, my son will kill me.
9 – What is your proudest achievement?
Right now, my proudest achievements come frequently…every time an author retweets me, or lets me know that they enjoyed a review. My book blog is the culmination of a passion of mine. And I’m just dorky enough to jump up and down every time I get that little bit of validation!
10 – Who is your favourite author, who you have met?
For Favourite author I am going to have to go with Diana Gabaldon because I am a HUGE Outlander fan…and her sassiness online just kills me. I appreciate clever and sarcastic people, mainly because I try so hard at it and normally fail. The only author I have met is Kaylie Newell. She writes romantic fiction (I enjoyed her Wolfe Creek series) and I went to school with her as a kid. That counts right?!?
They sell a pretzel bread at my local grocery store that I just can’t get enough of! But really…you can’t beat hot homemade bread fresh out of the oven/bread maker, regardless of the type.
12 – If you could re-write the ending to any book which would it be and what would you change?
It’s not necessarily an ending, but I was very unhappy when in Room by Emma Donoghue the Ma character attempts suicide. For some reason, it just didn’t feel right to me. She had struggled so much, and worked so hard to escape with her boy. And then to try and kill herself once they are finally safe? And leave her little boy with family she hadn’t seen in ages? I just didn’t buy it.
13 – What has been the most challenging moment of your adult life?
I would have to say that raising two children overseas with a husband deployed has to be the most challenging moment of my adult life. My husband was gone for almost 20 month total, and I went through a couple sets of friends who were my support system and life line. I think it is very hard to explain to people who haven’t done it. It really made me more empathetic to single parents. Really, I had it good because I was able to stay home with my children during this time, but it was a very trying period in my life.
14 – Which author would you really like to meet?
Right now I’d love to meet Jennifer Weiner because her Twitter is pretty damn funny, so she’d probably be a hoot to shake hands with.
15 – Would you like to write a book?
Honestly, for some reason I never felt I would be good enough to write a book…but the more I write on the blog, the more I entertain the notion of at least trying my hand at a short story.
16 – A book you’d love to see made into a film? (Maybe with casting?)
I would love to see the Cuckoo’s Calling made into a film (and I believe they’re doing it). As for Dream casting, I am going to fail at this miserably! My son does this to me all the time, and I’m never a good at it as he is! LOL I see a young scruffy Clive Owen as Cormoran Strike. A blonde Karen Gillan as Robin. Hmmm, I am failing at this because I don’t normally see actors when I’m reading books.
17 – What’s your favourite time of the year?
I would’ve said Winter, until I moved to North Dakota! I will have to go with Fall. I love when there is a chill in the air, and a brisk wind is blowing…
18 – What’s the best surprise you’ve ever had?
Best surprise ever (or at least that I can think of right now) happened when my husband had deployed “over there”. He left the beginning of December, and right before Christmas I received a very large and surprising package in the mail containing 2 beautiful paintings of Paris. I am a HUGE Francophile, and this came out of nowhere! The hubby had apparently purchased them before leaving as a Christmas present…and it was perfection.
19 – Do you have a holiday destination you return to time and again or do you like to discover new places?
Since the longest I’ve lived in a location since I was a teenager is 5 ½ years, I haven’t been able to vacation at the same place year after year…and I think I enjoy seeing new places much more. BUT, if I could go back to a favourite location RIGHT NOW it would be Desenzano del Garda in Northern Italy. My family lived there for a few years, and have gone back on holiday since…and it is a beautiful peaceful place. Everyone talks about Lake Como because of the celebrities who live there, but I would choose Lake Garda any day!
20 – Favourite read so far this year?
Ooh, this is a tough one for me! I would have to say that Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling) is still my favourite 5 star book for this year, even though I was a little late to read it. I just find her adult writing to be impeccable. As for nonfiction books, Find Your Brave by Holly Wagner is hands down my favourite. My copy is filled with highlighter, and I rarely do that to books.
Thanks again to Christina for joining in with #AskMeAnything 🙂
Christina blogs at http://www.tomesandtequila.com/ Make sure you check it out!
If you’re a book blogger or author who would like to take part in #AskMeAnything, please email me – firstname.lastname@example.org