Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Armchair BEA 2011 Book Blogger Interview!

Armchair BEA continues!  I'm excited to be interviewing Joy from Edgy Inspirational Romance!  Doesn't the title make you want to go see what this genre is all about?  Read on to learn a little more about Joy and then head over to her blog to learn even more about her and her favorite genre!

TMT: Believe it or not, we both started our blogs in May of 2010! I looked at your very first post and it was on May 9th, 2010...and then I went back to check my first post and it was May 10th, 2010.  How crazy is that?  I started blogging to share great books with other teachers and parents.  Why did you start your blog?  What had an influence on you as you designed and set up your blog?
Joy: Happy Bloggiversary Jen!  Congrats to us both for lasting a year!
I started book blogging to build a platform for my fiction writing. I'm still years (decades?) away from being published, but the last time I tried blogging my only readers were people related by blood, so I figured I'd  start early.
As far as design, my one requirement was that it be cute.  I guess 'if you build it they will come,' because this book blogging thang took off faster than I expected and I've had to find help to keep up the posting schedule.  In January I took on a contributor (writer Serena Chase) who helps with content. 
TMT: I'm not sure I entirely understand the genre of edgy, inspirational romance yet but I love the writing on your blog.  I can definitely hear your voice and personality coming through and you have me interested for sure.  I'm thinking the genre might appeal to and be more appropriate for adults.  Is this true?  Or are there (much) milder versions of these types of books that might possibly be appropriate for young adults?  If so, which might you recommend to a high school student? A middle school student?
Joy: I blog about all kinds of Christian romance, edgy or otherwise.  Inspriational romance is usually appropriate for young adults.  On my blog I use the iced tea analogy.  You can find Christian romance that's sweet tea- for example Amish books or the Christian category lines like Love Inspired,  or you can find Christian romance that is unsweetened (edgier) like Deeanne Gist or Francine Rivers. 
But compared to inspys, mainstream romance looks like a Long Island iced tea.  Even our edgy authors don't seem so edgy next to that.   
TMT: It's obvious that you are passionate about reading.  To whom or what would you accredit your strong love of reading? 

Joy: My mom is a reader and I'm so glad she passed her love of books on to me.  We have slightly different tastes, she likes thrillers more than romance. But even though she's in her 60's she reads YA which makes me smile.  YA is my second favorite genre.   

TMT: As a parent, what advice do you have in encouraging children to read?  

Joy: I have three sons and one of the best parenting decisions I've made is no TV or video games during the week. So after they finish homework they either play outside or read a book.  I try to keep reading fresh for them. We go to the bookstore frequently and hang out in the children's section reading new releases. 

TMT: Can you describe your perfect reading spot? 

Joy: In bed on a Saturday morning before anyone else wakes up or on my couch one rainy afternoon. 

TMT: I read on your blog that your grandmother worked for Helen Keller!  As a teacher who works with students who are deaf and hard of hearing, and even some who have multiple disabilities like deaf-blindness, that is so intriguing to me.  Did share any stories or perceptions with you that you can share? 
Joy: I wish I paid more attention to my grandmother's stories while she was alive!  What I wouldn't give to be able to interview her now that I appreciate the significance of her past.  All I remember is this piece of a conversation:
I think technically she was employed by Helen's teacher and companion Anne Sulliven when Helen lived in New York City.   Once my grandmother was asked to wait for the man coming to install flooring (or fix the floor?).  When the man arrived, he couldn't get past Helen's dog. My grandmother had to go upstairs to get Helen so she could restrain her dog.  By the time she got to the top of the staircase, Helen Keller had opened the door.  She felt the vibrations of my grandmother's foots on the stairs.  

TMT: And finally, I love to ask people how you would finish this sentence: "Reading is..."  

Joy: mind's amusement park.

One reason I started my blog was to interact with other readers, parents, and teachers.  I love seeing what other bloggers are up to.  The beauty of the blogger interviews is that I'm not sure I would have found Joy's blog otherwise!  I hope everyone at BEA is having as much fun as we are with Armchair BEA!  Have you read any edgy, inspirational romances you want to recommend?  Any other blogs you have discovered that you would love to share?  Thanks for stopping by!

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