As a part of Book Blogger Appreciation Week, a number of book bloggers are interviewing each other and posting the interviews on their blogs. My interview partner is Lori of Psychotic State. (You can go to her blog to read her interview with me.)
I've enjoyed getting to know her better, and I hope you do, too.
Debbie: Lori, tell us a little about your book blog (like when you started it, what types of books you review, and what other types of posts you have on Psychotic State Book Reviews)?
Lori: I started my blog several years ago, more as a gossipy site where I could express my opinions about my favorite tv shows and celebrities (and not so favorite celebrities!) and last August, I decided to switch gears and go with a longtime love of mine - - books! Since then, my blog has been devoted to book reviews, author interviews, giveaways, guest posts and various updates relating to books I have read and/or reviewed (such as those from the true crime genre).
Debbie: How is Psychotic State Book Reviews different from other book blogs (i.e. unique features, etc.)?
Lori: I think my blog is a little different because I don't have some of continual memes that bog other sites down (although I do participate in some that I enjoy and find promote not only my blog but the books I read as well).
I have recently started my own Throwback Thursday, where I highlight older books I have read, to give them a new focus.
I also read and review a fairly eccentric group of books - - I enjoy the aforementioned true crime, chick lit, general fiction, certain types of nonfiction, historical fiction, supernatural/paranormal, some romance. So it wouldn't be unusual to find a review of a Tudor-era historical fiction one day and a book on a serial killer the next!
Debbie: Let's get to know you a little better. Why did you start book blogging?
Lori: I have loved reading since I can remember and it's very rare to find me without a book in hand. I also have been writing, in one form or another, since I was 8 and it seemed a natural progression to "marry" the two. Plus, I was feeling a little weary of the celebrity blogging at the time and thought reviewing books would be a better use of my time and my enjoyment of not only reading but writing.
Debbie: What do you like most about book blogging? The least?
Lori: Absolutely, positively, the people I have met have made book blogging worthwhile. I have found myself included in a circle of people who not only enjoy some of the same hobbies and interests I do, but a wonderfully helpful and friendly group. From the moment I started blogging books, and asking questions, I was met with a lot of encouragement and helpful direction. I will always be grateful. And let's be honest - - receiving books to read and write about is a pretty great plus too!
What I like the least is the pressure I put on myself to sometimes try to read more books than I should. I become very Type A personality wise when I am behind schedule, or feel I am behind schedule. And I cannot allow myself to write a shortened review or stint a book in any way, so the pressure builds. But ultimately, it's good pressure because I love to read.
Debbie: What are some things you do when you're not reading or blogging (job, hobbies, etc.)?
Lori: In my "normal" life, I'm a paralegal, wife and mother so I am generally fairly busy. My husband is a Navy man, so when he's deployed I am head of the household as well as Mom and Dad.
I love the movies (particularly classic Hollywood of the late 20s, 30s and 40s - - pretty obvious from my blog header!), baseball (Atlanta Braves fan), NASCAR (#17!) and my family is trying to get me more into football. I'd also like to get more into cooking, as well as partaking more of the pool for exercise purposes!
Debbie: What's an interesting/unique fact about yourself that most of your blog followers might not know?
Lori: Oh gosh, there are so many to choose from! I would say that I had a longtime dream of being a screenwriter for years (especially after a Ouija board told me I would be, wink, wink) and had several different screenplays I was working on but it never panned out for me. I still hope to be a published author one day though and my head is constantly buzzing from story ideas.
Debbie: What book has had the most impact on your life?
Lori: I can't pick just one, so I would say this would be a toss up between Pride and Prejudice, Flowers in the Attic, Fatal Vision and Helter Skelter. Totally bizarre, I know. Probably couldn't come up with more oppositional books.
P&P because I had avoided it like the plague in my younger years (fearing it because it was labeled a classic). I never had to read it in school and figured that Jane Austen simply wouldn't be my cup of tea. I saw the 1995 A&E P&P and the story consumed me to the point of obsession. I picked up the book and after I read it, I was kicking myself for not reading it sooner. Since then, it has opened a door for me to read more classical works, other works of Jane Austen's and the many, many sequels to P&P and Austen-inspired work. In fact, it's an obsession that lasts to this day and one I am happy to immerse myself in.
Flowers in the Attic because it was not only the first series I really got into but the first book that completely and utterly hooked me. It was the early 80s equivalent of the Twilight series. V.C. Andrews wasn't the most expressive writer but she was a phenomenal storyteller. These were the first books that I actually stayed up all night reading and made panicked trips to the bookstore to pick up.
Helter Skelter was the first true crime book I ever read (at 11) and I wasn't supposed to be reading it (now my parents know the truth). I became fascinated with abnormal psychology and the deviant personality, thanks to this book, as well as the law. It led me to psychology courses in school, a serious thought to becoming an FBI profiler and eventually to becoming a paralegal, where I hoped that I could work in criminal law (one area of law that I have never worked in, by the way).
Fatal Vision was yet another book that completely consumed me. I saw the miniseries and marched myself to B. Dalton the next day for the book, which I zipped thru in just a day or two (and this was a 700+ page book and I was a high school student at the time). I still consider it one of the best true crime books out there and I am still obsessed (for lack of a better word) with the case (in fact, you will see posts in memory of the victims at my blog each February, as well as updates on the legal aspects of the case from time to time). This is a book, along with Helter Skelter, that I will read over and over.
Debbie: I already know that Pride & Prejudice is your favorite book, but why is it your favorite?
Lori: Because Jane Austen was a damn funny lady! Seriously, when you read P&P, other than some of the language and the fact that women had to marry and marry as well as possible, it's easy to forget that she wrote this incredible work more than 200 years ago. She was an unparalleled writer with an acerbic wit and a very sharp eye toward her society and her own sex. She created characters and a story that still fascinate all these years later and that is beloved by many. That is quite a legacy.
Debbie: It has been nice getting to know you, Lori. Thanks!
Lori: Thank you, Debbie! I'm so happy to have been your interview partner for BBAW!