For my All Hallows Eve event, I have invited a couple bloggers to guest post, who have a passion for all things beastly. Today’s guest is Doug, the guy behind the brilliant SciFi Guy.
BCC: Hi Doug, welcome and thank you for being here today. How did you get into blogging?
Doug: Well it has been a bit of an evolution. I had been working on a personal website which was all about SF&F, however my reading habits had started gravitating towards urban fantasy. I was pretty excited about what I was reading and wanted to share that reading experience and a website just wasn’t going to work. I wanted more of a dialogue with other readers – so I
started the blog in summer of 2008.
BCC: Can you tell us a bit more about ‘Doug’ – the person behind the blog?
Doug: I’d like to think he is an international man of mystery but actually he is a Canadian living in southern Ontario. By day I am a partner in a business to business communications & marketing company and the rest of the time a voracious reader like so many other bloggers. I have been a science fiction fan and collector (you can see a little of my SF&F Library here – http://www.scifiguy.ca/2008/10/my-sf-library.html) for most of my life. I love speculative fiction in all its variations – SF&F, urban fantasy and paranormal romance. I have twin sons, but nary a dog or cat.
BCC: There aren’t many guys who would admit to reading and enjoying paranormal romance, what is it about this genre that you love so much? And Urban Fantasy?
Doug: In the beginning I really didn’t apply a distinction between paranormal romance and urban fantasy although of course I now recognize the dividing line (mostly the obligatory HEA). The main attraction for me was discovering wonderful character-driven stories that still embodied elements of the fantastic. I dearly love science fiction, but it just wasn’t generating the sense of wonder I craved. I know it is a generalization and people will take me to task for it, but SF’s strength is not its portrayal of relationships. I was looking for a different escape and when I found urban fantasy I knew it was what I had been searching for. I’m proud to be a UF and PNR reader and happy to say so.
BCC: Who are your favourite authors within these two genres?
Doug: I’d love to give my top 100 for each because there are so many I love but in the interest of brevity I would say for urban fantasy my heavy hitters are Laurell K. Hamilton (early Anita Blake), Charlaine Harris, Jim Butcher, Kim Harrison, Patricia Briggs, Kelley Armstrong, Carrie Vaughn, Jeaniene Frost, Richelle Mead, Colleen Gleason, Lilith Saintcrow, Yasmine Galenorn, Rachel Vincent and C.E. Murphy.
For paranormal romance Marjorie M. Liu, Katie MacAlister, Lynsay Sands, J.R. Ward, Lynn Viehl, Keri Arthur, Kresley Cole, Jackie Kessler, Marta Acosta, Michelle Bardsley, MaryJanice Davidson, Michele Hauf and Christine Warren.
You might notice that most of the authors I have noted each have a number of books in print. I have many, many more authors I love, many of them new and recent to the genre and then of course there are all the excellent YA authors as well.
BCC: Most of us book bloggers are obsessed keen book buyers. Are you the same? Do you have to buy every book you see one or two books even though you have a zillion few on your TBR pile to read?
Doug: Oh yes it is a compulsion. Each month I compile a list of books releasing. Certain ones I receive for review but because so much of UF and PNR is series based, I pretty much buy anything on the list that I don’t want to miss, even recognizing that I may not get to read them right away. It’s comforting to know they are there waiting on my TBR shelf for when I can. The next time I review an authors newest book in a series I can then pull out the unread installments and read them in preparation for reviewing the most recent book.
BCC: What do you think is the best feature on your blog?
Doug: Always a tough question. It’s like picking your favourite child. And the answer changes depending on when it’s asked and what I’ve done recently. I think I do a pretty respectable job of keeping up with news and what’s happening in the UF and PNR blogosphere, but I like doing my reviews too even though I haven’t had as much time to write those up of late. And I do love doing author interviews and having guests. See I told you I can’t pick just one *grins*. You’ll have to choose. Hopefully there is something for everyone.
BCC: You won Best Speculative Fiction Blog BBAW award – congratulations How did that make you feel?
Doug: Thanks Carolyn. I am still shaking my head over that because I have only been blogging for a little over a year and it caught me totally by surprise, especially considering all of the other quality speculative fiction blogs that were nominated. It felt really incredible because it’s not as if you campaign for something like that. People spontaneously nominate you and vote for you and wish you well. It’s quite overwhelming the support. As I said on my blog after BBAW announced it, the award is really for all the wonderful readers, supporters, authors and others in the book blogging community that made it possible.
BCC: Apart from the BBAW award, what has been the highlight of your blogging
Doug: I think one of the best highlights of my blogging experience is the reaction I received for a post I created just for the fun of it. Early on I created a YouTube video called the Tramp Stamp Cover Video which featured a lot of UF and PNR covers highlighting tattoos and other icons of the genre. Marta Acosta mentioned it on Smart Bitches Trashy Books and before I knew it, it was getting a gadzillion hits. Since then I have seen it linked and mentioned all over the place, usually in posts about cover art and design. Not what I intended or planned, but I do take pleasure from it.
BCC: What are your top 5 ‘horror’ novels of all time? (you can choose from the numerous sub-genres)
Doug: I haven’t read extensively in horror (much of urban fantasy could easily be labelled horror), although I am a Stephen King completist. Here are some of my favourites in no particular order
. F. Paul Wilson – The Keep
. Dan Simmons – The Song of Kali
. Clive Barker – Books of Blood
. Stephen King – Cujo
. David Wellington – any of his vampire novels
BCC: Your blog is obviously dedicated to Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance, but do you read other genres?
Doug: Yes I still read SF&F, although with all of the books queued to review for the blog it doesn’t leave much time for reading outside UF and PNR. I also like to read thrillers and mysteries and I’ve even been known to read Dan Brown.
BCC: Are you happy with how your blog has evolved or are there aspects you would like to change? What’s the future for SciFi Guy?
Doug: I am very happy with the way the blog has evolved and by the blog I mean the community of readers and authors that visit and comment and make it so dynamic. There are some physical aspects to the blog I’d like to improve of course. At some point I’d like to do a bit of a design makeover and I am always thinking of the content, new and interesting features to introduce. Time of course is a factor. With a day job there are only so many hours left to do the blogging, the reading, the reviewing, the research…
BCC: Have you ever had a scary experience or true life ‘ghostly’ encounter or any other anecdote you can share with us?
Doug: Well I do have an anecdote, but it is more “spooky” or psychic than “ghostly”. I had agreed to meet someone in a city that was about a 3.5 hour drive away for each of us (we lived in opposite directions). Because we didn’t know the city but did know its’ airport, we agree to meet there later in the day at arrivals. Despite our separate points of origin, different distances to travel, and unspecified departure times, we arrived within 5 minutes of each other. We had each parked in one of those massive acres wide parking lots. I said follow me to my car and I’ll drive you over to your vehicle. We arrived at my car and I asked where they were parked and they smiled because they were parked right behind me. They hadn’t known what type of vehicle I drove. The sound of the X-Files theme could be heard playing.