Wade is Sharing the Shallows

Wade and I started following each other on Twitter early on in 2009. We were both in readerly circles and in bookish and pop culture-ish conversations that continue to this day. I think we have passed each other at book and blogger events here and there in the way that Twitter users do. Wade Bowmer has been part of the Hatchback Hero debate right from the argument’s inception.

Wade Bowmer wearing bear ears holding his cat sitting in his lounge room with a couch, sewing machine, bookcases, computer screen and colourful lights

Wade Bowmer/@staticstan

Can you describe yourself?

My name is Wade Bowmer and I program for a website for a living. I usually call myself senior developer and database wrangler. I also sometimes call myself writer or story-teller because being able to see how stories work in the world seems to be an uncommon skill.  But learning how stories worked has helped me rebuild myself after a terrible life event about a decade ago. It has also helped me make a lot of new friends, opened me up to a whole new range of thinking and made me (I think) a better person for it.
Other than that, I live with my cat in a rather cluttered little town house, with too many hobbies and not enough days in the week. And if you follow me on Twitter you will have to endure bursts of K-pop-related tweets. I also blog occasionally about writing at justaddstory.com.

Continue reading

Sandra Antonelli is Sharing the Shallows

I first met Sandra Antonelli on Twitter in 2009 where we were both taking part in the #badsongFriday posts. We bonded over our mutual love for glitter, glam and a sprinkle of kitsch. We then discovered that we had sooooo much more in common. We both loved romance fiction. We both love Mike Brady. We think poop and fart jokes are funny. And we are both married to men called John. And we both have a love for mini-foxies with Sandra influencing me to buy one through her fabulous loving tales of the late Budman. We live in cities far far away from each other so it is a total treat when we get to catch up in person. Sandra is one of my favouritest people ever. However, we will never agree on the topic of hatchback cars. We have been debating their sexiness (or lack thereof) online for many years and her answer today signifies that the debate will continue. Feel free to join in the argument! And yes – Question 10 in my Sharing the Shallows was put there for Sandra’s benefit.

Sandra Antonelli head shot

Sandra Antonelli

Author

Can you describe yourself?

Reader, writer, movie-lover, coffee drinker, Dr. Sandra Antonelli is passionate about the portrayals of older women in the media and fiction. Her masters and doctoral work focused on the viability of mature aged-women as protagonists in romance fiction. Her research includes creative writing, popular culture representations of older women in the media, representations of age, and age marginalization in fiction publishing. She engages in public discourse on her scholarly and fictional work on a variety of social media platforms. Sandra likes fart humour and poop jokes, and is basically a 12-year-old boy trapped in a middle-aged woman’s body. She is the author of A Basic Renovation, For Your Eyes Only, Driving in Neutral and Next to You, romance novels that all position women over 40 as romance heroines. She is currently writing the In Service series, a romantic thriller-comedy featuring a middle-aged female butler and the spy who loves her. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter: @SandrAntonelli, and sandraantonelli.com. Continue reading

Valancy is Sharing the Shallows

It would be well over a year ago that I noticed a blog called Blue Castle Considerations begin to follow Shallowreader. I clicked over to the site and discovered the absolutely hilarious Valancy writing on all things romance and Anne of Green Gables and retro Mills & Boon with flare and gif savvy. I have since been fortunate enough to meet Valancy in person (even though she lives far far far far away in a far far far away land). She is funny and sweet and ever so insightful when it comes to reading and related things.

A reposing cat with a Kindle

Not so much a selfie, but rather the things that make reading perfect: Bed. Cat. Kindle. (That is Tansy, one of the cat overlords. She rules with a benevolent but draconian paw.)

Valancy

Can You Describe Yourself? 

In search of sleep, sanity, & The Shire. Here to serve the cat overlords.

Co-creater of bolognese soup. It’s true. Even if Google doesn’t acknowledge it.

Lover of all HEAs.

Secret Disney Princess devotee.

Heyer aficionado.

What is your main reading medium (books, blogs, games, news, etc) and how much time do you spend reading a week?

Books and blogs. I spend FAR too many hours on both. It means less work, but it’s a sacrifice I am willing to make.

What or who is your joyful reading (guilty or otherwise) pleasure?

I cannot ever go past a fairytale retelling. Regardless of whether it is good, bad or indifferent. I will buy it. I will read it. You had me at Once Upon a Time.

6 Georgette Heyer book covers

Variety of Betty Neels coversGo-to comfort reads: Georgette Heyer & Betty Neels.

Secret Reading Addiction: Vintage Harlequin and Mills & Boon from the 60s, 70s & 80s. Alpha-hole males, punishing kisses, hateful face slaps and women who end up being married to anti-hero-turned-hero in a far flung country with nothing but jersey dress and fringed leather jacket to their name. So Bad. So Good. I will read them all.

A variety of vintage Mills & Boon coversDo you have a favourite storyline or plot? And do you have one you will not read?  

Did you know that Mozambique National Demining Institute has trained African Giant Pouch Rats to sniff out explosives?? Apparently they are cheap, small, efficient and tireless in their search.

Oh, sorry, my point? It’s a long bow, but that is pretty much me in my indefatigable search for any kind of book that has a romance in it. My favourite plot is anything, as long as it is leavened by an affaire de coeur.

Yep. I am that easy. 🙂

Why do you/don’t you use a public library?

Always.

Online libraries for ebooks and physical libraries for the smell of dust and sandwich wrappers mixed with that soupçon of frowsty damp. (or maybe that’s just my public library…?) Plus I love finding super old relic books that haven’t been cracked open in years.

Case in point: A 1986 compilation of the year’s cutting edge technology: featuring Walkmans, animated Etch-a-Sketch, Discmans and Nintendo NES… I die.

Do you RUI*. If so, what?

I have a super fine knife edge balance of 3 glasses of wine and imminent slumber;

I am a fall-asleep-er under the influence.

Photograph from an outside undercover place with a table, flowers and a glass of red wine looking out to a green lawn with some eucalyptus tress.Do you have a favourite reading spot?

See pic.

And Bed. Because beds are awesome. If everyone worked from beds, instead of offices, I feel that world peace would not be just something Miss Universe cited, but an actual, tangible possibility.

Think about.

You can’t get cranky in bed. Or throw a temper tantrum; it is always welcoming and never rejects you. Things that make you snap rage would hold no water against an ergonomic mattress and memory foam pillows. Bonus: super short commute.

Toilet reading:

No. Just No.

That is 23 shades of wrong.

POO germs people, they are a THING.

And that has suddenly made me want to completely rethink my public library usage.

So um…thanks.

Romance fiction of the Happily Ever After (not the love tragedy) kind – are you a Lover or a Hater and why?

HEA. Always.

I can manage a HFN too, but only because I do this while no-one is looking:

https://bluecastleconsiderations.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/unicorn-guy.gif

I cite previous Disney Princess & fairytale references. Life sucks too much already, I don’t need that kind of realism in my one legal form of escapism.

What would you give up reading for**?

Um. Nothing. Don’t tell my cats…but I really don’t think I could, not even for them.

Can a romance/crime/super/etc hero be the driver of a hatchback?

Being a driver of said hatchback, I do have a slight bias towards them; so YES, but with a caveat: Only if it has four doors.

NO self respecting hero can ever be knight errant with only two doors. Trust me on this. It is physically impossible. Not only does it make for the MOST UNGRACEFUL exit known to humankind; the doors are heavy and have a tendency to make sweepingly graceful closures on one’s behind. Or hand. Or foot. Or head.

Just saying y’all.

🙂

Rudi is Sharing the Shallows

It is a truth universally accepted that when I go out with Rudi, the next day is always a struggle to emerge from my tired sleep. She is a “scream with laughter and stories throughout the night” friend. I first met Rudi of The Travelling Fabio fame through Sarah at romance author events and then at university, at conventions, at bars, anywhere we can manage to get a chance to talk about our romance reading.

Rudi B's Mills & Boon decoupaged high heeled shoes.

Rudi/@Rudi_Bee

Occupation: Radio Girl Friday

Can you describe yourself:

Rudi is a radio and romance novel nerd. She like to combine these two loves by working on the Bookthingo Podcast. Rudi also way better at talking about herself than she is at writing about herself.

 

What is your main reading medium (books, blogs, games, news, etc) and how much time do you spend reading a week?

My main reading medium is probably newspapers/online articles. Every morning when I start work I have to go through the papers (the big ones and the local ones) to keep across the day’s news. But when it comes to reading for pleasure, books are my main reading source. So all together I think I spend about 6-7 hours a day reading. Continue reading

Iwona is Sharing the Shallows

Most people who know me also know that I adore my reading group (to call us a book group would really be a stretch). We have been going for 16 years, we are a theme based group so as to cater to everyone’s reading proclivities and we all have a genuine affection for each other and all our different reading quirks. Iwona is the first of the reading group to share my shallows. Of all our group, I think Iwona and I are possibly the most diametrically opposite in our reading choices . But as with all of us, these differences fade into obscurity as the main thing is, that as bookish friends, we meet for the opportunity to talk about our reading…and our lives…and to break bread….

Iwona Chrzaszcz Iwona 

Occupation:

Applied Sciences

Can You Describe Yourself? 

50+ Inner West resident

Easter European background

Liberal in believes (not Liberal the party!!!!!!!) and no religion

Post graduate education in applied sciences

Married
1 son

 

What is your main reading medium (books, blogs, games, news, etc) and how much time do you spend reading a week?

Ebooks – 10hrs per week, blogs/online news etc – 4hrs per week

What or who is your joyful reading (guilty or otherwise) pleasure?

Ambitious, intelligent fiction

Do you have a favourite storyline or plot?

No

And do you have one you will not read?  

Romance/sci fi/ violent sex

Why do you/don’t you use a public library?

Don’t need it for my needs. Everything is online or on my phone.

Do you RUI*. If so, what?

No.

Do you have a favourite reading spot?

Lounge room

Toilet reading:

A) never do it

Romance fiction of the Happily Ever After (not the love tragedy) kind – are you a Lover or a Hater and why?

The truest of haters. Plots predictable. Bent to create ‘sexy’ stereotypes of smart/irresistible/heart larger than life/ gorgeous women and macho heros, maybe misguided but fixed right by the heroine. Hate stupidity with which heroines fall into a heap at a sight of some macho man

What would you give up reading for**?

For an instance? Many things like going to the movies, out to eat, to catch up with friends… For good? Nothing

Can a romance/crime/super/etc hero be the driver of a hatchback?

Only a crime hero…

MerrianOW is Sharing the Shallows

I first met @MerrianOW over on Twitter as part of the always amazing Romancelandia book tweep discussion circle many years ago. I have been fortunate enough to meet her in person in Canberra, Sydney and in Melbourne and her thoughtful online conversations are matched equally in person. We share a love for E J Oxenham and her Abbey Girl series and she is expert in finding those hard-to-find retro romances for me. This is her second guest post in my shallows having written about romance genre captivity narratives and Australia many years ago.

MerrianOW photograph@MerrianOW

Occupation: Dreams and hobbies

Can You Describe Yourself? 

I’ve read all my life finding solace and comfort and affirmation and new ways of thinking through my books. The online world of readers is a gift of connection and laughter that is a continuing gift from books. I was an Army Officer for nearly a decade and then a Social Worker, all the time dealing with increasing ill health and disability, including surviving two brushes with cancer. I have spent many years volunteering as a health consumer advocate and working to improve the care of people with chronic illness. I love living in the inner west with all the people out and about to chat to on the bus. I spend my time in op shops looking for things to craft and books to read and vintage clothes to wear. Every day deserves an outfit and a new book and a cuppa with a friend.

 

What is main reading & time spent reading?

Books, especially indy ebook published romance stories, science fiction and fantasy. I read lots of long form non-fiction online at blogs and I am adventuring into podcast listening. I often find things to read via links on Twitter. There are at least two newspapers a day in the mix too. My reading these days is pretty much all online and I use laptop, tablet, and phone interchangeably. Books from the library tend to be non-fiction. When I’m well I probably read around 6-8 hours a day, unwell it will be a couple of hours only but I read everyday, rain, hail or shine. Continue reading

Kat Mayo is Sharing the Shallows

As I am posting this on the day of my 21st anniversary, I chose to share my shallows with the only person other than my husband with whom I go on date nights – Kat Mayo. Kat Mayo changed my world around. She was my borrower (and now my friend) but like no other. We first met when she was borrowing picture books but we bonded over romance fiction. She pushed me to join the online book conversations in forums, on Twitter, on Goodreads. She pushed me to attend romance readers conventions and she pushed me to write a blog. She calls me a prude as I blanche at some of the conversations I end up having with her, and we plan excellent date nights where we sit talking and talking all night about our favourite books. Despite not yet being on one of her podcasts, she is one of my favourite readerly people. 

Kat Mayo hugging a Fabio cutoutKat Mayo @Bookthingo

Occupation: I could tell you but….you know the rest.

Can you describe yourself:

Kat and Vassiliki met across a room of crowded library shelves, bonded over Thomas the Tank Engine books, and discovered a shared love for Jennifer Crusie’s books. Kat reviews books at Book Thingo, and hosts a podcast exploring romance books and their place in literary culture. She loves to kill fairies.

What is your main reading medium (books, blogs, games, news, etc) and how much time do you spend reading a week?

Books, emails, tweets, stuff for the day job, and the Google vortex. At least 60 hours, but if we’re talking about reading purely for pleasure, I’d say around 15 hours a week. It will vary depending on how busy life is. That said, if I happen to pick up a fantabulous book, the world just has to work around my need to read.

Melina Marchetta The Piper's SonWhat or who is your joyful reading (guilty or otherwise) pleasure? 

I rarely feel guilt while reading, and I have too many favourites to answer this properly! My favourite rereads are Melina Marchetta’s young adult books. Her writing just gets into my bones. I have a cherished collection of books by Laura Kinsale, Kelly Hunter and Kathleen O’Reilly. One of the hidden gems on my shelf is an anthology called Out of This World Lover, because it has a funny erotic paranormal romance short story by Shannon Stacey, featuring an intergalactic ambassador who calls an electrician because she thinks they provide sexual services.

Last year, I discovered Wattpad and binged on teen romances — something that traditional publishing is very stingy with.

Oh, and I’ve built a list of books with vomit scenes. It now has so many titles that I’ve branched out to keeping lists that track other bodily fluids mentioned in books.

Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer CrusieDo you have a favourite storyline or plot? And do you have one you will not read?

I love friends to lovers, grumpy/tortured heroes, Titian-haired heroines (yes, I do!), childhood sweethearts, brother’s best friend/best friend’s sister. I also love the reverse harem …. In other words, I love romance tropes. 😀

I probably won’t pick up motorcycle club books, or where the h/h are involved in organised crime. I don’t like incest, although I can tolerate it if the writing is very good. I don’t like infidelity and will probably not read a plot with adultery — and if I do, I would almost certainly read it backwards (from the ending, back to the beginning). (Consensual, happy, non-monogamous couples are exempted. I love the tension of a well-written threesome.) I can’t stand Catholic priests as romance heroes; I find this plot worse than adultery. I’m not a fan of the stripper/prostitute heroine — it’s rarely done well, and frankly, Brooke Magnanti set a very high bar for writing in this space.

I love aristocratic ennui, but not any other kind. Spare me the bajillionaire with boredom issues. No one wants to marry a guy like that.

Why do you/don’t you use a public library?

My usual MO is that I use the library religiously until I forget to return books and accrue a fortune in fines, and then I can never go back there again. I’m terrible. That said, now that I’ve been book blogging for a few years, advance copies and Amazon one-click keep me well-stocked with books.

Do you RUI*. If so, what?

I’ll read anytime, anywhere, when I get the opportunity.

Do you have a favourite reading spot?

Not really. I can read anywhere — and I do!

Toilet reading: 

b) Only my own books/phone/tablet/ereader

Romance fiction of the Happily Ever After (not the love tragedy) kind – are you a Lover or a Hater and why?

Lover. Life’s too short to put up with shitty endings.

What would you give up reading for**?

My family. World peace.

Can a romance/crime/super/etc hero be the driver of a hatchback?

Of course. It’s a travesty that there aren’t more hatchback driver heroes in romance. Especially in new adult. How else will you bring home your IKEA furniture?

grown man riding a Thomas the Tank Engine toy