Blogger Spotlight: Back Porch Reader

I currently exist on two cups of coffee. I’ve already attended one meeting, and I may have another this afternoon. This weekend blew by quickly, but boy was it insane. I spent most of Saturday writing and editing and then yesterday I had a cover shoot for an upcoming release, so I was busy all day. The bright side? The photo shoot took place poolside!

Why aren’t weekends three days? *whines* all I need is one more day. Anyway, we resume our regularly scheduled programming. 

Today, I’m happy to feature one of my most favorite bloggers to have ever blogged, Katie! People, Katie is amazing. AMAZING! I began reading her blog when she first started out, and I love her reviews. We share the same interest in books, and it makes our fangirling connection even stronger. LOL, I swear at RT we were ridiculous. I can’t express how much I adore this lady. She is a gem. 

Get to know Katie! ☺

I usually ask authors this question, but bloggers are not immune! I always find author interviews kind of boring. We only get to see one side of an author, the polite side. I’m sure bloggers have their fair share of dirt as well. If you had an evil doppelganger, what detail would they enjoy revealing about you to the public that people would find surprising and possibly questionable?

I have no idea what you’re talking about. I’m delightful in all the ways.

Way to put me in the hot seat from the start.

Okay. Real Talk. I’m not always polite and well-behaved, despite my southern upbringing that included tenets of ladylike behavior such as smile and nod even when you’re angry or unhappy, keep your knees together at all times, use the proper fork, etc. I’m not so good at not sharing what I think.

There might be the fact that I worked as a guard in a men’s medium security prison right after college that tends to surprise a lot of people. That’s a part of my past best left alone. 

Annnnd, then for all the romance and erotica that I read, I could not care less if I ever date again or get re-married. The thought of either makes me a bit ill.

What’s the last book you read?

By the time anyone reads this my answer will be grossly outdated since I read three to five books a week. I recently finished Santino Hassell’s Illegal Contact, and I was BLOWN AWAY. I cannot wait for this book to be unleashed in August.

What pisses you off when it comes to review requests? What’s the right way and the wrong way for an author to submit a request to your blog?

When the person submitting hasn’t done just a little bit, like glance at my info page, to make sure I’m the right fit for their book. I’m kinda picky and hesitant about some genres, and I don’t keep that a secret. Chances are huge that I’m not going to read a memoir by a twenty-year-old, or a poetry collection, or werewolf-shifter space odyssey. Yes, these were real requests I’ve gotten. I’m sure they’re lovely, but they’re not what I’m drawn to or the types of books I’ve committed to sharing with readers.

If you could have any two of your favorite authors collaborate on a book, who would they be and what would they write?

I love the writing team of Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell in the Cyberlove series and have my fingers crossed for a lot more books. They’re amazing together. I’m also looking forward to Heart of the Steal, by Roan Parrish and Avon Gale. Otherwise, I’m not sure I’m comfortable playing matchmaker with my favorite authors. I love being surprised when I hear about new collaborations though. 

Finish this sentence: In order to be successful you have to ______. 

Start.

Which is hilarious. I’m a huge procrastinator because my mind is always trying to sort through all the things I have to do before I can get to the thing I want to do. Also, I’m easily distracted by books, so time gets sucked away. But, with anything you’ll never know if you can be successful with something unless you just start doing it, and then keep at it until you get it right.

What were your favorite TV shows as a kid?

Prime Time TV was a big thing in my house growing up. Except, I didn’t know our habits were strange until I was way older. 

Okay, so first off, we had one TV, didn’t have a den, and my mother doesn’t believe TVs belong in the living room. Therefore the only TV was in my parents’ bedroom. 

Secondly, we always ate late — the earliest would be around 8:00. I’m still this way, a 10 PM dinner is not uncommon for me. 

So, because of the later dinner hour, the location of the TV, must-see prime-time lineup and that DVRs hadn’t been invented, every night we’d eat dinner in their room. Mom and my step-dad sat up on the bed, propped against pillows with trays in their lap. I’d sit on the floor at the foot of their bed and eat off of a tray with the TV probably less than three feet from my face, then lay there vegging on the floor until bedtime. (Yes, we had a kitchen table and a dining room table, but those were for other meals or when we had company.) 

These days I can’t even imagine eating a meal in bed unless I’m too sick to move. Also, my folks have a den now, and they laugh at the memories of the old days of dinners in bed.

BACK TO YOUR QUESTION. I had a lot of favorites. CheersThe Cosby Show and Golden Girls were main events. Others that come to mind are Welcome Back KotterTaxiOne Day at a TimeBarney Miller, and WKRP in Cincinnati. But Friday nights were not complete without The Incredible HulkDiff’rent StrokesCHiPs, and The Facts of Life…And geez, does this whole paragraph show my age.

I’ll also add that for the last handful of years I’ve let Golden Girls reruns on the Hallmark channel lull me to sleep each night. I don’t know how much lulling happens though, those ladies still crack me up. 

What word repulses you when it comes to sex scenes?

In romance or erotica, it’s cum as a verb. I don’t particularly care for it as a noun either. Wow, it’s porny. I spend so much time trying to educate people about the difference between porn and erotica, and this one word has the power to blur the lines between the two no matter how strong the plot.

Nothing against porn. I love porn. Cum all over porn is perfectly fine.

Do you have any bad habits? If so, what are they?

Tons of them. Which is probably why I’ll never re-marry or have a long-term relationship. Gah. I’m awful. I smoke, drink, cuss like a sailor, and the thought of exercise makes me tired. I frequently say inappropriate things. I’m kinda lazy. I procrastinate even worse with things I don’t want to do, like laundry — I’ll wait until my only clean option is my tacky prom dress from 1990 before doing laundry. 

What are your thoughts on trigger warnings in blurbs?

For things like flagging violence, abuse, and non-consent, I’m all for them. The fad of using trigger warnings to mention things like snark or sass to be cute, or as an advertisement, is a major peeve. Making them cutesy downplays the importance of the ones that are necessary for a reader to make informed decisions about buying or reading books with content they know they’ll find unbearable.

You attended GRL last year, and RT this year. What were your most memorable moments from both cons?

GRL was my first book conference ever, and the perfect size to get my feet wet. The Cock Walk — a fundraiser-slash-raffle of hand-made, penis-themed items — was the most I’ve laughed in years. The MC was author Edmond Manning who is outrageously hilarious without even trying, but more so with the condom hat he wore. I won a quilted, stuffed cock made by author Anne Tenino that is truly a work of art and has pride of place on a shelf in my office. I’ve considered sleeping with it but don’t want to chance ruining it by my puppy deciding it’s a chew toy. I also won a hemp necklace with a winged-cock charm made by someone I met on the first day at GRL who’s become a very dear friend — I didn’t know she’d made it until after the event. But my favorite had to have been hanging out in the hotel lobby and the bar and shooting the breeze with authors and readers, it was totally casual, and the divide between Author and Reader was completely stripped away.

RT was…massive. Most memorable was meeting you, Harper. Probably because you were the main reason I even attended. (Thanks for letting me be such a tag along and including me with Laurel & Taria!) While the size of RT made it kind of daunting, and that my preferred niche of LGBT romance & erotica only made up a fraction of what was showcased, it was incredible to see SO MANY people who are committed to Romance. Because here in my daily circles I’m kind of alone and an oddity. The Blogger Symposium gave me TONS of ideas that I’m working on bringing to fruition to take Back Porch Reader to another level. Communing at the bar in the evenings was probably my favorite because, even if crowded and loud, it was totally casual and chill. OH! But also, sitting three feet away from Tiffany Reisz (OMG!) during a panel and being smushed up against Kristen Ashley (OMG!!) in the elevator were AMAZING fan-girl moments. Even if I had to ask Kristen to scooch over so I could press the button for my floor. 

Looking at these two events side by side, it seems I might be developing a pattern of being happiest at conferences sitting around socializing with a cocktail within reach. Yep, that sounds like me.

**Bonus Question**

Ever tried BDSM? If not, would you?

Yes. 

About:

Why Back Porch Reader? Because I literally do 90% of my reading from a cozy wicker lounger on my back porch — in all seasons and all weather (excepting temps below 38° F and category 5 hurricanes). That other 10% is wherever I happen to be with a book.

Porches are a southern staple, and for me, it’s a natural extension of my home. It’s a comfy little place where I can kick off my shoes, keep an ear on the sounds of suburban nature, and get lost in books. It’s also the place to entertain my neighbors when they pop ’round for a gab.

Blog: BackPorchReader.com

Email: katie@backporchreader.com

Twitter: @vakatiebug

Facebook: BackPorchReader


The Latest in Netflix Gems

You ever notice things you once enjoyed in your youth aren’t as delightful now that you’re older and wiser? With Netflix, I’ve had the opportunity to catch up with a lot of shows I watched as a kid. When I say kid, I’m referring to myself under the age of twenty-one. My first mistake? I decided to watch Queer As Folk again. I couldn’t make it past two episodes. I *loved* the show in college but now? It’s problematic as fuck. Brian Kinney was always an asshole, but now that I view him through a more sophisticated lens, he is INTOLERABLE. And his gaggle of friends? Just. As. Bad. Michael was spineless… ugh. I can’t even. Emmett might’ve been the only one who didn’t irk me, but even he could not redeem that pile of poo. 

I also re-watched Ghostbusters the animated series. You have no idea how much I loved tuning in after school while I did my homework, but sadly it was also a major let down years later. Oddly enough despite being older cartoons, She-Ra and He-Man still managed to kick ass after a re-watch! 

Since I’ve shared what I disliked, how about we even out this post with things I liked TONS and want to recommend to you? It only seems fair. 

Ready?

Love Between the Covers

I think everyone in Romancelandia might’ve already seen this documentary about the romance industry, but I am late to the party. It was so incredibly cool to watch writers whose careers I admire talk about how they got their start. I saw Beverly Jenkins at RT this year (and she even smiled at me), but I didn’t have the nerve to talk to her. At Nationals, IT IS ON!!!! I SEE YOU MS. BEV! Seriously, without her doing her thing, and paving the way for black women romance writers, there would be no place for Harper Miller. I’ll definitely have to take some time out during the con to thank her and Brenda Jackson for sticking with this gig. It is because of these two ladies I am able to forge my path in this industry. 

Twin Peaks (The Original)

I watched the entire first season, and now I’m on episode two of season two. I NEED TO FIND OUT WHO KILLED LAURA PALMER! Also, friends who have seen the show and loved it recommended I watch Fire Walk With Me after I finish season two. It’s sitting on my DVR patiently waiting for me to power through the remainder of the season and play catch up. I also want to get caught up so that I can watch the reboot on Showtime. 

Riverdale

This ain’t the Archie you knew and loved as a kid! I shouldn’t be looking at a high school attendee with a raised brow, but Archie is HAWT. Not even gonna lie. The shot of his abs during the first episode left me a little verklempt. I absolutely adore the modern spin on Archie and the gang. LoL, I think the best departure from the comics IMO is how Moose is introduced. I hope we get more from his character in season two. Oh, oh, ohh! The best part you guys? MOLLY RINGWALD AND LUKE PERRY ARE ARCHIE’S PARENTS. My inner pop culture geek flailed at this revelation. 

The Santa Clarita Diet

Netflix is like the spouse I never had. It gets me. It understands me. It recommends things it knows I will love and it has only steered me wrong once (it said I had a 97% chance of liking Dr. Strange and I loathed that movie). What the hell Netflix? LIES!!! Anyway, when I received an email that said I might like this show I wasn’t very gung ho. The description was meh. BUT THEN I WATCHED THE TRAILER AND HOLY MOLY TIMOTHY OLYPHANT HAD A STARRING ROLE! People, that man is a silver fox personified. The older he gets, the hotter he gets and my girly bits stand at attention. #overshare 

But honestly, Timothy and Drew Barrymore make a great duo.

Last up?

Master of None

I feel ridiculous for once again being late to the party. THIS SHOW WILL LEAVE YOU IN STITCHES. It’s relatable, it’s hip, and it has an Asian male cast as the lead (Aziz Ansari of Parks and Rec fame) which is unheard of on network TV. Look at Netflix setting trends! They don’t need no stinkin’ network to make things happen. I may also be a smidge biased because the show mainly takes place in New York City.** First off, I must mention the realistic portrayal of NYC. You see people of ALL ethnicities featured unlike shows such as Friends and Girls. It’s like come on TV writers, where in the heck in NYC are these people residing where they never come across a person of color on a regular basis?! Where? Huh? Huhhhh?

Sigh. Anywho…

I also love how it focuses on the struggles that accompany dating as a PoC in NYC. Single people know dating is a hard knock life, but if you’re black or Asian, the stats aren’t exactly in our favor when it comes to desirability. Well, at least when it comes to online dating. Sad but true. Mildly depressing even. People reading this are probably thinking, “OMG NYC HAS SO MANY PEOPLE IT MUST BE AN AMAZING PLACE TO DATE!” Uh, no. LOL, not at all. This is exactly why I started writing romance. It’s less of a headache and far more reliable. 

Anyway, I highly recommend you watch this show! Do eeeeet! The Thanksgiving episode of season two made me laugh so hard I cried. 

**I don’t want to be all Spoily McSpoilson but the beginning of season two doesn’t kick off in the Big Apple. No need to fret because it does pick up there!

That’s it for my current Netflix gems. If you have any TV shows or movies you’d like to recommend on NF, feel free to drop em in the comments below!

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