It’s such a pleasure to interview blogger and reviewer Vailia. Her blog features a lot of reviews on the best reads out there. If you’re looking for a resource that offers a great combination of excellent quality reviews and giveaways, I highly recommend you check what her blog has to offer!
Tell us about you and your gay romance blog. Where can we read it?
Hi Jamie! Looks like we share the same name. I, too, am a Jamie. I am also known as Jay or Vailia (due to the name of my blog) online. I run the blog Vailia’s Page Turner.
What got you started as a m/m blogger or reviewer?
Guilty admission time…
Several years ago a friend introduced me to a terrible evil. The realm of fanfiction. In particular: Harry Potter fanfiction. So in these stories the couples of the books were not always the same and I found myself preferring to read about Harry with someone else. For some reason, I just found it more appealing to read. Then this same person introduced me to Yaoi (aka Boys Love) manga. I was hooked. From there, it went into m/m novels as well. So now I read both comics/manga and the novels both for fun.
As for reviewing, well I started on Goodreads with simply rating a book then starting reviewing as a way to share my thoughts on the books. About two years ago I entered a giveaway that was part of a giveaway hop and I learned there was a whole online book community. I was baffled as to how I never noticed it before really. So I started following a few of them and came to the realization I wanted my own place to share about books, or authors or other related subjects.
Why are you passionate about reading and reviewing m/m books?
I am passionate about reading all books. So long as there is a good plot and well developed characters. When I was a child, I had a very controlling and protective mother and I was an only child until I was 16. So most of my growing years was spent inside and alone. Books became my friends. When I moved out I thought I would read less and even tried forcing myself to as reading was not considered cool or trendy for an 18-19 year old. Lucky for me, my passion for reading remained and I just could not stay away. It has become in integrated part of my life.
Reviewing is because I love talking about books with others. I love to recommend great titles as well so it was a good blend to do. Reviewing was the easy answer especially as not many people in my personal circle are that into reading yet the online community is so vast.
Many of my readers love reading m/m blogs but what makes yours unique compared to others?
Well for my blog, it is not just m/m books. I read and review just about anything. I have a huge range of genre’s I like. So my blog has a very diverse feel to it that some say borders on eccentric. I just read what catches my interest.
I love to get feedback from others. Even negative feedback, requests, etc. While it will never be conformed to others wishes, I do take my followers desires into consideration. I also spend a lot of time responding to comments. I feel if someone takes the time to read my post and comment, the least I can do is respond.
Define success as a m/m blogger and reviewer.
For me, when I write a review and someone buys the book and then later lets me know they love it and appreciated my review, those are the best moments as a blogger and reviewer.
The small joys are when one takes the time to comment on my blog, of FB page, Twitter or emails me. Those small moments can make my day.
What are some of the best m/m books you’ve read this year?
This year I have been finishing J.L. Langley’s ‘With or Without’ series. I am addicted to it.
What would you like to see more in m/m literature you don’t see now?
Some darker plot-lines would be nice. Suspense, horror, tragic death, etc. I want to be on the edge of my seat more and I am struggling to find that level of plot excitement with m/m novels. Maybe I am just not finding them so if you know of any, let me know!
What advice can you give to aspiring m/m reviewers and bloggers?
If you want to review, do it. You can review on sites like goodreads, amazon, B&N, etc without blogging if blogging is too much. If you want to get into blogging, go for it! Read what YOU want to read. If you become pressured to always keep up with fellow bloggers it is easy to get overwhelmed plus you can miss those hidden book treasures that others didn’t bother with. Some of my favorite books are by Indie Authors few have heard of yet.