I have the great opportunity to interview young blogger and reviewer Rochella Duijs. Her blog features different reviews of books. If you’re looking for reviews on YA books with a LGBT theme, I suggest you check her blog out!
Tell us about you and your gay romance blog. Where can we read it?
My blog is a mixture of everything. I’m currently 20 years old and still have a weakness for YA fiction, so that is what you’ll mostly find on the blog. I try to combine it with LGBT most of the time, though I do find it hard to find YA LGBT books. Besides that I also review M/M fiction, usually realistic stories. And once in a while you can find some supernatural fiction on my blog.
You can find it on iamaloserkidreviews.blogspot.com.
What got you started as a m/m blogger or reviewer?
I’ve loved reading for as long I can remember. About three and a half years ago I discovered Goodreads and that was where reviewing started for me. I was 16 and only read YA fiction (with the forced literary fiction from High School). However, I was also reading quite some fan fiction (mostly m/m). I think that already started when I was around 12 or 13 years old. Through Goodreads I discovered that first of all m/m fiction really existed and second, how much of it there really was. The M/M Romance group on Goodreads helped me discover all these books and stories and how they could all be mixed with many genres and it was like a new world opened for me. After reviewing on Goodreads for a while I decided to share my opinion more and started a blog.
Why are you passionate about reading and reviewing m/m books?
I love discovering new things and I do that partly through my blog. I read reviews by other bloggers, hear what they like or didn’t like about books I’ve reviewed and I love that there is a whole blogger community. I find that with M/M books there are many writers and books that are barely known and it’s amazing when you find a gem and can write about it and let other people discover it as well. I’m also just passionate about LGBT in general and will fight for their rights until the day I die and m/m fiction is a part of that as well.
Many of my readers love reading m/m blogs but what makes yours unique compared to others?
I guess that I have a whole YA aspect to my blog. Quite some books I’ve reviewed are books with characters either just discovering they are gay or having their first gay experience. It’s something that many LGBT people can relate to. I also try to find many books that aren’t that well known. You won’t find many of the popular books on my blogs.
Define success as a m/m blogger and reviewer.
Success is enjoying what you do. Of course, the amount of subscribers and views are important to keep you motivated, but if you love what you do than that is a success in itself. Added to that I also think success is letting people understand what M/M fiction really is. I think some people are a bit wary of it, but once they see it’s pretty much like regular fiction just with two men, I think they’ll be more accepting of it.
What are some of the best m/m books you’ve read this year?
Luckily I don’t just have to choose one, because I find it already difficult to just pick a few.
If I Told You So by Timothy Woodward
Just Between Us by J.H. Trumble.
Glitterland by Alexis Hall
Beneath Angel’s Wings by E. Summers
The Hollywood Version by Harry K. Malone
What would you like to see more in m/m literature you don’t see now?
I guess I do want to see some more YA LGBT fiction. Some of the books I’ve read are quite stereotypical and that is definitely one thing I would like to see less. I also would like to see more fiction where it’s about the actual feelings and less about sex. Quite some writers find it important to have a sex scene in their book, but with some stories it doesn’t add much and can even make the actual romance less believable. It’s all about balance and I want to see more of that.
What advice can you give to aspiring m/m reviewers and bloggers?
Just do it! In the beginning I was afraid no one would read it, but I just started and people ended up reading my blog. I did need to get my blog out there in the beginning so I do cross-post on multiple sites linking to my blog. I also participated in a couple blog hops which is also a great way to promote your blog (and discover new blogs).