Interview With Sinfully Sexy Book Reviewers Mark and Macky

CaptureIt was a lively and fun experience interviewing M/M reviewers Mark and Macky. Their blog features a lot of high quality and comprehensive reviews on different sexy and romance books and most are in the M/M genre. Not only will you be seeing reviews, they also feature a lot of giveaways, free reads, releases and so much more! If you’re looking for a blog maintained by a group of highly professional, fun loving, and passionate reviewers, I strongly recommend you check theirs out. Get ready for a mind blowing and enjoyable time!

Tell us about you and your gay romance blog. Where can we read it?

Mark: Well, ah ……. on the internet? – lol – sorry just couldn’t resist that one 🙂 So seriously, if you wish to look us up just go to Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews and there you’ll find Macky and myself, along with our other fellow bloggers, Monique, Becs, Lisa and Lorrie, all busily blogging our little hearts out to bring our readers great reviews, giveaways, interviews, video author readings, daily releases and much more. So come on over and check us out. As to where else you can follow us and keep up on what’s going on I’ll leave that to Macky. OK, Macky where can our readers also find us?  Time to test those old grey memory cells my luv 🙂

Macky: Hahahaha…memory cells? What are those??? Oh yeah…damn you Marky, you stole my line!!!! You’ll find us on Facebook with our Sinfully Sexy Facebook page, we’re now active on Google+, and of course Twitter. We also have some amazing boards on Pinterest, you guys should really check those out and be prepared for a cold shower after viewing our gorgeous men. BUT…DRUMROLL…we now have our YouTube Channel too where you can check out some fabulous author readings and video interviews. We love our YouTube Channel! If you pop over you’ll get to see our gorgeous Marky giving everyone a big welcome hug. You’ll have to bring your own popcorn though!

Mark: Well done Macky, I’m seriously impressed – looks like those old grey cells are still active – lol! More social networks than you can shake a stick at – lol – and something there to cater for all tastes and interests. Of course all these are really just the doors or portals to the blog itself that’s where it is really all happening and you see everything in one place.

What got you started as a m/m blogger or reviewer?

Macky: Well for me blogging is a fairly new experience. I’ve been an avid reader all my fifty plus years but up to discovering M/M I’d never written a review in my life, let alone thought about it. Write a review? Me? What??? Hahaha…Then I bought my first e-reader, discovered ebooks, moved on to a Kindle, discovered Gay romance, had my major flappy handed “OMG! I love this genre” epiphany and voila! My first ever review on Amazon that then lead me to Goodreads where I made some great friendships in this brilliant M/M community including Mark and Monique. From then on, reviewing as I read just became an automatic thing on GR and I guess the rest is history! Today Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews…tomorrow…THE WORLD. Muahahahahaha!!! Over to you Mark…..

Mark: HAHA – thanks Macky, as for me like most things it was never a conscious decision, I just fell into it. I first started on GoodReads and then discovered the M/M community so to speak. I originally was just looking for an iPhone app to keep track of the books I’ve read. Then I saw there was a whole internet site behind it and made a few friends who liked the same books. Looking at the reviews from others decided that maybe I should try and write something rather than just marking the book as “read” giving it stars and moving on. It wasn’t long until Monique approached me after reading some of my reviews and asked if I would like to give blogging a go. Well, I had never even heard of blogging, so with Monique’s help my learning curve initially shot through the roof and here I am today. At least that’s the quick version. So as you can see it was Monique that was pretty much the catalyst for both of us and we’ve never looked back. At least that’s the short version. We’re blaming it all on Monique anyway – lol! It can be quite addictive and once you are hooked there’s no going back.

Why are you passionate about reading and reviewing m/m books?

Macky: Oh that’s an easy one for me Mark, what about you? Quite simply I fell in love with this amazeballs genre, it’s awesome authors and it’s close family of fans, the moment I discovered it and felt that tingle of excitement you get when you know you’ve finally found your niche. Now it’s my quest to make everyone else feel the same! To be able to waffle on about something you love with a passion, to people who are just as enamoured as yourself and “get it”, while hopefully converting others along the way, is just the best thing ever!!! It’s official..I’m a M/M-aholic and proud of it! LOL.

Mark: Well, I think Macky and I love a bit of waffling – lol – especially when you have discovered a passion for something. So waffling coming up………. Again I just fell into it. Got my first Kindle for a birthday present a couple of years ago and was browsing for something to read. Until recently I was reading more mainstream historical novels, thrillers, crime, etc. However, being a gay man I never really thought about “gay romance” didn’t think it existed, especially growing up as a teeanager in the early eighties, try to find a “gay romance” novel back then! It was like looking for hen’s teeth – lol!

Anyway, as I was browsing on Amazon for my next read stumbled across my first M/M novel ever, it was Marie Sexton’s Sinners and Saints. Thinking that “gay romance” must be a little trashy, a little like reading something from Barbara Cartland with a gay slant thought to myself, “Oh, what the hell. It’s not going to cost me a fortune so lets give it a go. ” obviously accompanied with a cynical eye roll. Well, once I started the book it blew me away!! I was so impressed with the amount of emotion, the great plot, the balance and tension between the characters and the writing; that was it! Immediately looked for the next one and have never looked back.

I discovered a whole M/M community and all the wonderful, talented authors out there who are writing seriously good shit – lol! I just wanted to let all my friends know about these great books I was reading. How they make me feel, how great the stories and the plots are, how some can rip your heart out and others leave you hating characters. A book that can make me feel is a hit!!! The same as Macky really.

It’s a far cry from the early eighties. So I guess I’m trying to make up for lost time and feel I can play my part in getting the word out there and hopefully giving all those authors that little bit of recognition they truly deserve.

Many of my readers love reading m/m blogs but what makes yours unique compared to others?

Mark: ooohh, really difficult question with everything being all linked up, online and networked today I tend to think the word “unique” when related to an idea is possibly a relatively redundant term. It’s all about finding your unique image or brand and marketing that.

As for what makes us unique? Well, I like to think that what possibly makes us “unique” under the M/M blogs is that we aren’t solely a dedicated M/M blog, we are also M/F and anything else that tickles our fancy. Monique, Macky and I look after the M/M side of things and Becs, Lisa and Lorrie look after the M/F side of things reading and reviewing wise. But we all work great as a team and have such a laugh at times, it’s a little like an extended family. Also there is no room for bigotry or prejudice in our Sinfully Sexy world, with us love deserves respect no matter the gender and this is the main message we like to bring across. I’m the only man on the blog which makes me the only gay in the village, but there you go, the girls are fantastic and I reckon I get spoilt rotten by them too. Don’t I Macky?

Macky: Yes you do Marky but that’s because you’re our Gay!! LOL…BUT back to the question. WELL…you only have to read the name of the blog! What people don’t know is that it’s really named after the Sinfully SEXtet not the type of books. OMG! We’re just sex on legs the lot of us…our middle names are “RAWR”. It just seemed obvious for a group of hawt, sexy, Mo Fo’s to get together and share the love! Hahahaha. And we’ve got Marky!!!! Swoon…but seriously, I think one thing that is different is the amount of reviewers. There’s only six of us, three for each team, so our output may not be prolific in terms of the number of posts per day but we’re proud of the quality of our reviews. For us it’s all about the quality rather than the number of posts. We do love to showcase posts with our graphics which we take great pride in too and kudos for those goes to our lovely artistic Monique, as she rocks that side of the M/M team reviews. Considering how far apart we all are in terms of distance, there isn’t a day that goes past that we don’t talk to each other in some form or another and Mark, Monique and myself have met, done a lot of laughing and truly bonded in person as well. We aren’t just fellow bloggers, we’re best buddies too and I think that comes across in our posts and joint reviews.

Mark:  Absolutely Macky, …..luvs ya too babes – mwah XX. What really delights us sometimes too is when through our reviews an M/F reader tries their first M/M read. More often than not they write back and say how much they enjoyed it and will not be their last M/M now they have dipped their toes. Due to this we have seen how the number of M/M readers are increasing constantly and we like to think we’re playing our little part in introducing new readers to M/M; a little like saying, “Welcome to the point of no return – mwuahaha!” Once bitten by M/M there’s no going back! There are a lot of great M/M blogs out there and all trying to find something unique on the net which I believe is somewhat of a tall order. Even if you have had an original idea you can guarantee as soon as you put it out there you find someone will have thought about it too – lol! That’s the way it is, but Sinfully Sexy like to try and stay ahead of the game as best we can.

Define success as a m/m blogger and reviewer.

Mark: Oohhh, where the hell do I start with this one Macky? HELP! Thanks for leaving me to kick off this question! I would say just take a look at the pair of us – lol! Sorry Jamie, I’m afraid Macky and I can’t be serious for one minute – puts on straight face – well as straight as it can get for a gay man, probably looks more pouty than series – lol! Stop it Mark – serious now.

I suppose for me the definition of success is when your name as a reviewer and blogger gets around and then the authors want to be on your blog. This may sound quite conceited but it’s not really meant like that, it’s actually very flattering and I feel humbled every time an author gives me his / her work to read and review. It must be like giving your baby to King Herod to look after. But we are very gentle with the babies given to us and will never write anything, scathing, insulting, sarcastic or rude in a review. All feedback needs to be constructive and diplomatic.  I haven’t had to buy a book for two years – lol! The only trouble is the number of hours in the day. I would like to seriously review every book we are requested to do, but it isn’t possible or realistic considering that we’re inundated with requests on a daily basis. So we try and spread ourselves around as best we can and hope people understand that this is something we do as a hobby in our free time fitting it around, jobs, family, friends and RL. I would love to be able to make enough money out of this to give up my day job and just read, review and blog until I retire dreamy eyes – So how did I do Macky? Over to you now and no comments about spreading ourselves about – lol!

Macky: Hahahahahaha …sorry I’m just picturing Mark doing the pouty thing!!! tries to compose self…fails miserably! I’d love to just say “What Pouty Marky said” LOL…but that’s a cop out so I’ll be a good girl and just say that seeing more and more readers turning to m/m and loving it is what warms the cockles for me. If I’ve been a small part of that then that’s a success in my eyes but of course it’s great to see those hits on your blog site too. And the fact that members who subscribe take time to read our musings and leave lovely comments is just as amazing.

What are some of the best m/m books you’ve read this year?

Mark: oh shit, where the hell do I start? No fair! OK, I guess I’m going to make quick work of this question believe it or not. On our blog we have a monthly Hot Picks post and this is where we all choose the one book that has spoken to us the most that month. But even then it’s a seriously tough choice. I would say check out our Hot Picks 2014 page and there you’ll see what we consider to be some of the best M/M books this year. Each month when we have the Hot Picks post there is also a giveaway and the chance for five lucky winners to choose one of the books from that month’s list – sorry, do I get told off now for advertising? OK Macky, go for it girl…….

Macky: Hahahaha! Nicely fielded Marky…okay, I’m also in “Oh shit” mode because I’m a real wuss when it comes to singling actual books and authors out. How do you pick out of all the amazing books we get to read when they’re all favourites anyway?!? But I’m going to put my big girl pants on, get all bloggy and pick a few out that really did WOW me this year. The first is a no brainer as I still get chills and tummy flips thinking about this series of books: Don’t, Antidote & Breakdown from an author who consistently knocks my socks off and that’s Jack L Pyke. Dark, psychological mind fuckery that if you’re into that side of the genre is difficult to beat. Boy can that woman get my heart racing!  I also fell hard for the fantastic Borders Wars series by S.A. McAuley, a surprising gem called Clipped by Devon McCormack, everything I read by John Inman who just makes me snort out loud aswell as cry in every book he writes and the My Brothers Keeper series by Adrienne Wilder and her psychological masterpiece; Complimentary Colours. But honestly there’ve been so many I could go on listing them for days. All loved and all recommended…and all on the blog of course if you want to check out why! LOL…see I’m doing some blatant blog pimping now! <winks>

What would you like to see more in m/m literature you don’t see now?

MACKY: OOOOH… Gay Transformers…you don’t see those much do you? Mmmmmm…mechanical man love with interconnecting parts that really do need lube!!! Even if it is WD40! Just think about the size of the exhaust pipe on a Hummer! Eeeeeek! Optimus Prime eat your heart out…

Errr Marky…did I interpret that question right….?

Mark: OMG!…….Macky!…..tears rolling down cheeks……you just crack me up! Gay Transformers – ROFL!!! I’ll never be able to look at a can of WD40 in the same light ever again!!- HAHAHA! Sorry guys, just let me count to five to gather my thoughts ……1…….2……..3…………4………5…..

So what would I like to see more of? Well, to be honest I really can’t think of anything. There are so many M/M sub-genres out there now I think nearly every taste is pretty much catered for even down to M/M tentacle sex which to be honest is something that goes completely beyond my own personal comprehension, but there you go, each to their own. Live and let live. So I’ll go with Macky’s Gay Transformers …… HAHAHA….. still laughing. If you write the book Macky, I’m reviewing!

What advice can you give to aspiring m/m reviewers and bloggers?

Macky: Honestly, I’ve not been doing this long enough to give advice as such, I’m still very much the novice…also known as total blog numpty as Mark and Monique know from my many cries of “HELP!!!” but what I will say is if the spirit moves you, or in our case a bloody good book; what the hell…just go for it! I never thought I had it in me to do this but here I am. Reading books I adore, reviewing on an amazing book blog and having the best time doing it! I get to pick the books I want to read, talk to and at times get to actually meet authors who I totally fangirl, receive ARC’s of books before they hit the public: What’s not to love! If I can do it, anyone can. NO…REALLY!!! Hahahaha…

Mark: As always I see I’m bringing up the rear (no pun intended) with the last word, thanks Macky.  Everything Macky says really, but it has to be a passion. I would say always be fair in your reviews and never negative. When giving feedback make sure it’s constructive and diplomatic. The other key word is organisation ~ our blog diary is planned like a military manoeuvre, posts have to be out on time, always remain interactive and communicative with your readers and authors. Have a plan and go for it, but above all enjoy it!

Jamie Lake is the author of Bad Boy: Naughty at Night and other m/m gay romance novels.

      

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