It’s such a great pleasure to interview today World of Diversity Fiction founder Sean Norris and reviewer Jay Chase. Their unique blog features reviews on different genres mainly with sexual orientation pairings. If you’re looking for a sexy and a well maintained resource that has a lot of great quality reviews, I recommend you check out their blog!
Tell us about you and your website. Where can we read it?
My name is Sean and I’ve always enjoyed reading. I actually stopped reading from 2000-2002 until just four years ago. I never knew about GLBT books out there until I was introduced by a friend of my partner’s and I eventually grown fond of reading more books. I joined a review site, Hearts on Fire to review the books for them. I realized that reviewing site is something I truly want to start my own. Deciding the name for the review site was a challenging task. I wanted my review name to be something that hint viewers that the review will take absolutely any type of books. It’s mainly sexual orientation pairings. It applies to genres as well. That’s where decided World of Diversity Fiction to be a brand name for my reviewing site. It is on http://www.wodfreview.com and I make sure the navigating is as simple as possible for any type of users that go on my site. So far, I haven’t heard any complaint about it. That’s a start! My review team is small at the moment but they’re like a family to me. Monika, Lynn, and Jay are currently the review members of World of Diversity Fiction. You can read all about their biography at http://www.wodfreview.com/reviewers.html
What got you started as a blogger or reviewer?
Jay: Reviewing just kind of happened for me. I was talking with my BFF who has been reviewing books for a while. She convinced me that I would be good at it and should give it a try. I decided why not I was pretty much doing it already so here I am.
Sean: As I mentioned in question #1, I learned a lot about how the review works when I review books for Hearts on Fire (http://heartsonfirereviews.com). It makes me love reviewing the books. Hence the World of Diversity Fiction comes into existence.
Why are you passionate about reading and reviewing m/m books?
Jay: I have always been an avid reader. In February of 2012 I discovered the M/M genre and haven’t looked back. Being gay and a romantic at heart I love escaping into the lives of the characters that these authors create for us. The reviewing part just came along for the ride. After I finish a good story I like sharing it with others and if I can help promote one of these amazing works to others I am content.
Sean: I love to read. That’s the main reason why I’m passionate about reading and reviewing the books. I want to be able to help authors out by letting them know what were my thoughts about their books for both negative and positive reviews. I always make sure I review the books as honest as possible without hurting any authors’ feelings. At the same time, I’m an author myself writing under different name and I knew review is one of the best ways to promote authors’ work. Knowing I was able to provide that for them put a great feeling on me.
Many of my readers love reading m/m blogs but what makes yours unique compared to others?
Sean: World of Diversity Fiction is true to its name. We review absolutely anything. May it be lesbian fiction, horror, bisexual, even trans* and much more. We don’t limit to a certain topic. We welcome all books including the self-published authors.
How often do you post m/m reviews?
Jay: I go in waves with my reviews. Sometimes I will turn out several in a week and then other times it will be weeks before I write one. A lot has to do with what is happening is the real world of work and family.
Sean: I tried to post at least a review once day five days a week Monday through Friday. It depends on my and my review team’s schedule whether they were able to complete the review and have it in my file in advance. We don’t limit to book reviews. We do post blog tour, guest blog, release day, and so on. As for myself, it depends on the length of the book. Some of books could go up to 800 pages. It takes time to get lost in the novel’s world.
What are some of the best m/m books that you’ve read all year?
Jay: This a tough one, I have read about 130 works so far this year with a lot of amazing creations by talented authors. My top favorites this year include but are by no means limited to:
The Men of Myth series by Brandon Witt
The Memories of the Human Wraiths series by F.E. Feeley Jr
The coming about series by J.K. Hogan
The Dark Horse series by Kate Sherwood
Hummm, guess I have a thing for series.
Sean: It definitely is much harder to choose which books was my favorite of 2014. To name a few:
Modern Serpents Talk Things Through by Jamie Brindle
The Gift by A.F. Henley
Godhead by Ken Mooney
Master series by Jane Bled
Incursion by Aleksandr Voinov
There are couple more but that’s what I can think of at the moment.
What would you like to see more of in m/m literature that you don’t see now?
Jay: I don’t have a creative bone in my body so for me it is about connecting with the characters and with the plot. Do I understand them, do I feel for them, do I want to hug or slap them. The story doesn’t have to be all rainbows and unicorns so to speak but make me feel for them. A good story will either anger me, make me feel all gooey, or make me cry. Even better yet make me feel all these emotions.
Sean: I actually can’t think of a thing that I haven’t see in M/M literature. I mainly prefer the books to be more of plot than the steamy scenes, although, they are awesome scenes to read. I love being lost in the world the author had created.
What are tips you can give to aspiring reviewers and bloggers?
Jay: Review because you enjoy it. Be honest and if you have to be negative about a work remember that it is someone’s baby so be constructive don’t just lash out. Finally, don’t stress about it. For me anyways reviewing comes after a 50 or 60 hour work week so finding the time to read and review can be challenging but so rewarding as well.
Sean: I agree with Jay. Don’t review the books because you were forced to. Review the book because you want to. How can you post an honest review if you were forced to read them? Also, be honest. Don’t be too harsh because like Jay said it’s someone’s baby. It’s true. From my experience as an author, seeing my work out there is the hardest thing to do. Just imagine yourself having a child and they’re turning 18 and head off to college. You worry about their safety. It’s pretty much the similar of how authors in general would feel when they release the books to the readers.
To create your own review site, make sure you have someone with good knowledge with web developing and designing. Make sure the website is as clear as possible because not everyone is an Internet savvy.