Averages 8 books a month
Some authors don’t read. As a reviewer do you read the reviews of others? Yes! The majority of my book purchases are based upon reviews of my colleagues. I read a lot of reviews on Amazon if a reviewer is unknown to me I always check to see what other books they reviewed and do we share similar opinions of the books we’ve read in common. I’m skeptical of any reviewer who only reviewed one book or if all of their reviews are 5 stars. Honestly there’s no way every book you’ve ever reviewed has been a five star read.
If you could change anything about the reviewing process, what would it be? I’d like to take away the viewpoint that if a reviewer didn’t enjoy the book then they are hating on the author. A review is just someone stating their opinion, since when did stating become hating? Some authors have rabid fan bases that automatically go into attack mode when you don’t give them the rating that they think the book deserved. I don’t like it but I tolerate it, but when an author displays the same behavior it’s inexcusable.
Do you feel black women are accurately portrayed in literature? If you feel the portrayal is inaccurate, what would you like to see instead? It actually depends on what genre you’re reading. In urban/street lit there’s a strong tendency towards stereotypical characters leading readers to believe that the hood is filled with perfect ten women who all are mixed with another race and seemingly possess big bottoms and long hair down their backs. In contemporary lit the females are beautiful but they usually have other issues relating to self esteem. The most well rounded female characters seem to be found in Christian literature. I would love to see average women more on display but it’s fiction and most people fantasize about women that aren’t typical. This extends beyond literature because it’s apparent in Hollywood where all leading ladies have to be fine. But in defense the same stereotypical characterization is applied to male characters as well because 90% of the male characters in literature are described as well endowed no matter what genre you’re reading. Proving that average doesn’t fare well in almost any aspect of literature.
What would you like to see more of coming from male/female authors in regards to women? I’d love to see more women in novels raising children that appreciate the struggle their mothers did working hard to support them usually without a father figure. The appreciation should be viewed in male characters who don’t hit the block because of this but honor that their mother didn’t work all those years to raise a drug dealer but someone who would respect their mother’s efforts by becoming a respectful member of society. Too often having a single mother in novels is the reason given for male characters turning to a life of crime or for female characters engaging in loose behavior for financial gains. This fosters a very negative portrayal of women being unable to raise successful children without a man and we all know that this is not true.
If you could drive one point across to all authors, what would it be and why? A point I’d love to drive home besides editing is sequels. It’s becoming far too common and I think it’s being used as a ploy by authors to keep readers supporting their future endeavors. Authors need to know that if a reader enjoys your book that alone will propel them to purchase future books by you. I’ve read books that were so good that it made me go out and purchase previous books written by the author. Good material is all that’s needed to garner a fan base when a book has more than 3 parts to me it’s overkill and I begin to lose interest in the characters. It takes a special type of author to develop characters interesting enough to last more than three installments. (i.e. Al Saadiq Banks & K’wan Foye)
If an author/publisher is interested in having you review their material, what should they know about you as a reviewer? That I’m going to actually read your book and write a fair review whether it be negative or positive. Even with the negative reviews I can hopefully find something positive to commend the author on.