Thursday, January 19, 2012

Blogger in the Spotlight... Books & Beyond

This week I'm pleased to introduce Fran of Books & Beyond who will be starring in this week's Blogger in the Spotlight.

Big welcome, Fran.

Fran's author spotlight:

V.C. Andrews’s first book “Flowers in the Attic” was rejected until V.C. “punched” it up a bit. She did just that, and in 1979 was paid 7,500$ USD for her manuscript. A mere 2 weeks after its release it flew to the top of all the best seller lists. They called it the “new generation’s gothic novel”. Not without controversy however, adult themes, murder, incest, and child abuse, were found throughout V.C.’s breakout novel.
Needless to say all follow up manuscripts earned double & triple what the first did. Movie deals were in the works too. V.C.’s novels have universal appeal & people of all ages & backgrounds can’t get enough of her novels.
Her novels drew me into worlds I never imagined before, adult content aside, I dreamed of becoming a prima ballerina, traveled the world, experienced a New Orleans no one ever has, sang on stage, got married, created a garden in my inside playroom, cried at the death of a sibling, I laughed, cried and raged with the characters I grew to love novel after novel, series after series. I fell in love alongside of them, and out of it too.
No matter my real life struggles I knew V.C.’s stories would help me escape for a little while & help me decompress. I even toyed with the idea of becoming a writer just like V.C. Andrews.
“My Sweet Audrina” will always be a favorite of mine. It was so hauntingly beautiful it lingered in my mind for a long time after I closed the book. Even now I see the story in my mind & remember the intense emotions I felt while reading it as a young teenage girl.
V.C. (Virginia) died in 1986 from Breast Cancer complications at the age of 63. Her family worked closely with a mystery writer to finish her unfinished manuscripts and he created a few new series under her name. She was his muse, but it was obvious when her actual stories ended and his began. He did a rather good job completing her manuscripts. Some believe he should have stopped there. While I enjoyed the most recent works (some not as much as others) I agree it should have ended after the final manuscript was completed. Her legacy and talent will stand on their own for many, many, decades without a ghost writer selling out her ideas to conform to the 21st century.
V.C. Andrews & her novels are truly timeless. They made an impact on the literary world during a time when much of her subject matter was considered taboo. How she presented it is what made all the difference. She inspired legions of fans and authors alike and will continue to do so long after I am gone. 
Q & A with Fran:

How long have you been blogging?
Books & BeyondI began Books and Beyond last March (under a different name) after I had read a few other similar blogs. 

Why do you love blogging?
The people I have met, the things I have learned, the new books I have read, the way it has expanded me in other ways too. I have learned so much about what it takes to make a blog tick & blog design. I would love to explore blog design a bit further.
I am a bit shy; it helps me to share a bit of myself with others. I feel that I am contributing something positive to the world & that means a lot to me.
There is so much to learn & experience in the blogging world, it is fascinating. So many awesome & talented bloggers out there. 
Why did you name your blog Books & Beyond?
*smiles* I went through so much to pick that name! “As the Page Turns” was another top contender. Finally a fellow blogger named Anna from Literary Explorer helped me chose.
I knew I would include other things in my blog, not just book stuff, so it was a shoe in, Books & Beyond.  
You mentioned that you love cupcakes and lattes. Why those two items?
I am a bit greedy when it comes to cake, especially birthday cake. My Father raised me alone & learned how to bake for me. He made cupcakes mostly to monitor & limit my
Nowadays cupcakes are the “IN” treat (rightly so & bout time) I stalk my cities cupcake store weekly!
Lattes are PERFECT for/to me. I like my coffee light & sweet & strong, lattes fit right in. 

Your goal is to read 100 books this upcoming year. Why did you decide on 100?
Honestly, I like the number. Plus I read a lot & it seemed like a good solid number. 

What book are you dying to read this year?
OH MY! *pauses to Google*  Gilt (the royal circle), EVE #2 (don’t know exact title), Spellcaster (Spellbound 2), The Katarina Trilogy: The Gathering Storm, Girl of Nightmares (Anna 2), Traffiked, The Golden Lily, Torn by Cat Clarke, Hate List, Rippler, Saving the Pearls, Believe like a Child, Unwholly (Unwind 2), The Mers..To name a few. Wait  a sec..did you want me to list only ONE book? ;)
From your Book Series Lovin’, you seem to have quite a few romance/paranormal novels? Why do you like this genre?
I am a sucker for a love story & romance, when you can combine that with something cool & paranormal you got a heckuva read! Sometimes combining the two can be tricky, but the books I have loved the most perfected it. 

You also seem to have a lot of books with vampires in them. Why do you like vampire books?
tv with one of the first VCR’s (the size of a school bus!) hooked to it.

My Dad bought bargain bin VCR tapes for me & I got some old school, awesome, horror flicks. I had quite a few old school vampire & zombie flicks & comics/graphic novels too.
In 5th grade I subscribed to a Harlequin Romance Novels Book Club of the Month because I liked the free spoon set! He paid for 5 or 6 books a month for a mighty long time because I did read them & he liked the spoons too. Lolz. 
What are you currently reading and what are you going to read next?
I am reading The Mers (tour book) Spellcaster (for pleasure/review) next is Meeting Destiny (review) Rippler (review) Long Cold Winter (review) 
Anything else you think readers should know about you? 
My “Goodbye Message” would have to be: spay & neuter your pets & *virtual* hug a fellow blogger today J 
Thank you for having me on “Blogger Spotlight” today J 
Well that's all for this week's Blogger in the Spotlight. Thanks Fran for participating.  And you are more than welcome. I'm glad you allowed me to spotlight you. :)

Be sure to check out Fran's blog, Books and Beyond.

Also, if you're interested in being spotlighted, please see the Blogger in the Spotlight page. Also, I have a ton of spots open for spotlights, so please email me if you're interested.
Danica Page


  1. ツ It came out awesome Danica! Thank you for having me here today.
    I had fun with the author spotlight, so many fab authors out there but I knew V.C. was my pick. I wanted to intro her to new readers so they could check out her non ghost written novels.
    Much blogger luv to everyone this Thursday♡

  2. This is such a fun feature :)

  3. @Books and Beyond, I'm glad you think it came out awesome and that you fun doing this. I also have fun doing this.

    V.C. Andrews does sound incredible.

    @Erica, thanks I'm glad you like this feature.

  4. This is such a cool idea! I love this feature and it definitely makes me want to check out both Books & Beyond AND the books she mentioned. Thanks for sharing :)

  5. @Stepping out of the Page, thanks! I'm glad you liked this.


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