Friday, 26 April 2013

Bookworm Galore with Emily Lewis

1. Tell us about yourself and your blog.

I am Emily (AKA Mrs Mommy Booknerd)  I am the Founder of MMBBR, site manager and lead blogger of Mrs Mommy Booknerd's Book Reviews.

About me: I admit it, I am a booknerd. I love books: the feel, the smell, everything.I love to talk about books, search for books and collect books. It is one of my few passions. I like to share the gift of a good read with others. I marvel at writers and the journey they can take you on through the pages of a book. I also want good authors to get the credit and exposure they deserve.

I am a mother of 2 fantastic young boys, a booknerd, a wife, a growth and development teacher for children ages 2-5 and a fitness instructor. I am passionate about being a mother and about books. I feel instilling the love of reading in my children (and anyone else I can connect with) is giving them a lifelong gift. My husband jokes that I love books more than him. Although that is definitely not true I do love books a lot.

I am so pleased to be here today, sharing my love of all things books!!!

2. When and why did you start book blogging?

I started my blog in April 2011 on a whim. I wanted to talk to books...all the time, so I thought why not start a blog. I wanted to spread my love of reading with anyone who cared to listen. It was a slow start and has now grown drastically and I feel that I have made some wonderful friends, have read some amazing books I may not have discovered and have been able to grow my blog and add two more reviewers. It has been my hobby and passion every since the first post.

3. Name your favourite book/s and why.

I often ask this questions when I interview authors and now I know how impossible it is to answer. I always say "That was the best book ever." after I close a book and then I start another one with the same end result. I find that I get lost in each and every book I read...from 3 stars to 5 stars. I always seem to connect with some aspect of the book...the setting, a character, the dialogue, something. I feel lucky to be exposed to so many different authors and so many different genres.

I can say that I cherish my signed book collection. I sometime sit down with all my signed books and read the inscriptions, remember what I was doing when I read the book and reliving the moments in my life that each book represents. I feel like my books are snapshots of my life.

4. What do readers look for in a book?

I think that readers are naturally first drawn to a beautiful cover. It is one of the few things that visually set one book apart from another book. After the cover, I would say that readers are then drawn to the setting. It is my opinion, that if you have a great setting the characters just seem to belong there and the rest falls into place.

Reading can be quite a personal experience, so I guess it is hard to say for sure what every reader looks for. I know that I read a lot based on mood and based off what I just finished reading. But overall, I think a story with rich characters, a great setting and dialogue that is believable and relatable with create a big hit.

5. If you could pull an ‘Inkheart’, which book would you slip into and why?

Let me think....

Man, that is hard too! I am not sure I can answer with specific books. Like I said before, the answer would change based on my mood and life circumstances. There are times I would want to escape to somewhere far away and partake in a grand adventure. Other times, I would want to hang out with amazing female characters and go get into some shenanigans. Other times, I would love to travel throughout history and experience some historically significant moments. Isn't that the beauty of a can go anywhere and be anything your little heart desires!

6. What do readers absolutely despise?

Again, I can only speak for myself. But, I get very upset when I see a negative reviews, for the sake of it. I have seen reviews that say things like "I really don't like chick lit, so this books was just terrible". Why read a book you already know you won't like because of the genre and then run off and write a bad review? It seems so counterproductive to me. I feel very upset when I see people being vindictive towards an authors work without a solid basis for the opinion. I can understand that not everyone is going to love every book they read, but to take the time to write a bashing one star review seems so strange to me. I always feel that my reviews are my humble opinion and I will never intentionally go out and attack an author for writing what comes from their heart. That is why I have a policy that I will only review books I have enjoyed. My goal is to spread the word about great reads and great authors. I know the love, heart and work behind the pages of any book, so I always choose my words carefully.

7. Do you have any recommendations for authors or readers who are thinking about starting their own Blogs?
Here are my titbits of knowledge I have learned along the way:

•start slow

•reach out to authors and readers

•join blog hops

•BACK UP your blog regularly

•keep a posting calendar

•do giveaways

•post regularly

•make it our own

•make it about what you love


Thanks so much Emily! It’s really great to meet people who love and respect books as much as I do and I’m honoured to be writing for readers like you. Hey people…if you enjoyed this interview, please go to the links below to see what else Emily is up to.




Friday, 12 April 2013

Watcha Doin' with Golda Mowe

Author Bio:
I was born and raised in Sibu, Sarawak and I still live here. Following the advice of my elders, I took
up a matriculation course in Peninsular Malaysia which eventually led me to further my studies in
Japan. Seeing how well informed the Japanese people were of their own culture made me wonder
why my friends back home know so little about my Iban heritage. It took more than a decade for me
to decide to start writing Iban Dream, and it took almost as long as that to finally see it published.
You can read a synopsis of the book at
What inspired you to take up writing?
The Sarawak jungle and the Dayak culture inspire me. I love reading history books when I was
young, and the more I read about adventurers like James and Charles Brooke, as well as the work of
Benedict Sandin and Charles Hose, the more I started to believe that the gods and goddesses of Iban
folklore existed. It also didn’t hurt that I had a great-aunt who was a good storyteller and a dad who
loved to hunt.

What is the funniest thing you’ve encountered on your journey as a Storyteller?
My bad English. I’ve always been proud of my knowledge of the English language until the day I
sat down to type out a story. It took me close to two weeks to work on the short story, and when I
eventually had the courage to show it to someone, the only good thing the reader could think to say
was that there was no spelling mistake.

Which character from any book do you think you most resemble?
I would say JIM, from Joseph Conrad’s Lord Jim. Why? Because I’ve been a coward most of my
life, yet at the same time have lots of vain-glorious ideas about what I am supposed to be. Having
read the book has helped me faced my demons, so that now whenever I fantasized about doing
something, I would challenge myself to actually do it. (In fact, one of the demons I had to face was
actually finishing the book because all of Jim’s regrets and failures felt too close for comfort.)
Please tell us a little about your book or latest release. What were the challenges you faced while
writing it and bringing it onto the market?
Iban Dream is about the adventure of a headhunter in 18th century Borneo. Christianity is only 3
generations old from my Iban mother’s side of the family, so superstition is still quite thick. The first
hurdle I had to cross was the spiritual barrier, as in should I or shouldn’t I write a story with Iban gods
as characters. Then the next challenge was to find someone willing to read beyond the synopsis.
Most seemed to have a fixed idea of what to expect from this kind of story, so nothing happened for
years until I come across a publisher who was looking for Asia based stories. The e-book version has
been out since May 2012, and I expect to launch the print copy in May 2013.

Your novel Iban Dream is about an orphan boy growing up in Borneo. Do you face issues with Asian slang or certain traits that only Asians have with which Western readers might not be able to identify? How do you address these issues?
One Iban trait that I had difficulty with was their habit of referring to a parent or a grandparent based
on the name of a first child. Ibans living in the longhouse don’t call someone by their first name
after they have had a child. Since I can’t actually explain this in a story, I made a point of introducing
a child first then named the mother by her own first name, Sika. After that I introduced the other
name she is addressed by via dialogue, Indai Menjat. It took a while to plan the scene, but I feel that
it was well worth it because it allows the reader to be eased into the idea. For more visual words, I
just repeat their equivalent in English, sometimes even treating them like adjectives, e.g. blue tarum
or red engkudu dye.
What do you want your readers to feel or think after reading your novel? What message do you
want them to hold onto long after they’ve put down your book?
The Ibans have one very interesting behavior, in that, if they wish to know whether the ancient gods
would bless an important endeavor or not, they would seek to divine it via objects such as the areca
nut or the movement and call of particular species of birds. If the divination indicates ‘no’, they
would repeat the process until they get a ‘yes’. Hence my message is; a strong-willed person is
master of his own destiny because he can persuade others to support him.

Any parting words of wisdom for our readers:
Don’t just dream about what you want to do. Plan for it. There are so many opportunities open to
this generation that it would be a waste to not at least try. Only after you’ve planned, and studied
your options should you decide whether your dream is plausible.
Awesome! Thanks, Golda for an insightful interview. Readers, you can get more of Golda by following these links:
Write to me at, Email:
Read my free stories and novellas, Website:
Find writing tips, Blogsite: