This week, I had the pleasure of interviewing Megan of @Queenbee_reads. Megan is a working mother, blogger, romancestagrammer, and master of elimination style polls ranging from Hottest Nerds to Ultimate Book Boyfriend, and all the glorious craziness in between.
What got you into romance? Do you remember the first romance you ever read?
I, like the rest of the world, jumped on the Twilight and Fifty Shades trains and I rode them fast and hard. I had definitely read romance before that but these are what truly got me into the genre. While I don’t read a ton of fantasy or BDSM these days, I think what drew me to them (besides the romance) was the fact that they were series. I LOVE a good romance series. Standalones are fine, but a continuation of one couple’s story from book to book really gets me excited!
What inspired you to start your account?
I had been getting a some ARCs here and there for a couple years. I would post about them on Goodreads, FB, and Insta, but the more I received the more I started thinking about starting a blog. When I found out bookstagram was a thing, I figured that would be a way to kind of ease into the whole blog world. And if you want to know a secret, the blog is a good time, but bookstagram is way more fun!
As a working mother, I imagine it’s hard to find time to breathe, let alone read. Do you view reading as a method of self-care? Is it something you prioritize?
ONE HUNDRED AND TEN PERCENT. Look, who run the world? Girls, sure. But mostly, moms. Moms run the world, and do all the things, and I love my son and my husband more than anything but after a full day of working, and momming, and wifing, I need my couch and my book, and no further questions, please and thank you. This is for sure my favorite form of self-care. Even if the book I’m reading is stressful or suspenseful or whatever… my brain gets a break. I get to forget about what I can get my picky kid to eat tomorrow, or the huge pile of papers I left on my desk at work, and get consumed in someone else’s relationship and drama for a little bit. Reading is a huge priority to me and sure, some days and months I don’t get to read as much as I’d like, but I start to get a little itchy if I go too long without my nose in a book.
What is the romance book you recommend to everybody and why?
The SECOND someone tells me they enjoy reading romance, the first words out of my mouth are, “OMG PLEASE TELL ME YOU’VE READ THE HATING GAME AND IF YOU HAVEN’T I WOULD LOVE TO PERSONALLY SEND YOU A COPY OKAY??” That book is an actual masterclass in rom-coms and everyone should read it. Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.
What is your reviewing process like? What do you take into consideration when rating a book? Steam, story, characters, etc?
I try to take a few notes while I’m reading. Sometimes it’ll just be by highlighting it on my Kindle, sometimes I’ll take to the notes app in my phone, or put tabs in my physical books. I definitely take the story, character development, and plot into consideration while reviewing. I don’t usually factor steam into my review. I mean, I want all the steam all the time, but I won’t rate a book lower for not enough steam unless I felt like it could’ve moved the story along or helped a character arc.
What has been one of your favorite “bookstagram moments,”? Perhaps a really great chat/post about a book? Or one of your infamous polls? Receiving a certain ARC or developing a relationship with a particular author?
Well, I will never forget your review of The Major’s Welcome Home. “BECK IS A VIRGIN!” That’s the moment I fell in love with you, after all [Author’s note: Megan is referencing this review I did on a virgin hero where I was the most extra person ever]. But yes, my polls have been so fun and I think one of my favorite moments was when I felt comfortable enough with all my followers to confess that I have a huge crush on Woody Harrelson and that’s when the poll game was born. People get so into them and intense about them and NEED everyone to love THEIR book boyfriend as much as they do and it just cracks me up! I’ve also had so much fun doing the Day in the Life Bookstagammer link-ups and giveaways with other bookstagrammers. I’ve also really enjoyed the relationships I’ve made with several indie authors after reading and promoting their books. Those ladies hustle so hard and the ones I’ve gotten to know are some of the loveliest people I’ve ever met.
What is one of your biggest bookstagram pet-peeves?
Oh man… I really try to let things roll off my shoulders for the most part, but sometimes ya’ just have to go off on your stories for a minute you know? Most recently, this nonsense about people bragging about the arcs they get or how many arcs they get is complete and utter nonsense and I am one hundred percent not here for it.
When it comes to the more intimate parts of romance, do you like the steam or would you prefer a more fade to black situation?
I need all the steam. I want it coming out of my ears. Fade to black is like a slap in the face to me.
Is there any advice you would want to tell authors that seek bookstagrammers out to review ARCs or books?
Like I mentioned before, I have made some lovely indie author friends via Bookstagram, and the reason why I love these gals is because we have an understood and mutual respect for each other. It’s a big deal to entrust your work to someone, but it’s also a big responsibility for the reader to take the time to read and review and post about it. I think that if both the author and the reader approach the process with a clear and open mind, the experience is going to be way better than if you just blindly send someone your book. Not everyone is going to like your book. Not every reader is going to get chosen to receive an arc. If we all just know and understand that going in, everything is going to be fine.
What are you currently reading and what has been your best read so far this year?
Ooh! I just started American Queen, the first in the New Camelot Trilogy and I am LOVING it! I think the best book I’ve read so far this year was The Locker Room by Meghan Quinn. Knox Gentry is the epitome of a cinnamon roll hero and I loved him SO SO MUCH!
What trope is your catnip?
Oh man, I LOVE enemies to lovers. LOVE IT! But I gotta say, sometimes the burn is a little too slow for me. The perfect enemies to lovers will totally include some hate sex in the middle. PLEASE I BEG YOU do not make me wait until the last 50 pages for the good stuff! I also really love a good sports romance (I do not particularly enjoy sports so this is a mystery to me), and I lose my ever-loving mind over single-dad romances.
What does the romance genre mean to you? (aka, why do you love it?)
I could go on and on about how I like to live vicariously through other people’s lives. I could talk about how, as someone who has been married for six years, and with my husband for nearly 10 years, I love watching people fall in love because it takes me back to that time in my life. But the short answer is, I love romance because it entertains me and it makes me feel good.