Behind the Bookshelf: Interview with a bookseller, Ravena James

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Meet Ravena, a bookseller's bookseller. This lady is passionate about books and will think nothing of spending hours with a customer, trying to find the perfect book for them. She also refuses to give up on her belief that there is a piece of fanfic or graphic novel for everyone. When she's not working at the day job, she slings books at a local Barnes & Noble on Sundays and Wednesdays and harbors a not-so-secret desire to open her own bookstore one day.

What are you currently reading? Thoughts on it?

Calculated in Death. It's the latest by J.D. Robb and since this is by far my most favorite author I believe it's amazing. This is book 44 of this series if I'm not mistaken and while some authors manage to ruin characters or resort to the worst sort of Mary Sue by this time, J.D. Robb still manages to have well plotted stories with characters that we're always happy to read about and murders that are just grisly enough to leave your wondering how mankind has managed to survive this long.

What books are you most looking forward to this year? 

Oooh, this is a hard one. The next JD Robb one (there are two, one around my birthday, the next one in the fall). Beyond that, the book I was anticipating for this year came out in March and I devoured it thusly, so there's nothing else that I've looked up that I know is coming out this year. Authors that I'm hoping (and probably are) pubbing stuff this year that I'll pick up: Lauren Dane, Megan Hart, Jaci Burton, Cynthia Eden, and Inez Kelley to start. And then there's the fanfic...don't even get me started.

Did you set any reading goals for 2013? If so, what are they?

Every year I say I'm not going to do this and then in the back of my mind I do it anyway. So what's floating there is 150 books. I always reach it, but I don't always log it like I say I'm going to, but this year, I'm trying really really REALLY hard to log it.

What three characters would you invite to the juice bar for a drink? 

Dee Ann Smith (though she would hate it and would sneer at me for it), Cony, Eric Northman (as penned by EIM). The first character Dee Ann Smith is from Shelley Laurenston's Big Bad Beast. Cony is one of the two male parent set from The Englor Affair by J.L. Langley, and Eric Northman is from True Blood/SVM series by Charlaine Harris, but rewritten into fanfic by EricizMine.

If you could convince any two authors to write a book together, who would it be? Why?

This is a dream for me...a far long denied dream. I would love to see what Darynda Jones and Ilona Andrews would cook up. The brand of crazy that they write from would blend so well in my mind. Both write heroines who will do the wrong thing...will own doing the wrong thing and will persist in doing it, but will do the wrong thing if it means saving the life of someone else. They also have the weirdest shit happen around them and never bat an eye.

What's the most annoying book you see flying off the shelves?

50 fricking shades of gray. And I'm sorry to say I bought this before I did enough research for it. While it's doing wonders for opening up the erotic romance genre, it's spinning such horrible horrible lies about the BDSM world and how relationships play out there and shows it more as deviency than an actual choice...and then the writing is the worst sort of purple prose that I've ever suffered through.

If you could give people one piece of advice to prep them for entering a bookstore, what would it be?

Know what you want, but, be open to trying something you've never read.