Today for Blogger Love we’re going across the pond to France. There are romance readers all over Europe and Fabiola Chenet is a very active one in France, reading romance novels in both English and French. She’s a dream to work with, and writes reviews in both languages as well. Take a look!
1. When and how did you decide to become a book blogger?
I decided to review books, especially romance novels, when Agnes Caubet, who created the website Les Romantiques, launched a call for reviewers. It started in 2003 when J’ai Lu, one of the two French romance publishers at this time, began to send her their new releases each month.
2. How did you come up with your blog’s name?
I will let Agnes tell you about it. “At the time, the word “romance” was used by many American websites (The romance reader, All about romance, etc.) In France, the romance genre was still called “roman d’amour” or “roman sentimental”, which were both too long and had a negative flavour about them. I came up with “Les romantiques” which rather describes people. (In fact, it is also the name of a European artistic movement of the nineteenth century that includes Victor Hugo or Frederic Chopin, quite the reference… lol) I intended to create a community of romance readers, and the name was perfect (it’s a plural in French), we became Les Romantiques.”
3. What makes your blog unique and/or different?
Les Romantiques is not a blog. It was created in 2001 and, at the time, French publishers didn’t send their books for reviews and blogs didn’t exist. The website was created because there wasn’t any in French dedicated to romance novels. If readers wanted to know more about a book translated into French, and others published by the same author, they couldn’t find any information. That was frustrating.
Les Romantiques operates a bit like Fantasticfiction.co.uk. Except there are fewer authors and readers can rate the books. For example, here is Selena’s page: http://www.lesromantiques.com/fiche_auteur.php4 . There is only one rating for the moment, hopefully that will change soon. J Anyone can rate, even if unregistered. Les Romantiques is the only reference website in French concerning Romance.
We also have some twenty reviewers. They mainly read books published in French but, as many of our readers also read in English, we began reviewing American titles this year. The reviews are posted on our message boards in French, on our Goodreads account in English, and a short version is published in our monthly webmagazine in French. http://www.lesromantiques.com/Webzine/Flip/Free%20Version/Default.html
4. What is your “philosophy” regarding book reviews?
Generally, I only review books that I wanted to read, either because I love the author, or because I love the plot. I may love the book or dislike it, I always explain why. That doesn’t prevent me from giving it a bad grade or highly recommending it.
5. What are your favorite genres to read/review, and why?
I don’t have favourite genres. The only obligation is the HEA. And, as I said, if I like the plot, I will read the book.
6. What are your biggest turn-offs in a book? How about that special thing that always wins you over?
A BIG turn-off is when I want to slap the heroine. And I want to do it when she is obtuse, or when she rejects the hero even though he is nice. I love when heroes are nice and determined to win their soul mate’s heart. I don’t like very much when there is too much indecision on their part, unless they have a very good reason for it. One of my favourite themes is reunion, but only when the hero must win back the heroine. What? Am I a difficult reader?
7. Where do you see your blog a year from now?
More and more authors’ backlists and ratings. J
8. What do you think the next “big” thing in fiction will be?
This year, it was auto publication. The next one is M/M romance. Even though I don’t read much (in fact not at all) this subgenre, I know a lot of readers who like it and more and more authors who write it, some of them I love, so I probably will try one soon.
9. If money were no object, how would you spend your days?
I would read a lot, travel a lot and spend a lot of time with my family.
10. How can readers and writers find you?
The Website: http://www.lesromantiques.com/
The message boards: http://lesromantiques.yuku.com/directory
The Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/lesromantiques.lesite?fref=ts
The Twitter account: https://twitter.com/LesRomantiques
The Goodreads account: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/17327509-les-romantiques
Thanks so much for taking the time to visit, Fabiola and Les Romantique!