Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m loving this new series and I’m pleased to introduce another book blogger to you.
Please say Hi to Jen.
Jen loves all things literature. Reading is one of her favourite ways to spend her spare time when she’s not travelling the UK and Ireland with her full-time work. Her life is ruled by her pets, especially her two cats, Mars and Luna(tic). She also have an old lady, Kaycee, her 13 yr old Lab X who takes over everywhere and snores like nothing you have ever heard.
She studied literature (loosest sense of the word) at University, studying in London, Wolverhampton and Arizona, so she has a love for all things South Western ( and a particular love for Tex Mex food). her job takes her all over the country and she sometimes wonders if she chooses where she visits based on the books she’s reading or chooses her next read by where she has to travel.
Jen loves animals, loves travel and loves to ramble (verbal and physical) – she makes no apologies for the length of her reviews. Short, long and anything in between, they reflect how she feels about the book, nothing more nothing less. she also loves music and the theatre, having once been a frustrated and somewhat lacking in talent thesp.
Jen also has a real love for Crime Fiction and thrillers as she loves a little (fictional) human suffering from time to time, but don’t mind the occasional bit of Chick Lit, Young Adult or romance – she’s not completely heartless and consider herself an equal opportunity reader.
Welcome to the blog, thanks for stepping away from yours for a few minutes to answer some questions about book blogging.
We’ll start with the easy questions and then see where we go from there!
How long have you been book blogging and what prompted you to start?
I’m still a novice blogger really. Only started in late May 2016 after visiting my first Crime Fest in Bristol. I’m far too shy to really speak to anyone (no, honestly I am) but I did meet a few really nice people while I was there and enjoyed the author panels so it started me wondering whether I could give blogging a try myself. I thought I might be a little late to the game, but looked up a few blogs on line, noticed a fellow newbie had just start up her own blog (Abbie over at Bloomin’ Brilliant Books) and figured that perhaps there was still room for one more book lover. And here I am.
Tell us a little bit about your blog, what will blog readers find there?
In the main it is my random ramblings on the books I read. I have a strong leaning towards Crime Books but I do read the occasional rom com and I love a bit of horror too. In amongst it I throw in the odd ramble about nothing in particular, just a stream of me thoughts. It’s not often, but it’s there.
I’ve started to do a few blog tours of late and am sort of finding my stride a little so who knows where next year will take me.
What’s your favourite part about book blogging?
Apart from the books? The people. They are absolutely superb. From my fellow super bloggers to the authors to the Publishers (especially Orenda and Bookouture who are tops), I couldn’t ask to be in a more welcoming and friendly community. They make what we do a joy, I’m an introvert by nature and I struggle to fit in at times but since I started blogging, I’ve never felt like I don’t belong. I love it.
What has been your highlight since you’ve started?
Urgh. I assume the easy questions have finished now? Just one? There are so many. Getting sent my first official book book post from Karen at Orenda… That was a super bouncy moment. Up until then it had only been books I’d had from NetGalley as I’m too chicken to approach publishers directly. Then I think probably getting to meet some of the Bookouture authors as they are superb. Absolute tops… Meeting Angie Marsons. She is a brilliant writer and such a wonderful person too. It’s honestly a privilege to be able to call her a friend now.
If you could carry on blogging but could stop doing one thing (that’s maybe a necessary part of the process now) what would it be?
I’m not sure if this answers the question as you’d expect but it would have to be stop doubting myself. I always think that I’m the world’s biggest fraud, that I don’t know what I’m doing. I do get good feedback on by posts but I’m always nervous that it’s not good enough or that someone else’s posts and reviews are better. That’s nothing to do with the community, that’s just my natural instincts. I’ve no self-confidence and for me it’s a big gamble putting myself out there like that.
What advice would you give to anyone who is considering starting a book blog?
Just go for it. Join communities on facebook, interact with other bloggers posts, watch what they do, adopt what you want to but don’t feel you need to copy every meme going. And don’t try and force being unique. We all do essentially one thing and that is review books, The best way of being unique is being true to who you are. If people can see your passion, whether you write 40 words of 400, they will like what you do.
Oh. And don’t be afraid to say no to review requests. It’s very easy to become buried in books and then you never get to read any in your own TBR list. Reading should always be a pleasure, not a chore. Make some time for you and your books too.
How much time does it take up?
Wow. Tough one to answer. It all depends on what I’m reading or what I’m posting. As I tend to do exclusively reviews, I have to actually read the books first so this can take anything from 3-10 hours depending on the books. Then it can take up to an hour to prep a post (at least the way I do it) but I re-write the blurb in my own way to lead into the review, and this can take a while to perfect. It is a quite a commitment and I probably spend 20 hrs a week at least reading, reviewing etc. And that’s without looking at social media interaction.
It is quite a commitment but again, do it your way. Do what you can fit in and post as often as you want to. The blog should always be for you first or you’ll fall out of love with it pretty quickly.
What are your reading habits like?
Incessant. That’s probably the best way to describe them. If I’m not working I’m reading. If I’m driving I’ve usually got an audio book on the go. I read while I’m on the exercise bike. I try to get in a couple of hours a day minimum, but often it’s more. I’m borderline insomniac so I always have a few spare hours to kill somewhere.
What state is your TBR (To Be Read) pile in?
You know Mount Everest? Ant hill in comparison. Honestly, I have about 3 books on the go at any one time and a current reading list of about 30 which I’m committed to reading (and very happy about too). In my own personal collection (and if you looked at my profile on GoodReads) it’s somewhere in the region of another 180 books but I’m sure there are a lot I haven’t logged on there yet. Thankfully most are e-books or I’d need a lot more bookshelves.
What do you drink while reading?
See. Here’s the thing. When I’m reading, I tend to forget to do the life things like eat or drink. If I do drink it will be sparkling water with some form of cordial in it or very occasionally I’ll mooch down to Costa for a skinny flat white. I really should do better at that huh?
Where’s your favourite place to read?
Curled up on the sofa with a cat on my lap. Or lying on the sofa with a cat on my chest. Basically somewhere with the cat, as long as he doesn’t get in the way of the book/kindle.
What book would you recommend, that gets little attention, that you haven’t really seen talked about? And why, what is it about this book that you love?
Not sure if I can answer this as most of the books I’ve read have been pretty mainstream so I think most people know of them. If there was one which really sticks in my mind that I think deserves all of the attention it continues to get, it’s ‘The Bird Tribunal’ by Agnes Ravatn. It was just so different. I don’t think I’ll ever quite be certain if it was real or not, but I know it will always haunt me.
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer these. It’s been a pleasure having you.
You can find all previous book blogger posts Here.
If you want to take part, please let me know.