Today, I bring you my first interview with a book blogger / reviewer. There is nothing more important to an author than reader's reviews. Avid readers like Kirsti post their thoughts on books they have read, and share them on social media. Many readers head to blogger's sights in order to find their next read. So. let's find out more about Kirsti and her book blogging.
Tell me a bit about yourself
I live in the North of Scotland, although I’m what the locals would call an English Incomer. I’m a wife and mother of two grown up children. After doing admin jobs when the children were very young, I decided to return to education and became a Primary School Teacher. Unfortunately, due to ill health I retired a few years ago and have been reassessing my life since then. I am an artist, although I struggle to call myself this and I try to be kind to everyone I meet.
How long have you been blogging?
I have been blogging for a grand total of one week. This is a very new and exciting venture for me.
What made you want to start a book blog / review?
A very good friend of mine wrote a book. Yes, I’m going to plug it, The Back Up Plan by Elsie McArthur. She suggested that I think about doing a book review blog as I’m always reading. At first, I wasn’t overly keen and came up with the idea of doing short video reviews that I posted to twitter. This snowballed extremely quickly and within a week I had set up the blog site and a YouTube channel. I will admit that I am loving doing the reviews, both video and written. I’m getting a huge sense of satisfaction from being able to help promote someone else’s creative work.
What is your favourite genre to read?
I would have to say that romance is my favourite genre, I like all kinds of romantic stories, but especially if there is a fantasy element. I enjoy the dynamics the author creates between the love interests in the story. I am trying to expand into different genres now to widen my scope for reviewing.
What book are you currently reading?
I’ve just finished 'The Existence of Amy' by Lana Grace Riva and am about to pick up 'The Stone Thieves' by Eddy Telviot.
What are the top 5 things you look for in a good book?
1) A plot that keeps the reader guessing until the end.
2) Great dynamic and chemistry between the main characters, whether it’s a romance or not.
3) Pacing and flow to the story are important to keep you wanting to turn the pages.
4) Originality. Too many books churn out the same premise with just a tweak to the characters, setting and plot. I want something new to grab hold of and explore.
5) If it’s a series, then an outstanding cliffhanger to leave me wanting more and for a standalone, I do love a Happy Ending.
Who are your favourite authors?
Blimey there are so many, but my top 3 would be TL Swan, Ivy Asher, and LJ Shen.
What elements to a story do you find most enjoyable?
A gritty plot that has twists and turns, one that will leave me wanting more, and the sizzling desire between the main characters.
What things do you consider when giving a review?
The most important thing I think about is that someone put an awful lot of hard work into the book I’m reviewing, and I want to acknowledge that. I think about what I consider makes a good book and whether it ticks all those categories, and how I can then deliver a fair and honest review that will encourage someone else to pick up the book and read it.
How do you manage to juggle life and book reviewing?
As I mentioned at the beginning of the interview I am not currently working, so as I was constantly reading anyway adding the reviews has just filled some more of my day.
Lastly what are your other interests outside of books?
I paint and draw and am a keen fitness enthusiast. I love my garden and spend a considerable amount of time reading in it, when the Scottish weather allows and I enjoy walking my dogs and meeting up with friends for good natter over coffee, or a cocktail.
Thanks to Kirsti for her insightful interview. If you would like to check out her blog or YouTube Channel and find your next great read, click on the links below.