Today, I'm welcoming book reviewer Beth Erin!
(Deb says...) So- how long have you been reviewing and how did you decide on the theme for your blog?
I launched Faithfully Bookish in April 2016 but I have been actively reviewing for about two years now. I spent a lot of time thinking about what I hoped to accomplish through blogging and 1 Thessalonians 5:11 is the verse that has settled in my heart so I’ve just been trying to live that out by connecting and encouraging readers and authors.
What’s the best part of being a reviewer?
Initially, it was the BOOKS (what’s not to love, right?) but now that I’ve been around the block (Faithfully Bookish just celebrated its first blogiversary), I have to say building relationships is the very best part! The bookish are my peoples :)
I love the symbiotic relationship between readers and authors (especially within the Christian genres) and it is so much fun chatting with other readers through comments and social media. In-person events like Christian Fiction Readers Retreat and book signings make me over the moon happy!
What’s the most difficult part of the ‘the job’?
Oh that’s definitely a tie between time management and #swoof! You’ve heard the saying, “so many books, so little time,” right? Well, my tbr is… ahem… rather large and extremely tempting. I am a book glutton. Authors just keep cranking out fabulous fiction and I want to read them ALL (but I can’t because well, life.)
So, what’s swoof, right? Swoof is an acronym/hashtag for “Squeezing Words Out Of Feelings.” I coined this lovely while chatting with some book blogger friends about the struggle we often face when we’re striving to craft a review worthy of whatever wonderful book we’ve just read, #allthefeels and #nowords just don’t cut it for reviews. ;) Ask any reviewer and they’ve probably experienced something like #swoof
I think this is the exact reason why the few reviews I've done are very simple. I wear out my brain for fiction and there's no #swoof left to explain how I feel about a great book!
What was the last book you read that you couldn’t put down?
It pains me to answer this question with just one book but the MOST RECENT book to fall into that category is Life After by Katie Ganshert. (but there have been and will be many more)
Yes, that definitely wasn't a fair question! (and Katie Ganshert has a fascinating real life story too!)
What do you do when you aren’t making authors happy? (I assume you have a life outside of fiction. Maybe not!)
Trying to keep my family happy (authors are easier, lol!) My husband and I have four children ranging from kindergarten to junior high and we homeschool. Otherwise, no… I don’t have a life. ;)
What would you like to share about yourself that few people know?
If I told you, everyone would know! Umm… here are 5 bookish characters most like me, does that work?
I'm really contemplating the addition of piglet in this group! :)
What is your favorite…setting? Place and time? Genre’?
“Variety is the spice of life.” I love them all! Well, all “real” places and times, I’m not into fantasy and sci-fi types. My first love is historical romance but I enjoy everything from biblical times to modern day, general fiction to suspense (no thrillers, I don’t like to be scared or have nightmares, ha!)
If you had a rainy afternoon alone to watch a movie what would it be? And what meal would you have delivered if that afternoon included a quiet evening as well?
We’re really dreaming here but I’ll play pretend… Okay, I’m all alone and I’m going to watch a movie (#ratherbereading)… I’ll have to choose a chick flick or rom-com because no one ever wants to watch those with me anyway and I don’t want to get in trouble with hubby or the kids for picking something they wanted to watch with me… of course, it’s going to take forever to pick because it’s been at least that long since I’ve been alone and wanted to watch a movie, so maybe we better move on to the food!
(Deb interjects-- I often spend more time looking for the perfect movie or show on Amazon, Acorn or Netflix than I do actually watching anything!)
By the way, it’s a good thing we’re already pretending because NO ONE delivers around here and the closest take out is pizza from a gas station but since I’m in dreamland (and you suggested it), I’m ordering a country fried chicken (not a whole chicken but one of those huge butterflied, battered, and deep fried chicken breasts the size of a dinner plate) with mashed potatoes and gravy, honey-buttered rolls, and a deep fried onion blossom (nope, no veggies). Calories don’t count in dreamland so I’m having apple pie ala mode for dessert!
This sounds great and it's why I try to go south of the Mason Dixon at least once a year!
If you could wiggle your nose and be in a new career, what would it be?
Hmmm… if I could just get paid for what I do now I think that would make hubby happy :D Once the kids are older, I’d love to look into becoming a virtual assistant for Christian authors or something similar.
Yes, wouldn't that be nice? As for a virtual assistant, you would be much in demand! You'd have to set boundaries right up front!
What piece of advice would you offer authors who are just starting out?
Don’t give up! Get connected with other authors, bloggers, and reviewers who will encourage you along the way. I think we all need that and finding people who get you just makes facing each challenge that much easier. And, ask for help! Even when I can’t personally help a new author, I’m happy to ask around or point them in another direction.
Same for new reviewers--
NO SPOILERS! Oy! I cringe! Just keep it short and simple (especially for consumer sites), how did the story/characters make you feel? (this is the #swoof in action) Did you cry, did you hug the book, are you telling all your friends and neighbors and their pets to go buy the book?
Also, you don’t have to be a book blogger to bless authors’ socks off… just spread the book love by sharing your review on retail sites and social media. Write a review, copy and paste, easy peasy! If your swoofer is broken, “I liked this book” will work in a pinch ;)
(Preach it, sister! I 'cringe' when readers feel they have to be NYT reviewers to...review!)
Thanks so much for indulging me, Beth!
And bringing all your awesome graphics (are these officially memes? or not?) along with you. A great sampling of what you do to help promote the books you've reviewed!
Thank you for having me, Debra!!! I’m so honored and I hope every reader becomes a reviewer!
|If you're a reader and you'd like to give reviewing a try, contact me via email: Debra (At) debraemarvin.com|
Good morning! I can't say for sure and for certain but I call them quote memes on my blog and I make the rules there ;) I am happy to answer any questions for readers or authors today so I will be checking in throughout the day! Thank you for the invitation, Debra! I love talking about books and reviewing!ReplyDelete
Thanks for being my guinea pig!! I love doing interviews (no cameras so far, no face to face, so far...) but I'm really enthused about this new feature as I get tired of trying to be interesting all by myself. Okay, we'll call them quote memes, too!ReplyDelete
Argh! For some reason my comments keep getting eaten. Trying again, and forgive if this gets repeated.ReplyDelete
Hi Beth Erin! So exciting to have you on the Inkwell today! I love getting to know more about you and the process. I don't know how you juggle homeschooling, family life, and all the reviews!
I love #swoof. Totally apt.
Hi Susanne! WordPress gets fickle like that too, so frustrating! I juggle by binge reading and binge blogging. I might read 2-3 books in a weekend then spend a day setting up all the posts and getting my #swoof on. I've had to cut back on reviews since I started blogging but I have more opportunities to connect with authors and other readers through the blog so there's definitely a balancing act going on at all times! It helps that I like reading more than sleep ;)Delete
What an enlivening blog! Love #swoof and hearing from a reviewer who understands that analytical book reports are not reviews! A blessing to read this today. Thanks so much.ReplyDelete
Aww! Thank you, Davalyn! :)Delete
yippee! I'm so glad you enjoyed it Davalyn! I did. I really looked forward to sharing Beth's answers with readers.Delete
This was so entertaining to read!ReplyDelete
There are so many books I read that I love. Kudos to reviewers who take the time and effort to tell others about them and do it so beautifully, too.
Thank you for visiting! :)
:) It was my pleasure! New experience for me to be on the answer side of the interview, lol!Delete
I agree, DeAnna. I tried to do reviews and I was completely out of my element. (words. go figure.) I did one for Laura Frantz here on the blog and all I did was gush about how much I liked it.Delete
I love SWOOF!ReplyDelete
I once could not find the words for a review and said. "This is a great book, I loved it! Just buy it and be happy."
I wish you were my reviewer! ha ha. This is just what I like to see and I think that it's truly heart felt and would SELL Me on a story! Thanks for commenting!Delete
That absolutely works... as long as you aren't a blogger ;) Reviews like that are great on consumer sites, copy and paste it around to several sites and you are blessing an author's socks offDelete
I loved this, Debra and Beth! You made me smile multiple times! Thank you!ReplyDelete
Well, then I think my job here is done. Making a reader smile is a great payback for the effort. Thanks Sara! and thank you for commenting!Delete
Aww, yay! Thank you, Sarah! :)Delete
YAY!! #myBeth! One of my 'favoritest' people!!! What a great interview!! You're a fabulous encourager for authors. I'm a happy recipient of your kindness, joy, and enthusiasmReplyDelete
#myPepper!!! You are so good to me :) HUGS!!!Delete
Thanks for visiting, Pepper! I will see you in August in Cincy, which I expect will be a love fest for all of us. There'll be some fancy fangirling going on!Delete
Hi Beth! Thanks for stopping by the Inkwell. We LOVE reviewers here!ReplyDelete
It's nice here! I LOVE authors!Delete
Hey Lisa! Partner in Crime!Delete
What a fun interview! Thanks, Debra and Beth. I love reading/reviewing, but I'm like Beth and sometimes have a hard time swoofing for reviews. That's the perfect word, Beth. I think it's going to make it into the dictionary sometime soon. :-DReplyDelete
#swoof ... my claim to fame :D Thank you, Winnie!!!Delete
Hi Winnie! I was just looking at the list of authors for CFRR, but I'm just as excited to meet readers and reviewers. We're going to have a wonderful time.Delete
This Inky is coming in late, but just as happy to be here. Hope you're reading this Beth, because you are very much appreciated.ReplyDelete
Great words of wisdom in this interview, especially the part where you said, "Keep it short and simple...how did the story/characters make you feel? (this is the #swoof in action)..." I'd like to make a "quote meme" out of that one. :)
Deb, you're a precious Inky who has come up with a fabulous idea. Ahem... another fabulous idea. Sending you a virtual plate of nanaimo bars for this one. :D
Oooh, yummy! thanks for your kind words, Anita. And Oh Yes. Beth's post rocks! She makes it look easy!Delete
Thank you, Anita! Most of the time, book reviews are all about experience! They are subjective and readers who drift into book report mode just need that gentle nudge to stop it! ;)Delete
BTW, y'all are seriously sweet around here. I'm just going to keep on coming back to relive my gluttonous daydream and if somebody is here to chat, I might even share!
Please do, Beth. We tend to drift off and hide in our caves at times, but it doesn't take much to bring us out again. :)Delete
And thank you.
Thanks for stopping by, Beth Erin, and thanks for reviewing my books too :)ReplyDelete
She does an awesome job of reviewing and promotion, doesn't she?Delete
You're welcome, Dina! I'm delighted to have the opportunity!Delete
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.ReplyDelete