Debra says: Hi Kav! Thank you for visiting the Inkwell! I’m pleased to host you and show my appreciation for the important part that reviewers play in an author’s life! We’re nothing without you.
Kav replies... Thanks for asking me to stop by…and making me think really hard in order to answer your questions.
D: Ha ha! I was successful, then! So- how long have you been reviewing and how did blogging come about? For example,how did you decide on the theme for your blog or the process you'd use?
K: I have been reviewing Christian Fiction for seven years now and it started by accident. I began my blog as a way to keep track of the books I read – kind of an online reading diary with very sparse reviews meant just for me. I liked the fact that I could tag books by author, genre and subject (that’s the librarian in me.) I never thought it would get any notice! But then I got a few followers and a comment or two and it slowly grew from there.
I fleshed out my reviews and started posting them on Goodreads, CBD, Amazon and Chapters as well. It’s still a very modest blog. No bells and whistles. It’s not pretty. (I’m a technology dunce.) My focus has always been on reading and reviewing…and in the last several years, giveaways too. So I review a different book a day from Monday to Saturday and each book includes a giveaway opportunity. Sunday I announce the winners and post what I’ll be reviewing and giving away in the coming week.
Here's the Link! http://bestreads-kav.blogspot.ca/
D: I bow to your abilities! Wow. I find reviewing difficult. It's like trying to come up with a short blurb to explain a 60k story!
Besides eye-strain, what’s the best part of being a reviewer?
K: Reading Christian Fiction!!!! (Well, that’s a given, I guess.) Love connecting with fellow readers, chatting about books, sharing what new release we’re looking forward to next. And supporting authors in a tough industry. Love it when someone tells me they tried a book after reading a review that they might not have picked up otherwise.
D: Word of mouth is still the best! What’s the most difficult part of the ‘the job’?
K: So many books, so little time!!!!!!!
D: What was the last book you read that you couldn’t put down?
K: That happens to me a lot because I’m a book addict – so I’m going to say With You Always by Jody Hedlund which is sitting on my desk waiting for a review. Historical details are so fascinating…and appalling…and I cared about the characters and didn’t want to leave them hanging which meant I had to keep reading.
D: What do you do when you aren’t writing reviews and making authors happy?
K: So, funny thing is I don’t do a whole lot. I have been on disability from my job as a school librarian (and my part-time job as a college reference librarian) for several years now. I have a chronic pain condition which makes it really hard to do a lot of things. I can’t even go to the movies! Even visiting with friends in a restaurant can be debilitating. So I read a lot. And books have been my saving grace – not only for the stories I get to live through vicariously but for the online connections I make with authors and readers.
But – in my before pain life – I loved to garden for hours on end, quilt – mostly memory quilts for friends – and I was crazy into furniture upcycling. And crazy painting cast off chairs. (Think Mary Englebreit.) And I’ve always had high energy dogs that I liked to walk and train.
I’m still enamoured with all of that, but unable to do to most of it. Right now I’m working towards getting mobile enough to adopt a senior dog. And I’m very slowly (very, very, very slowly) putting together a memory quilt for my daughter out of her grampa’s old plaid shirts. I also garden…really pared down though – just ten or fifteen minute stints a couple of times a day.
D: Besides sharing ancestral names (we'll keep that a small mystery) I think it's clear we are related. Quilting, Upcycling, Gardening. This is cool! I did used to work in the library in middle school, but didn't make it a career! But you, my dear, are in a league above with all that reading. Thank God for books, right?
What would you like to share about yourself that few people know?
K: Hmmmm……it’s not a secret that I love animals but lots of folks don’t know that I raised 2 orphan raccoons in my downtown city apartment! And my parents never let me have pets when I was a kid so when I moved out on my own I kind of went overboard and had a budgie, two dogs, one dwarf rabbit, a rat, and a couple of mice all at the same time!
|This is Kav's new form of transport. DO YOU LIKE THE SHOES?|
D: I think raccoons would be fun, but busy! I'm also wondering how you got any sleep. With a crew like that, "someone" must have been making noises in the night! Aren't raccoons chatty?
What is your favorite fictional setting? Place and time? Genre’? What would you like to see less of?
K: Oh, this is hard. I’m an eclectic reader. I love historical, contemporary, Amish, Suspense even some speculative. It definitely has to be Christian Fiction and I adore romance so I prefer that to be a focal point. I have a certain fondness for Regency though. I get a tad shy of giddy when I get one of those. Oh and I love the mix of suspense and historical or Amish and suspense.
One era I’m not super thrilled over is…gasp…the Civil War era. Might be because I’m Canadian. Might be because I’m…double gasp…not a Scarlett O”Hara fan…I dunno…it’s just not the first time period I would choose to read.
D: GASP IS RIGHT! But you are forgiven. Gone With the Wind probably started my big interest in historical fiction and history, but it's not everyone's cup of tea! We'll have to talk about the War of 1812. Later.
What’s your favorite movie to watch if you had a rainy afternoon alone?
K: I have been getting a lot of DVDs from the library and I tend to watch BBC television series over movies but one BBC movie I adored was Wives and Daughters so I definitely want to watch that again, though technically, I think it’s a mini-series made for TV. Does that count?
|Deb says...My favorite Scientist is missing from this cover!|
If you could wiggle your nose and be in your dream career, what would it be?
K: Author!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (and dog whisperer would be a close second.)
D: Author, huh? Seriously, after reading your reviews, I'm not at all surprised. Your love affair with words shows!
What piece of advice would you offer authors who are just starting out?
K: Make sure your website or blog (or both) is up to date. It amazes me the number of times I discover a new-to-me-author and I rush to their website to find out if they have other books out or when the next book is coming out and….nada. Nothing. Zilch. So frustrating.
D: Oh crud. I'm guilty of that. My website was a dud. It's actually active now, but totally self-managed and therefore fighting for priority.
Kav...ahem...ignored my question about food and dessert so I'm going to just pop this up here. Blueberry Torte. Cause I love the colors. And I love food. She doesn't actually have time to eat, because it 'eats' into her reading time!
Thank you, Kav, for hanging out and chatting and for all you do to promote Christian Fiction and authors and reading and...wildlife! It's been fun getting to know more about you, and I hope we can send more readers over to your blog.
Tea will be served with the torte and there'll be a viewing of Wives and Daughters tonight!
As always, if anyone is thinking of becoming a reviewer, we at the Inkwell would be happy to give you a start! wink wink. Have a great week, everyone! Please leave a comment for Kav. We're here to chat and talk fiction and British costume dramas and raccoon-keeping!