Monday, September 18, 2017

Meet Book Blogger Trisha Robertson of Joy of Reading!

WELCOME TRISHA!  I'm so glad you're able to join us! I've enjoyed getting to know you by your blog and on social media, and now I get to share that with our readers!

Trisha- Thank you for inviting me, I’m honored to be here with you today chatting about my blog. It sure is fun (and interesting) to be on this side of the interview.

Debra- So, how long have you been reviewing and how did you decide on the theme for your blog?

T- I have been reviewing books for quite a few years actually. Leaving reviews on first Amazon, and then on Goodreads. I started following favorite authors and making connections.  My very first book launch team was with Dawn Crandall for her launch of The Hesitant Heiress. (A wonderful series of books that I would highly recommend!).  Dawn introduced me to Pepper Basham and I joined Pepper’s team, and I can’t say enough good things about Pepper’s books!  I was super excited to participate in the launch of “Forest Child” by Heather Day Gilbert. Heather shared with her team that she wrote a short story as part of a collaboration, “Message In a Bottle”. The book was on NetGalley for review, and she encouraged anyone interested to check into it. I quickly went to NetGalley and created an account and was approved. This lead me to apply for other books, but often I was not approved, and it was stated that I needed a blog.  After visiting several blogs of friends I’d made from the various review teams, I started my blog Joy Of Reading in February 2017. There are so many fantastic blog names, that I struggled to come up with one. As I thought and prayed about this new direction I considered the question, “what is my goal for blogging?”  The first thought I had is that I’d like to bring Joy to other’s and thus, my blog name.  I pray that by sharing my Joy for books, that it brings others Joy in return and brings them closer to the ultimate Joy giver!
I love to connect with others over books. Please find me at the following:

D- What’s the best part of being a reviewer?

T- If I had to narrow it down to only one thing, it’s the relationships I’ve made with authors and fellow bloggers, as well as knowing that I’ve helped bring a smile to someone’s face. Recently, I came across a fellow bloggers’ post that touched my heart, and I just knew that the author needed to see this review. I was so very happy that I was able to help make the connection between this blogger and the author and to know that so many were touched by her blog. I feel it’s important to build each other up. Not just build up authors, but build up fellow bloggers and even fellow readers. We all have something we can learn from one another.

D- What’s the most difficult part of the ‘the job’?

T- I have a difficult time saying “No”.  When someone approaches me to review their book, my first reaction is to say, “yes, I’d love to.”  I’d love to have enough time to read ALL the books. But, the reality is that I just can’t read them all.  It’s not easy for me to say “no”. But sometimes, I still have to, even when I don’t want to.

D- What was the last book you read that you couldn’t put down?

T- Many Sparrows by Lori Benton
I have read every book Lori has published. I just love her stories!

D- What keeps you busy or entertained (beyond reading and reviewing)?

T- I work full time at the University I graduated from. I have a degree in Social Work and spent several years working with in a variety of settings (Dialysis Clinic, Foster Care Agency, Residential Facility for troubled youth, & lastly in the Mental Health field). Being a Social Worker is an emotional roller coaster, and it takes its toll on your emotions. I reached the point where I needed a break. So I left Social Work and I’m currently working in one of the PhD offices at my University helping students progress through the program. It has been quite rewarding and a fresh experience. I am continuing to help others, just in a different capacity.
My job is only a small piece of what keeps me busy. My handsome husband (of 13 years) and I are the proud parents of an amazing, smart, handsome, fantastic, sweet, almost 10-year old son.  We homeschool our son and I’ve found that taking him on field trips and exploring nature and history are my favorite parts.
My family lives approximately 12 hours away. It’s not always easy being so far away, but we enjoy traveling to visit them every chance we get! I grew up in a big, close-knit family. My maternal grandparents lived next door, my great-grandmother lived a house away, my grandfather’s brother and his grown children also had homes in our neighborhood, so I grew up playing with my 2nd cousins, helping my great-grandmother in her garden, going blackberry picking with grandma & great-grandma, and listening to my grandparents tell stories of when they were little. My Great-Grandma was born in 1914, her story is one I hope to write someday. I enjoy learning about family history and piecing together the story of my relatives past.

D- What is your favorite fiction setting? Place and time? Genre’?

T- I enjoy reading Christian Historical Fiction best of all. I’ll pick up almost any book about Scotland that I can find. I enjoy books set in the Medieval time period, learning about the Celts & Vikings.  In addition, I also love early American Historical Fiction. Specifically books about Native Americans.

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? (Don’t forget dessert!)

T- Mostly I choose to read before watching movies, however, I would typically reach for a period drama. North and South (Richard Armitage). Pride and Prejudice or Emma. My secret guilty pleasure is watching the Outlander series (shhh!).
I have been wanting to see the Zookeeper’s Wife, but I’m holding off watching it because I want to read the book first.
One of my all-time favorites is “Last of the Mohicans” (fun fact: it was filmed not far from where I grew up).

While I have been obsessively listening to the Last of the Mohicans soundtrack and watched it about 4 times in the last two months, I decided to go with...John and Margaret in the train.  Richard is a big favorite here at the Inkwell!
We live out in the country, so delivery is out of the question. However, if it was possible to have food delivered from anywhere… I’d love to have spinach & ricotta stuffed shells, with a marinara sauce, steamed broccoli, and Greek salad (without the Greek olives, extra feta cheese please). For dessert: fresh out-of-the-oven, blackberry cobbler with vanilla ice cream

D- Trisha, in our little fictional world, food delivery is never out of the question! We have a saying in our family. Every thing is betta with Feta! 
I agree wholeheartedly with your choices...movies and food. In fact it's a bit freaky.  I've long been a fan of the Outlander books, so it's great to see so much care with the tv series! As I live near the setting for the books by James Fenimore Cooper, I was originally disappointed that they Last of the Mohicans was filmed in NC!

If you could wiggle your nose and be in a new career, what would it be?

T- I would love to be a published writer someday. I wrote my first story when I was around 9 or 10. It was a story about a Native American girl, Yellow Feather and her horse. My next story was about a set of twins who were adopted but didn’t know they were adopted, a coming of age story. Then I took a story my Grandpa told me about an old house in the woods that collapsed into its cellar and embellished it into a short story for my Freshman English writing class. That one was a murder mystery, and fun to write.  I started a medieval story that takes place in Scotland, but after the first 3 chapters the characters just stopped talking, and I’ve not gone back to them. I enjoy looking at paintings and writing short stories from the picture. I just keep writing various things, until maybe someday the right story will come along.
The other thing I really enjoy is music. I love singing. I’ve written several songs and with my husband playing on guitar, I’ve had the privilege to sing one of our songs for various special music performances.
D-  Well, I think you will eventually pull those stories out and go for it!  I have so many manuscripts waiting to be dusted off , but doesn't it feel like you owe those characters 'the light of day' after you've created them? ha ha! Just when I think I'm worn out from writing, I see something about an historical event or and old setting and my mind is thinking...what if?

What piece of advice would you offer authors who are just starting out?

T- Include on your web page a social media page with information for bloggers (example: photo & bio), including links to your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. Include suggested social media tags for bloggers to use when talking about your book.
Visit the blogs of those that interview you (and if you can also visit the book review posts). It’s always an honor to have a surprise visit from the author. It also lets others who visit the blog know that you really did participate in the interview, this blogger didn’t just make up the entire conversation.

Offer signed bookplates to all the members of your influencer team (nothing encourages me to buy a printed copy of the book like a signed book plate).
Engage with others not on your team, if someone comments on a social media post, at a minimum, give them a thumbs up, or a quick word of recognition.

D- Same for new reviewers—

T- Visit other bloggers web pages and see what they are doing. You may find elements that you like and wish to incorporate into your own style.
Promote your blog to your friends, and on social media sites. Join Facebook book/reading groups and promote your reviews there.
Include the author and publishing house in your tags when posting on social media. Look at what other tags have been used and use the same ones or ask the author which tags they prefer being used if you are on a promoter team. The more people that use that same tag the better.
Follow Authors & fellow bloggers on social media and comment on their posts!
Use the schedule feature in your blog to schedule posts ahead of time, so you aren’t trying to throw something together at the last minute. By creating the post ahead of time, you can also go back the next day and look at it again, you may just catch something you missed and now you can correct it before it goes live.
Don’t be afraid to promote other people’s blogs also. If you see a blog post you like, share it!

If a fellow blogger posts an interview of the authors’ book you are reviewing, ask if they would be ok with you including a link to their interview post in your review post. Sharing each other’s posts is a win-win!
Join a blog tour or several. This will help get your blog a little more notice.
If you get stuck on something, ask other blogger friends. I have found that fellow bloggers are really nice about offering to help when I’ve gotten stuck on something

The ice cream is still in the freezer, but now that the cobbler is coming out of the oven, the hard part is picking just the right temperature. It's hard to wait for that yummy goodness to cool off enough to eat! 

Trisha, thanks so much for visiting with us, and answering my questions. I'd love to give you a push toward publishing or being a virtual assistant but it sounds like you have your hands full.. for now!

and now... I'd better add the author promotional stuff... sigh.
For any readers out there who are considering becoming a reviewer or blogger, contact me and we'll help you with that next step! And, if you search through our archives, you'll find all my Blogger Interviews as well
Click here for  Debra E. Marvin's Website and contact information...


  1. Thanks for visiting, Trisha! I've loved your great suggestions. You truly put your heart into blogging! I'm sorry for all the delays during our techno-nightmare, but the Inkwell is up and running again.

    1. Hi Debra, Thank you so much for inviting me to participate in this fun interview! I really enjoyed chatting with you.

  2. Hi Trisha!!! Waving madly at you and Deb. Great interview, ladies! I love Trisha's suggestions and insights.

    Trisha, when we meet in person, we MUST get stuffed shells and greek salad. Some of my favorites, too! YUM!!!

    Thanks for all you do for authors and readers!

    1. *waving* Hi Susie!!
      Yes, that sounds delightfully delicious! ❤️

  3. Oooh, another wonderful review blogger! So good to have you, Trisha. Thank you for visiting!

  4. So glad to see Trisha on here!!! She is the best, and I'm glad to get to know her even more!! 😘😘

    1. Awww... Jessica! You are so sweet ❤️

    2. And great insights for authors and bloggers. This has been a great feature at the blog and I'm enjoying them all. Thanks Jessica!

  5. Great interview Debra and Trish. Trish, with your schedule and interests, when do you sleep?!

    1. Right? But I've found this with many of our bloggers! "If you want to get something done, give it to a busy person!" Thanks for commenting, Janell!

  6. Sleep? LOL!
    I typically go to bed between 11 and midnight, and start my day at 6am.
    I don't do everything I enjoy in one day, and multi-tasking is my bff. :)

  7. Loved reading this interview! Lots of fun. :) And yes to North and South! Such a good one. <3

    1. Hi Raechel! This interview was lots of fun. I'm just thrilled that Debra invited me to participate!

  8. Love all your suggestions, Trisha. I plan to incorporate a few of them. Enjoyed getting to know you better!

    1. Thanks for commenting, Gail! This is what I love about this feature. Book bloggers work so hard to do the 'good work' and are always coming up with new ideas and suggestions!

    2. Hi Gail *waving* Thank you for your kind words and I'm glad you enjoyed the suggestions. Have a blessed day!

  9. Oh, I just had another idea/suggestion that I should have added!

    Remember to pin graphics on your pinterest board. This way when someone see's the pin and clicks on it, it will take them to your webpage!

    1. This is something I have to do. most of us create a pinterest page for our books, but I don't always change the text.

  10. I'm so excited that the NetGalley experience helped you look into book blogging! You've been such a huge boon to me as an author and I've loved having you on launch teams. THANK YOU for reading and reviewing, Trisha!

    1. NetGalley has been a boon to authors.
      Thanks for stopping in Heather!

    2. Hi Heather! It always brings a smile to my face to see a message from you. I have really enjoyed participating in your book launch team! And of course, I absolutely love your stories. ((hugs))


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