Thursday, November 9, 2017

Meet Book Blogger Andi Tubbs

Debra here welcoming my next blogger guest. Andi, Thank you for visiting the Inkwell!

Hi, Debra! Thanks for asking me, and thanks to Rachel of Bookworm Mama for recommending me. 

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

Andi- January 2018 will start my eleventh year as a reviewer. I can’t believe it’s been that long! I look back at all the authors I’ve read and realize that I have their debut books on my shelf which is a ton of fun.
I was talking to another reviewer saying that I was having a hard time trying to figure out a name of my blog, she asked me what I liked and when I said lighthouses, she said how about a lighthouse theme, and that is how Radiant Light was born. It fits too, because I want my blog and reviews to be a light in our dark world. The address is

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

A- Getting to read the book, of course! I also enjoy getting to know the authors and being able to encourage their hearts, especially on days when words are like small drops from a dry sponge.

D- That’s a wonderful way to put it! And Authors do appreciate (and need!) the encouragement. What’s the most difficult part of the ‘the job’?

A- Making sure you don’t schedule too many reviews on the same day. This is the first year I’ve done that and it has been a pain.
Something I’ve experienced more this year than any other is new reviewers who don’t appreciate the hard work put in by those of us who have been in the trenches for a long time. For years the Christian fiction blogger community has been like a family, this year there was some division and those of us who still want the family feeling are setting out to make sure that it is that way.

D- Division is the enemy's tool and it's very much active in every part of our lives. It takes loving people one on one to fight it.  As for reviewers, I’m always concerned that reviewers, and bloggers in particular, will feel burned out trying to keep up with things! What was the last book you read that you couldn’t put down?

A- That’s a hard question. LOL The Engagement Plot by Krista Phillips and Charming the Troublemaker by Pepper Basham – which I am still reading.

D- Such fun reading from two great authors! I'll allow you the two instead of one answer! I loved Krista’s first two books but I can’t keep up with too many favorite authors, and can’t afford to buy all the audiobooks I’d like. (Which makes it much easier to multi-task!)

What do you do when you aren’t making authors happy by reviewing for them?

A- I have quite a busy life. I didn’t used to have to find time to read, now I do. We have six of our twelve grandkids that live here in Idaho and I love spending time with them. I also write, doing Nano again this year. I am my epileptologist’s patient advocate for his office. I help educate patients about epilepsy and about the vagus nerve stimulator device that I have which is like a pacemaker for my brain. It resets my brain every 1.7 minutes to control seizures.

Epileptologists are experts in epileptic seizures and seizure disorders, anticonvulsants, and special situations involving seizures, such as cases in which all treatment intended to stop seizures has failed and epilepsy (especially poorly controlled epilepsy) in pregnant women.

D- That’s wonderful, Andi! That’s a wonderful service for anyone facing the unknown. I wish there were more patient advocates!
I saw that you were doing Nano.  Have fun with that! (It doesn't have to be perfect, just let it spill out!) What would you like to share about yourself that few people know?

A- I’ve talked about this some on Facebook, especially when the topic of abortion pops its ugly head. I am adopted, my birth mother was fourteen when she was sexually assaulted and her mother didn’t believe her, and when it happened again she got pregnant and her mother wanted the family doctor to abort the baby, which was me. At the tender age of fourteen she told her mother, no, gave birth to me, and helped my parents begin a family. My message . . . sexual assault doesn’t mean that an abortion is the only answer, give the baby life and help a couple have a family.

D- Exactly. Rape is horrid and inexcusable. But a child is a child deserving love. A mother can love a child even if she has no love for its father, and if she can’t face that child, there are plenty of families who would love to adopt.
What is your favorite setting? Place and time?  Genre’?

A- Eeks, this is hard too! I am a huge historical romance fan. I enjoy steampunk, WWII, Civil War time period. I am becoming a huge fan of the Appalachian setting. I love anything set in Paris, and Italy especially.

D- No one said these would be easy questions! Here's another one--What’s your favorite movie to watch if you had a rainy afternoon alone?

A- The Way We Were, Princess Bride, Gone in 60 Seconds. I’m a huge movie fan! I grew up on the classics with my mom. I love the original Cheaper by the Dozen, too.

1950 classic --and based on a book!
D- I remember this one, too. And Yours Mine and Ours...I read the book that Cheaper by the Dozen is based on!
If you could wiggle your nose and be in a new career, what would it be?

A- A forensic pathologist. I think it would be cool to be a part of the process in solving a crime, plus going to nursing school I’m a huge medical fan!

Andi seems eager to examine that  corpse!
*thanks to a little internet magic.

D- That makes me wonder about your sense of smell. If I had none, that would be a good choice. It's puzzle solving and quiet work and your patient doesn't complain... 
What piece of advice would you offer authors who are just starting out?

A- Believe in the story, and allow it to be the driver of the story.
And . . . when choosing reviewers choose those who read the genre and time period. As an author when you aren’t selective about the reviewers the book may receive not so favorable reviews. Not because of the story or writing, but because the reader isn’t a fan of the genre, and that’s not their fault. Reading is subjective to interpretation and as a reviewer I believe authors should get the best possible audience.

D-  Authors aren’t always aware of this and frankly, it’s often difficult to find reviewers. I’ve had that happen with my recent mystery and readers were looking for romance. Also, most authors working with small publishers pay for all of their own promotion and books, so it can be disappointing when authors give away (pay for) books to reviewers who then don’t find the time to read them. The publishing world is different and even large publishers don't give away as many books. Authors are completely dependent on reviewers to help with promotion!
Thank you so much for being my guest, Andi!

For more ways to visit with Andi…

Facebook blog page 




  1. Thanks so much for visiting, Andi! I love the experience you bring to blogging, and hope more people find your blog and reviews. You have quite a remarkable story to tell!

    1. I appreciate you doing this post. I really had fun answering your questions. I am thinking about starting a blogger interview post on my blog too. I wanted to add, to your comment about blogger burnout . . . I think if a blogger doesn't feel appreciated, and valued they could get burnt out. What's really nice in the Christian fic community is that the authors, like you, really appreciate the work we do, and they let us know.
      And . . . regarding your comment about finding reviewers. Here's a suggestion, ask some of us older bloggers. We troll around and know what other reviewers are reading. We're on street teams with them and we usually follow each other on Goodreads, Instagram, and Twitter. Right now I'm on a street team for Mesu Andrew's new biblical fiction Isaiah's Daughter, so if an author was looking to build a team for her biblical fiction story I would know right where to go to give her suggestions. I honestly think that being able to work with each other within the Christian fic community to help encourage authors and promote their books makes the entire community stronger!

  2. Thanks for having me! I love all the pictures you added to the post.

  3. So fun to see Andi here!! :) And get to know her a bit more. Andi's great!! :)

    1. Thanks, Sydney! You’re a sweetheart! I think you’re pretty great too!

  4. I love Andi, and her blog. This was such a fun post.

  5. Thanks Sydney and Mary. I really enjoy doing these posts and getting to know my guests better. And I hope they encourage more readers to do reviews--it's such an important part of the publishing world and underapprecaited!

  6. What a great post!! Loved seeing a little bit more about Andi 😄

    1. Thanks! It was fun to talk about blogging and how I got started. 😀

  7. Hi Andi! I am late to the party but I loved getting to know you better! I appreciate your testimony <3 Thank you for sharing it!

    Thanks for the interview, Deb! And thanks for your hard work reading and reviewing, Andi!


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