Deb: Today I get to hang out with Anne Payne of Stuff and Nonsense. She's another one of the generous reviewer bloggers who took a chance on me earlier in my career, and many readers and authors will certainly want to know more about her so...
Anne, how long have you been reviewing and how did you decide on the theme for your blog?
Anne: Thank you for asking me on Inkwell Inspirations, Debra! I signed up with Blogging for Books in Feb 2011 and officially started reviewing books in March, although I had already posted a couple of reviews on my blog for books that I won in giveaways. My blog (https://annepayne.blogspot.com) STUFF AND NONSNESE, has undergone a few transitions over the years (namely changing the URL, which I wish I had never done) but books are its anchor. On occasion I post about my hobbies—photography, crafting, journaling, and DIY projects. I enjoy expressing myself through all kinds of art, although I am not an artist in the traditional sense. I journal because I love watercolor paints, and enjoy repurposing old things because I get to use…you guessed it…paint!!! J
Deb: I love painting too. I think it's my love of color and texture.
What’s the best part of being a reviewer?
Anne: Most people might think the best part of being a reviewer is receiving free books but I love getting to know the authors and other reviewers. I’ve met some of the kindest people through social media and have had the privilege to meet a few authors and reviewers in person and am blessed to call them ‘friend’. I was skeptical in the beginning about how well you can actually get to know someone online, but this is a community of people who not only share a love of reading but a love of God too. It is a special ‘family’ to be a part of and I am blessed!
Deb: I felt the same way. But I genuinely care for my online friends (and what fun when we can actually meet!)
What’s the most difficult part of the ‘the job’?
Anne: The most difficult part of reviewing is when I realize I can’t give a book as high a rating as I would like. I want to make sure my words are solely focused on the content of the story and don’t come across as critical of the author.
What was the last book you read that you couldn’t put down?
A: The Curse of Misty Wayfair by Jaime Jo Wright is the last book I read that I couldn’t put down. I’ve read some good books since then but none that captured my attention like that one. It is a Top Ten read for sure!
D: What do you do when you aren’t making authors happy? (I assume you have a life outside of fiction. Maybe not!)
A: Books could easily take over but I’m intentional about spending time with my husband. We enjoy thrift shopping for vintage decor items, and he indulges my insane need to collect teacups. I’m also active in a ladies Bible study, as well as serving as an Aesthetics Team Leader at church.
D: Teacups! Most of mine are packed away and I actually went out and bought two for my recent tea party with two granddaughters!
What would you like to share about yourself that few people know?
A: Two things come to mind; first, most people think I am an extrovert but I work hard to put myself out there and not cower. That has to do with the way I was raised and a story not worth telling today. Second, the Lord blessed me with the opportunity to write an article about grief last year and it was published in Broken but Priceless Ministries online magazine in the January 2019 issue. Sharing with others about the grief process and how the Lord is working in my life since losing my oldest daughter almost seven years ago is something I hope will encourage those facing life’s most difficult challenges.
D: I think that many more people are being honest about the truth of grief which is so very helpful to all of us.
What is your favorite setting? Place and time? Genre’?
A: I love reading historical fiction with a concentration in the Regency era. I’m not picky about setting as long as the characters are well developed and the dialogue is captivating. That being said, I do have a few favorite contemporary authors and I really enjoy time slip novels. They’re the best of both worlds.
D: What’s your favorite movie to watch if you had a rainy afternoon alone?
A: I rarely re-watch a movie but I’ve seen While You Were Sleeping more times than I can count.
D: I love how his family 'adopts' her. Such a cute movie!
If you could wiggle your nose and be in a new career, what would it be?
A: I love my life as it is. I’ve been a stay-at-home wife and mom for 37 years and can’t imagine doing anything that would bless me as much as dedicating myself to my family.
What piece of advice would you offer authors who are just starting out?
A: I’m not sure I have a good answer to that question but the first thing that comes to mind is engage with your readers/reviewers! We know you need time to write (after all we want to read your books) but most of us enjoy getting to know you as a person. We want to know how we can pray for you and encourage you during the good times and difficult times.
D: (What did we ever do before the internet?)
Thanks so much for indulging me!
A: Thank you again for inviting me on Inkwell! It’s been fun to be on the other side of an interview, and maybe a little intimidating! haha
I blog about books, crafts, and my amateur attempt at photography on Stuff and Nonsense - https://annepayne.blogspot.com/. Most of what I post there is also posted on the blogs Facebook page @ https://www.facebook.com/StuffandNonsense.AnnePayne/. I’m an avid pinner on Pinterest too, so look me up - https://www.pinterest.com/annepayne/.