Friday, May 24, 2019

MEET BOOK BLOGGER HEATHER SNYDER of Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen!

Hi Heather! Thank you for agreeing to visit the Inkwell! 

Tell us how long have you been reviewing and how did you decide on the theme for your blog?

Heather: I started my blog, Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen, four years ago, and have been reviewing books since that time. My first book review was Murder in the Mystery Suite by Ellery Adams, and it has been so wonderful to review books—it feels like grown-up book reports! Meeting wonderful people while also discovering new books and authors has been such a joy! None of this would have been possible without the creation of my blog, which the Lord led me to pursue.

Debra: What’s the best part of being a reviewer?

Heather: The best part is getting to see books before they are published! It’s lovely to be a part of a book reveal or to know that a favorite author is coming out with a new story. Reviewing books is also a great way to read books outside of your normal genre of literature.

Debra: I admit I'm a bit jealous of all the new stories out there that I want to! 

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

Heather: I think the most difficult part can be finding the time and energy to get everything done. I want to help everyone, but I know I can’t read books 24/7—even though I wish I could. So, it can be challenging to complete the tasks at hand sometimes. It is so lovely when an author personally thanks you for your review, but it can also be discouraging when you never hear from the author or publisher. You wonder if your review was worth the hard work you put into it.

Debra: I will add that many authors don't read their reviews or only read half of them. I like to know when a reader has posted a review but, boy, some days insecurity raises its ugly head!  But reviews are important to the readers and publishers too, so even if an author doesn't personally thank a reviewer, they appreciate it.  Some authors are just too busy to respond to all or don't know how to get in touch with a particular reader. That's why book bloggers are such an important part of the process--it gives an author a real chance to be part of the conversation!

Debra: What was the last book you read that you couldn’t put down?

Heather: Daughters of Northern Shores by Joanne Bischof—this is an excellent series!

Debra: No surprise. I am actually waiting until I have a full weekend with no obligations before I start Sons of Blackbird Mountain (and I have the audiobook), because I know how gobsmacked I was with the Lady and the Lionheart. Joanne Bischof just blew me away with that one! #TeamCharlie

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

Heather: I love watching British mysteries, such as Endeavor or Agatha Christie’s Poirot. Outside of reading, these shows make my brain work hard as I try to figure out the puzzle. Of course, I rarely figure out who the culprit is!

I also love hanging out with my family.

Debra: I am "all British mystery all the time", so I get it. What is your fiction favorite…setting? Place and time? Genre’?

Heather: My favorite setting for a book is England, but that is because I studied English in England while I was in college. The Victorian era is my favorite era of literature. This includes works by Charles Dickens, Charlotte Bronte, and of course Jane Austen—even though Jane wrote her novels before the Victorian age. I would say mysteries and historical fiction are my favorite genres to read. I enjoy reading cozy mysteries, but I will always go back to classics, such as Little Women and Secret Garden. 

Debra: Well, I'm insanely jealous of your time abroad but this is a Christian fiction blog and so I will try to be a better person than that! :) 

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? I’m paying with my virtual bank account!

Heather: I would probably watch the six-hour film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Other than that, I would choose Hallmark Christmas movies. For food, I would love to have Olive Garden delivered! Their fettuccine alfredo is amazing!

I haven't posted Colin Firth in a while. This was overdue!
Debra: Cheap date, Heather! (Cheese makes life so much better!) As for Hallmark Christmas movies... I tried. I really did. haha.

If you could wiggle your nose and be in your dream career, what would it be? Or are you already living it?

Heather: As I continue my writing endeavors, I would love to work in a vintage bookstore. Of course, the bookstore would need to have a tea shop next door. I love hot tea and cranberry scones! 

Debra: (remember me when you need a cranberry scone baker!) Yes! Discovering great used bookstores while traveling is such a treat.

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

Heather: Remember the little people! Always remember where you started—everyone has to start from the beginning and work their way towards greatness. Goals start out small and then one day, with the Lord’s help, those goals, which were once dreams, become reality. It’s important to remember your journey, so that you can encourage others. Advice gained from experience is always incredible to hear. I am so grateful to those who have helped me to learn and grow because of the wisdom they passed onto me.

Debra: I am definitely thankful for your willingness to review The Case of the Clobbered Cad! Those kinds of opportunities are priceless for an author when there is so many books to choose from!

Thanks so much for visiting with us, Heather! I appreciate getting to know more about you and sending readers over to your blog!


Places you will find my writing: The Engrafted Word and The Daily Megaphone


  1. This was a treat! thanks for being my guest, Heather. I really enjoyed it and hope more people find a way to your lovely blog!

    1. Thank you so much for the kind words Debra! And thank you for the interview opportunity--it was a pleasure!

  2. What a great interview! Thank you, ladies, for sharing.

    I love the Pride & Prejudice and Olive Garden idea, Heather!

    Devra, I'm also waiting on a free weekend post-book deadline to consume The Sons of Blackbird Mountain. Ha! And after I read The Lady & the Lionheart, I was getting giddy at any glimpse of circus stripes for a whole month! #Team Charlie all the way!

    1. Yes, Joanna's writing puts one in a book fog --hard to carry on with 'real-life'.

    2. Thanks Natalie! I need to read The Lady and the Lionheart still--it's next on my reading list!

  3. It's great to learn more about you, Heather! I enjoyed the Q&A and would totally love to have Olive Garden delivered too. ;) I would want a slice of their Black Tie Mousse Cake for dessert!

    Thank you for all you do to help support authors! <3

    And thank you, Debra, for featuring Heather and asking such fun questions! Heather is a lovely blogger to work with. :)


    1. Thank you for the encouraging words Amber! That dessert sounds amazing! My favorite is the lemon cream cake at Olive Garden. :)

      Have a wonderful weekend!

  4. It's so nice to see someone interview Heather! After all, she's been interviewing others for a long time now. I've been blessed to have her review several of my books, and it's always a joy to work with her. And I can attest personally -- Heather is as good and kind and generous a human being as you'll ever find. She really brings out the best in everyone around her. I hope her dream of owning a vintage bookstore one day comes true!!

    1. Thank you so much for the encouragement Cindy! It has been my pleasure to work with you!

      Have a wonderful week!

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