You Asked Me Questions and Here Are My Answers

This blog is mostly about books. However, there is someone behind the scenes who writes these reviews. Therefore, I thought I’d throw out the option for people to ask me whatever questions they wanted on social media.

I’m often open in my newsletter about what I’m up to and often get a little more personal about my life – however, I realise that for you are able to relate to me a little more, I wanted people who read my blog or follow me on social media the option to be able to ask me anything they wanted.

So after I asked people want they wanted to ask me, I put all of the questions into my Notion app (see my article on How I Organise My Blog for more on this). I’ve added the social media handles of each of the questioners too as a small thank you for their questions.

So what did you ask me?…

What keeps you motivated to keep reviewing and blogging about books?

@YorkshireCarly on Twitter

There are three main reasons, two of which motivate me more than the other. The first two are the simple facts that I love writing and I love reading books. And the third is that one day I hope that this will become a viable second source of income that I can use to support myself and any family I may have.

Ever since I was young, I have enjoyed writing. I wrote a “book” (it was about 15 pages but did have a front and back cover) when I was in primary school and throughout my early teens dabbled in starting proper novels however I’ve never finished any, though this is something I do want to do one day.

Again, when I was younger I was a huge fan of reading – I started the Harry Potter books at about 6 years old and for a good 6 or 7 years I absolutely loved reading. I fell out of love with it for about ten years after that, but started reading properly again about 6 years ago and have consistently read around 50 books a year now for a good few years.

And finally, as I mentioned, I hope that my blog will be able to make me enough money to live comfortably alongside my full-time job. Consistency, hard work, research and interaction with the community are the ways I intend to do this. Who knows, if you’re reading this and see that it was posted a few years ago, I may be lucky enough to be in that position!

How many times do you read a book to write a review?

@apollotune on Twitter

I only read books once before I read them. A huge part of my reviewing process is my initial feelings about the book. Yeah, sometimes I finish a book and feel that I should maybe come back in a few years and read it again to properly appreciate it. However, as I said, a lot of my review is the first few days after finishing a book where you’re either feeling hyped or underwhelmed.

There are books that I review that I read a fair while ago which I go through, do some research online and then give my opinion based on what I remember and how I remember feeling about them.

Who were your fave authors when you were a kid?

@nsfordwriter on Twitter

Wow, what a question. There were a few book series I remember reading as a kid. J.K. Rowling and the Harry Potter series was an obvious one, the Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz was another, the Cherub series by Robert Muchamore and the Demonata series by Darren Shan. These were favourites of mine and my brother growing up.

Do you have set/scheduled times each day to both read and write?

@BGlhmig on Twitter

It’s not as strict as that as I never want it to feel like I’m not enjoying it – if I were to set it as specific as that, I feel it would add pressure to the writing and reading. I’ll separate the two…

I read whenever I can. I mostly listen to audiobooks so on my way to work, on my lunch break, on my way home from work, when at the gym, when cooking or anywhere else where I’m not having to use my brain. In terms of actual reading, if the sun is out, I’ll race outside with a cold beverage and get reading as much as I can – nothing like tanning and reading at the same time.

When it comes to writing, I’ll do this mostly in the evening. I find that I’m quite in the mood and quite productive from around 7-10 pm (sometimes later if I’m finishing an article.) However, I also find that first thing on the weekends I love to get some writing done too whilst my partner gets ready for the day and before we do anything together. I try to write at least three articles a week – not only does this work for consistency for my SEO but it also works well for the algorithm on social media AND it gives me a goal which gives me drive on weeks when maybe I may not have bothered.

Do you have any days in the week that you don’t read or write?

@BGlhmig on Twitter

Possibly Thursdays are the only day where I consistently don’t write. Thursdays because I have football at 8 pm, so I’m out of the house by 7.30 and so after dinner, I like to relax a little and then I’m not back until 9.30 and then after my shower, I’m off to bed. Too much detail? Well, you now have my schedule if you wish to rob me! Though, pre-warning, my fearsome two cats would likely… welcome you in and purr at your feet.

How do you like your world-building, thick or trim?

@DanFitzWrites on Twitter

What interesting terminology to use to describe a writing style – ha! Well, it all depends on what it is I’m reading. Let’s say it’s fantasy as that is often where most worldbuilding happens. I don’t want information dumps to happen. I always say in my reviews, that the very best fantasy writers make you feel immersed in the world simply by utilising the dialogue and some simple scene-setting.

When characters speak about past events or remind new or other characters of the world or history, this helps build immersion for me as they often tell it in a way that’s easier to digest than when a writer just spends three or four pages trying to dump the whole lore on you.

Have you read the book The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes?

@Ms_Marina97 on Twitter

I haven’t, no. It’s a book I’ve seen around on social media and it has some very good reviews so maybe one that I eventually get around to reading, but not one that’s particularly high on my TBR. Can you convince me otherwise?

What’s been the longest on your TBR and why haven’t you gotten to it yet? When will you get to it?

@jackclaver on Twitter

Jeez, what a question. I have absolutely no idea what the longest book is on my TBR and why I’ve not gotten to it yet. Therefore I had a look on my Goodreads which it appears I started on 24 January 2016 and looked at what the earliest books I marked as “To Read” were and they were

  • The 5th Wave by Ricky Yancey
  • Foundation by Isaac Asimov
  • I, Robot by Isaac Asimov

I then appear to have done nothing with my account for a year (I think at first I initially opened it as a way to find new books). Then weirdly on 27 January 2017, I marked Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky and Dark Matter by Blake Crouch as two more books on my “To Read” pile. Two more science fiction novels. Clearly, I had a theme for a couple of years.

Why have I not got round to reading these? Well of the five listed here, Children of Time is most likely the next book I will read. I see Tchaikovsky has just released the third book in the series and each book has been very well celebrated and I’m always in the mood for a genuinely good science fiction read.

Book Review Where the Crawdads Sing

Are you looking forward to the ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ movie??

@buttontinphotography on Instagram

Yes, I am! I absolutely loved the book and the film looks so far (from the one trailer they’ve released) to have done a fairly good job of capturing the atmosphere. I’m glad there aren’t any A-list celebrities in it as this would have taken away my immersion.

When I read and reviewed the book I thoroughly enjoyed it and gave it five stars as it was one of my favourite books of that year.

Do you find you get as much blog engagement as Instagram engagement?

@whimsofmin on Instagram

Interesting question. Usually, people ask me which social media platform I get the most blog views from and, without a doubt, it’s Twitter. Instagram is an awful place to try and convert an image into something people want to then click through to your blog from. Twitter however is perfect as it’s right there in the tweet.

Over the past month, I’ve hit around 5k views on my blog, on Instagram I’ve apparently reached 7,538 accounts and had 465 accounts engaged. So around 4,500 fewer people engaged with my Instagram content than my actual blog. I hope that answers your question!

What’s your favourite genre to read?

@CreggNoeleen on Twitter

I’d have to say my favourite genre is fantasy. I do love thrillers, I like a bit of fantasy and I’m always happy to read a classic, but there’s something about a well-written well-realised fantasy book that always gets me a little more excited than any other type of genre.

Knowing I have a good, thick, well-liked fantasy novel coming up on my TBR gets me right in the mood. I’m a huge nerd so I love looking up all the lore and getting immersed in a completely different world full of clever imagination.

So there you have it…

Those were all the questions I received online – hence why I felt I could answer them in more detail. Maybe as the time goes on, I’ll do another one of these and see what other questions people may have for me.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be in an article where I’ll only ever answer your questions – if you’ve ever got a question about anything whether it’s blogging, conversion rates, views, my bookstagram, or social media (this is actually my full-time job so I should know stuff about this) then do feel free to get in contact with me via any means you wish – whether it be social media, email or comment below!

Until the next round of questions, I hope you all have a lovely day!

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