Today I want to welcome Nayuleska, author of “Nayu’s Reading Corner” one of my favorite review blogs!
I also review a few children’s non-fiction books, some paranormal romance, contemporary fiction and fantasy too. Depending on my mood I love school stories, stories of characters having a physical or mental issue which they have to overcome, stories of people discovering they have new powers, family orientated stories (often but not exclusive to dealing with death of a loved one, divorce, unemployment etc). Cute animal stories that make me go aww also feature on my list. Oh, I need to point out I’m prone to crying over books, and enjoy them when this happens.
29th April 2009 I started my book review blog. I reviewed books from my own collection, and started requesting books from publishers. It took quite a bit of time and effort to discover who to contact in the publishers – these days the publicity department is more clearly signposted. I’d made requests each month, and very few would be fulfilled. I kept reviewing my own books, and the ones which I received. I loved it. I loved sharing my thoughts and feelings about books with the world. I still love doing that. Slowly my review requests were fulfilled.
Things sort of exploded in January when I held an online launch party for the debut novel of author Keren David – it was the year it snowed a lot, and since she couldn’t get out I wanted to make it fun for her. It was heaps of fun, gaining interest across the web including on Book Brunch (I got a small mention which I can no longer find the link to). It enabled me to network (although I didn’t look at it in that light at the time), forming links with lots of children’s publishers who I still review for today.
I now have the stacks of books I once dreamed of…which caused an avalanche of books the other week, as one bookshelf endured too much strain from being crammed with books!
I have to stress that getting complimentary books from publishers is a privilege. It isn’t a guarantee for a book reviewer, and it shouldn’t be the aim of a book blog. I started off reading my own books and library books – which I’d do more if I were to get zero review copies. Being a book reviewer is a responsibility. The more books I review, the more I prove my reliability in the publishing world.
Sometimes publicists now contact me if there’s a particular book they feel I’d enjoy. Occasionally it’s the authors themselves who contact me directly to review their books. My knowledge of the publishing world has increased, it’s one I wish to remain in. It’s friendly, fun, a little bit of hard work but totally enjoyable. My style of reviews change according to personal circumstances, the way I rate reviews has changed, and my love for books has grown more than I could imagine.
What’s your favorite part about reviewing books? Reading the books! Nothing beats the pleasure of curling up with a good book and being taken on a whirlwind ride in someone else’s life. Fictional or not, magical powers or just plain normal every single protagonist I read about has qualities that I find in myself, sometimes face issues similar to the ones I face. Each and every one of them has something to teach me, and I love sharing my observations with the world.
What other fun things will readers discover on your blog?
On my side menu I always have an image of the book I’m currently reading, along with the genre it’s for. Every now and then I hold competitions, sometimes chocolate (which ties in with the next question), sometimes a book from my bookshelf. Publishers sometimes offer books for competition, so these are always available to UK residents. A lot of my readers are outside the UK, so sometimes I give away my copy so they don’t have to miss out.
Every Monday I have a What Are You Reading Meme which GMR ofSatisfaction for Insatiable Readers review blog puts up for me (once I give her the book details). It lists the book I’ve read the previous week (which begins on a Saturday and ends on a Friday to give her time to post it).
When I have time (which I haven’t had for several months as ‘normal’ reviews come first and life’s been chaotic) I put up a Character Duel meme. In this meme I take the protagonists from the What Are You Reading meme, pair them up with another book character, why they would like each other and why they would clash. At the end I use a random number generator to pick one character from the list and say which anime character they are most similar to. This relates to my new venture of reviewing anime series/episodes.
I’m a huge anime fan, so it makes sense for me to review what I watch. I discovered the anime Spice and Wolf by using this picture for my twitter avatar. I didn’t know who Holo was, and an anonymous commenter let me know which anime it was from. I watched it and loved it! I use anime pictures a lot in my blog, especially for my Nayu’s News post which is where I chat about what’s been going on in my life. There are some pictures I use for specific occasions. This one is for when I’m having to rest up (I have permanent health issues), although sometimes I use these two when I’m reflecting about what I can do/what I will do. I like using these when I’m chatting about writing, this one when I’m discussing reading, and I try to
always use a fun pic summing up how I feel at the end of the Nayu’s Newspost like this one, or sometimes I find a reason to put in cute ones like this one.
Oh, I nearly forgot a big feature in my reviews: as well as the publishing information, I include a ‘themes’ section, which includes themes that appear in the book, with details on the content (violence, romance, how many tissues are needed because the book made me cry etc) as the last items.
What’s your favorite kind of chocolate? Most chocolate (so long as it’s not got alcohol in) I really enjoy Hotel Chocolat’s eton mess chocolates.
As you are also a writer, tell us about your own work! What are you writing?
*laughs* I write a range of children’s book – not as wide as the ones I review. I’m currently working on a fairy series for 7 year olds with an unusual concept of what magic is. I’ve nearly finished editing the first book, which will then head to a couple of people who can tell me how to make it shine.
I’ve got a sci-fi adventure series with a Muslim girl as the protagonist which explores themes of human trafficking, fanatical groups (which aren’t what you expect), strange beings, families trying to kill each other for real and lots of other themes. I’ll be diving into that while I’m waiting to hear back from my beta readers on the fairy story.
I have other wips which are purely light hearted involving royalty, family ties, supernatural powers and magic, magical creatures, love, laughter – I’m not spilling details as like a lot of writers I’m paranoid 🙂 Some are waiting to be finished, others need a complete overhaul because my writing style has changed and I’ve learned a lot over the past few years.
Thank you for dropping by and telling us all about your blog! Thank you for having me – it’s been fun chatting about my blog, my reading, and my writing!