As lots of you know #Crimebookjunkie AKA Noelle Holten has been a massive support to many of us #Bloggers as we started on our #BloggingJourney and she is also a pretty shit hot reviewer and supporter of authors and their novels.
I got to know Noelle through a number of online book clubs that we are both members of and quickly realised that we both had the same #AwesomeTaste in books, love to stalk authors and have crazy #Labs – hence the #Twinnie label that has stuck to us both! We met up in Harrogate last year and although very briefly we clicked right away! Since then we have had a couple of meet ups at #BookEvents and a real friendship has developed – Noelle is #GushAlert# one of the kindest, most generous, warm-hearted and funny gals I have ever met – plus she loves books and stalking authors – I mean, come on, what’s not to like! Some folk have even compared us to #ThelmaAndLouiseOnAcid – I mean, seriously, we are just wee shy, quiet and retiring #BookGeeks!
So today I am delighted to have a wee guest Q&A with her, where she #SpillsTheBeans
So let’s do this #Twinnie!
- Noelle, you are now a well-established, and dare I say, #famous, blogger – can you talk us through your journey into blogging?
That made me laugh out loud. First things first, I still feel very much a newbie in the blogging community and in no way “famous” – except for that fact that people now associate OMFG and EEEEK with me on a regular basis! I may have t-shirts made! I started my blog in May 2015, after my inspiration and mentor, Katherine Everett of Best Crime Books and More had given me a few months experience as a guest reviewer and then brutally shoved me out of the nest! *Kidding* – she was kind, supportive and really gave me the confidence to “go it alone”. Guest reviewing really gave me a taste for blogging and if possible, I would definitely recommend anyone who is curious, to give that side of things a go if the opportunity arises.
- If Buster was a Blogger what would his page name be?
You are killing me here, #Twinnie. Laughing so much, only because I KNOW he would have more followers and subscribers than me! If Buster had a blog, he would definitely call it #TheBookBear as he has a love of reading….in that he gets the most snuggles when I am curled up with a book!
- Book Festivals – why are they a #mustdo for bloggers?
For me, I think they are a #mustdo because you get to meet #AllTheAuthors with the Restraining Orders suspended (Woohoo); it is a great networking opportunity; you also get to meet other bloggers in person – and I have made some lifelong friends through blogging so this is a big bonus at Book festivals. And of course, #AllTheBooks. The crime community (as I only have attended Crime Festivals) are the nicest bunch you could ever come across. Once the initial OMG moment subsides (although to be honest, I still have them #AllTheTime) you realise that despite being authors, some of them are also bloggers, reviewers and even have their own #FanGirl/#FanBoy moments with their writing idols!
- Bloggers – surely they are just blaggers looking for freebies?
I have seen this mentioned on very social media platforms. Genuine bloggers are NOT blaggers looking for freebies at all. For me, a genuine blogger is one who puts their heart & soul into what they do. Blogging is more than a hobby for me, it is a passion. I have never begged for a book in my life. I have asked to be put on some reviewer lists, but a lot of the books I receive just come through my door unexpectedly. I always thank whoever sends me the book and NEVER expect freebies. I am lucky enough at the moment to be in the position to buy books I have received proofs / ARC’s of, and have often bought a hardback/paperback of kindle books I have loved. It annoys me to see people blatantly begging for books and no review to follow. But I do believe that these people will be found out eventually….ok, I am getting off my high-horse now! LOL!
- What gives a book the #oomph factor for you?
Two things: Great characters and a #KillerHook. I am all about the characters. A book can have an amazing plot but without the characters drawing me in….I struggle. No connection to the characters = no connection with the book. They also must have that #killerhook in the first few pages/chapters. If I get to Chapter 3 and there is still no hook, my interest drifts. I love mind-blowing reads as well (yes, that is three things now- I was never any good at math lol) If a book just messes my head up completely by the end….WOW..WOW…WOW….added bonus!
- Do your non-book friends understand your obsession?
I honestly don’t know. I think they do in some respects, as they often post #BookishThings on my Facebook Timeline, knowing it would be something I love. I do suspect, they do get sick of my Eeeeek’s though……too bad!
- Do you have a “kill list” and anyone we know about on it?
I might….and you may…..and that is all I am saying about that…..
- Top three tips for aspiring bloggers
- Embrace the blogging community as they are a great network of support and a fabulous group of friends; they get you and what you may be going through.
- Learn to say “No”; it took me over a year to learn that one – no one is going to knock you for saying “no” and as much as we all want to read #AllTheBooks, when you work FT or if you have a family…well you just can’t do everything
- Be you! Write what you feel; be honest but constructive. It is not about bashing an author or a book. Authors spend a hell of a lot of time writing and as a reviewer, I always take that into consideration. You may not like everything that comes your way, but there are ways and means to convey that constructively rather than critically. Hope that makes sense!
- As your #Twinnie I know that you have a love of Scotland – what is it about my beautiful country that makes you love it so?
Ahhhh…where do I start? It actually reminds me a lot of Canada and of Ireland. I was born in Ireland and raised in Canada – and the landscape is a combination of the two, which I adore. I love the Scottish accent – even if I need a translator at times! I love the Scottish people I have come across –friendly, funny and always up for a good time. #MyKindOfWeirdos – and Scotland has some mighty fine crime writers……
- Your dream for the future…
I am going to be perfectly blunt (even if unrealistic) – my dream: To leave my current job as a Senior Probation Officer and work for Bookouture doing Publicity & Promo full-time; to learn as much as I can on the blogging front and continue learning; to get my new venture Thick As Thieves Publicity & Promo off the ground, to move to Scotland (you knew that would be there though) and to write a crime novel. Not much, right? Doable? Perhaps…..I can only dare but dream!
Thanks so much for having me, #Twinnie! x
#EEEEEK thank YOU #Twinnie it has been a blast and here’s to a fabulous 2017 with even more #BookEvents and more #MeetUps and every day taking you closer to all of your dreams! And who knows the #TwinniesOnTour may just happen one day!
To check out Noelle’s reviews and #AllThingsBookish you can connect with her over on: