Q1. Introduce yourself, Why did you start blogging?
I had taught English for many years before taking a break to look after my family. Being at home was very lovely, but after a year or so I realised my brain was beginning to atrophy. I’ve always been an avid reader, so establishing a blog for reviewing books seemed a natural development. Spurred on by some old friends over a campfire, I set up Books and Wine Gums just over a year ago.
Q2. How did you come up with your blog name?
The ‘books’ part was easy, but I was aware that there were already so many similar titles out there. I had joked years ago that I would one day write a book (I don’t think blogs existed back then) grading all the various brands of wine gums out there (I eat a lot of them). Whilst I haven’t yet fulfilled this part of my self-imposed brief, I have stuck with the name and I like it. It’s also led to some fun conversations with American readers – apparently, ‘wine gums’ aren’t universal.
Q3. What type of content do you generally post on your blog?
I generally go for reviews of literary fiction, poetry and non-fiction.
Q4. What are your main struggles as a blogger?
Time! My TBR pile is actually intimidating and there have been times when I’ve just not felt able to plough through another novel for the sake of producing a review. I’m quite careful about what I choose to review – I haven’t yet read a book I haven’t enjoyed, but I have made the decision that if I can’t be positive, I won’t review it.
Q5. What are your favourite tools for blogging?
I’m still a real novice at all of this and so I’m sure that there’s loads of handy stuff out there. My posts are quite simple – I write the content and I find a cover pic. I work with some brilliant blogtour organisers and its always fab when they can supply biographical material and images (@rararesources is particularly good at this!).
Q6. What is your favourite social media site for interacting with your readers?
Twitter – there’s a brilliant community of bloggers, readers and writers out there, and they’ve all been very supportive.
Q7. What is your favourite post that you have written?
And why? Hmm – this is a hard one. I think it might be my review of Moby Dick. It took me ages to read the novel, and so writing the review felt like an achievement in itself. Reading the post back, I can tell I really enjoyed it – I’m having fun there, and the tone is a bit lighter than other posts. https://wordpress.com/post/booksandwinegums.wordpress.com/1350
Q8. What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about becoming a blogger?
Get on WordPress (I’m sure the other platforms are fine too!) and just start getting your thoughts out there. Find other bloggers in your field and follow them. I’ve learned so much by reading other book blogs – there are so many which are far more creative in the way they do things than I am – and this will also help you find your niche. Try to post reasonably regularly, but don’t sacrifice quality for quantity.
Thank you so much, Emma, for participating in my ‘Meet the Blogger’ series. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. If you’re new here, be sure to check out her social media and blog with a little comment saying you found them via BryoniBurnsBlog.com