Sunday, 24 May 2015

Meet prolific book reviewer, Tracy Shephard

My latest guest blogger, Tracy Shephard, is a prolific book reviewer, with ambitions to have a novel of her own published. She has a decent following on her blog, which has surprised her with its success. I asked Tracy about her book reviews, her writing, her favourite books and her life as a book reviewer. This is what she said...

Q. How do you select which books to review next?

A. I always review books in order that I am asked to read them. If I have a blog tour I read those first. A blog tour is where a group of book reviewers all get a specific date to tweet our reviews. These blogs sometimes include a Q&A with the author, or whatever the blogger wants to include. My next tour is on the 9th June when I'll be reviewing The Spider in the Corner of the Room

Once the blog tours are prioritised, I read other books I've been asked to review, and then I read whatever takes my fancy.

Q. Does one book you've reviewed stand out above all the others?

A. A couple of reviews stand out. The Red Notebook by Antoine Lauren was one of them. I fell in love with this book from the first page and read it in three hours. It's a beautiful book and one I recommend. 

I also like reviews that include a Q&A with the author. My favorite review is with a rather unknown author, L M Krier, about her novel, Baby's Got Blue Eyes. It's a fab read and in my opinion should be picked up by a Publisher.

Q. How long does it typically take you to get through a new book?

A. I have so many books to read, but I'm quite an avid reader too, so I can read about four books a week. I am partially disabled so I can't do very much, which means I sit and read a lot. I usually read a book in one sitting, if its doesn't grab me then I read it in about two days.

Q. Do you only review novels or do you sometimes review non-fiction works too?
A. I like to read all books, but the ones I review are mainly fiction. This is because I only get sent or asked to read this type of book.

Q. Have you ever given up on a book? Why?

A. I have given up on books, mainly ones I read for the book club I attend. They are books that I wouldn't normally read. I have given up reviewing these books for my blog. I like to be honest in my reviews and I don't think my negativity is helpful so I don't review them. I'm sure the books would appeal to other people. They're just not my cup of tea.

Q. What's your background / career history / greatest achievement?

A. I was a manager in a department store but had to leave when I had an accident which badly hurt my back. I cannot work now as I am always in a lot of pain and sometimes, I can't move easily. My greatest achievements are my children. I take no credit for how they have turned out, but they are successful well-rounded kids and they are rather likeable.

Q. What are your personal writing aspirations and what are you doing to try and achieve them?

A. I have written a book called A Human Drama, which has sold a few copies on Kindle. however it has been turned down by two publishers. I am now writing a romance which I hope will be successful.

Q. How do you rate the success of your blog?

A. I am quite surprised by how well my blog has been received. I started it on Christmas Eve 2014. It has had 3500 views and I have about 30 followers. You can find my blog here

Q. Do you find blogging fulfilling?

A. Yes. I enjoy blogging. I like it when I receive comments that tell me how much someone has loved my review or when someone has bought a book based on my review. I also love being able to recommend a good read to the people I meet. I have seen the way I review change over the time since I started my blog, and I hope to continue with it  - and for it to be successful.

Q. What's your favourite book ever?

A. My favorite books of all time are anything by Agatha Christie. She was so plot driven and although I try, I can never guess the culprit. They are so cleverly written, Agatha really had a fantastic brain.

Q. Is there anything else you'd like to add?

A. I would encourage people to start a blog about anything they enjoy. It is a way of connecting with new friends and giving yourself a voice about something you are passionate about. I marvel at blogs I read, as each are different and interesting. I read as many as I can and follow almost all of them.

View Tracy's blog on - you'll find plenty of inspiration on what to read next!