Thursday, 17 April 2014

FUNKY FRIDAY - With Book Blogger & Reviewer Jody Hoekstra

Today I'm chatting to Jody from  A Spoonful of Happy Endings.

How many books do you read a week, Jody?  Is reading like breathing to you?

Ever since I started blogging, the amount of books I read in a week has definitely increased. I think at the moment I manage to finish 3 or 4 novels per week, but this definitely depends on how much free time I have. I have a regular full-time job next to my blog, so sometimes there are weeks in which I get to read less/more. I’m secretly quite happy with my travel time from and to work, because this gives me extra reading time.

I wouldn’t say reading is like breathing to me, but it is definitely a very important part of my life. I love getting lost in books, tracing the steps of imaginary characters, wandering around in a completely different world. I’ve always been an avid reader and it has definitely influenced my personality, made me the person I am today. It’s without a doubt a crucial aspect of my life.

If you really don't like a book, how do you review it?  Are you kind and tactful or do you say it as it is?

I think not liking a book you have to review is something no blogger enjoys, but it is also something you can’t avoid. No one can like every single book he/she reads. However, it doesn’t happen to me that often because I mainly review the genre of books I love the most: chick lit. If the basic recipe of a romantic story is there, there are almost always certain elements of the novel I enjoy and want to focus on in my review. At the end of the day, I think it is really important that bloggers are honest. You’re not helping authors by lying about your reading experience. Yet, being kind and tactful has never hurt anyone, so if you didn’t like a novel, write a fitting review, keeping in mind that no one’s the same and there might be readers out there who will definitely enjoy that particular novel, in contrast to your own experience.

What grabs you the most in a book?  The type of book you can't put down.

I’m a sucker for true romance and happy endings. I love books that have an amazing love story at their centre, for example Nicholas Sparks’ novels. I also really enjoy reading books in which I can easily relate to the main character, someone who is perhaps a bit like me, or finds him- or herself in situations I could imagine myself in.

As an avid reader and reviewer will you put pen to paper yourself?  If so, what genre would you choose?

I’ve been writing since I was 15 years old, and I thoroughly enjoy it. I love creating a different world with characters that have a story to tell, and using my own experiences, emotions and dreams as a basis for it. The genre has to be chick lit, I can’t imagine myself ever writing anything else!

Dream time.  Your ideal holiday and the books you'd have with you.

My ideal holiday, now that’s a difficult one because there are so many places in the world I want to visit someday. However, if I really have to pick the perfect holiday, I’d end up in a gorgeous cottage somewhere in a beautiful place in the UK, close to the beach, and with an amazing view, slightly secluded from the rest of the world. I’d have a large pile of books, including some classics like Jane Austen’s novels but also some feel-good reads like anything by Paige Toon or Cecelia Ahern, to spend the time... Sounds like heaven!

Have you always been a reader?  What's the first book you remember reading?

Yes, definitely. I remember going to the library when I was a little girl and I was only allowed to take 10 books with me every time; I never took less than those allowed 10. I remember reading books like ‘Matilda’ by Roald Dahl, and I also remember getting lost in the first Harry Potter book. As a child, stories are even more magical and I sometimes wish I could be 11 years old again, discovering these different worlds and not caring about anything else around me. I can only hope my own children will love reading as much as I do, so they can experience the same things!

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You can read Jody's reviews on her blog, A Spoonful of Happy Endings or follow her on Twitter.

* * * NEWSFLASH * * *

My latest novel has been handed to Mr Misfit and is being scrutinised ready for our joint edit.  In the meantime, I'm blitzing the house and ridding it of stuff that should have been gone years ago!  How many baby toys does one teen need?!

BUT ... cleaning and de-cluttering is great for the brain and a new book just might start taking root as I attack the next cobweb.

AND ... after 'Stilettos & Stubble' finished its free promo, sales have rocketed and, at the time of writing this blog, it is at #73 in humour on Amazon UK.  Very happy with that!

Have a lovely Easter and I'll see you on the other side.

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