Hi, and a big welcome today to Sharon Bairden, a Scottish Blogger with a particular interest and love of Scottish Crime Fiction. She tells us she reads daily and on average devours 2/3 books per week (more if time permits). In particular she loves Crime/thrillers/police procedurals and especially Scottish Crime Fiction. She started her Blog to store her reviews and thoughts on the books that she love, and as a way to offer support to all the fantastic authors out there
Welcome to Meet the Bloggers Sharon and thanks for taking some time from your busy schedule to take part in this. I must say how much I enjoy your blog and reviews.
Can you tell us about yourself please
Why thank you for the compliment! My name is Sharon and I live just outside of Glasgow. I’m an obsessive compulsive reader and a wee bit of an author stalker! When I’m not reading and stalking, I’m the manager of an independent Advocacy service where we work alongside individuals to support them to have their voices heard and to be involved in decisions about their lives.
How did you become involved in book blogging?
I became involved in blogging through getting to know other readers and bloggers on Facebook groups. Initially I was just looking for a platform to store my reviews of books, it took me ages to pluck up the courage to actually share the reviews with others! I thought they would laugh at me!!
What is the best thing about blogging? What is the worst thing?
The best thing is everything! Seriously though the best thing is the book world community! I’ve made so many new friends through blogging! Also I’ve had the chance to host author panels in Waterstones and at Book Festivals, it really has opened up a whole new world to me! The worst thing is not having 48 hours in a day! I feel bad when I have to turn down Book review requests but seriously there is nothing I’d say was ‘bad’ about blogging!
What is your favourite genre? What genres do you review?
Easy, crime fiction and psychological thrillers and especially Scottish crime fiction!
How do you go about writing a review?
I usually jot down some key points as I read and I always draft up my review as soon as I have finished the book. I like to talk about how a book made me feel, the character and the sense of place. I don’t Promise literary style reviews but rather ones that come from my heart! The biggest buzz I get is if someone buys a book on the back of my review! It’s all about sharing the book love!
The way you write your reviews is fantastic, have you considered becoming an author?
I’m dabbling and that’s all I’m saying!
What have been some highlights you have had whilst blogging?
Hosting a panel at Bloody Scotland and Bute Noir as well as interviewing authors in Waterstones; being a bookseller for a day, interviewing Bob McDevitt (Bloody Scotland Director) Meeting all the bloggers I’ve got to know online in person and building up some great friendships! And one of my biggest kicks is when Lin Anderson comes over and says hello to me at events (I’ve stalked the woman endlessly!)
What type of blogging events do you love and take part in?
I love going to real time meet ups, taking part in blog tours and cover reveals and anything really that shares the love of books!
Any special places blogging has taken you to?
All the book festivals I attend but a special place in my heart for Bloody Scotland and Bute Noir
Which author would you most like to meet?
I would have loved to have met William McIlvanney, the godfather of Tartan Noir
What advice would you give to authors wanting to approach you for a review, what would make you more inclined to accept requests etc
Make your approach personal, Dear Blogger doesn’t really do it for me! Don’t ask me to read stuff that is in the list of genres I don’t read – I can promise you – I won’t love it just because you say I will! Don’t bitch about other bloggers, it’s a small world and it will come back to bite you!
Now to some fun questions about you:
Favourite movie: The Shining – I still can’t watch it on my own though!
Favourite music: Echo and The Bunnymen and The Cure – my goth days never left me.
Favourite food: Italian
Favourite book: You can’t ask me that, it’s like asking who my favourite child is!
Favourite holiday destination: Anywhere there is a book festival!
Pets: I have one dog, a golden lab called Cooper and 2 cats, Phoebe and Belle
Besides books, do you have any other passion/hobbies?
Eh books, books and books! I’m pretty passionate about human rights and breaking down the stigma of mental health too though!
If you could meet anyone, dead or alive who would that be and why?
Going to be soppy here and say my dad, he instilled my love of reading and books and I’d love to be able to sit down and show him where it has taken me!
What would be your idea of bliss?
A lottery win to allow me to buy a Retreat for bloggers, authors and bookish people to chill!
Any fun facts/stories you would like to share about yourself
I’ve walked over broken glass and burning coals to raise money for charity – that’s about as exciting as it gets really!