Today I am talking with Lainy Swanson who describes herself as a self confessed bibliophile with a penchant for calling people Betty! She has a pretty adorable wee cat, you may have noticed her dotted about the site. She is a distraction but Lainy is sure you will agree, pretty cute.
Can you tell us about yourself please
Hey, thanks for having me. I am a Scottish bookworm, love books, bookmarks, snuggling up with my kitty (Miss Princess Trixie) and have a penchant for calling everyone (regardless of sex, human or animal status) Betty!
How did you become involved in book blogging?
So I read loads of books and I found I kept buying books and half way through realising I had already read them. So I started a book blog to keep track of my reviews then folk where commenting, then came authors/publishers offering me books to review. Even seven years later I am still like wow, I have been so lucky to meet so many amazing people and people actually read my gibberings / thoughts on books I have read.
What is the best thing about blogging? What is the worst thing?
The best is the amazing opportunities and people I have “met” both online and in real life. I have been introduced to authors works I may not have otherwise tried, book events ugh just so much really. One of my reviews got quoted in a Jojo Moyes book, still can’t believe that, love her work!
The worst thing – bloggers get such a hard time.
“Real” readers don’t always understand that we are real readers, we don’t get paid, we aren’t biased, we love books and many of us blog for different reasons. We seem to get flack from a lot of corners and some of us stress ourselves out too with pressure/commitments but overall it is one of the best communities.
The main thing I have found with the bloggers I have come across is they give honest reviews, which is the cornerstone of the whole process. I don’t understand bloggers getting flack for, let’s face it, providing an excellent and worthy service to authors and the whole publishing industry.
What is your favourite genre? What genres do you review?
I love HORROR, I grew up on King. In the last decade I have branched into every genre, there isn’t a book now I won’t give a whurl. I think mostly crime, contemporary fiction (always loved chick lit but some people find that term offensive now so contemporary fiction).
How do you go about writing a review?
All my reviews are different, some I can take weeks to get complete as you love a book so much and don’t want to give away spoilers. I am one of the few bloggers who posts high and low ratings on my blog and sometimes a critical review can be the hardest. Sometimes I take a piccy of a passage as I am reading to remind me I want to comment on it later, sometimes wee notes, other times I can bang it out not long after finishing. It really depends on the book.
The way you write your reviews is fantastic, have you considered becoming an author?
Ha, said no one ever lmao. Don’t get me wrong some folk do enjoy reading my reviews because I just say it how I would if gabbing. For example it had me gasp out loud, or “I read it and was like Oh Dear Lord” whereas so many bloggers are so eloquent in their thoughts. I tend to just go off on one but folk seem to enjoy it. But write a book? Hmm I would love to loose myself in a made up world like Middle Earth or the world of magic. I imagine if I ever wrote a book it would be cathartic cleansing of the monsters that are my family 😝 or a zombie apocalypse I love zombies (my blog has it’s own tab for them!).
What have been some highlights you have had whilst blogging?
All of the people I have met for sure. I have had a few quotes used online and one in print in Jojo Moyes book, I love her writing so it was such a huge honor to be honest.
What type of blogging events do you love and take part in?
I haven’t really taken part in many. I went to an Edinburgh meet up that was lovely. When I go to book events via say Waterstones I always do a wee piece on it and some photos. I like them because there is no pressure or rules, I do my own thing which always suits me.
Any special places blogging has taken you to?
Other than inside so many fabulous books I would say no.
Which author would you most like to meet?
Stephen King was who kicked off my love of reading and horror so I would need to say him.
What advice would you give to authors wanting to approach you for a review, what would make you more inclined to accept requests etc?
Always read a bloggers review policy. Use their name. Be polite, I hate nothing more than an email saying review my book, here is the link to buy it, ugh. Recognise when you put your book out there not everyone will love it and that is ok. Being abusive, aggressive, attacking someone for not liking your book is not on and bloggers talk. Remember that we do this as a hobby, a labour of love, we do not get paid for it and civility costs nothing.
Now to some fun questions about you:
Favourite movie – It changes constantly depending on my mood. I love Stephen King’s IT old and new, The Shawshank Redemption, Me Before You, The Green Mile, JAWS (and any movie no matter how bad it is if it has a shark or a zombie in it, I am in!).
Favourite music – Again it changes with my mood. Most recently I am loving Unchained Melody (Orchestral) by Maurice Jarre and Time is on my side by The Rolling Stones. I have such an eclectic taste no two days are the same.
Favourite food – pizza or pasta, I think Pizza marginally wins it, ok wins it a lot ok Pizza the answer is pizza.
Pineapple or no Pineapple? Inquiring pizza lovers want to know. (Spoiler alert: the answer is ‘When Hell freezes over!!’)
Favourite book – too hard to pick just one, soz.
Favourite holiday destination – Las Vegas every single time.
Pets – Love all furbabies, right now miss Princess Trixie is obvs my fav, she “helps” me with my blog stuff by distraction, cuteness and knocking everything down.
Besides books, do you have any other passion/hobbies?
I love taking photos when out walking, I love wildlife, birds, animals so capture piccys of them and share them on my Instagram (always_reading) although mostly my account is book stuff.
If you could meet anyone, dead or alive who would that be and why?
Marilyn Monroe – I read a conspiracy book and now I have a ton of questions so at this moment in time, her.
What would be your idea of bliss? Scented candle,my fav munchies, soft cozy blankey, Miss Paws and a good book (with a movie on in the background).
Any fun facts/stories you would like to share about yourself ?
I am not girly, I hate pink and all that jazz. BUT that said, I love glitter (seriously I love glitter hairspray) I love a diamante, I have 3 tiaras and currently wearing one as I type but today is my birthday *pow*
Thanks for a great wee chat and having me and Miss Paws over. ♥ xxx