I am really happy to be talking today to Leonard Tillerman who is an educator and writer. He has spent the last 25 years as an English teacher and school Principal. He also have over 20 years of experience as a blogger and freelance writer offering his services to various publications. He is extremely passionate about writing…and reading!
Can you tell us about yourself please?
Many thanks for having me here Roger. My name is Leonard Tillerman and I am a School Principal from Toronto, Canada. I also have over 20 years of experience as a blogger and freelance writer offering my services to various publications. I am currently only a few years away from retirement and plan to take my book blogging “hobby” and make it my full-time pursuit very soon. I am married and have 2 children (who are not children anymore as they are in their 20’s). I also have a little Yorkshire Terrier named Charlie who is my best friend. Yorkies-beautiful, little dogs with the heart of a lion.
How did you become involved in book blogging?
I am extremely passionate about writing, and the same can absolutely be said about reading! There is nothing I like to do more than sit by the fire and read a great book. In fact, I have read so many books in my lifetime that I lost count a long time ago. That brings me to this point. I would like to help readers and authors find one another. In particular, I strive to help Indy Authors reach a larger audience by providing honest and comprehensive reviews of their work. So many great writers and authors are are just not having their voices heard. My Grandfather was an amazing writer who wrote 5 amazing books. They were never published as it was such a difficult market to break into. I want to help people like him.
What is the best thing about blogging? What is the worst thing?
Without a doubt the best thing about blogging is discovering new authors and building relationships with them. I find them as a group to be such interesting people. I love all art and artists. Writers are artists.
What is your favourite genre? What genres do you review?
My favorite genre is Literary Fiction. However, I truly enjoy all genres. I also review all genres.
How do you go about writing a review?
Ahhh…such a good question. All writers have their unique routines. Personally, I read a book once and sometimes twice. I take notes as I read and highlight throughout it. When it comes time to review it I do so in one sitting. I write it out by pencil first, edit it, and then type it onto my computer. I actually spend a lot of time thinking about the book. I try to get into the author’s head, and the collective heads of the future readers.
Have you ever considered becoming an author?
I actually am an author. I have numerous articles published to literary magazines and in a variety of other places. I currently am working on 2 “works in progress” and will be publishing them this year.
Which author would you most like to meet?
This is a very tricky question. My favorite author of all time is Charles Dickens. If he could come back to life…he is the author I would like to meet. As for Indie authors there are just too many for me to narrow it down. As I mentioned previously, they are great people!
What advice would you give to authors wanting to approach you for a review, what would make you more inclined to accept requests etc?
I have written a few articles about this. Number one rule however is follow the submission guidelines. Also, develop a relationship and rapport. I have over 1000 requests currently. To get a review you really do need to stand out from the rest. Remember…the ratio between authors/reviewers is very skewed.
Now to some fun questions about you:
Favourite movie: Anything with Al Pacino in it.
Favourite music: Cat Stevens
Favourite food: Spaghetti with no meat
Favourite book: The Pickwick Papers
Favourite holiday destination: In the office in my basement. (weird…I know)
Pets: DOGS!!!!! Yorkies in particular.
Besides books, do you have any other passion/hobbies?
Animals, kindness, writing and reading. I wish to live on a kinder planet in which all are treated with the respect and love they deserve. This includes animals and nature.
If you could meet anyone, dead or alive who would that be and why?
Charles Dickens. Brilliant author. The other person is my grandfather. I miss him and would love to talk with him again.
What would be your idea of bliss?
Write and read all day long. That is bliss.