Today it’s the turn of Annette from Sincerely Book Angels to be the Blogger in the Spotlight. That’s Annette in the photos above with two of her favourite authors, Milly Johnson and Jackie Collins. You can find her blog here: www.sincerelybookangels.blogspot.co.uk
Thanks for agreeing to be part of my Blogger in the Spotlight feature. First of all, would you tell me a little about yourself?
You are welcome, I think it’s a great idea, thanks for having me. I am a happily married mum of three, living in Hertfordshire but originally from Liverpool. I’m really excited that debut author Isabelle Broom (Book reviews editor from Heat Magazine ) is going to be naming a character after me in her second book! How fantastic is that?
What books/authors did you enjoy as a child?
Enid Blyton was my most favourite author as a child. I especially loved The Magic Faraway Tree and The Wishing Chair adventures as they transported me to a different world where there were no limits to the imagination. I then moved on to the Naughtiest girl in the school and the Famous Five series. At the age of fourteen I was blown away by Flowers in the Attic by Virginia Andrews. I can remember walking down the school corridors reading it between lessons as I couldn’t put it down. I loved the subsequent books too.
What made you want to start blogging?
After friending one of my favourite authors on Facebook, Milly Johnson, I noticed a message which asked if anyone would be interested in being part of Team Milly so not knowing what it entailed I decided to go for it and was one of the lucky forty that were chosen. As part of team Milly I was invited to Simon and Schuster’s first Spring Blogger event in February where I met the wonderful Milly and four other lovely authors too, Jane Costello, Iona Grey, Heidi Swain and Andy Jones. Although I didn’t know anyone there I really enjoyed the evening and met some lovely bloggers and other authors. I felt as though I had found where I belonged. When I got home that night I decided to give blogging a try and so my daughter helped me set up a blog and that was that.
What do you enjoy most about blogging?
I’ve always been a bookworm and have always been the one who passes books to friends and recommend the ones I love so this seemed the logical next step.
I love being able to access books before they are released and to be able to interact with the authors is an amazing feeling, you can even ask them questions about the book and they are happy to answer. I have also enjoyed interacting with lots of amazing bloggers who are so friendly and such good fun.
I also love the feeling of helping the authors to get their books out there and being invited to share their joy at book launches and when you look at page views on your blog from all around the world that makes it so exciting.
Tell me about your blog – sell yourself!
I started the blog with my daughter as she was originally going to review books too but has found it hard what with school and homework and friends etc. so mostly it’s me. We wanted a name that meant something to us and after much brainstorming we agreed on the name Sincerely Book Angels we decided it was a good name because we wanted our reviews to be sincere, we also wanted to keep them fairly short and spoiler free. We have had lots of positive comments from the authors we have reviewed so far and our page views and audience destinations are growing all the time.
What’s your favourite book you’ve reviewed in the past year? Or favourite three if you really can’t choose.
I think I would say Bridesmaids by Jane Costello is special because it’s the first one I ever reviewed and Jane said that if her latest book, The Love Shack, hadn’t just gone to print that she would have used my quote. I think that’s a fantastic achievement as a blogger.
Afternoon Tea at the Sunflower Cafe by Milly Johnson holds a special place in my heart because apart from it being a brilliant, hilarious book, I was invited to join Milly and other Team Milly ladies for Afternoon Tea at The Grosvenor House Hotel to celebrate the launch. We had a brilliant time and there was even a naked cycle past which caused much hilarity. I can honestly say that joining team Milly and becoming a blogger has been an extraordinary experience and has truly changed my life.
Finally it would have to be The Santangelos as when I attended the first blogger event I was talking to Sara-Jade who had organised it and noticed a picture of my favourite ever author, Jackie Collins on the wall. I asked SJ if she has met her and she said yes and she’s lovely. I would never have imagined that seven months later I would have received an advanced review copy and met the lady herself at the Grosvenor House hotel. I was able to tell her how much I enjoyed the book and also that I had fallen in love with Gino when I was sixteen and first read ‘Chances’ which is still my all time favourite book of hers. Sadly Jackie passed away just nine days after I met her and she was unbelievably professional, inspirational and dignified right up to the end, it was an amazing honour to meet her.
What are you reading just now?
I am currently reading ‘Our Song’ by Dani Atkins which looks fabulous, I’ve heard lots of wonderful things about it and having met the lovely Dani at a Christmas event I don’t think I’m going to be disappointed.
Tell me about your reading habits: book or kindle, bed or bath, morning or evening?
I love to read in the bath and in bed and on holiday whilst sitting by the sea. I do like the kindle for it’s practicality but hate it when it runs low on battery and I have to plug it in grrr. However there is nothing like the feel and smell of a real book and I do worry sometimes that if one day technology fails completely then there will be nothing to read so I’m thinking of keeping an emergency stash of books in my loft.
How can people follow your blog or connect with you on social media?
My blog is http://www.sincerelybookangels.blogspot.co.uk
On twitter I am Book Angel. @annettehannah
And finally, if you could be a character in any book you have read, who would it be and why?
I think I would be Nell Sullivan from Take a Look at Me Now by Miranda Dickinson as I just loved the new life she forged in San Francisco and it inspired my holiday last year with the family. We had a lovely time there.