I’m delighted to welcome Anne to my blog today. Anne is such a great supporter of reviewers and writers and always generously shares my posts, often with kind words. So it’s her turn for a bit of the limelight. Thanks for agreeing to be part of my Blogger in the Spotlight feature Anne. First of all, would you tell me a little about yourself?
Thank you for inviting me. I’m a Scot, originally from Edinburgh, and currently living in the Scottish Highlands. I’m a wife, mother and grandmother, and I recently retired from a thirty-six year career as a primary school teacher. I’m also a writer and have published two novels for adults as well as one for children. I usually describe myself as a kind-hearted but subversive old bat.
What books/authors did you enjoy as a child?
I loved Heidi by Johanna Spyri, What Katy Did and its sequels by Susan Coolidge, and Little Women and its sequels by Louisa May Alcott. I was also a big fan of Enid Blyton’s Mallory Towers series and, of course, all the The Famous Five books.
What made you want to start blogging?
I started my blog back in 2010. I’d just published my first novel and the advice was to set up a blog for publicity purposes. I had no idea what I was doing and no idea what to post. And, as you’ll see below, it soon became about much more than self-publicising.
What do you enjoy most about blogging?
I enjoy the interaction. I enjoy the discipline of having to come up with a weekly post and I enjoy feeling part of a blogging community. I read other people’s blogs, I follow them and comment on and share their posts – and other bloggers do the same for me. I’ve come across writers, artists and activists I’d never have known about apart from through blogging. And of course there’s being part of the book blogging community – an amazing group of friendly, tireless and prolific book critters – who just keep adding to my own To-Be-Read (and reviewed) pile.
Tell me about your blog – sell yourself!
Like I said above, I had no idea what I was doing at first. But I got started and it quickly became about so much more than publicising my book. I posted about all sorts of stuff. I posted opinion pieces, heartfelt personal pieces, travel pieces, book reviews – all sorts of stuff. Yes, I do still blog about my own writing, about the books I’ve written and about my current work-in-progress, but after several mutations, incarnations, and changes in appearance my Put it In Writing blog focuses on the three Rs i.e. Reading, Writing and Reflecting. I tend to post once a week, usually on a Monday and I loosely follow a rolling programme of themes – so one week it’s a review of my reading, the next week it’s a post about writing and the third week it’s a reflective, opinion piece. The blog has around 280 signed-up followers and I have a trusty group of regular commenters and sharers of my posts.
What’s your favourite book you’ve reviewed in the past year? Or favourite three if you really can’t choose.
That’s a tough one as I only review books that I’ve enjoyed. But I’ve managed to get it down to three: Keep the Midnight Out by Alex Gray, Silent Water by Jan Ruth and Buy Buy Baby by Helen Mackinven.
What are you reading just now?
I’m currently (September 2016) reading Claire King’s new novel Everything Love Is.
Tell me about your reading habits: book or kindle, bed or bath, morning or evening?
I read mainly print books. I find it easier if I’m going to be reviewing a book to have it in paper form, plus I just prefer the look and feel of the ‘real’ thing. But I do read on Kindle too – it comes into its own when I’m on holiday as it’s easier to carry than several paperbacks, and there’s no danger of running out of reading material. I do most of my reading in the evening, in bed before falling asleep, often with book in hand. But on holiday I can happily read all day.
How can people follow your blog or connect with you on social media?
My blog is called Put It In Writing and is at https://putitinwriting.me
I’m on Twitter as @writeanne
And finally, if you could be a character in any book you have read, who would it be and why?
I think I’d like to be Cordelia Grinstead in Anne Tyler’s Ladder of Years. I liked how when everything got too much for her, Cordelia, married and the mother of a young family, just walked away from her life and reinvented herself in a new town. I read the book twenty years ago but she’s stayed with me – it was a fascinating concept for a novel.