Today on Tilbury Talks To… I’m delighted to welcome Noelle Holten. Please would you let us know a little about yourself Noelle?
Thank YOU so much for having me! A bit about myself…. Well, I’m an avid reader of crime fiction and all its sub genres, and I blog about all the great reads I come across on www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk. I also regularly review on Two Crime Writers and a Microphone podcast with Steve Cavanagh and Luca Veste. Currently I’m a PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a digital publisher based in the UK after leaving my job as a Senior Probation Officer of eighteen years in July 2017. #DreamJob (Publishing…not Probation ha ha) I attend crime festivals as often as I can and have been honoured to be a Bloody Scotland reader for the last three years. I have attended Crime & Publishment writing master classes two years running; participated in Penguin Random House Crime Writer’s webinars; ran my own successful freelance PR company – Thick as Thieves – and was a submissions advisor for the publisher, Britain’s Next Bestseller. I have also finished writing my debut crime novel – A Perception of Justice, which is currently out for submission and recently started writing the second book in this ensemble series!
What went through your head when you first decided to start your book blog?
To be honest, prior to 2015 I didn’t even know what a book blog was. In January of 2015, Kat Everett of Best Crime Books and More, offered me a guest review spot and I jumped at the opportunity. A few months later, she suggested I give it a go on my own and CrimeBookJunkie was born in May 2015! I wanted a place where I could shout out about all the books I LOVE, so that is what I post on my blog. I also wanted somewhere that authors could also contribute and so I host guest posts and features when I can. And finally, 2015 was personally a critical time of change for me, I was determined to get out to the festivals and events I couldn’t go to before – so CrimeBookJunkie was a place for me to share these new experiences, all the new experiences, with people who were interested.
Today I’m delighted to welcome Crime Book Junkie, Noelle Holten (and her chocolate lab, Buster) to the blog. When I asked Noelle if I could ask her some questions, she asked why I’d want to. Noelle is one of the biggest book bloggers around, with a huge audience of review readers that I’m sure would like to get to know her better. I rest my case! So Noelle, I’d best start the interview.
You have traveled the world quite a bit (Ireland, Canada and now the UK.) Which part of the world is your favourite and why?
I wish I could say I was well traveled, but those are places where I have lived or where my family are! My favourite? Well, I absolutely love Canada ~ my home ~ as nothing beats a Canadian winter. Snow up to your knees, snowflakes falling on your face or the glistening sight from a fresh snowfall under the streetlights, a proper snowball fight, tobogganing. *Sigh* -Good times! But I recently had the chance to visit Scotland and absolutely fell in love. In fact, the scenery and atmosphere reminded me a lot of Canada and I would not be surprised if one day, Buster and I just picked up sticks and ended up moving there! Never say never!
What was the first book of your childhood that made you realise that from that point on you’d never be without one?
My dad bought me The Chronicles Of Narnia box set. I fell in love. I have been reading ever since. Though my taste in books have changed, Narnia is still one of my favourites. It was the first time I ever felt a story come alive. I must have been about 6 or 7. And I was always checking wardrobes in the hopes that I might find my Narnia too!
Do you think your love of crime books influenced your career choice, or does working in the probation service reinforce what books you choose to read?
Good question! Honest answer…I don’t know…though if my choice of books influenced my career, I would have ended up a serial killer as I started reading horror and true crime when I was 12 years old and moved on to crime fiction probably around my early 20’s!
I try to separate my work head from my reading head as I think I would be too overly critical of plot lines or characters otherwise. You know, like how some Police Officers get hung up on incorrect use of procedure or protocol or how a Doctor might think a surgical scene is all wrong. Literary licence is a wonderful tool and I don’t ever want to become too hung up on what would or would not happen…so I try to leave work…at work!