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.
What are the best and worst things about being a book blogger?
Best thing about being a blogger? There are so many I could say – the friendships formed both online and in real life have been amazing, being able to attend and then blog about festivals and events has been superb, meeting my idols – the authors! Being a named character (along with my awesome dog who has recently passed – Buster bear) in many books – oh gosh, there are so many things. It has also opened up so many opportunities for me and I am so thankful for that. Never in a million years would I have thought that blogging about books I love could bring such happiness into my life! I am very grateful to receive some wonderful ARC’s, but truth be told – I am as addicted to buying books as I am reading, so even if I didn’t receive a proof copy, if I wanted the book, I’d buy it (I also buy books I HAVE received an ARC for – after all, an author doesn’t live on air!)
The worst thing? Hmm… I could be negative and mention the haters, those who think blogging is a doddle etc, but you know what, my experience has been more positive than negative, so I can honestly say that there has been nothing significant for me to ever say there are bad things about being a blogger. I have loved every minute and will keep blogging about great reads, authors and events/experiences as long as I can!
How soon after finishing reading a book do you write a review?
It could be a while before I write a review after finishing a book, but I take A LOT of notes as I read because I have to read so far in advance of a blog tour or promised review due to trying to maintain a balance between work, home and fun! It also gives me a valid excuse to buy stationary/notebooks – another addiction I have.
Have you met any fellow book bloggers in ‘real life’ and what were they like?
I have been very lucky to meet quite a few of my blogging buddies in real life. They are the MOST AMAZING people and truly #MyKindOfWeirdos – every-single-one of them have been exactly the way the come across on social media and we immediately hit it off – in fact, many of them are what I would consider my BEST friends – lifelong…they are stuck with me whether they want to be or not! I would name them but fear I may forget someone – they know who they are, and I love them to pieces!
Have you met any of your favourite authors? Did the experience meet your expectations?
I have been SO incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to meet quite a few of my favourite authors and it exceeded all my expectations. Some of them have become very good friends of mine. They have been so down-to-earth, inspirational, encouraging and well, just bloody marvellous. I am one truly, lucky gal!
Think of the worst antagonist you’ve ‘met’ in a book. If you could dish out your own justice on behalf of their victims, who would it be and what would you do?
Dr Alex Thorne in Angela Marsons DI KIM STONE series has to be one of the worst – because her sociopathic tendencies make her pure evil without even having to do the dirty work herself. The Charles Manson of fiction, this woman is so manipulative, cunning and bloody clever, she draws you in – I would love to be able to mentally turn the tables on her and give her a taste of her own medicine…but frankly, that wouldn’t even phase her and I’m afraid she may actually enjoy any physical torture I could think of, as she would be thrilled to see the pain and moral dilemma faced by me as I was doing it!
Thank you for your interesting answers Noelle. I agree with you about some people’s perceptions about book bloggers – it isn’t a doddle, you all work very hard, and for free!
As always, thank you for your continued support,