I’m so thrilled to be back with my Wednesday guest posts. To date, these posts have proved popular with readers and I’ve always loved getting to know more about these wonderful book bloggers who so generously support our writing and books.
Today in the spotlight, I have the lovely Suze Lavender from With Love For Books. Suze and I found each other on Twitter a few years ago when she gave Archer a spectacular review. Ever since, she’s been a huge support to me and I love browsing her blog for the latest book news.
If you had to write a bio for yourself, what would it say?
Ever since she was a little girl Suze loved stories. She started writing when she was nine years old and never stopped. Suze lives with her husband in a Dutch seaside town. There she spends numerous hours reading and sometimes there’s also time for writing down her own thoughts. Suze loves being with friends and family. She’s a collector of trinkets and loves to writes about treasures.
Describe yourself in five words.
Loyal, creative, eccentric, curious & determined
What made you decide to start With Love For Books?
I had a successful general interest blog, but it became too much for me to run by myself. I didn’t want to stop blogging and missed writing about books. Fortunately my best friend Anniek was very enthusiastic when I asked her to start a book blog together. I’m so happy I did, it’s a lot of fun and I love our book and blog chats. They brighten my days.
How did you come up with the name of your blog?
It was a collaboration. Anniek and I each came up with part of the name. We wanted something that would accurately describe us. The name With Love for Books represents our positive attitude.
What are the blogging highlights?
Blogging with my best friend is a big highlight. I also love that I’ve found so many good book loving friends.
Do you have any pet peeves about the blogging/author/publisher/reading process?
If you take yourself seriously you should make sure that what you’ve done will look good. This means a book needs to look like it’s being loved and cared about. It doesn’t matter if you have to design your own cover and do your own editing or if a publisher will do it for you, make sure you deliver quality. Don’t rush and take the time to perfect your work. If you take yourself seriously others will do so as well.
When you’re not reading or blogging, you’re…?
Spending time with my husband, chatting with my friends, browsing Etsy to find lovely handmade items or going to a museum.
What is the most challenging thing about being a blogger?
Being on time with my posts. I love writing them and I like reading, but making plans has been hard for me lately because of the large number of unexpected appointments, phone calls, visits, etc.
You receive a lot of author requests to read their books. How do you decide what to read and when?
I usually accept stories that appeal to me. I take requests from both publishers and individual authors. I also read self-published books. I try to say yes as often as I can, but it’s impossible to accept everything. Even if I’d love to read a book I can’t always promise an author a post. I try to have open days on my schedule for unexpected requests or to catch up, but if things start piling up I have to say no.
Do you have any advice to authors about how best to approach bloggers and develop relationships with them?
Write a personal message and make sure you spell their names correctly. Bloggers do know how to write their own name. My co-bloggers name is Anniek, but there are quite a few authors who are calling Annie. That makes it less likely to have their request accepted. It’s handy if there’s a Goodreads link with the request, so we can easily find the information we need. Saying what kind of feature you’re after helps as well. Sending your book assuming we will read it is something that won’t work. Last, but not least, I think the best advice is to be kind.
What would you like to see more of in the type of books you’re reading?
Decent editing. I regularly read books that could have been fantastic, but due to sloppy and rushed editing the story doesn’t work. That always makes me sad.
How has blogging enriched your life?
I love talking about books. Books have always been my passion. I studied literature and book marketing and stories are my life. It’s wonderful that I can share that with others.
Quick word associations – what’s the first word that comes to mind?
Coffee – No thank you
Beach – Romantic
Exercise – Fun
Drink – Virgin mojito
Hero – Alpha male
Chocolate – Something I love, but can’t have
Ironing – Nice clothes
Relaxation – Reading
Fun – Shopping
Love – My high school sweetheart (now husband)
Thanks for sharing, Suze. I love the positive spin on ironing! 🙂 For more book news, reviews and awesome giveaways, or to get in touch with Suze, check out her fantastic book blog.
Thank you for reading! I’ll be back later this month with Suze’s best friend and co-blogger, Anniek.