This week in the blogger spotlight, I have the lovely Jane Hunt, author and book blogger.

I met Jane online a few ago and have always valued her support, optimism and friendship. She’s also read and reviewed my Keepers – and her reviews are fabulous. Check them out here.

If you had to write a bio for yourself, what would it say?

‘Writing has touched my life in every decade. At fifty, I took a risk and made writing my career, fulfilling a lifetime ambition.’

I enjoy writing blogs, book reviews and especially stories. Vivid imagery, atmospheric settings, strong females and sensual males are essential for my stories. Everyday life and ordinary people inspire me. How would someone react, if faced with something extraordinary? A thread of romance runs through my all my books, whether they be suspense, fantasy or historical.  I want to let my readers escape their lives for a while, experience new places, new people and most importantly, new emotional lows and highs My favorite parts of the writing process are; finding a person, event or place that makes me want to write a story about it and the writing itself; when your fingers cannot type fast enough, to transcribe your thoughts.

Family is very important to me. My two children are my greatest achievement to date.  I am an animal welfare supporter and regularly use social media to promote animal welfare issues.

You’re an author as well as a book blogger – please tell us more about your books.

I’ve published three books so far and I have completed another:

The Dragon Legacy and The Revenge Masquerade, are fantasy romance, full of dragons, demons, wolves and witches. Crimson Frost Books published these. The Dangerous gift, my latest release is a romantic suspense set in Texas. If you like mystery, murder and a magical love affair this is for you. It’s published by Limitless Publishing. Past Shadows is a historical romance with a ghostly twist, there’s mystery, suspense and a passionate love story set in Regency Derbyshire. I am still looking for a publisher for this.

How do you juggle writing your own books and reviewing others for your blog?

My blog and book reviewing always comes first. I love reading and enjoy writing book reviews. There are lots of authors and publishers that want me to review their books and I always put them first. I often think that if it was the other way around, I would have written ten book by now and not four.

Describe your household / family.

My family are and always have been, the most important part of my life. I married my husband thirty-three years ago and I have two lovely children. My beautiful grandson, who’s almost a year old, has certainly given me a new lease of life. I feel so thankful to share this special time with him and my daughter.

Describe yourself in five words.

Determined, Loving, Loyal, Passionate, Optimistic.

What made you decide to start your blog?

Initially I thought I was too old to start a blog, who would want to read it? Once I started writing and having my books published, a blog seemed a great way to communicate with my potential readers. However, I didn’t want to talk about me and my books all the time, so I decided to blog about the books I’d been reading. My reviews are popular both with authors and readers. Book reviews, spotlights and author interviews are the most important part of my blog now.

How did you come up with the name of your blog?

I started blogging and writing seriously, later in life and I am conscious how much I need to learn. So, I called my blog First Steps when I started blogging in March 2013. Later I added the name of my website—Jane Hunt Writer and the blog became Jane Hunt Writer First Steps, a little wordy perhaps but no one seems to mind.

What are the blogging highlights?

I find writing book reviews and blogging relaxing, it’s a natural extension of reading, which I love and lets me practice my writing skills.  I also enjoy personalizing my blog with images and graphics that make it uniquely mine. I love color and my current blog theme is a chalk board which lets me use colored writing to match the book covers of the books I’m reviewing. I find book reviewing and blogging much easier than writing stories, even though I love doing that too.

What are the blogging lows?

Someone criticizing what I’ve written. Negative criticism hurts but I respect others’ opinions. When I review I always concentrate on the book’s positive qualities.

You receive a lot of author requests to read their books. How do you decide what to read and when?

This is difficult. I try to review books as I receive the requests but my deadlines often slip. I always try to review books if I’ve promised to, reviews are so important to authors. My NetGalley review rate is 94%, so that’s not too bad.

Do you have any advice to authors about how best to approach bloggers and develop relationships with them?

Every blog and blogger is different, treat them as individuals and appreciate they usually do this in their spare time and because they love reading.

What would you like to see more of in the type of books you’re reading?

I read a lot of rom-com and women’s fiction. There are certain themes which are trending now, cottages in the country, tea shops, cafes, bakeries and coastal locations. Whilst I love reading stories around these themes, there are so many. I like reading stories with themes, settings and plots that have a spark of originality.

How has blogging enriched your life?

It helps me relax, improves my writing skills and has opened a whole new world of online friends.

Quick word associations (Please answer all these questions with the first word (s) that comes to mind)

Wine -Relaxation
Babies– Laughter
Gym– Guilt
Holidays– Memories
Hero– Romance
Favourite – Reading
Fear– Claustrophobia
Bliss– Family
Laundry– Routine
Fun– Youth

Thanks so much for the glimpse of the book blogger behind the author, Jane.  It’s wonderful that you find blogging relaxing and enjoyable – I love your dedication to this!

For more about Jane’s books, book reviews and recommendations, check out her great blog here.

Thanks for reading,
Rae Rivers