Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Book Bloggers and Reviewers: Anne Williams - Being Anne

Thank you to Ellie Holmes for another wonderful interview in this new series.

I am delighted to welcome Anne Williams to the RNA Blog’s monthly series where we speak to book bloggers and get an insight into their world. Welcome Anne, tell us a little bit about yourself and your blog.
My name is Anne (as everyone will have probably guessed!), I’m 61 and single, and I live in the
beautiful market town of Wetherby in West Yorkshire. I’ve lived here for over 25 years now - the best decision I ever made - but Im originally from a village near Bangor in North Wales. I used to be a civil servant, working in project and change management with DWP, focusing on marketing and communications. I was lucky enough to be able to be offered early retirement (and a full pension!) in March 2014, and now spend my time doing all the things I most enjoy.
When I was working, I found I was often too tired to read, but in my retirement I’ve re-discovered my passion for books. I spend a lot of my time reading - what can be better? -   writing about books on Being Anne, and discussing them on-line with blogging and reading friends (or to put it another way, I spend far too much time on Facebook and Twitter!). Much of what I enjoy in my free time is book related - I enjoy running the local U3A Book Group, I’m part of the admin team for the excellent Book Connectors group on Facebook and for LetsDoBooks, and I’m lucky enough to be invited to some of the best book launches and parties. I’ve been a reader for the RoNAs for many years now, and one of my highlights of recent years was attending the awards last year after winning a ticket in the reader draw.

What made you start to review/blog?
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I started blogging four years ago - I’ve been writing reviews for a lot longer, but (following the example of other reading friends) it seemed a good idea to have somewhere where I could pull them together. To begin with it was just a little hobby - reviewing books as I read them, and when I had the time - but after retiring I decided to spend some time building it into something more. I started joining blog tours, doing interviews and features - and people seemed to like reading what I wrote. And I found I particularly enjoyed spotlighting indie and self-published authors who often find it more difficult to get the word out about their books. Although it had over 220,000 views, I thought my old blog - on the blogger platform - looked a bit amateur (and much too cluttered and purple!) so I learned a whole new skill set and relaunched on the Wordpress platform, and I’m really pleased with the new look. I now try to post every weekday, just sometimes at weekends - and I love every moment. 

Has your blog ever won or been nominated for any awards?
I was so thrilled last year to be nominated for the Best Pal Blogger Award at the annual Bloggers’ Bash (the ABBAs) - and quite speechless (well, nearly… words seldom fail me!) when I actually won. It’s an award that meant a great deal to me, an endorsement of the direction in which I’d taken the blog - I’m delighted people voted for me as their “best pal”, and it made me realise that I’m obviously doing something right…

Whats your review policy?
It’s on the blog. under a tab in the header - here - and I do tinker with it regularly. I’d so love to be able to read, review and feature for everyone who asks, but it’s just impossible.

Whats the best and worst thing about running a blog?
Without a moment’s hesitation, the best thing has to be the community I’m part of - bloggers, readers, authors, publicists and publishers are all unfailingly lovely, and I’ve made the most wonderful friends. There’s really nothing I don’t enjoy - except maybe the frustration that I just can’t manage to review or feature every book and author that crosses my path.

I was interested to see you have a monthly book review slot on Tempo FM in Wetherby. Tell us a bit about what that involves.
It’s something that happened by chance, and I so enjoy it! The presenter got in touch for an  interview about the U3A Book Group, and mentioned that she’d been thinking about starting a book review slot. I now pop in monthly and spend a lovely hour chatting with the presenter, Bairbre, just sharing my thoughts on some of the books I’ve read and reviewed.

What do you expect from a writer when they appear on your blog?
No particular expectations, but I do like them to build a bit of a relationship with me before I feature them or review their books. Shares and retweets are always appreciated too!

I know you love to travel Whats your favourite destination and what trips have you got planned for this year?
That’s a “favourite child” question! In the last ten years I’ve been so lucky to have time on my hands
and to be financially secure, able to pursue my passion for travel. I love my holidays, usually long haul, and particularly enjoy travelling to places where other people might not have been. Last year was Borneo and Singapore, the previous year Chile, Argentina and Brazil - if anyone’s interested in my holidays, I did write an article about them for OAPSchat a few years ago (you’ll find it here). I now have my mum living nearby, and my next holiday will be a cruise we’re doing together - Portugal, the Azores and the Canaries - but I’m already looking for my next exotic destination…

We often ask agents and publishers what they consider to be the next 'big thing' - what do you hope to see in 2017?
I’d like to see them taking the older reader more seriously - mainstream publishers do seem to avoid books that focus on older characters, and, although I really enjoy reading lighter romance, I do find it increasingly difficult to identify with characters in their twenties.

Twitter: @williams13anne

 I can certainly vouch for the ‘best pal’ title. Thank you so much for being such a fab guest, Anne.

Ellie Holmes writes commercial women’s fiction with her heart in the town and her soul in the
country. Ellie’s debut release was The Flower Seller. A member of the RNA and the Alliance of Independent Authors, Ellie’s latest book The Tregelian Hoard, set in Cornwall, is the first novella in her Jonquil Jones Mystery Series


Thank you, Ellie and Anne. 

Members, why not leave a comment for Anne if you enjoyed this interview?


Anita Chapman said...

Lovely interview, both, and great to find out more about Anne! The upcoming cruise sounds wonderful.

Natalie Kleinman said...

What a lovely post. Sorry to learn that your schedule is so full, Anne. I have a book coming out in June. Looking at how much you do, potentially you have several books of your own in there. What an interesting life you lead.

Thank you, Ellie, for another great interview.

Unknown said...

Lovely interview with a very lovely lady. Anne, I'm in awe of your adventurous spirit - your list of past travels is amazing!

Anne Williams said...

Thank you Ellie, and everyone, for having me as your guest today... xx

Unknown said...

Super post, Ellie and Anne! Thank you for telling us more about what you do, Anne. x

Unknown said...

Many thanks to Anne for being such a wonderful guest and for all your lovely comments.

So pleased this series has been so well received - all down to my fabulous guests who are so generous with their time.

Pam Lecky said...

Lovely interview - thanks for posting.

Anne said...

Great interview with a fabulous blogger, and special friend x

Liz Harris said...

Another fabulous interview, Ellie - thank you, Anne and Ellie, for it.

What an amazing adventurous spirit you have, Anne, and what interesting places you've visited as a result.

And how full your days are! You thoroughly deserve your Best Pal Blogger Award for the role you play and the help you give readers with knowing what's out there to be read.

Liz xx

Rhoda Baxter said...

Great interview! It's lovely to hear more about you, Anne.

patrickbeverley675 said...

Sounds like a very good book! Nice For Sharing.

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