Today we welcome book reviewer Amy Cunningham to Magical Words! Book reviewers are an important part of the publishing world – there are a lot of books out there, and sometimes you need someone’s help to figure out which ones to choose. But I’ll let her tell you all about it. Here’s Amy!
How did you begin reviewing books? Why do you think it’s important to share your opinions of books you’ve read?
I’ve been reviewing for about 8 years now. The website I review for, Romance Reviews Today, is celebrating its 9th anniversary, and I came on board not too long after its inaugural year. Mainly it gives me a venue where I can talk to somebody who cares about the books I love to read. I don’t look for prestige or even my name on the cover of a book, but I love to talk books whenever and wherever!
Have you ever been contacted by someone who loved your review? What about someone who didn’t love it so much?
Yes, I’ve been contacted by authors who appreciate, or in some cases, love what I had to say about their book. I was even castigated by an author who didn’t like what I had to say, and felt I’d spent too much time trying to sound “hippy”, too engrossed in my own words to feel that I gave her a fair shake. It was an eye opener. But since I don’t believe in flaming an author or denouncing the person who wrote the book, I can sleep at night.
ou have a chance to have dinner with three of your favorite authors. Who are they, and what do you think you’ll talk about?
Nora Roberts, Karen Rose, and Julie Garwood — three of my personal faves in romance and suspense. Sherrilyn Kenyon is up there too, so I’d have to break the rules, and invite 4 authors! I’d hope we could talk about all the books they were going to gift me with for life, but that’s just dreaming. Since I don’t read as fast as I used to and as some of my co-reviewers, I still haven’t read all of these authors’ works. So I’d love to be able to just chat about mundane stuff, you know — girl talk. And football. Because I’m all about football!
For some reason you decided to join that infamous three hour cruise and are now stranded on Gilligan’s Island. Luckily you packed your five favorite books (hey, the Howells brought all their money!) What books are going to keep you reading while you’re stuck there?
CASTLES by Julie Garwood, it’s a personal fave for me. Probably the Gabaldon book I’ve been putting off forever to read (Outlander) because I know it’d probably take me forever. If I had a Kindle or Sony eReader, I’d just load it down with ebooks because the device could be construed as a book in itself, and the files on it limitless! Heh.
Do you have any advice for new writers who are trying to make their books good enough for a starred review?
Whatever you do, don’t write to please other people. Write what’s dear to your heart, what you know, and have fun with it. If you want to write about Purple Monkey Dishwashers, then do it! Although I can’t say I’d be interested in that, but hey, it’s your book, not mine.