Hey all, I’m thrilled to have a fantastic reviewer to my blog. If you’re a reader or writer, The Top Shelf is worth visiting! Please welcome Misty today:
What got you into blogging, and specifically, book reviews?
You know how they say everything happens for a reason? Well before I was a book reviewer, I was a college student getting my degree in English Lit after I had failed Calculus and that kinda killed my hopes of being a Computer Science major. At the same time, I was getting into the local music scene here in Columbus. I was working as a photographer and had a pretty good portfolio going for me. One that caught the attention of some bands that opened for big acts like Bon Jovi and even Jaded Era. You’d know Jaded Era and probably wouldn’t even know it. They sold their song “Invincible” to Ashlee Simpson. So yeah, I was doing pretty good, but back problems started plaguing me in late 2004. A nasty fall down the stairs kinda sealed the deal for me and now I have major issues with my back. It was during the latest bout of issues with my back that I decided to become a book blogger. It made me feel less like a helpless invalid to review books and help promote.
How did you build your fans and expand your network?
I posted here there and everywhere. Nook wall, Kindle wall and a few other book groups that were nice to me. I had my share of haters though. Some people that liked me and were supportive of the site but stopped being once I decided not to do what everyone else was doing. Authors help me expand too. I’ve recently started doing book tours and that’s brought more people in too.
Is there any truth to the rumour about you and Hugh Jackman?
I wish that man would talk to me LOL! I have been tweeted at by Scott Sigler, Jeffery Deaver and more recently, Christopher Paolini.
How do you find balance between work/school/blog/family?
I’m a workaholic. This is my work. With my back still not being 100 percent, I’m kinda afraid to go out and get a “real job”. I also believe that this might take me somewhere. I don’t know that many book blogs to say but I don’t think a book blog goes from doing indie reviews to getting the attention of half of the big six publishers in less than a year. I feel good things about it and I love what I do. My parents have never been very interested in what I do. I think honestly all they know is that I sometimes get free books in the mail. My fiancee and our best friend are hugely supportive. They got me my first e-reader that kinda started all this madness. I don’t usually get online to start work till around 11 AM because I’m doing my routine. Just like I’m always there for my authors, I’m always there for my family. I will drop whatever I’m doing and make it work later if something needs my attention right then. Even if it means a little bit of a long night.
What’s the craziest response you’ve ever gotten from a review?
I wouldn’t say I’ve gotten a crazy response. I’ve had authors say I’ve made their day. I think the biggest surprise for me was getting a review published in a book. Once We Were Kings by Ian Alexander has me listed in the little reviews section. I had a book dedicated to me by Liz Borino. I beta read for her book What Money Can’t Buy. At the time I didn’t really know I was beta reading. i think if she had told me, I would have been a bit more nervous!
That incident in North Carolina—how did you convince the governor to expunge the file?
Powder and Harley helped me out HA!
What are your biggest pet peeves when it comes to reviews?
Reviewers that totally feel like they have the right to verbally abuse an author and their work. Nothing makes me more angry. Yes authors need a tough skin but that’s only against “here’s the reasons I don’t like your book” and they should be objective not hurtful.
What are your favorite types of genres to review?
I like to review all kinds of books but I think most of all I like to review those books that take me out of my comfort zone. It means I’m growing as a reviewer.
Do you think the e-book revolution will mean an end to paper books?
No. MP3’s and digital music didn’t mean the end of CDs. They’re still out there.
What’s worse—mushy vegetables or too-hard steak?
Too hard steak. Mushy veggies I can live with but tough steak is a travesty!
Misty Rayburn is a graduate from Capital University with a BA in English Literature. She was a live event photographer, covering a lot of Columbus’ local scene but a back injury kept her out of the scene for two years. While recovering, she created The Top Shelf. Misty doesn’t have a TBR list, she has a mountain! Come visit The Top Shelf! http://www.the-top-shelf.com