Tell me about the person behind the blog?
I’m Jen Lucas and I’m a National Transport manager by trade. Well international really as I manage a large van fleet across UK and Ireland. I have a passion for theatre and aside from reading would spend all my time there if I could. I’m a Midlander born and bred, Shropshire based although I’ve also spent time living in London, Leicester and Arizona. Grumpy and sarcastic by nature, I live with a 13year old Lab cross called Kaycee and two mad cats, Mars and Luna. I’m very shy (even on social media believe it or not) so I don’t always say hi, but I’m trying to be braver.
When did you start blogging and why?
I feel like a relative newbie at this blogging malarkey as I’ve only been going since the end of last May. Being a bit slow on the uptake it had never occurred to me to follow authors on things like Twitter and Facebook and after a nearly 20 year reading hiatus, I’ve only been back at it for a couple of years. I think my interest was piqued when I saw a tweet about CrimeFest (again no idea about these kinds of things) and thought it might be interesting to go along. Not only did I see some great author panels, I also started to think about this whole blogging thing. Like most people I think, I’d been reviewing on Amazon and Goodreads and just thought that maybe this could be a good way to organize myself and my reviews. I was still really nervous and mostly clueless but then I saw the fab blogger Abbie Rutherford at Bloomin’ Brilliant Books had just set up her blog and it kind of inspired me to give it a go. I looked up a few blog websites, signed up to WordPress and then voila – my blog was born.
What are your proudest moments or achievements to date as a blogger?
Lordy, that’s a hard one to answer as there have been so many great moments. It’s a wonderful community to be a part of. If I had to pick my blogging highlights it would be getting my first book book post – a bundle of books from Karen at Orenda. I’m not very good at self-promotion so actually being sent books by a publisher had me bouncing (literally) around my living room. Also being part of the community I got to meet and make friends with the wonderful Angie Marsons. Who wouldn’t be happy about that? My review being quoted on Amazon was pretty awesome too. Proudest moment though? The first time someone said they were going to by a book because of my review, made me feel like I’d made a bit of a difference, however small it might be.
If you had to breakdown the components of your ideal perfect book what would they be?
Character, plot and killer twist. In any book I need a strong central character. I don’t need to like them, it’s often more fun to hate them in truth, but they need to make me feel something. Bland or whiny characters turn me off. I like to see a good strong plot running throughout the novel with a logical progression. I don’t mean that I can’t suspend disbelief and I love those odd crime novels which have a slightly supernatural element to them as I’m a not so secret horror lover, but even then strange has to make sense. And I like to be wowed. I love it when a book can blindside me. Completely throw me off course or leave me guessing. Two of the best for this I have seen lately have been Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough and A Mother’s Confession by Kelly Rimmer. Two very different books, evoking two very different feelings but both endings took me by surprise. One made me cry, one made me grin. Both made me a happy reader.
What is your favourite genre to read?
Crime and thriller. No doubt about it. You only need to look at my blog to see that. But I do try to diversify and even this old cynic needs a break from the bleak every now and then. I’ve been known to read the odd bit of chick lit on occasion, though don’t tell anyone. If not that then horror. I love a blinking good scare and have been addicted to it since I was 3 years old. I don’t read as much as I used to but if you looked at my childhood bookshelf it would be full of Ghost Stories, Stephen King, James Herbert.
Finally, tell me more about your blog and why we should subscribe?
My blog is mainly book reviews with the odd ramble from me when I have something to get off my chest or I’ve been to a festival or something. I’m just getting into doing more blog tours and including guest posts and author interviews but I am mainly hopeless at organising this kind of thing or asking authors to take part as I’m shy. If you like a long and rambling, sometimes overly enthusiastic always honest review then head on over. If you like your reviews short and sweet… Yeah. Not so much.
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