257 Following

Linda Hilton

Reader, Writer, Merciless Reviewer and Incurable Romantic

Currently reading

Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America
Nancy MacLean
Progress: 134/574 pages
Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy
Christopher L. Hayes
Progress: 17/304 pages
The Secular Scripture: A Study of the Structure of Romance
Northrop Frye
Progress: 43/200 pages
Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right
Arlie Russell Hochschild
Progress: 96/454 pages
Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America
Ibram X. Kendi
Progress: 22/750 pages
All the President's Men
Carl Bernstein, Bob Woodward
Progress: 73/383 pages
Women's Gothic and Romantic Fiction: A Reference Guide (American Popular Culture)
Kay Mussell
Progress: 17/157 pages
The Looking-Glass Portrait
Linda Hilton
Really Neat Rocks: A casual introduction to the rocks & gems of Arizona and the lapidary arts
Linda Hilton
Progress: 61/61 pages
Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith
Jon Krakauer

The Secret Life of a Book Blogger


I think I screwed this up.  I lost the pretty picture.  If I can find it again, I'll try to put it back.  Promise!


I'm not really a book blogger.  I'm not sure what I am.  I just post a lot of stuff about books and writing and reading.

How long have you been a blogger?

Since before there were blogs.  I got my first modem when the hot thing was Prodigy, back around 1991, '92.  I immediately gravitated to the book groups there, then on to AOL and GEnie, always writing and talking books.  I stepped away a bit for about a dozen years, then came back around 2010.  Was very active on Goodreads until the Great Purge of 2013, when I moved to Booklikes.

I've also been a reviewer for the now-defunct Rave Reviews magazine, a short-lived spin-off from Romantic Times back in the early 1990s, and again for an online mystery review site in the late 1990s.

At what point do you think you'll stop?

I don't think I can.

What's the best thing?

Not being alone.  I don't play well with others in person -- and not always online either -- and writing is a very solitary profession.  So it's nice to have a lot of people who are on the same wavelength regarding an appreciation for books.  Even if we don't all like the same things, we understand the fundamentals.

What's the worst thing?  What do you do to make it ok?

The Badly Behaving Authors/Writers, and I don't think there is anything at all that can be done to make it "ok."  It's just not okay, period.  It wasn't okay 30 years ago when I got nasty letters from writers who got low scores in RWA contests, and it's not okay today when writers shriek and make threats over bad reviews.

How long does it take you to create/find pictures to use?

Forever.  If I know what I want, I can usually find it pretty easily, but I'm not really into that sort of thing.  I just do it with words.

Who is your book crush?

Lord Johnnie Ballantyne.

What author would you like to have on your blog?

Frank Yerby, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro.

What do you wear when you write your blog posts?

Sarong.  It's what I wear most of the time.  NO SHOES.  NO BRA.

How long does it take you to prepare?

I don't.  I pretty much write off the top of my head.  If a book -- or other subject -- really interests me, I have a basic idea what I want to say.  And I always end up saying too much.

How do you feel about the book blogger community/culture?

I enjoy it, and I hope at least some members enjoy what I have to say, too.  There is almost always something to spark discussion, or laughter, or empathy, and that's what being human is all about.  Best of all, I love love love that just about everyone in this group is WAY above average intelligence!   I mean, seriously, do you know how many truly stupid people there are out in the real world?  It's scary!

What do you think one should do to get a successful blog?

Be honest, with yourself and with your audience.  If you really want to talk books, you have to kind of understand that not everyone is going to like every book, and savvy readers will know if you're faking it.  Part of that means learning how to write a negative review, in the sense of how to prepare yourself for the experience.  I mean, it's not like there's a format or a template for panning a book, but there is a kind of psyching up that you have to do to take that plunge and accept the risk that comes with it.

I also think if you have any aspirations to being a writer yourself, it's imperative that you read badly written books -- even if you don't review them in public -- and dissect them to find out why they didn't work and compare them to the good stuff.  Because yeah, you gotta read the good stuff, too!

Mostly, though, you just have to get out there and do it.  Then do it again.  Then do it again.


I think I missed some things.  I'll come back and edit if necessary.