1. First off, tell us who you are. Let us know a little bit about yourself.
Hi there. I'm Leenna. I'm both a writer and a blogger. I blog about all sorts of things that interest me: from books, to writing , to where to find the best chocolate in Harbin (China), or what happens at the pre-wedding ritual of a Telegu wedding.
My first self-published book was I Find Myself Charmed, a collection of short-stories. I've only been blogging since I got back to South Africa in about September last year. It's been a fun, interesting journey. And I'm still learning everyday.
2. Why do you blog about books?
I've always loved books. I get anxious at libraries sometimes, because there are so many books that I want to read, but I can't! I like telling others about a story I've enjoyed and what I've learned from books, 'cos there is always something new that I learn from a book, no matter if it's fiction or non-fiction. Sharing about a book is caring about the book.
3. What books are your favourites? which author do you thank most for making you a book lover?
I have so many favourite books, it's hard just to pick one. It wasn't any author who got me loving books, it was my mum. When I was three, or so I remember turning the pages of her old history book. It had grayscale pictures on glossy paper for illustrations. I loved it so much that I scribbled all over it. I read it when I was about ten or eleven. I still have that book amongst my treasures.
As for the authors that I thank most for inspiring the writer in me: that would Mary Stewart with her romantic suspense and her retelling of the Merlin story in The Crystal Cave Series. I love her writing and the way she combines well researched history with myth and an amazing character. I also loved Dianna Wynne Jones, Magaret Mahy, Douglas Adams and Harry Harrison's Steel Rat series. Recently, I've been more influenced by Terry Pratchett, Elizabeth Peters and Dorothy Cannell with her comedic mystery series which includes How To Murder The Man Of Your Dreams.
4. Where can we find you? Twitter? Website? Any sort of social media platform.
You can find my blog, Inbetweener, at: www.leennanaidoo.wordpress.com
On Facebook, I'm on: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Leenna-Naidoo/802736069794593
5. What is the hardest part about being a blogger/reviewer?
Finding the time to fit everything in. Finding good images to add to your post. Not always getting feedback from my readers.
6. Besides blogging what else do you do? Do you work? Are you a parent? Do you walk your cat on the moon? (This will totally be a thing one day.)
Well, besides being a writer, I also love designing and trying to paint. Still need lots of practice on the painting. I love traveling, so I'm also planning trips I'd love to take, even though they aren't doable just now. My ultimate trip would be going on an ice-breaker on the first trip of the season to the Arctic. I'd love to walk my dog on Mars one day. I like the red sand :-D
7. What do you, as a blogger, do for the community?
As a blogger, I entertain and inform the community. I hope I bring a new perspective, some positivity and some fun. I help support authors and other artists where I can, especially when I feel drawn to their material. I share information and views in a way that is unique to me.
And now for an open letter to book bloggers from Stormy Smith
Dear book bloggers,
Thank you. Thank you for loving books, for delving into world after world and entertaining a revolving door of swoony book boyfriends and main characters that are tied so close to each our hearts.
Thank you for reading emails from complete strangers, who just released their first book, and being willing to take a chance on someone unproven in the market.
Thank you for posting your reviews to your own blog and sharing our stories with your dedicated and trusting fan base. Thank you for also taking the time to post those reviews to Amazon and GoodReads and all the other sites that help impact sales and bolster our credibility in the marketplace.
Thank you for your tweets, instagram photos, Facebook posts and comments/likes/shares. Thank you for believing in us, for rooting us on and reminding us why the late nights and early mornings are worth it.
Thank you for the extras…the release days blasts, the social sharing during sales and the general excitement you bring to the table whenever our books are mentioned other places.
Thank you for loving books so much that you do all these things after hours, between gigs, while your kids are napping or during the same late nights and early mornings we are working, too.
Thank you for being our support system, cheerleaders, marketing team and most of all, our friends.
That’s it for today. See you all again on Monday.