BB: For any of our readers who haven't yet discovered Purple Owl Reviews could you tell us a little bit more about the girl behind the blog?
I’m not sure there’s much to tell. I’m a native Michigander and have only ever left to go to Iowa for college (Midwestern, through and through). My hobbies are pretty basic: reading, quilting, and baking. I’m currently a cubicle troll, looking for a library job. I am right-handed but am getting closer and closer to being ambidextrous.
BB: How did you get into book reviewing? And what has been the biggest challenge so far?
I didn’t intend to do a lot of book blogging. Some friends and I were doing a reading competition and I thought it would be fun to start up a book blog to keep my friends updated on what I was reading (this predates Purple Owl Reviews).
Then, last April, I stumbled across the Dewey 24-Hour Readathon. It was such an immersive, social experience that I found myself actually wanting to do more blogging and interacting further with other readers. Quite an achievement for the book blogging community given how anti-social I can be.
As for challenges, I’d say the biggest one is figuring out a comfortable pace for reading/reviewing to keep it in balance with everything else going on in my life.
BB: Which of your reviews are you most proud of? Which was the hardest to write?
I don’t know that it’s the one I’m most proud of, but it is my memorable for me: Grim Hearts by JD Fitzgerald. I remember this one the most because it was one of the first ARC’s I ever received. The publisher told me, before I finished reading, that they had to postpone the publication date because no one liked the ending. I loved the ending and had no problems saying so in my review. The book still hasn’t been published, last I checked.
As for the most difficult to write, there are several contenders. Most of them have the keyword “meh” associated with them. Any book that leaves me feeling “meh” is the most difficult to review because I have nothing to say. It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t noteworthy, either.
BB: You have a unique rating system of 'hoot's on Purple Owl Reviews. How did you come up with this idea and the owl theme?
I’ve always liked owls, especially when I was a night owl (I’ve since established myself as a morning person). When I was in Iowa a barred owl flew within arms reach of me on my walk home. Owls, in mythology, can see when others cannot, so what better symbol of a reviewer?
The Hoots as a rating system stems from two phrases: “I don’t give a hoot” and “what a hoot!” I could have used this as the basis of a thumbs-up/thumbs-down rating system, but I prefer the flexibility of my current system.
BB: Which 3 books or series are at the top of your TBR list right now?
I really need to get caught up on the Ex-Heroes series by Peter Clines. I only have one more book to read before I’m caught up, but so many other books get in the way. I also want to read the book my husband got me, The Complete Book of Swords. And, if my reading ever slows down, I’d love to re-read The Silmarillion, my favorite Tolkien book.
BB: Just for fun, if you could invite just five fictional characters to a dinner party who would you choose and why?
- Barry/Zzzap from Ex-Heroes, because every party needs someone who has a limitless supply of pop culture references and bad jokes.
- Kyrtian from Elvenborn, because I want to know what happens in that world after the books left off.
- Mike Ross from Pennies for the Ferryman so he and Barry could discuss the differences in ghosts from their respective worlds.
- Archivist Fable from The Realmsic Conquest: The Hero of Legend, because I’m hoping to get some lessons from her on archival magic.
- Natani from TwoKinds (webcomic), because I want to know more about Keidran culture.
BB: Finally, we would love some recommendations, which book blogs are your favourites to read?
Without a doubt, Estella’s Revenge and Bibliognome
Where To Find Rachel Online: Blog | Twitter
Images c/o Rachel, interview by Erin
I'd like to say a huge thank you from all of us here at BB to Rachel for taking part in this interview. If you are a booktuber or book blogger and would like to be featured in a similar post we'd love to hear from you - just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for information!
We're very pleased to announce that Rachel is also the newest member of our review team here at BB! Look out for her first post next month :)