Thursday, October 24, 2013

Interview with Michelle Abbott

I discovered Michelle Abbott on GoodReads where she is a regular poster. Besides being an author and a reviewer, Michelle runs a rather interesting blog series where she interviews fictional protagonists. I found this to be a breath of fresh air in the blogosphere saturated with author interviews. Thus, when she wanted to interview one of my characters,  I gladly accepted. I found the whole experience so different from the typical interviews I've done in the past, that I decided to bring Michelle into the spotlight. So, if you are remembering my post about a character interview I've done with Michelle, this is not a case of manus manum fricat. In the interest of full disclosure, I have done the above-mentioned interview with Michelle and she has read a couple of my books. Yes, full transparency! That being said, I am here interviewing her as a reviewer only.


I live in the UK and am a self-published romance author. I love to read and I enjoy travelling and seeing new places. I'm somewhat quiet and reserved. I enjoy spending time with my family and curling up on the sofa in the evenings with a glass of wine and a good book.

Do you have specific genres that you review, and what is your favorite one?

I will review most genres of fiction if I like the sound of the synopsis, though I tend to avoid horror. 

On average, how many books do you review each month?

When I'm writing my own books I don't get as much time to read as I would like and at those times I review one to two books a month. When I have a break from writing I can get through a book or two a week.

Do you accept unsolicited review requests, or do you only review books you select yourself?

Usually only books I select myself as I have so many I want to read and limited time, but I try to find time to read a book if someone has requested it for a character interview on my website.

Considering the recent surge of self-published books on the market, what is your experience with self-published titles?

I am selective about what I read and so far the quality has been high, equal to any traditionally published books I've read and generally far more interesting. I've read many self-published books and there have only been a couple that I couldn't finish: one due to bad formatting and the other, though well-written, dragged a little for my tastes.

As a reviewer, you have to state your honest opinions. Do you publish all reviews regardless of the rating?

If the book is written by a traditionally published, or well-known and successful author, I publish my review regardless of the rating. If the book is self-published with only a handful of reviews and my rating would be less than 3 stars, I will refrain from rating or reviewing it as I appreciate that the author may not have had access to an editor. In that instance I would contact the author directly.

Is there any particular book or author that set the benchmark for you in a specific genre?

Yes, Thoughtless by S. C. Stephens. I love to experience a character's emotions and her writing made me feel like I was in the characters skin.

What was the catalyst for you to become a reviewer, and what keeps you going?

Joining goodreads, I wanted to share my reading experience with others on that site. What keeps me going is my enjoyment of books and when I've enjoyed a story, I want to let the author and other readers know how good I think it is.

In your opinion, do you find the new titles original and creatively executed, or do you see more of a repeat of the same (think Hollywood's surge in remakes)?

The titles I've come across seem to be original and creative.

Out of all the books you've read, are there any particular books or characters that stayed on your mind?

Yes, a character called Caleb from Captive in the Dark. For three quarters of the book I thought the character was sick and depraved and I hated him with a passion. Toward the end of the book the author revealed things about him that changed my opinion and I ended up hoping things would work out for him. I've never experienced that before, my opinion of a character is usually consistent throughout a book.

What is the one review you are the most proud of, and why?

I guess it would be my review of Beneath the Willow by Gemma Farrow, because I think I explained clearly what I liked about it and it's a review of a horror book, which usually I do not read or enjoy. This one was an exception.

Aside from reviewing books, you have done a substantial number of interviews both with authors and their characters. This is a rather innovative approach to book reviews. Why did you select this route, and, do you find that you learn more about a story this way?

I thought it would interest visitors to my website. Yes, I think you can learn much more about a story from an interview because an author can tell you things about their character, or plot, that you may not find in a synopsis or a review. After all, an author knows their characters better than anyone else.

I would like to thank Michelle for answering my questions, and for all the hard work she does on behalf of independent authors. You can learn more about Michelle by visiting her website:
Character Interviews
Author Interviews

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