If you missed my newsletter you also missed some helpful tips regarding reviews. So…I’m giving you another opportunity to see what she has to say. With no further ado…
Meet Jonel Boyko, Former Reviewer Extraordinaire
Thoughtful insights, honesty, and book-lover, those are the qualities Jonel Boyko, aka Pure Jonel, brought to her book reviews. Though she has discontinued her blog and is no longer officially reviewing books, Jonel has kindly allowed me to interview her.
Why did you start reviewing books, and when?
I started reviewing in 2012 when I realized that I enjoyed talking about the books I read almost as much as I enjoyed reading them.
What tips could you offer readers regarding following reviews, finding enjoyable books?
Read the good and the bad reviews. The bad reviews may point out something that you absolutely love reading. I for one, am never turned off by an ‘implausible vampire’ or ‘smutty romance’ novel. I mean, honestly, that’s why we read them, right?
I’m sure you’ve read lots of books by new authors as well as seasoned authors. Give me three thoughts about writers in general based on your experience as a reader and reviewer.
- Pay an editor that you don’t know in person & listen to them. Don’t let them re-write your story, but they will find mistakes that those who know your writing won’t see. Poor editing is the easiest way to turn off a reader yet many authors seem to think that they can go it alone.
- Not every novel by every author will appeal to readers. Each author tends to write in a specific manner but sometime readers need to branch out.
- Authors aren’t machines. They have lives as well, which means they have things that crop up causing delays. Yes, I’ll admit, I’m the first to be upset when the release date of an upcoming ‘to die for’ novel is pushed back once again, but the finished product is so much better that way.
What pleasures did you receive from reviewing and what about reviewing was hard?
I loved the different authors and genres that I was exposed to through reviewing. There were so many novels that I loved but would never have picked up on my own and new sub-genres that were opened up to me. I always hated saying no to people who requested reviews. I also had difficulties reviewing novels that I didn’t enjoy. Most of the time they were extremely well written, but just didn’t speak to me so putting all of my thoughts down coherently wasn’t always easy.
Could you share titles you particularly enjoyed, not as an endorsement but as appreciating for the reading experience?
Oh dear. That’s a hard one. I don’t even know where to start. I’ve read Ashley Stoyanoff’s Dog Mountain Series a number of times, discovering something new each time. Your Fierce Hearts series is also way up there as a go-to paranormal series, along with Eve Langlais and her multiple shifter series that all seem to tie together in some way or another and S.E. Smith, who’s SciFi romances all tie back in to one another. I could get lost in any of these worlds for days or weeks on end.
Do you write, in any form?
My extent of writing is in the form of reviews, and grocery lists (that I almost always forget on the fridge…).
Thanks Jonel for sharing your thoughts!
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