Thursday, April 3, 2008

Interview with Crystal Adkins


This week we’ve got a special treat: an interview with Crystal Adkins, book reviewer and author interviewer. I first met Crystal through Myspace as someone I “friended”. I was thoroughly intrigued by Crystal’s concept of taking her love of reading and turning it into a thriving business. Crystal’s blogs are so popular, there is currently a backlog of six months or more for author interviews to be featured!

I managed to catch up with Crystal for a few moments of spare time to interview the interviewer:

Crystal Adkins: Candace, thank you so much for inviting me to hang out at your blog! These were really great questions and a lot of fun to answer! So thank you again and it has been wonderful meeting you! Next time, you’ll be the one being interviewed! Thanks so much again love!

Candace Morehouse: How did you come up with the idea of turning yourself into a book reviewer and creating a blog for author interviews?
CA: The idea was actually given to me by another author friend of mine, Cindy Callinsky. She knew I loved reading and I wrote up a short review for her book Rear View Mirror, and so she suggested why not review for other authors? Plus she teased saying that I would never have to buy another book again…lo and behold I think she was right. Unless a vampire novel or historical is out that I don’t get to review then I get it and put it on my “to be read” shelf.

As for the author interview blog, well that was kind of spontaneous. I wanted to help the authors that are new, self published, or are just looking to further expand their books to new readers. I believe in giving back and helping others…so far I have gotten a ton of great new friends and have met lots of great authors that I may have not met otherwise.

CM: What did it take to get started on this business venture? Please share a timeline of your success and the amount of traffic you are getting to your blog.
CA: Ah starting the adventure into the review world…it was instantaneous! I opened my book review blog in May of 2007 and the very day I posted a bulletin on MySpace I had over 15 authors looking for reviews. After the first and second reviews were posted, I was automatically slammed by review requests. To date I have read and reviewed over 160 books and have almost a hundred more to do. As of April 1 I will no longer be taking submissions so that I can get caught up on the ones already on my review list as well as spend time with my nearing the terrible two’s son. BUT that does not mean that I am in anyway stopping for good…NO WAY! I also am working with two publishers as being their reviewer and will still continue taking books to review from them.

The traffic on my blogs increase every day. I went from one or two a week to at least 20 or so a day! I have to keep pumping bulletins out there on Myspace because that is a whole new world of info just waiting LOL!

CM: What are your favorite types/genres of books? Least favorite?
CA: That is like choosing a favorite picture of Johnny Depp LOL!! I do love Historicals, Romance, Erotica, and Vampire/Paranormal books. But if it has an Irish or Scotsman in it…you might as well consider it on my shelf!

Least favorite, I don’t think I have a least favorite genre because each and every book is special in its own way. But if pressed then I would have to say reference books because sometimes they don’t appeal to me.

CM: What subjects/genres would you like to read more of in the future? Is there a particular type of book you feel is over-saturating the market right now?
CA: I would love to read more Historicals and Scots/Irish Historicals. I have noticed them slowly creeping back onto the bookshelves at the bookstore. But my main love is Vampires. Which leads me to the next question.

I do think that paranormals, mainly vampires are starting to get over-saturated on the market but not necessarily in a bad way. I love to read each authors perspective on the vampires. A few favorites are Amanda Ashley, J.R. Ward, Christine Feehan, Sherrilyn Kenyon, and Lynsay Sands. If those are on the shelf no matter what I’ll have them LOL! But there are also other authors out there and if I see a slender neck or hunky vamp man on the cover I’ll pick it up as well. Like I said it is great to read another perspective, it keeps you still interested in that genre.

CM: Do you have any tips for authors to gear their books towards more readers or a wider audience?
CA: The only tips that I can offer is PROMO your socks off!! Myspace has a ton of readers as well as authors so that would also be a good start. Write about what you like, not what is popular at that time. And make sure that the reader can picture your characters, I don’t like reading a book and coming up with visions of shadows because they’re nondescriptive.

CM: And finally, Crystal, tell us something about yourself which most people would be surprised to know!
CA: That I love Johnny Depp, Pirates, Irish/Scotsmen and chocolate! LOL that would not be a surprise would it? Hmmm let’s see I don’t bite my toe nails if you want something kinda gross like that, but I guess the thing that would shock people is that I have a grocery store stalker! No kidding! I went to school with his daughter since like Junior High and he saw me and my little monster one Thursday at the grocery store and kind of followed us around, then he asked if I came there every Thursday to which I replied yes. And from then on every single Thursday he is there walking around with me and get this taking my pic in the grocery store...you know the freezer section…yep my pic was taken there, over by the bakery, in the middle of the aisles...you name it, it has been done LOL! I think some of the workers there may think that I am famous! And he even gives me copies of these pics! Strange but true!

CM: Thank you, Crystal! That was quite enlightening!

For more information, or to ask Crystal for a book review or author interview, please feel free to contact her via the following sites:


Crystal Adkins
www.bookreviewsbycrystal.blogspot.com
www.interviewswithauthors.blogspot.com
www.myspace.com/crystaljo722

16 comments:

  1. Thanks so much Candace for interviewing me! It was so much fun..I hope we get some comments today, I'll pop in later this evening ;)
    Hugs and love, Crystal

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  2. It's cool to see the interviewer get interviewed. I've often wondered why you spend so much time promoting other people's work ;)

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  3. Hi there Crystal. Great to see the interviewer being interviewed. Very enlightening indeed!
    Hugs

    Ans

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  4. Michael...since you told me ahead of time- it is kinda cool to see an interviewer, interviewed. I do spend my time promoing others b/c I have a passion for reading and a huge heart! If I can help authors sell at least one more book or pick up one more reader..then my job is done. *winks*

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  5. Ans!! Thank you so much for coming by! I am a real person now..this interview proves it *smiles*
    Hugs, Crystal

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  6. Hi Crystal!
    I've got another question for you prompted by another recent blog from a fellow author:
    What kinds of occupations do you like book heroes to have? Is there a particular one that you think would make a great, sexy book that you haven't seen covered?

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  7. At last Crystal gets the spotlight. Take a bow, you deserve it :)

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  8. *bows* what no flowers hmrph! LOL just kidding! Thanks Debby I kinda like the spotlight ;)
    Candace-you know, I like them to have occupations period! Some books don't go into that detail. But lets see, I guess real normal people jobs, construction worker, fireman, assistant in an office, or a child care worker (like she happens to be working at a daycare when mr hunky single dad comes to pick up his children after a long day of construction work..oops he seemed to forget his shirt)LOL!

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  9. Ooh, that sounds like a great premise! Seems the construction worker look - Tshirt, jeans, work boots - is what really turns us regular women on! Love it!

    Okay, so would your rather read about the regular construction dude or Mr. Billionaire who's a real power monger in the business world?

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  10. I would so totally love to read about the normal workin' man..not the million dollar man who can buy his women. Although I do so love those very rich vampire men in paranormal novels...they don't flaunt it around distatefully..you just kinda know it is there :)
    There was a couple of really awesome books that I have read that have been about normal people. For instance Meagan's Chance by L.C. (lucy) Monroe, I loved it! It was about a professor desperatly needing a nanny for his 2 children after his divorce, it was full of clean romance...not all romance has to be smutty but it was a total tear jerker! And just so you know Lucy is so wonderful to meet in person :)

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  11. To those that have commented, thank you so much! As a token of my appreciation I will choose one commenter to win a homemade bookmark and a copy of one of the books from my back list..some how I got two copies :) So tell your friends to comment ;)
    Hugs, Crystal

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  12. Fantastic interview, Crystal. As usual, you come across as the sweetheart you really are. What's it like being on the receiving end, girl?

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  13. HI Alan ;O) don't tell everyone I'm a sweetheart lol I'm supposed to be tough...yeah right that is totally not me!
    It is kinda wierd but so much fun!
    Glad to see you stopping in!!

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  14. i love crystals blog! you totally rock crystal! your blog is always interesting and full of good info on the authors

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  15. awww thank you so much blackroze! You know i love you :)
    Ha I have fans!!

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  16. I did a random number generatior picker thing and the winner of the bookmark and a backlist book is Alan J. Garner!!
    I combined the posts from this site as well as the The Writers Vinyard ;) Congrats Alan! I know you on myspace so I'll get your addy from there!
    Thanks so much again Candace, you're a sweetie! Hugs, Crystal

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