Friday, April 4, 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

9 comments:

Kimber Chin said...

Crystal,

As a fellow web gal, what internet based promo have you found most effective?

Thx!

Anonymous said...

Hi Kimber! The most intet promo is myspace. Goodness sakes everyone and their cousin is there! Send out messages/bulletins regularly and do giveaways! Right now there are two authors giving away a total of seven books so go comment to win...see promo ;)
Hugs, Crystal

Anonymous said...

This was a fun interview....a very great idea...interviewing the interviewer!!! I loved it!!!!
Sarah Scott

Kimber Chin said...

Thanks Crystal!

Anonymous said...

HI Sarah! You're such a sweetie! Thanks for commenting!
Kim...anytime :)

MJ Allaire said...

Hey Crystal! It was great to see the tables turned on ya lol. Great interview to both of you! Made me smile reading about your grocery store stalker ... I want one! Should I tell you where I shop and what time I'll be there???

Hehe ..

Have a great weekend ladies!!!

Hugs & happy reading,
MJ Allaire
YA Fantasy Author

Anonymous said...

MJ you're a hoot sweetie! No, you don't want a grocery store stalker..it takes twice the time to get your shopping done and you forget half of everything on your list! If I had the will power I would go at midnight! I sure would be glad to send him your way..he is like 60ish :)
I swear I have a package of pics in my purse right now that he gave me!

Anonymous said...

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

Ciara Gold said...

Hi Crystal, great interview! Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to hang out here. Reviewers are so important to authors as they help get the word out. Keep doing a wonderful job.