Today’s guest is Shaz Goodwin, who runs the fabulous book blog Jera’s Jamboree. Welcome to the RNA blog, Shaz. Let’s dive straight in with the interview.

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Your blog is called Jera’s Jamboree – can you tell us a bit about the name and what you cover in your blog?

Jera is the rune of harvest, reward and the cycle of seasons.  It represents the 12 months of the year and implicit in that is movement, change and natural development.  It’s a rune I identify with and so there was no hesitation in naming my blog in 2011!  (Jera is pronounced “Yehr-ah.”)

Jera’s Jamboree has evolved over the years, starting as a way of recording my thoughts on what I had read before opening up to support authors in other ways (Q&As, bookish news, guest posts etc).  In 2016 I combined my lifestyle blog too so although I’m still mostly book related you can also find posts such as emotional wellbeing, family history, stationery and anything else that catches my eye.

What’s the best and worst thing about running a blog?

The best thing has to be the people I’ve met along the way.  I’m fortunate to have been able to meet my blogging buddies in real life and I’ve made some good friends via social media.  My experiences with the blogging network have been positive – lots of support and very generous.

The worst thing …  is the technical side of things for me!  A couple of years ago I migrated from Blogger to self-hosted WordPress (one of the best things I’ve ever done) and although I’m ok with say finding a plugin that I need to create a process, I’m not a web developer.  I dread receiving emails from my provider although they are great at resolving any issues! Phil at Pipdig migrated my blog and he’s still my knight in shining armour! He’s helped me so much over the past couple of years with things that aren’t even related to the migration.  I really don’t know what I would do without him.

Tell us a bit about your review policy – what genres do you review? 

I’m fortunate to have a couple of guest reviewers so mostly all genres are covered (not erotica).  My reading schedule is pretty much booked up until Spring but Laura and Alice-Jane are open to reviewing physical copies.  As well as the blog, we all add our reviews to Amazon and I add mine to Goodreads.

What has been your stand out read for 2018 so far?

The Toymakers by Robert Dinsdale.  It’s magical, other-worldly and multi-layered.  It’s an experience I won’t forget for a long time.

Do you ever read just for fun or do you review every book you read?

All reading is fun. I do review every book I read.  For the past couple of years I’ve mood read (which is why it’s not often I review to deadline for blog tours) which has brought me full circle to the pleasures of reading gained during childhood.

Do you meet up with other bloggers and reviewers?

Yes I do when I can.  A lot of events are held in London and they’re difficult for me to get to.  I think you come away from any meet up or event buzzing. You can’t beat that shared passion!  

You do author interviews on your blog. What do you like to see in a good guest interview?

I think the best interviews are when there’s a mixture of sharing information about the novel and the author’s processes as well as a snippet of information about themselves.  It makes the reader feel the author is real and gives them an insight they wouldn’t have had from reading the novel.

We often ask our guests what they consider to be the next “big thing” – what do you hope to see more of in 2019?

I think the popularity of book subscription boxes will rise and we’ll see more reasonably priced subscriptions as those small businesses negotiate directly with publishers, authors and suppliers.    

What’s the best way for authors to get in touch with you?

Please do get in touch via email (jerasjamboree@gmail.com) or through my social media.

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Thank you for chatting to us today, Shaz. Happy New Year!

Twitter @shazgoodwin

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Rhoda Baxter writes feel good stories about strong women and nice guy heroes. She especially likes it when they make her laugh. She also writes multi-cultural romances as Jeevani Charika. You can find out more about her award nominated books and mentoring services on www.rhodabaxter.com

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