Leanne Herrera is the blogger behind Random Reviews by Leanne. She is a mother, wife, grandmother, artist and author. Leanne is also an author, currently working on her second book and reworking her first one. She also reviews and beta reads when she can. She says she is a fast reader and generally can go through several books in a day.
Leanne says she always loved reading. “The need to discuss books has always been overpowering to the point that I often nag friends and family to read the books so that we could discuss them. When I started my blog, I wrote about my life and the book I was working on. Then someone asked me to review a book and I realized that I could talk about books and help authors at the same time. I love that I can help and do something I enjoy at the same time!”
Leanne, tell us about Random Reviews by Leanne.
I post Monday through Friday. I blog about books mostly but every now and then I post my own poems or a post about my life. I tend to be eclectic when it comes to the genres I read, but there are two that I really try to stay away from. Religious because I can admit that I am biased on my views and horrors because I am a big old chicken. I have posted reviews and spotlights on authors as well as other bloggers. I have a person that helps me post when I have issues or glitches. She has been a tremendous help with ideas and solving issues when I have them. I have only been blogging about a year but have found that people really like my Monday WTF editions and the way I write my reviews.
How do you select and/or prioritize the books you read?
I select my books from several places and some are offered to me. I tend to choose romances or paranormal books when I choose them but have read a bit of everything and rarely turn down those that ask me to review.
How deep is your TBR pile?
Huge and if I ever get rich I am buying every single one of them!
Tell us about the rating/scoring system you use:
I try not to use a scoring system on my blog anymore but I do rate when I post on Amazon or Goodreads. I take off for things like plot, character, or dialogue issues. When I read, I judge the pull of the story as well as the ability it has to keep me involved once it pulls me in.
Have you ever been pleasantly surprised by a book you thought you wouldn’t like?
Yes I am not a huge fan of urban fantasy, I like them but they are not my favorite. As a favor to a friend I agreed to read and review a book for the tour they were running. I read the synopsis and was convinced that I was going to hate the book. I was pleasantly surprised and wrote a huge OMG post about it. I was really shocked by it and that was not something easy to do.
Have you ever been disappointed in a book you thought you’d love?
Yes one in particular comes to mind it was represented as one genre and was so biased and preachy. I was thoroughly disappointed to the point where I will never review a book by them again. To me misrepresenting your genre on purpose to push your own agenda is wrong and can injure those authors that are trying hard to sell their books in that genre.
What are the most common mistakes that you see authors making?
I am guilty of this but I see others do it often too. Dialogue. Sometimes you get so wrapped up in telling your story you forget your characters can talk. It also happens when your characters talk in a way that is too formal/informal for their characters personality.
Tell us about any pet peeves you have as a reader.
Biggest pet peeve as a reader has to be a book that just doesn’t pull me in or is drawn out with a lot of info dumps. I get bored and do not want to finish the book.
Would you say you more often find yourself loving a book it seems everyone hates, or hating a book everyone else is raving about?
Both there are books out there that I love and books out there that I hate that others are either raving about or putting down. I just figure that everyone is different and has unique opinions and ideals. Not everyone is going to agree with everyone else and that is okay.
What can authors do to ensure a good relationship with book bloggers?
This is huge for me! I love when authors either publicly or privately take a moment of their time to say thank you to me for reviewing their books. A conversation away from there books would be nice too but for now I would just be happy with a thank you every now and then.
If you read a book you think is just terrible, how do you handle that?
I write the author and tell them the issues I am having and leave it up to them on whether or not I put up the review for them. Sometimes the issues are already being corrected, especially when I get arc copies. I am honest with authors, in the same way I expect them to be to me.
What was your worst experience with an author?
I don’t think I have ever had an author respond to me meanly but I have seen authors blast authors and make fun of them because of the review they were given. That is something that goes way below the belt. I mean I totally get that your book is your baby, but every author should expect that some people are just not going to like it.
Leanne, thanks for a great interview. Hopefully, we’ll be adding to your readership and to your TBR pile.