Good morning Jo, thanks for inviting me along today. First and foremost, I’m mom to 8 year old Ollie. I also work for Bookouture (www.bookouture.com), I am a book blogger, I also work with an amazing mind, body and spirit author called Theresa Cheung (www.theresacheung.com), I do ad-hoc freelance marketing and publicity from time to time, I co-run a local book club and I am an independent consultant for Arbonne which is a Swiss pure, safe and beneficial skin-care, make-up, health and well-being business (kimnash.arbonne.com). Phew! No wonder I’m tired!
What is your job at Bookouture?
I am publicity and social media manager. This means that it’s my job to spread the word about our fabulous books and authors in both online and traditional publications. I am the contact for reviewers and bloggers so I’m constantly arranging interviews, reviews and features with our authors. I run the social media platforms, NetGalley, Goodreads and our internal database too. I organise author and reviewer endorsements for books we are publishing and arrange competitions, cover reveals and publication day launches. And I’m the first port of call for customer service. Oh and of course, I’m also on the lookout for prospective authors that I think would fit well in our portfolio.
How long have you been reviewing books as Kim the Bookworm and how did this begin?
About 5 years ago I was going through a stage in my life where I was really unhappy and doing everything for everyone else and nothing for me and reading was really the only thing I had time to do and loved as I could lose myself in my books. I read a book called A Spring Affair by the fabulous Milly Johnson and it was about a lady who started clearing clutter from her house and realised that it wasn’t actually her house she was unhappy with but her life.
This really resonated with me at that particular time, which is something that I think happens a lot with books and I started doing things that began to change my life. Inside the book was a quote from Milly saying if you enjoyed the book to email her and tell her. I did and she wrote back within an hour, which I was SO gobsmacked at, and we got chatting and over the weeks she asked me if I’d like to be an advanced reader for her. I never even knew this was a thing that existed! I was obviously over the moon! I mentioned I was thinking about starting a blog. She told me to go for it and that’s where it all started! So if it wasn’t for Milly Johnson, I wouldn’t be where I am today!
Have you a favourite author?
Tons! And it’s a really tough question because I have so many! Milly (obviously!), Carole Matthews, Louise Douglas, Sue Watson, Amanda Prowse, and I’m so very lucky to be working at Bookouture because we have so many awesome authors that I adore and would be reading even if I didn’t work with them and I thank my lucky stars every day that I get to do my job and work with these guys!
What are you reading at the moment?
I’m currently reading Mandy Baggot’s One Wish in Manhattan. The last book I read was Snowflakes on Silver Cove by Holly Martin – adorable! And before that it was Carole Matthews’ The Chocolate Lover’s Christmas which was fabulous. I’m quite into Christmas books right now! But next I’m about to start Helen Phifer’s The Ghost House which I need to start in daylight because I’m a big scaredy-pants. I’m also reading a self-help book called The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. My TBR pile is SOOOOO tall!
Have you ever thought about changing places and becoming a writer?
I have indeed! I’ve always wanted to write since I was young. In fact I recently went on a Write Foxy workshop with Miranda Dickenson, another of my favourite authors which was really inspirational and it really kicked my butt into just getting on with it! I’d recommend this workshop to anyone who is writing or would like to start.
If you did, what would you write?
I would write the sort of things I love to read which is women’s or popular fiction – the sort of stuff that makes you laugh, cry, but generally feel good. I love reading thrillers too but don’t think I’m clever enough to write one of those!
When you are able to dip out of your busy life, how do you spend your relaxation time?
My son Ollie is my best buddy in the whole world so anything we do together is my most favourite past time whether it’s visiting somewhere or just hanging out. I obviously read – a lot! I recently set up a book club in Cannock, Staffs (which is near to where I live) with a lady who owns a cafe and coffee bar and we LOVE our book club. It’s not traditional because we don’t choose a book, but what we do is to talk about the books we’ve read and some of us set reading challenges, which might be to read a new genre, or a book that is popular, or to read more. We have an author at each one too to talk about their writing journey and to do a reading. It’s really just about people who love books coming together, drinking tea, eating cake and chatting about books.
I love reading self-help/self-development books and with my Arbonne business I arrange get-togethers where I introduce people to the products.
And sometimes, when I crash from my busy life, I binge-watch Devious Maids, Greys Anatomy, Stella, Mount Pleasant and Hawaii 5O. I’m not a big TV watcher but I record things so I can skip through the adverts!
I also have an amazing group of friends who I love catching up with as often as we can.
What is your favourite holiday destination?
I love anywhere with turquoise sea and stunning white beaches where I can lie on a sunbed and read, read, read. That doesn’t happen when you have a child though so it’s been a while since I had that type of holiday. I’ve been lucky enough in the past to visit Barbados, The Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Mexico, The Maldives, Florida and loads of places in Europe too. And I absolutely LOVE The Algarve, I’ve visited there many many times and have some lovely memories.
Holidays for me are about creating memories, so anywhere with Ollie is great, even in the UK, as long as I can take a long walk on a beach and breathe in the sea air and watch the waves lap onto the shore.
If you were stranded on a desert island and were able to have four essential items, what would they be?
OMG! Great question! Really hard for me because I don’t think there’s anything really that I couldn’t be without!
My iPad loaded with a million books – and of course it would have to have a never ending power supplyer because the thought of that running out of battery though just gave me palpitations!
My son! Because we’d always find something to laugh about! I probably should have picked him before my iPad but as they say on XFactor – this is in no particular order – honest!
A coffee machine and an endless supply of coffee
A big fat never-ending cake!