Meet Nicole Galloway – Miller. Nicole is an independent, online, book reviewer.
So what initially interested you in doing book reviews? How long have you been a reviewer?
I started my book review blog as an assignment for my Master’s in Fine Arts Program at Seton Hill Universityy. It is a low-residency program. In place of class discussions, students are required to write a review blog post. In addition, students comment on the blog entries. I’ve only been reviewing books since last January, but I’ve been reading and writing my entire life.
When conducting a review, what elements stand out for you?
Every book is different, so my reviews tend to evaluate a wide variety of writing techniques. I love experimental formats and creative figurative language. I also enjoy books that present the world in new and different ways.
What’s the most recent book that you’ve reviewed? Did you find it interesting?
My most recent review was historical fiction, Like Mayflies in a Stream by Shauna Roberts. I loved it. It’s part of the archeology series published by Hadley Rille Books. http://www.hadleyrillebooks.com/archseries.html I highly recommend them.
What type of books do you read for personal enjoyment?
Anything I can get my hands on. I am big believer in reading a wide variety of different genres, styles and authors. I read several books at a time. Currently, I am reading Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, Railsea by China Miéville and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer.
When reading reviews of a book that you’ve already rated, what‘s your reaction if the reviewer gives an opposite take from yours?
I love to read reviews expressing different opinions. Different reviewers tend to notice different things and every reader brings their personal experiences to their interpretation. I’m not a big fan of particularly negative reviews. It’s good to strike a balance between the good and the bad. Criticism can be helpful when it is presented in a respectful and professional manner.
I’ve read your reviews and you have a nice command of the English language. Tell us a bit about your background. Do you feel as though schooling or hands –on learning benefited you the most?
I’ve always loved words and language. When I come across a new word during my reading, I have to look it up. I have two dictionary/thesaurus apps on my i Pad and smart-phone. These are the greatest inventions and save a lot of time.
I have an autism spectrum disorder and communication is challenging for me. Writing is how I express myself and how I learn about the world. I use a person’s word choice during conversation as replacement for nonverbal cues, since I cannot process things like body language and facial expressions. The words a person chooses and how he or she constructs phrases, and sentences is more than an objective statement about what is going on – they communicate intention, personality and emotion. This carries over into how I read. I’m a slow reader, who reads one word at a time.
Have you ever had a confrontation from someone, who disagreed with one of your reviews? What positive input have you had?
Authors tend to appreciate my reviews. I strive for a balance between positive and negative criticism while being objective and fair. Several people have expressed that my reviews teach them a lot about different writing techniques. I wish I could say that everyone loves my reviews, but that isn’t the case. I’ve been accused of being dishonest when writing reviews, because I choose to keep personal emotions out of my reviews. If I don’t care for a book, I maintain a professional attitude, state specific examples and reasons. I would never disrespect an author.
If a reader would like to have their book reviewed, what advice can you give them on finding individuals to help them?
Some social networks are a great place to find people to review your novels. There are some great Facebook pages and LinkedIn groups. It never hurts to ask someone. Don’t be afraid to contact a blogger who you respect. I love hearing from authors who would like me to review their books. It makes me feel like I’m posting quality work.
When you’re not reviewing, what does your life look like?
I read and write. Even if I wasn’t a reviewer or pursuing a degree, I would still read and write every chance I got. Video games are too stimulating for me, and I can’t stand commercials, so I watch shows, movies and documentaries on Hulu and Netflix from time to time. This weekend, I just finished watching the second season of The Walking Dead (originally aired on AMC). I love listening to music and walking through cemeteries – I find them peaceful.
I appreciate you joining us today, Nicole! You’ve giving us a bit of insight, into the mind of a book reviewer. I wish you all the very best.
If you are interested in getting your book reviewed, please visit Nicole’s website where you can read her book review policy: http://nrgalloway24.wordpress.com/book-review-policy/
LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/nicole-galloway-miller/47/397/638
Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/NicoleReneeGalloway
Book Review blog: http://nrgalloway24.wordpress.com/
An Autistic Blogs about Autism: http://nrgallowaymiller24.wordpress.com/
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