I have a whole section on my blog dedicated to bloggers or reviewers that inspired me in what I do daily. It is essential for us bloggers to support one another and to promote our work in every way possible.
For my first post, I chose Danielle from Pretty Mess Reading Blog because she is a true example of honesty against all odds. Her reviews are genuine and straight forward, no matter the writer or how famous the book is. You know the saying „what you see is what you get”, and in this case, her blog stands out and leaves you thinking about how important honesty is in reviewing. If she loves a books she praise it, if not, she speaks her mind.
She proves that everything is possible when you have a passion and a goal, that you can mingle several activities and still have the time to enjoy blogging and reading. Since starting her blog in October 2016, she had a huge success with a growing fan-base and a lot of followers that love her style.
Please read carefully this article and maybe if you have doubts regarding blogging and truly expressing yourself, after finishing reading you will see things in another perspective 🙂
Ramona: Hi Danielle and thank you so much for taking your time in answering this questions. To start with, please tell us something about yourself, in order for all the readers to get to know you better. You can start by describing your normal day, including the activities that you enjoy on a daily basis.
Danielle: I think I’m a fairly simple person but other people don’t think so. My sister says I’m a spoiled brat and if we weren’t sisters she wouldn’t like me. My best friend says I’m crazy as hell but that’s why she likes me. My husbands says I’m absolutely nuts and I should be happy I’m cute otherwise he wouldn’t put up with me. My kids say I’m the best mommy ever! That’s my favorite one.
If I have to go to work – I’m up at 5:00 and out of the house by 6:00, off to the hospital to hopefully save a few lives in the trauma ICU or ER – which ever one I’m assigned to that day. If I’m home, get up, READ, clean the house, READ, get the kids from school and do their homework, READ… then the fun really begins… I’m off for 3-5 hours at taekwondo because my son is training for the 2020 Olympics!!!!! >> Congrats!!
When I have time for something else, I shop, drink vodka, hang out with a girlfriend, study medicine, travel… and drink!:))
Ramona: How did your passion for books started?
Danielle: I started reading books as a form of therapy when I got into oncology nursing. I am not a trauma ICU nurse and I see it all from gunshot wounds to stabbing to car accidents that leaves mothers in wheelchairs to failed suicide attempts. When you watch so much pain and heartache everyday being able to escape from the real world is much needed. I needed the break from reality, I needed to see happy endings, I needed a safe place to go away.
Ramona: Tell us about your blog and how this idea started to arise.
Danielle: My blog came after being more active on Goodreads. I really enjoyed finding others who connected with books the way I did but I knew I was pretty shit at writing. It was too much for me to form a review that had all the perfect paragraphs and such. Plus, I knew I couldn’t write the way I really wanted to on Goodreads as for as my inappropriate thoughts and comments. So I figured I could write however I wanted to on a blog because it’s mine, like a diary so to speak.
Now the name came because my daughter always calls me “Pretty Mommy” so I thought how about a “Pretty Mess” because I talk so much crap.
Ramona: What are the most important assets a book blogger has to posses?
Danielle: Wow, I have no freaking clue. I suppose they just need to be themselves and have fun with it. I’ll be honest, I’m so sick of book blogs that are all the same. Everyone blogging the same way with no personality. It’s boring, really. I know I’m not making a dime from blogging and most others aren’t either so why not let your personality show a bit more.
Ramona: How important is your relationship with your followers?
Danielle: It’s my favorite part of blogging! Hearing what others think about a book.
Ramona: Have you ever meet or spoken with some of your favorite writers? If not, please tell us with who do you dream meeting one day.
Danielle: I will say I’ve been crazy surprised how many authors I’ve communicated with since starting my blog. The first author to reach out to me was Emma Scott and I was sooooooo excited. I adore her, she’s awesome. The down side that I’m running into is reviewing some books by authors I’ve communicated with when I don’t like their books.
Ramona: Tell us about your favorite books.
Danielle: Full Tilt by Emma Scott and Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. Full Tilt because it broke my fucking heart. If Emma Scott didn’t write All In to help fix my broken heart I would have hated her forever! LOL! JK… It was just amazing. This book gave me the fells. Outlander because there’s this sexy ass Scotsman who is EVERYTHING. I’m a wee bit biased because I’m married to my own Scotsman so that helped.
Ramona: Do you mind sharing with us an interesting experience regarding your blog/ reviewer activity?
Danielle: The most interesting part of blogging is chatting with other reading fanatics and authors. I’ve always wanted to have someone to talk to who loved books the way I do but I haven’t met anyone in person who is like me. I could do without the dick pics from random men, it’s disgusting! I wouldn’t even want on from my husband let alone some random stranger.
Ramona: How do you feel about the tendency that book reviewing has now throughout the social media (blogs, GR etc)?
Danielle: I hate it to be honest. I didn’t start my blog for anyone but me but sometimes I feel the pressure to keep up. I get zero money from blogging but I swear it feels like a job sometimes. It also takes longer than people think. If I was posting on my personal Instagram all I need is 5 mins max. With my blogging Instagram between making the graphics and organizing everything, it can take up to 30 mins. It’s rather annoying but I do it to myself because I want it perfect.
Ramona: Have you ever consider becoming a booktuber ( making video reviews and posting them on your blog) ?
Danielle: I’ve actually made a few videos and created a Youtube channel, I just haven’t used it. I haven’t decided if I want my face out there right now. I may start uploading my videos at the beginning of the year. I just want to make sure I’m doing it for me and not because it’s expected of me, if that makes any sense. Plus my videos are nothing like the ones already out. Mines are more of me talking shit than reviewing. LOL!!!!!
Ramona: Tell us your biggest dream regarding your blog.
Danielle: I want others to want to read it. I want to connect. I want people to talk about my blog and look forward to my next post. It’s not for notoriety but for reading companionship so to speak. My sister wants me to turn it into a business with Pretty Mess t-shirts, book marks, mugs, etc. I’m not against the idea but I’m not overly pursuing it either. If she wants to do it then she can knock herself out. I’m a trauma nurse and I love it so I can’t see myself jumping back into the online business again. I used to have an online store which did pretty good but it took away from my nursing career.
Ramona: Thank you so much for taking your time in answering my questions, and as an ending, please share a few thoughts for the book lovers that want to pursue the same path as us?
Danielle: Make sure you are doing it for you. Be yourself. Have fun. Don’t take yourself to seriously. Be consistent with being different. Don’t go into wanting to be some kind of internet star because you will fail that way. I started my blog at the end of October 2016 which is only 2 months and it has grown like crazy! I am humbled by the response I’ve received. I think Pretty Mess has been successful because I’m just me and my reviews are not like others blogs. It’s raw, honest, and messy.
For more of Danielle’s work, please visit her blog at: https://prettymessreading.wordpress.com/
You will love her and her work! 🙂