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Sharon BairdenMy name and website link: Hi all, my name is Sharon and I blog over at chapterinmylife. I blog about crime fiction and psychological thrillers, especially those with a Scottish connection.

I live just outside of Glasgow and books are my passion.

As well as book reviews, I can often be found at crime book festivals, book launches and author events and always write a wee post about them.

I also cover author interviews, I run a feature to coincide with Book Week Scotland every year and I love to post a cover reveal for new books coming out.

My blog name was a little bit random to be honest as I never really intended starting a book blog, my blog was initially going to be some random musings about my life until I thought how dull that would be. 

You can find me at: https://chapterinmylife.wordpress.com/  You can also follow me on Twitter @sbairden and on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sharonlovesbooks/

I started blogging in…Apparently I set up my blog in February 2015 but I was pretty low key until around a year later. I felt too shy to share my blogs with the wider community.

However, attending book events I got to know so many people and the support and encouragement from others spurred me onto making it public.

Engaging with other bloggers, readers, authors and publishers on social media meant that I soon began to build a following, which always feels kind of weird that there are people out there reading what I think about books. How cool is that!

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I work full time as a manager in a charity and have a lot of family commitments; however books and reading are my means of escapism and I make the time to fit it all in.

Last week I was covering the Aye Write book festival, working full time and doing all my other “life duties” so I just stayed up later to get my blog posts out.

Plus I am a little bit weird in my sleeping patterns and, the way I see it, insomnia = extra reading time!

My blogging day starts at…This is a question with no definitive answer. Most days around 5am but today it was 3am! I get up, check social media to see what’s been happening while I was asleep. I then grab a cuppa and read for about half an hour before going on to share some stuff on Twitter/Facebook.

If I’ve got a blog tour on, it is usually scheduled to go out at 6am and I spend some time sharing this. I then get ready for work, if my daughter is on early shift I spend

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20 minutes “encouraging” (sounds better than nagging!) at her to get up; take the dog out, come back, share some more and then off to work.

What happens next? On a weekday, I’ll be at work from around 8am; I am lucky in my role as I can access social media during the day so where possible I will get in a few shares and likes.

I have no set break times at work and can usually control my own diary. Lunch is usually spent catching up on social media, answering blog related emails – with a sandwich.

I tend to finish work between 4 and 5pm and it is home to take the dog out and catch up with some “adulting” i.e. dishes, washing etc. Then it’s back to PC and maybe some TV on in the background while I catch up on social media AGAIN!

This is the second in what we hope will become a regular feature celebrating the marvellous book bloggers who do so much to help and support authors and readers. If you’d like you to share a day in the life of you and your blog please contact us here.

On a weekend, I usually read a little before dog walking, taking mum shopping and catching up with things that I need to do. But the evenings are my reading time and I rarely watch any TV.

When do you read and what do you read? I am a relatively fast reader and read on average between two and four books a week; I read everywhere I can but my favourite place to read is cooried up in my bed.

I wish I could read more than one book at a time but I can’t. I’m strictly a one book woman. I read kindle and treebooks but have never got into audible. I’m too scared to count how many books are on my TBR pile, let’s just say it is definitely in the 100s!

I’ve been reading since I was little and like most folk grew up on Enid Blyton.

My biggest thrill was being allowed to join the adult library and taking out the crime fiction and true crime novels. My first “grown up” read was Sparkling Cyanide by Agatha Christie before moving onto Stephen King and James Herbert; I dabbled a little with historical/social fiction before getting back to my criminal ways!

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My dad inspired my love of reading and books, rather than just one book. He taught me that books had so much to offer and that reading was never to be considered a boring pastime!

When and where do you write your reviews? I write my reviews as soon as I have finished a book, or at the very least have a draft review written. I’d forget otherwise!

Sometimes I jot down notes on a notepad or on my phone. If I have spare time at work I will polish up my reviews on the PC and, if not, I tend to do this on a Sunday afternoon and schedule my reviews for the forthcoming week.

What makes a good book?

A good book for me is one that hooks me in straight away; a sense of place and characters are the magnets. I don’t need to necessarily like the characters but I need to have some emotion towards them, even if it is wanting to punch them!

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I read so many books that it is hard to pin down the ones that stay with me, but over the last year the books that have stayed with me a long time are:

  • A Suitable Lie Michael J Malone
  • Mountain in my Shoe Louise Beech
  • Hydra Matt Wesolowski

What happens if you read a book and really can’t think of anything nice to say about it? Occasionally I read books that I struggle a little with; if I really don’t get on with it I won’t finish it and so won’t review it. If I do finish it, I can always find

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something positive about it and am able to point out the things I am not so keen on. After all, the things I don’t like might be the very things that others love.

I am quite lucky though, I know what I like and what I don’t so it isn’t that often that I’ll pick a book to read that I don’t enjoy. If I do, I move on, my blog is about the books I love or like and not the ones I don’t like enough to read until the end.

Favourite fellow bloggers? How unfair is this question! Like who is my favourite kid! Too many to mention but I will pick two who represent the bloggers that I admire

Crimebookjunkie – she is my book #Twinnie and when we met we just clicked; she is one of the kindest and most positive people I know; she sprinkles that happy fairy dust everywhere she goes. She has the same dark and wicked sense of humour as me, same taste in books and we have an absolute hoot when we meet up at events. She is my partner in crime.

Randomthingsthroughmyletterbox – the advocate for bookbloggers; Anne is so supportive of the blogging community; she sticks up for them through thick and thin; she is the most amazing blog tour organiser and she never makes you feel daft for asking daft questions. And in real life she is a pretty amazing woman too!

What do you enjoy most about blogging?

Sharing my passion for books; when others buy a book on the strength of my review; the opportunity to have met so many wonderful people and have so many fantastic experiences from attending events, working as a bookseller for the day to hosting author panels and events. The list is endless! I love blogging as much as I love my books.