Huge thanks to Mark Lawrence for doing this again!
What a funny old year it has been!
The Tome & Tankard Inn is not yet a year old, but I’ve been Stabby nominated and now I’m absolutely thrilled to be able to say that I’ll be a part of SPFBO #4 as a member of Team Weatherwax! Esme asked if I’d like to join her before it was all official and of course I jumped at the chance. The addition of Coffee and Kristen to the team was icing on the cake. We’re all good friends who chat to one another most days and we’re hoping to have fun, make friends and promote some truly awesome self-published novels! 🙂
Esme has written a great post about how Team Weatherwax is going to work, so please check it out if you’re curious.
I guess now is as good a time as any to tell you a little bit about myself and my blog if you haven’t visited before. And if you found your way here as one of my followers, check out the blogs of my teammates:
The Weatherwax Report (our fearless leader)
You might have noticed that my blog has a bit of a gimmick – I try to create a custom cocktail for each book that I review – this can be based on the food and drink mentioned in the novel (and oh lordy I love novels that feature fictional drinks), the themes, characters or pretty much whatever tenuous thing I think of. It’s a bit of a silly form of fan art, but it has led to some really lovely interactions with readers and authors and even some much-cherished friendships!
I’ve also become very passionate about indie and self-published novels over the past year, which make up the bulk of my blog’s review requests. I owe a debt to previous SPFBO entrants Josiah Bancroft, K.S. Villoso and Darrell Drake for this, because they’re really the ones who opened my eyes to the potential of Self-Publishing. Using my (admittedly small) voice to yell about how amazing some of these authors are is a big part of why my blog exists.
You can see on my Review Policy page how I typically work, and that I’m a reviewer who tends to be on the positive side – this is because I don’t review books that I don’t enjoy, not because I enjoy all books. I may change this policy for the contest but for now I’m going to wait and see how I feel about the books I’m assigned – ideally I’d like this to be a positive experience for as many entrants as possible. Each book I review will receive a cocktail as per usual, and I’ll do the same for whichever book Team Weatherwax puts forward to the next round. 🙂
I have noticed that several of my current requests are by authors who have entered the competition, so I’ll be reviewing some of them regardless of whether or not they’re assigned to our team. Hopefully this won’t be stepping on any toes, but I received the requests well in advance, before we knew for sure SPFBO 4 was definitely happening and I don’t want to leave them waiting if I can help it.
I’m a huge sucker for Epic Fantasy, Fantasy of Manners, Comedic Fantasy, Hopeful Fantasy, and anything character driven or with strong worldbuilding. I am far less drawn to intricate magic systems and action packed novels than most reviewers I know, preferring introspective tales and character studies. I enjoy some Grimdark, but it can be hit or miss for me depending on how edgy it is. I especially enjoy Multi-PoVs, literary prose and odd couples. My dislikes are Horror and Dystopian, but the latter is only if it’s super depressing (Red/Grey Sister and Ankaran Immersion scored highly and would be considered Dystopian, for example). My favorite famous fantasy authors include Robin Hobb, Terry Pratchett, Susanna Clarke and George R.R. Martin, so this might give you a good picture of what will do well with me.
However, it’s worth noting that even if I’m not the target audience for a book I will still recommend it and give it a high score if I find it to be well written and engaging.
I am incredibly excited to be a part of this amazing contest and I hope that you will find my reviews to be fair and thoughtful. Let the games begin, and cheers! 🍸