I work with many different blog tour sites, publishers and authors. My blog is known for being very lighthearted and fun and it’s driven by passion for what I do. Authors like my zest for blogging, my informal writing style and my “punchy and succinct” reviews. I love what I do and I love all the friends I’ve made along the way. This is my spot and a lot of my confidence sparks from there.
When I first started, I remember being so nervous about book blogging. What do I write about? Will authors send me their books? Why would they? I have no reputation but I have a damn good sell. If you were one of the first people I asked for a review copy from, I can tell you now I was shaking. You may not believe it, but I was! Which leads me to the topic of this blog.
I hide my emotions well, some would say too well and my string of bad luck started back in 2011 with the death of my best friend, Libby. Libby was a huge supporter of my book blog. She would look over my reviews before I posted them and if she said, “Wow I want to read that” I knew I did my job. When I started thinking about selling ad space to authors on my site, she was the first person to say go for it and I did. I even left the name she came up with. Anyone who donates to my site for ad space becomes a Top Shelf Booster.
With her death, came a huge blow to my confidence. Could I write a good review without guidance? Obviously, I got past it but no sooner than I did, my mom fell over with a seizure. I sent her to the hospital. The doctors said she didn’t have a seizure and that they thought it was exhaustion related. They told her to get some sleep and sent her home.
This was the start of a long line of deaths and bad luck for me and it’s still going on even now in 2013. I lost a friend that was a guitarist for a band I used to shoot for back when I was a photographer and my cousin died. My mom has had 3 more of those weird seizure things and they STILL can’t figure out what’s wrong with her.
The question I asked myself after Libby’s death changed. It went from could I write a review without guidance to should I be doing this? I’ve always been honest with the authors and tour places I work with but how much longer are they going to believe that all this crazy stuff is happening? Are they going to start believing that I’m the reviewer who cried “wolf”? Will they stop requesting reviews from me? I’m trying to move on, I’m not giving up. I love my blog and I love the books I’m sent. I WANT to do this but are they going to stop believing in me?
This fear inspired me to write a piece of flash fiction called “Book Blogger VooDoo” for Mysti Parker’s October flash fiction contest. You can find that here. I’ve tried taking breaks but it seems like I’m always taking breaks now and honestly I don’t want to stop blogging. I’m getting behind too and for those that know me, they know how I feel about that. What would you guys do? I’m seriously beside myself. See? We book bloggers are human!
Misty Rayburn is a graduate from Capital University with a BA in English Literature. She was a live event photographer, covering a lot of Columbus’ local scene but a back injury kept her out of the scene for two years. While recovering, she created The Top Shelf. Misty doesn’t have a TBR list, she has a mountain!