Today I'd like to introduce Laura Kay. I met Laura when she friended me on Goodreads, which caused me to look at her lovely review site, A Novel Review. Over the last two months, I've gotten to know a little about Laura through emails and her blog. Laura's wonderful energy makes me want to sit on a front porch with her and a pitcher of lemonade and chat away a summer day. I asked her to guest blog on 101 Dreams because I love how she made her dream come true while raising kids. So many women put off their desires until their children are fully grown, but Laura is proof that it can be done. Just because you're a mother, giving everything you have to others, it doesn't mean you don't have the right to what you need in your life and to find your voice. Thank you Laura for everything you do to keep people reading and supporting authors.
And now, I give you Laura Kay in her own words.
There was nothing more fun than going to a school book fair. Walking up and down the rows filled with new books hoping one could be mine. “Laura, I have enough money for you to get one book,” which book would I pick, what if this book would be better than that book. Walking out of the school gym clutching my new book to my chest, racing to the car, so I could enter the new world in my hands.
Reading books has always been a huge part of my life. Going to the library and to the bookstore have always been a family outing with the kids. My normal reading pattern would be to find an author I enjoyed and devour everything she’d written. Then I had my third and my fourth child. My time for reading slowed down. Oh I’ll be honest it became non-existent. I missed the escape it offered me. When my daughter started sleeping through the night and my little man went to preschool, I finally found moments of free time. I knew I wanted to start writing, but felt as if I didn’t have a voice. I had worn a label describing who I was for most of my life; wife, mother, daughter, employee. I was nobody special, who cares what I have to say. I began reading about books about writing. Nothing was speaking to me. One common theme was telling me to start a blog. I knew what a blog was, but what could I blog about. I decided to put writing on a back burner and go back to my love of reading. Reading was always my safe place. I began searching the internet for contemporary women authors to see what books were popular. What I found were book review blogs. And a little light bulb went off.
Putting a blog online was fairly simple. When I started a Facebook page I began making friend requests to authors, I was shocked by how many accepted me. I mean authors are my rock stars! Soon enough I was chatting with authors, getting emails requesting me to review their books, them telling me how much they enjoyed reading my reviews. A Novel Review was me, my voice telling people what I thought about a book, sharing my thoughts about a book, spreading the word about a good book and letting others know enough if a book may or may not fit their taste. Then I began to hear the voices of my blog followers or checking my stats on amazon and seeing how many people saying “yes” this review was helpful.
I’ve always been a bit of a wallflower type. Felt as if nobody really cared what I had to say about anything. A Novel Review has allowed me to find my voice.