Meet the Book Blogger: Kayleigh Whittle of Cooking the Books Review

Welcome to this new series! We’re shaking things up at Meeting the Authors. Once or twice per month, MTA is turning the tables to feature Book Bloggers. A huge and hearty welcome to the second book blogger to take the Turning the Tables Plunge!

Today we travel to South Yorkshire to chat with Kayleigh Whittle of Cooking the Books about how guinea pigs, chocolate, becoming a teaching assistant, coffee, the smell of a paperback, and Indie authors come together as part of Kayleigh’s life.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I live in the UK originally from Norfolk. I now live in South Yorkshire with my two boys, 9 and 5, who keep me on my toes! Our two Guinea pigs and my partner of 14 years. A long term sufferer of anxiety, reading is my escape. I am your typical stay at home mum our family dynamic has meant that I have stayed at home whilst Daddy goes to work.

Reading is my main hobby and the past two years almost is when I have really gone at it and found some pretty fabulous authors. Now that my youngest son is at school full time I am pursuing a career as a teaching assistant, something I have wanted to do for a long time. Whilst reading I love to snack! Probably not the best idea when reading a paperback! My favourite things to eat are, chocolate, nuts and crisps and of course coffee. Although I have to drink decaf because it plays havoc with my anxiety, sorry coffee lovers! That’s me.

Why did you choose to be a book blogger or how did you come to be a book blogger? How long have you been bookblogging?

I became a book blogger purely because of the fantastic Indie authors I have discovered over the past 18 months. They get little or no recognition and I wanted to change that. They need and deserve to be seen. I have been book blogging since around May last year so almost a year. I do love it, especially when it’s a book or an author I really love. I love to be able to share such great books.

Are you accepting requests at the moment? How do you prefer to be contacted?

I do accept requests and have had authors email me after finding me on Book Connectors facebook group.

What information do you want to receive with the request?

When they contact me I found almost all of the time they ask if I would like to review, what genre the book is and a blurb and most of the time a purchase link. This is perfect for me I don’t really need any other information apart from that.

What types of book blog posts do you offer? Reviews, interviews, book spotlight, guest posts, etc.

I offer reviews, reviews for blog tours and I offer Indie author spotlights once a month which can be anything that the author wants me to blog ie a review, Q&A or an extract from a new book or one that needs more exposure.

What is your preferred book format to read? If digital, what digital file do you prefer?

I love a paperback! The feel, the smell, the fact it’s yet another book filling my bookshelf I mean what’s not to love? I do have a few hardcovers but I don’t typically buy those. I do read digitally via the kindle app on my fire 7 and prefer a Mobi or epub file. But I much prefer a paperback.

Do you only participate in official blog tours or do you accept requests from authors? Do you accept request from indie authors, or indie publishers? Would you like to share a few of your favorite blog tour operators?

I typically only take part in official blog tours organised by blog tour operators. I mainly do blog tours with Rachel from She is fantastic at what she does its always a breeze and I have never had any issues. She gets some great books for tours. I have and always will jump at the chance to read for review for an Indie author or Indie publisher. #iheartindieauthors they are my absolute favourite authors. That is not to say I don’t love trad pub authors because I have some great interactions with them and a lot of them are genuinely lovely people.

What is your preferred genre? Do you read nonfiction, memoirs, or any style of poetry? What genres do you NOT read?

I am pretty eclectic when it comes to reading and will read most genres. Now I am going to contradict myself a little bit here. Non-fiction is something that I rarely read if at all if I am honest. I read to escape. To get lost in a make-believe world or a new place with a fun story. My favourite genres are Rom-com, Historical Fiction especially world war 2 based although I am partial for to historical fiction that has a fantasy element, for example, Helen Pryke’s The Innocenti Saga. YA fantasy, horror, sci-fi and contemporary fiction. So quite a few genres.

Do you write a review if you did not like the book? Do you use a star rating system for reviews you write?

Never, never, never. No, absolutely not. If I really dislike a book, and it’s a rarity then that is my opinion and one I keep to myself. I find it pointless to publically slam and slate an author and rip apart their hard work. Who is it really helping? It’s a no-no for me. Yes, I do use a star rating 3 being a minimum but again that is very rare.

Once contacted, when can the author or blog tour operator expect to hear from you?

When a blog tour organiser or an author asks me to review or be on a blog tour I try my best to reply to their email the same day. I always try to get back to everyone sometimes a few here and there might slip through.

What is your favorite aspect of bookblogging?

My favourite aspect of book blogging is showcasing the talents of Indie authors. They are very much underrated in my opinion. They give so much yet receive so little. The attitudes surrounding them as authors are poor in some book circles, I personally happen to think they are brilliant. So anything I can do to shine a light on the fantastic stories they write and to give them much needed exposure I will do.

If you could have a fantasy coffee date with an author, who would it be and what would you ask them?

If I could have a fantasy coffee, always coffee, with any author, and it will be a reality one day, it would be my beautiful Indie author friends Helen Pryke and Sarah Northwood. I know I’ve cheated and picked two but these two lovely Indie authors have given me so much. They are an inspiration to me. We are very close even though we have never met. We have shared similar journies in life, we get each other and we support each other in whatever it is we are doing. I would be lost without them.

It was wonderful having you on MTA! I very much enjoyed learning more about you Kayleigh, and I know MTA readers will enjoy it, too! – Camilla

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