7 Questions With Author Esther Hadassah
Esther Hadassah, or better known as Haddie of Haddie’s Haven, is a bubbly- book loving kinda gal, who’d rather live in books than the real world. Probably, because she is the eldest of 16 kids and there is always something going on. The name of her book blog, Haddie’s Haven, was created from her summer writing a “gossip” column, for an amateur magazine on Wattpad.
She lives in Puerto Rico, and can say, with confidence, that she survived hurricane Maria. Esther has two dogs, Bella and Bruno. She loves collecting her favorite movies, has way too many books to her mother’s liking, and is choosing to never grow up. Esther’s hobbies include writing and cover art
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How did you start book reviewing and what kept you going?
Initially, I did not know about this whole world I now know as the book community. I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a “book blogger”. What started out as just me, with genuine wish to help someone get word out about a book that wasn’t even in stores yet, turned into a full blown hobby. I picked it up during a semi-rough time in my life. Blogging about the books I was reading, became an escape from the real world. I honestly could live peacefully with just books, water and food.
My first post was a cover reveal. It was not on my book blog, it was on a personal blog I had before deciding to take up book blogging. I loved the feeling of thrill and excitement it gave me. I was seeing a book cover before the rest of the world! That alone was intriguing enough for me, to delve deeper into this unknown world. I haven’t looked back since.
What keeps me going as a book blogger, is the satisfaction it gives me, to have a chance to share a book with an audience who actually wants to know about it. While reading “a lot of books” is highly praised in my house, having a chance to sit down and actually talk over what the book was about, and expressing my opinions/thoughts, its not something I can often do at home. It’s just not within their interests and I tend to believe, I am the one who broke the family mold. Even though I’m the eldest.
Also, I live in Puerto Rico. There is only ONE remaining book store, that I know of, on this entire island. All the public libraries are gone. Borders closed down years ago. Barnes & Noble only had, I believe, one store three hours away from me. That one is gone. So, if this is the only way I get to find new books and authors, so be it.
Can you make a decent living out of reviewing books or is it more along the lines of seemingly professional hobby?
I am certain there are people who probably can make a decent living from reviewing books, but I don’t really see that for me. At least, not in this particular outlet. I do consider it to be a professional hobby. It gives me a chance to work on my people skills. I get to do all the keyboard typing I’ve ever wanted to do (growing up, I wanted to learn how to type and now I’m far better than my own parents). And I get to read books all the time.
Do authors approach you to read and review their novels? If so, are you open to this approach or would you rather take your pick and review what you consider appropriate?
I have been approached by authors. I always feel so giddy and genuinely honored that an author thinks I am a good fit to read their books. I do not consider myself to be one of the “well known” bloggers. There are so many great book bloggers out there. If an author merely stumbled on my blog and liked what they saw, I’m over the moon. I rarely turn down authors when they approach. I believe the only time I’ve turned someone down was a few months ago because I just couldn’t fit their book into my schedule and life was definitely needing a lot of my attention at that time.
How do you manage to juggle life and book reviewing?
I live at home. So, I don’t really have a crazy life to juggle. But in terms of juggling housework, making sure I eat and sleep, stuff like that, I think I do pretty well. I tend to carry the book I’m reading, with me until I finish it. Though I do tend to get distracted, and go back to the book when really, I should be washing dishes. I am always shouting “Last page, I promise!” When in reality there’s probably 50 more pages. It is definitely, about finding a balance between doing what I should, and doing what I want.
Do you charge for your services or do it for the joy of book reviewing?
No, I do not charge to read/review books. I genuinely do not see how that would be of any benefit. If an author is making an exchange of their book for my review, there’s really no need for me to charge. I’m getting a free book out of it. I wish I could word this differently, but that’s the truth.
Many readers/authors would like to know the answer to this question – do you have a preference when it comes to genre?
I am one those people who has a hard time “picking sides”. I will read pretty much all genres, with only a few exceptions depending on my mood. I do love contemporary romance, though. And this might seem a little off-putting to a lot of readers (I have mixed with some people who feel this way), but I LOVE cheesy cliches.
What are the 5 immediate tasks you hope to accomplish in the near future?
I have already completed one!
1) Write a book. I can comfortably say that I have written ten books, start to finish. They just need a lot of editing.
2) I would love to, one day, walk up to my parents and say “I published a book!” I know I have what it takes.
3) This ties in with the previous ones: there are people, who have put me down for spending so much time and effort in writing/reading. I would love to walk up to those people and show off my success.
4) I’m still waiting on my Mr. Right, but I would love to get married.
5) I dream of owning a 1967 Ford Shelby Mustang. I do not remember the original reason I want this car, but I’m a bit of an adrenaline junkie. I like muscle engines.
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