CHHR: Please give a brief introduction.
Gows33: Hi, my name is Mindi and I read and review books. I’m fairly new to Twitter, but I’ve been Bookstagramming for a few years now, and I’ve been active on Goodreads writing reviews since 2011.
CHHR: When did you start reviewing horror books?
Gows33: I started reading horror when I was 10, but I didn’t start to review books regularly, especially horror, until a few years ago. I became really active writing reviews once I made friends on Bookstagram and started to talk about horror with other people.
CHHR: What social media platform(s) do you prefer? Why?
Gows33: Instagram and Twitter are definitely my favorite platforms. I no longer use Facebook, but all of my book reviews are still linked to my account. I love Instagram because I can take pictures of all the gorgeous covers I encounter, and I love Twitter because it’s such a welcoming platform that’s rich with discussion and is a very supportive horror community.
CHHR: Do you like print or eBooks? Or both?
Gows33: I definitely prefer print. Bookstagram is so visual, and having the actual book is essential to taking good book pics.
CHHR: What does your ideal reading space look like?
Gows33: I do most of my reading in bed late at night, with my husband asleep beside me. It’s not really my ideal spot, but it’s definitely the best time for me to read without any interruptions. We moved into our house a year ago, and I created a book nook in our bedroom sitting area. I have a chaise lounge and all of my horror shelves in that area, but it’s hard to find time during the day to read there. I love that space though.
CHHR: What advice would you give your fellow horror book reviewers?
Gows33: Be honest. If you didn’t love a book, say so. But also don’t hold back. If you really connect with a book, tell everyone, and keep telling them. Post your favorite book reviews on multiple platforms. Shout your love from the rooftops! A fantastic book deserves to be read.
CHHR: Do you dog ear or bookmark?
Gows33: Never dog ear. I always use bookmarks, and I tuck them inside the crease of the book. I love my bookmarks, and I take my books with me everywhere, so I don’t want to damage one by sticking it out of the top of my book.
CHHR: What is your favorite horror book? Why?
Gows33: My favorite horror book is It by Stephen King. I even have an It inspired tattoo. I read the book when I was about the same age as the Loser’s Club, and it has stayed with me all these years. It’s one of the very few books that I’ve actually read 3 times. I rarely read books more than once.
CHHR: What is your least favorite horror book? Why?
Gows33: I hate answering these kinds of questions! But to be honest, I read The Cellar by Richard Laymon and just hated it. You can read my savage review on Goodreads. lol
CHHR: What is one thing that bothers you about your site?
Gows33: I think with Instagram it’s struggling to find followers. I want to share my love of horror with as many people as I can, and Instagram can be very competitive. Most days I try not to let it bother me and just post what I love. I adore anyone who takes the time to follow me and comment on my posts, and that keeps me going.
CHHR: How do you keep up with the books you read?
Gows33: I think if I understand this question correctly, you’re asking how do I keep track of what I’ve already read? With me I just remember. It’s a weird thing, but I don’t have to keep a book journal or anything like that. I remember books I’ve read all the way back to when I was a kid. In most cases I can even tell you the season I read something and where I was at the time.
CHHR: Do you use Goodreads?
Gows33: Every day. And I review every book I read.
CHHR: How do you feel about Amazon cracking down on reviews?
Gows33: I actually didn’t start to post reviews on Amazon until recently when I started to interact with authors more and I realized how important sharing reviews on the website is for sales. To be honest, I’m not exactly sure what you mean by “cracking down”. I’ve posted reviews recently and haven’t had a problem. I actually hate that I’m out of the loop on this question.
CHHR: What makes a great horror book?
Gows33: A great horror book taps into your base fears. Death. Grief. Lack of control. It also forces you to think about all of the unpleasant realities of life that you would rather not deal with. A great horror book doesn’t necessarily have to “scare” me. But if it takes root inside my head and forces me to face ideas that are unpleasant, it has achieved its goal.
CHHR: Who is your favorite horror author?
Gows33: I have so many. This year alone I have found so many writers that are new favorites. John Bellairs introduced me to horror as a child, and then at the age of 10 Stephen King took his place. If it were not for those two men, I doubt I would be answering these questions. But I’ve always been drawn to dark stories, and I can’t wait to continue to discover more amazing horror writers.