Tuesday 19 January 2016

BOOK BLOGGER INTERVIEW: Stephanie Moore Hopkins

Over the last year I've interviewed many authors on this blog, and I've done my fair share of blog interviews on other sites. There are many bloggers and reviewers that really help writers, particularly independent ones, publicise their work. One of the best I've found is Layered Pages, which posts great articles, reviews and interviews. Another site that helps independent writers and readers by discovering new and talented self-published authors is indieBRAG.
indieBRAG has a team of book lovers, one of whom is Stephanie Moore Hopkins, who also happens to run the the fabulous site, Layered Pages.

Stephanie is a real advocate of good books and has helped to promote countless authors, including me. So, in a twist from the usual interviews I host, I thought it would be interesting to turn the tables and have the interviewer become the interviewee.

So, without further ado, let me welcome Stephanie to my blog.

So how did you get into book reviewing? Can you give us a description of how you ended up with a successful review blog, Layered Pages, and involvement in indieBRAG?

Back in 2011 a friend of mine and I started a book club in Goodreads called, Ladies & Literature and soon after I started to write reviews of the books I was reading-just for kicks. A few weeks after that I had an author contact me and asked if I would review her book. Things took off from there and then I decided to start a book review blog. Along the way I met Helen Hollick an Andrea Connell-who became my mentors-if you will. They helped me a great deal.

Then I became a significant presence on social media and soon after the Geri Clouston - President of indieBRAG - took noticed and contacted me.

Tell us about indieBRAG. Was it your brain-child?

IndieBRAG is a privately held organization that has brought together of readers from around the world to choose self-publishing books they feel is worthy of readers' time and money.

It is the mission of B.R.A.G. to discover new and talented self-publishing authors the attention and recognition it deserves.

The creator and owner of indieBRAG is Geri Clouston. She approached me with her idea and asked if I would be interested in joining her team. From then on, indieBRAG has really grown and we have expanded the services we offer.

In response to many authors and readers alike, B.R.A.G. is upgrading their operating system. More information is coming soon.

We are also conducting Blog Hops, special on-line events, author blitz and much more. Each event has a tailored format and offers a variety of post ideas.

To clear up any misconceptions people might have, we are not a paid review service.

I’d like to add that it is a great privilege working alongside Geri. I have learned so much from her and we have a wonderful working relationship. She has also become a dear friend of mine and a mentor. She has also given me creative licence on many B.R.AG. projects and that has been a tremendous honour. I love her enthusiastic attitude and hard work in the industry. She goes beyond and above for indie authors-more than many realize.

What do you do when you are not reading and reviewing books?

I work as a part-time preschool teacher and indieBRAG is a big part of my life. Those two occupations and Layered Pages is my main work focus.

For hobbies I am into health & fitness, hiking, crafting and mixed media art.

What is your favourite thing about reviewing books?

Sometimes I feel reviewing books is a daunting task. It is not always easy. For many reasons I won’t go into today. But having said that, I like to look back at my reviews to refresh my thoughts on the book and reviewing is a way to share/express my love of reading.

Do you also write? If so, have you published anything, or are you currently working on a project?

I do write and I am working on several stories. Everyone around me encourages me to publish but I really don’t know if I will. Maybe one day. But publishing is something I'm not sure I want to do right now. It's not high on my priority list at the moment.

My main writing projects are alternate history and time slips. I do also have several plot-lines written down for strictly modern day stories.

What writer or book has had the biggest influence on you?

This is a hard question because several authors have influenced me a great deal over the years. So I think I will stick with what book has had the biggest influence over my writing. That would be, The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz. The story is so beautifully written it speaks for itself.

What is the best book you've read in the last twelve months?

To name a few: The Secret Life of Winnie Cox by Sharon Maas, The Conqueror’s Wife: A Novel of Alexander the Great by Stephanie Thornton, The Debt of Tamar by Nicole Dweck, I Captured the Castle by Dodie Smith and The Perfume Garden by Kate Lord Brown.

What is the best experience you’ve had as a result of reviewing or writing?

Meeting so many writers and fellow readers and discussing stories and the art of writing with them in great length. Discovering so many wonderful books I probably wouldn’t have found otherwise.

Have you had any bad experiences working with writers or the literary community?

I’ve had a few bumpy roads. Not everyone is going to appreciate your work or your opinions.

I understand you have an announcement to make about a project you are going to enter into with the Historical Novel Society. Please tell us more!

I am a short-list judge for the 2016 HNS (Historical Novel Society) indie award. I was honoured and delighted when Helen Hollick - Editor of HNS Indie - approached me about this.


And now for the quick-fire questions:

Tea or coffee?

Burger or hot dog?

Villain or hero?
Hmm…Ok, hero. *laughing*

Beer or wine?
Wine-if I drink.

Movie or TV series?
Ooo…Tough one! Of late, TV series.

Happy ending or tragedy?
In my current state: Happy ending.

In the car, audio-book or music?

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions.

Thank you, Matthew!



  1. Thank you, Matthew! Fun interview!

  2. Great interview! I especially liked the mention of Stephanie Thorton's book as I'm a big fan of hers as well. Very cool:)

    1. Thank you, Mark!

      Yes, I love her stories. They are brilliant.

    2. Thanks, Mark. I'll have to add Stephanie Thornton to my massive TBR list!

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