Welcome to Be Our Guest Fridays!
Be Our Guest Fridays is a weekly feature hosted by Tanya from Mom’s Small Victories and Helen from My Novel Opinion where we feature guest posts by our favorite bloggers and authors. We started this feature as a fun way to give back to the blogging community. We are excited to share with you these creative, inspiring and knowledgeable bloggers.
My Co-Host Helen from My Novel Opinion
Today’s Guest Post
I am happy to have Tamara from Traveling with T as Our Guest today. Tamara is a fun book blogger who adds her Southern charm, wit and humor to her book reviews and tweets. She loves to travel and go to book signings. I can always count on her for a kind and enthusiastic word on Twitter or my blog. Tamara enjoys reading women’s fiction, historical fiction, chick lit, cozy mysteries, and suspense.
She is also the Twitter Chat Host for She Reads, a fantastic online book club that reads books I always want to dive right into. It’s still one of my 50 bookish bucket list goals to be invited into the SheReads Blogger Network and be able to review the fabulous books they get their hands on…ah, to dream. It might be time for me to
stalk email someone about that again, all I can do is ask, right? So of course, when Tamara agreed to Be Our Guest, I really wanted to know how she got to be in tight with SheReads and become their Twitter Chat Host. Tamara knows how to throw a fun, fast and furious Twitter chat, you’ll definitely want to join in! So, please join me in welcoming Tamara from Traveling with T to Be Our Guest today!
Traveling with T & She Reads: How We Met
By Tamara Welch, Traveling with T
Hey ya’ll! First let me just say that I am so honored that Tanya asked me to be part of Be Our Guest Fridays- a feature that I’m totally enjoying.
Many people have wondered how I became a part of She Reads Blog Network- first just as a member and then as the Twitter chat host. Well, I’ve got 2 women to thank for their roles- and then 2 more women to thank for keeping me around!
My first two women- Robin O’Bryant and Kimberly Brock. Robin is a local writer who wrote the funny as all get out Ketchup is a Vegetable: And Other Lies Moms Tell Themselves. About two or three years ago, I was into reading funny/memoir-ish type books- and I loved the title. Robin is now a local-ish gal and we had been tweeting some back and forth for a few weeks when she tweeted an invitation to the Joshilyn Jackson lunch at TurnRow Books. Recently seeing that book on Deep South Magazine’s Fall/Winter List 2011/2012, I made plans to attend.
I get to the book signing and not really knowing anyone- I’m a bit shy (even though I’m not that shy in real life!) and Robin introduces me to people at her table and makes room for me to sit. Hanging out with Robin was a dream- and not only because the author, JOSHILYN JACKSON, was sitting right at the same table- but because Robin made you feel all special. So, after the book signing- I was basically in love with Robin- and we continued to tweet back and forth some over the next few months.
(I’m totally getting to how this plays into She Reads!)
So, in the spring- Robin tweets a bit about a book called The River Witch by Kimberly Brock. And I tweet something about “Ooh, sounds interesting- must check out!” BOOM! Kimberly Brock is following me- and while I did not know it then- life was about to change for my blog. Life was about to change for me.
At this point, my blog was small. Teeny. Tiny. I was floundering. I wasn’t sure what I wanted exactly. I was beginning to talk about books- but I hadn’t found my voice.
Kimberly, in her infinite wisdom, began helping me. Talking to her about books, about The River Witch, really started to help me. Then, one day out of the clear blue, she tweeted me and a few others a link to sign up at She Reads to become part of their blog network. I hadn’t even heard of She Reads so I looked it up. And began to feel out of my league. Surely, they wouldn’t want my blog- I had maybe 25 followers. I was small. I was not established. But, the more I mulled it over- the more I put this in the “nothing ventured, nothing gained” box. Getting the notification that I would be one of the bloggers and that Kimberly would be leading the blog network = HAPPY DANCES EVERYWHERE!
As the months went by, I was a-tweeting away for She Reads, reading the books, and just enjoying being part of a group of women who not only loved to read- but also supported each other. Then, Kimberly took a magic wand and waved it over me again. She, Ariel Lawhon and Marybeth Whalen had been discussing needing someone to discuss the books, to host Twitter chats- someone to cheerlead on She Reads. And they were asking me! At first, though, I was nervous- could I do it? Would this be a bigger time commitment than I could handle? And then- I just breathed. And knew that I had been listening to Kimberly for awhile- and that had been when my blog life turned into something- so I would be crazy to pass this opportunity up!
And that’s how I became not only a member of She Reads Blog Network- but also their Twitter chat host.
It’s been a wild ride- a fun ride. A bookishly wonderful ride. And I hope it never ends.
My second set of women to thank are Ariel Lawhon and Marybeth Whalen- thank you for taking a chance on me, for seeing my enthusiasm for books and authors.
And lastly, thank you Twitter. For your role in helping introduce me to all these people who changed my bookish life.
About Traveling with T
I love Tamara’s story of how active tweeting helped her develop a personal relationship with these authors that led to a fantastic opportunity when the time was right. Thanks for sharing your enthusiasm, story and inspiration with us T!
What do you think of T’s start as Twitter chat host for She Reads? Are you a member of She Reads or participate in their book club reads? If not, you should totally check out their Books of Fall, I’ve already read The Silent Sister!