Monday, September 15, 2008

Diary of an Eccentric

As part of BBAW, I was paired up for an interview with fellow blogger Anna at Diary of an Eccentric, who writes about knitting, being a mom and -- mostly -- about reading. What I like most about Anna's blog are the author interviews. I've already added several books to my TBR list after reading her interviews and reviews. And for those who like to knit, by the way, some great photos and patterns (I myself will admit to having only learned to knit scarves). Please check out her wonderful blog!

Here's my Q and A with Anna:

Your blog says you write about reading, writing, knitting, and being a mom. Is there one interest, though, that you write the most about?

Definitely books. Books have taken over my life, and I'm thrilled! (My husband isn't, though, considering I now need another book shelf. Or two. But who's counting?) Writing and reading always have been my passions, and I love being able to write about what I read.

Can you tell us about yourself and your life, your interests?

First and foremost, I'm a wife and the mother of a beautiful, intelligent 8-year-old girl (dubbed "The Girl" on my blog...and I'm not biased or anything LOL). I work full-time as an editor and writer in the D.C. area, and in my spare time, I read, write book reviews, knit a few stitches, and work on the novel and short-story collection I hope to someday publish. I also love to stroll through nature, though a rambunctious kid makes it difficult to do much strolling!

Why did you start a blog, and how long have you been doing it? Has it evolved since you started it?

I started blogging a little more than a year ago, and my plan at the time was to catalog my knitting projects and discuss books and writing on the side. I've always been a bookworm, and when I started taking public transit to work, I suddenly had a little more than 3 hours per day of free time. Rather than spend it sleeping through my stops, I started reading one or two books a week. And when the unfinished knitting projects started piling up in my knitting basket, I found it easy to transform my blog into a space for my thoughts on books. I've also started interviewing authors, and that's been a wonderful experience. I still plan to post pictures of my knitting projects when I finish them, but knitting definitely has taken a backseat to books, and I've never been happier!

Your blog has some interesting interviews with authors. Has it been hard getting authors to commit to interviews?

Actually, it hasn't been hard at all! I'm finding that authors love the free publicity, which is great because I love trading emails with them and learning things about them and their writing processes that I can put to good use. And I'm making some friends. Generally, I just contact the author by email to let him or her know how much I've enjoyed their book, and then I ask if they'd be willing to answer a few questions by email at their convenience. So far, all the authors I've contacted have been so friendly and enthusiastic.

Is there one genre of books you read the most? What do you like about that genre?

I don't tend to stick to one genre. I just look for good books. I don't even have a definition for a "good" book...I just know it when I see it. I'm a sucker for a good family saga, though. I love books that cover a particular family over many generations, and I don't really know why. I've always been drawn to these books, and I think it's because I like seeing the characters evolve over many years. My favorites are "Liars and Saints" and "A Family Daughter" by Maile Meloy.

What's been the best experience you've had since you started blogging about books?

I've had tons of great experiences. "Meeting" fellow book bloggers, landing my first author interview, being contacted for the first time by a publisher to give away books on my blog, being contacted by an author who noticed I was currently reading her book, and being asked by an author to write a guest post on her blog. Those were BIG for me! But I really love when someone says a review that I wrote prompted them to read a particular book. It's always about the books and passing on my passion for reading.

What are some great books you've read recently that you'd recommend?

I'm not sure there's enough space to list them all! I loved Michelle Moran's Nefertiti, Ann Patchett's Run, Jennifer Cody Epstein's The Painter From Shanghai, Kate Veitch's Without a Backward Glance, Phyllis Zimbler Miller's Mrs. Lieutenant, and John Addiego's The Islands of Divine Music. An older book I read recently and really enjoyed was Barbara Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible.

What is your favorite book blog?

I have to give a shout out to my good friend Serena at Savvy Verse & Wit. I've seen her site evolve over the past year. I also enjoy reading Booking Mama, Literarily, Book Escape, Books on the Brain, The Written Word, and the list goes on. There's scores of great book blogs out there, which probably explains why the number of unread posts in Bloglines is usually in the hundreds!!


Ana S. said...

Lovely interview! Hm, I had never thought of e-mailing an author and asking if they'd be willing to do an interview. I wonder if I'm brave enough to try :P

Passing on your passion for reading is the best feeling, isn't it?

Suey said...

That was fun to learn more about you Anna!

Great interviewing job Lourdes! :)

Serena said...

What a great interview. I think this BBAW is going to make everyone's google reader or bloglines grow astronomically!

Anna's been my good friend for over 10 years, and it has been great to see her passionate again!

Anonymous said...

Great interview, Anna and Lourdes.

I am always amazed at all the things you manage to fit into your schedule, Anna.

I loved Liars and Saints, too.

Lourdes, this is my first visit to your blog. It's nice! I'm looking forward to exploring.

Iliana said...

Hi Lourdes - Came over to your blog when I saw Anna's interview of you.

These are great interviews!

Anna said...

Thanks everyone for your kind words. And a big thanks to you, Lourdes, for the great questions!!