Tuesday, September 15, 2009

BBAW Interview Swap

I decided to participate in the BBAW Interview Swap and was paired with a wonderful woman by the name of Marg. Her blog is Reading Adventures - please stop by and tell her hello today!

Now time for the interogation, er, interview!

When did you begin blogging about books and why?

I began blogging just under four years ago. I had been reading a number of book blogs (notably Rosario’s Reading Journal and Rambling’s on Romance .) From there I gradually started to read more and more blog, mostly romance.

The thing was I really, really wanted to talk about the books that I was reading, but there was no one around me who was interested in those kind of conversations. The clincher for me was when I read a book called The Red Tent by Anita Diamant, and I just HAD to have an outlet to talk about that book! It was my first review, and I really cringe when I read it now, but it was the book that started me on my blogging journey.

You list several genres you enjoy, but which one is your favorite?

I really should change my about me section because it has been a while since I read at least one of the genres I have listed, and I am reading a lot more paranormal and fantasy books now than I ever used to. If I absolutely HAVE to pick a favourite, it is definitely historical fiction. I just love getting lost in the past.

Many book bloggers have regular posts, such as Teaser Tuesdays. In which of these do you participate? Do you have a weekly post that is totally your own?

I participate in Teaser Tuesday every week on my blog and usually also post in Raidergirl’s It’s Tuesday Where Are You Raidergirl . Some times I participate in Weekly Geeks as well, but often I find that the week has ended and I am still thinking about what I am going to post!

I co-host Library Loot with Eva from A Striped Armchair (http://astripedarmchair.wordpress.com/). The idea is to share the books that you have picked up from the library each week! Given how many books I get out from the library on a regular basis it seemed a perfect fit for me, so when Eva put out the call for a new co-host I was quick to volunteer.

It’s not a weekly event, but I also cohost a special Advent Blog Tour with Kelly from The Written World (http://myreadingbooks.blogspot.com/). Each day during December we visit bloggers who share something about their holiday traditions. It is amazing to read about celebrations all round the world including music, movies, recipes and lots of other things. It’s a lot of fun to do, and it is definitely a highlight of the festive season for me!

Are most of the books you review from your home country of Australia?

I really don’t read enough Australian authors. This year only 6% of the books I have read have been by Aussie authors. I need to do better, not only because there are some fantastic Australian authors out there that I think I would enjoy but also to try and support our local industry.

Ever had an author go ballistic because of a less than stellar review?

I wouldn’t say ballistic. I did have an author who was quite eager to provide more positive alternate reviews when I didn’t really enjoy his book. He didn’t really go ballistic though which is lucky. I am pretty non-confrontational at the best of times so I would freak out if they did go ballistic at me!

You are co-contributor of many blogs! How did that all come about?

It does look like a lot of blogs when you check out my profile but many of those blogs are reading challenge blogs, and several of those are for challenges that are over. I am a reading-challenge-a-holic and always have several on the go. Okay, several may be an understatement – maybe lots is more appropriate!

The blogs that I spend the most time collaborating on are one that I do with my sister for her papercraft workshops and Historical Tapestry. I would love to do more on the papercraft one, but I am still trying to convince my sister of the benefits of blogging regularly, and how fun it can be! Lots of work to do there still though.

Historical Tapestry is a group blog that I contribute to along with Kelly, Teddy Rose, Ana, and Alex, specialising in Historical Fiction. There are reviews, giveaway announcements, special events, and much more. My favourite regular feature is called Why I Love, where we ask historical fiction authors and other bloggers to tell us why they love something of their choice. It could be a particular person or era in history. For example, not too long ago we had Elizabeth Chadwick telling us about Why she loves William Marshal Historical Tapestry , the main character in her book The Greatest Knight. It is always very interesting to read the guest posts as they come in! I think our catchiest Why I Love post title so far is from Susan Higginbotham who wrote Why I Love Writing About Women Whose Husbands Die Horrible Deaths. ( Historical Tapestry ) I also just love the various Why I Love buttons that Alex made for us!

Does your reading habit sometimes take time away from your family? (Or is it the other way around?)

At the moment my reading time is mainly on my commute to and from work which is between three and a half to four hours traveling time each day. I am about to start a new job though where my traveling time is going to be reduced quite significantly so my reading patterns are likely to change. I don’t read quite as much as I used to when I first started catching the train as these days there is a group of ladies who I chat to if I happen to be on the same train.

Other than that I read for about half an hour most nights before I go to sleep so the reading doesn’t really impact on my family.

If we want to talk about whether blogging impacts that is a different story. By the time I read the many blogs that I am subscribed to, write my own blog posts, and also visit the forums that I am involved in either as a member or moderator, that’s a lot of computer time. I haven’t even talked about Facebook yet!

Your blog, Reading Adventure, was nominated for three BBAW awards – which one do you feel was the most deserving?

I was very honoured to be nominated in three categories – Best Historical Fiction/History, Most Chatty, and Best Romance. In the end I withdrew from the first one because Historical Tapestry was also nominated and I really hoped that HT would make the shortlist in that category. It wasn’t to be, this year at least!

I think I was most excited about Most Chatty, mainly because when I first started blogging years ago, I was all books all the time. These days my blog still reflects my love of reading, but there could be a music video one day, or some posts talking about things that I have been doing, some Aussie Rules football or lots of other things. I wasn’t necessarily sure that people liked that, but obviously someone does!

I was beyond surprised when I was shortlisted for Best Romance Blog. I do read a lot of romance and just talk about that genre in the same way I might talk about fantasy or YA fiction. The other nominations in the category are all excellent romance blogs and deserve to be shortlisted!

Are you a quiet time reader or anyplace you have five minutes reader?

I am definitely an ‘any place you have five minutes kind of reader’. I always have at least one book in my handbag, usually two just in case I finish the first one! I have been known to get through 10 to 15 pages of a book if I drive to work as I sit in the traffic waiting to move, and often read when I take my son to his sporting practices.

What else do you like to do that doesn’t center around books?

Reading, and talking about reading, is my passion, but I also do a little bit of card making which I post about when I can. It is fair to say though I find it a bit more difficult to be visually creative rather than just verbally creative. It is something that I do with my sister which is good for us so even though it can be hard work sometimes I do enjoy it.

Other than that, I am a single mum with a full time job so I spend a lot of time being taxi to my sporty boy, and that is most of my time gone. I aim to fit in either a walk or a swim at least a couple of times a week and I do try to go to some concerts and some live sporting events during the year as well.

And the last word, Marg…?

I am excited that BBAW is here, and I hope that book bloggers take the opportunity to celebrate the very diverse range of book blogs there are in blogland!

I know that I am going to find it hard to keep up with all the posts during this week, but I can’t wait to discover some new blogs and book recommendations.

Thanks to the BBAW organizers for everything they have done and are doing for this year’s BBAW and thanks for the excellent interview questions!

Thank you, Marg!
Please visit her blog Reading Adventures - and check out MY interview as well!


Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

Enjoyed the interview and I always like learning about new blogs. I'm off to check out Marg's blog now.

Unknown said...

This is such a great way to get to know the person behind the blog, and discover new blogs to visit!

I enjoyed reading about the different things you blog about, Marg! Sounds like one very interesting site...going over to pay a visit now!

Brooke from The Bluestocking Guide said...

Hi Marg!! I participated in the Advent posts last year. It was fun.

I interviewed Ruth from This, That, and the Other Thing

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Great interview! I'd like to see more book reviewers interviewed...I love to see how they juggle their reading time. Thanks!

Mystery Writing is Murder

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Yes, I wish I had that much time to read!

TexasRed said...

Great interview! Off to check out her page now & will definitely keep the Advent posts in mind.

Elizabeth Chadwick said...

I really enjoyed the interview - thanks. So good to see the reader/blogger reviewed for a change and nice to know more about Marg (waves).

Susan Higginbotham said...

Enjoyed the interview! These are fun!

Jai Joshi said...

Great interview.

I used to read so much when I lived in London and travelled on public transport. Now that I live in Texas it's impossible to read while travelling, unless I want to cause an accident by not watching the road!

I usually only eke out about fifteen minutes of reading a night before bed. *sob*


Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

Marg, I love that your interview reminds us that we grow and that is nothing to be ashamed of. And that we need to keep checking back to see how our profiles might have changed.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Blogging at Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites pick www.sharingwithwirters.blogspot.com

Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

I already read Marg's blog but I have no idea why I'm not subscribed to Historical Tapestry - off to remedy that right now!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Jai, reading while driving is probably NOT a good idea!

Jai Joshi said...

It really isn't. Especially when at a four way stop sign and whoever's most macho goes first.


Creative Chronicler said...

Great interview and awesome questions. Now I have to head over and see what I can learn new about you.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Don't let it scare you, Chris!

Marg said...

I am really very late, but I wanted to stop by and thank everyone for the comments!

I really don't read whilst driving. It's whilst stopped that I do my reading! LOL!

Heather J, I have no idea why you weren't subscribed to HT either!

Carolyn, I think that we always keep changing. It'd be pretty boring if we always stayed the same wouldn't it!

Hi EC and Susan! *waves*

Texasred and Bluestocking, I hope you can participate in the Advent Calendar this year. It is a lot of fun!

Thanks Karen, Jane and Crystal, and thank you for hosting me!