Tuesday, September 15, 2009

BBAW Interview with Diary of an Eccentric

Today, as part of Book Bloggers' Appreciation Week, I've got an interview with fellow book blogger Anna of Diary of an Eccentric. It was totally awesome to "meet" a new (to me) book blogger and get to know her! Anna's blog started off as a knitting blog, but in the past 2 years she's posted more and more reviews of a wide variety of books. Her nine-year-old daughter even gets in on the act, writing about such books as The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, Frindle, and Coraline. I hope you enjoy getting to know her, too!

(Also, head on over to her blog to see her interview with me!)

AtL: How long have you been blogging, and what prompted you to start?

Anna: I launched Diary of an Eccentric in June 2007. Though I’ve always been a bookworm, I was doing more knitting than reading at the time, so I figured I would post knitting projects and some talk about books and writing. I’ve long been working on a novel and some short stories, so I thought blogging would help me get the creative juices flowing. I though writing about something every day would prevent writer’s block. However, it wasn’t until my one-year blogiversary that I started posting on a more regular basis. At that time, I had set aside the knitting needles and was reading more often, so I shifted emphasis to writing mostly book reviews. I was so na├»ve about blogging. I had no idea that there were other people online talking about books just like I was!

How has your blog changed since you started? What tips would you give to a beginning blogger?

Well, the biggest change was starting to regularly post book reviews about a year ago. I’d originally planned a knitting blog, but I think you could count the number of knitting projects I’ve posted in two years on one hand. Actually, this year, I’ve posted only one completed project but more than 70 book reviews. I think I made the right choice.

I’d tell beginning bloggers to write about what interests them most, to remember that it’s their blog so if they want to post book reviews alongside crafts, movie reviews, family stuff, etc., go right ahead. Whether they do or not really depends on their vision for the blog, but no matter what, it’s important that they are true to themselves. They should pay close attention to design (no black backgrounds with dark lettering or white backgrounds with yellow lettering, for instance) and spelling and grammar. Don’t stress about reviews—write what you honestly think (while still being polite) and keep in mind that you’re talking to a bunch of friends who enjoy books just as much as you do. It’s also important to visit other blogs and comment (that’s how you make friends, after all) and not to be afraid to ask questions.

That's a great point about talking with a bunch of friends who enjoy books! This great community of bloggers is definitely one reason I love to blog. Do your real-life friends and family read your blog? What do they think of it?

My husband reads it occasionally, as does my sister, a cousin, and a close friend from church. They all say they like it, but would they really tell me otherwise? Ha ha!

Do you have a specific place in your home where you generally blog (i.e. office, comfy chair, kitchen, etc.)? What’s it like?

To be honest, after sitting at a computer for 8 hours at work and a couple of hours on public transit every day, I don’t really want to go on the computer in the evenings. Right now, we have a desktop computer at a desk in my cluttered kitchen. The desk never stays tidy no matter how many times I fix the bazillion papers my husband scatters. Needless to say, I can’t wait to get a laptop (hey, Hon, don’t forget that my birthday and Christmas are coming soon!!). If I’m not in the mood to sit at the computer in the uncomfortable office chair, I’ll lounge on the recliner (which will be my blogging space when I eventually get that laptop) and jot book reviews down into one of my zillion notebooks to be typed up at work on my lunch break. I generally don’t write out the entire review long hand, just a few sentences to remind myself of what I want to say.

What non-book blogs/websites do you love to read?

My guilty pleasure is Celebrity Baby Blog. I figure if I’m going to be sucked into reading celebrity gossip, it should involve cute babies.

(And okay, I totally stole this part from Anna's questions for me.)

Name one book…

You loved as a child:

Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself by Judy Blume (AtL: Me, too!)

Your child loves:

My daughter adores the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. She’ll stay up late reading and chuckling to herself. It’s so cute.

You didn’t think you were going to like, but then you did:

Dirty Water: A Red Sox Mystery by Mary-Ann Tirone Smith and Jere Smith (My husband chose this as our book club pick for last month, and I never would have read it otherwise. It wasn’t a great book, but it was enjoyable enough and I’m not sorry I read it.)

You love that was a gift from someone:

Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay (Actually, I haven’t read it yet, but I will soon. It’s my favorite book gift of late because my husband bought it for me for Christmas knowing how much I wanted to read it for the WWII reading challenge I’m co-hosting this year. I though that was really sweet of him.)

You always meant to read but haven’t yet:

Persuasion by Jane Austen (hopefully I’ll remedy this soon)

Well, that's all the questions I have for you, Anna, so thanks for stopping by!

Check out the roundup of interviews today over at the BBAW Blog! Happy Book Blogger Appreciation Week!