A superhero who knits? Read on and find out more…
If you were to write the ‘origin’s episode’ of your book reviewing what would be the most important scenes? What did your early efforts look like? Are they still around to be used as bribes and blackmail material?
I’ve been reviewing books since 2007. Diary of an Eccentric started as a knitting blog, but since I was reading more than I was knitting, it naturally evolved to focus on books. I think I finally got excited about reviewing books when I forced myself to finish Doris Lessing’s The Golden Notebook; I even wrote about it twice, it infuriated me that much. I try not to think about my first attempts at reviews, but it’s no good to try and blackmail me because they’re on the blog for all to see (if they wish to look back that far).
All super heroes have their mild-mannered secret identity, what is yours? I promise we won’t tell.
I like to imagine I’m like Jane Austen, how her family wanted to promote one image of her after her death, but her novels and letters tell another story.
Who are your partners in crime? What are their superpowers?
My daughter (aka The Girl), whose superpower is strength, Serena from Savvy Verse & Wit, who can defeat her enemies with only a pen, and my sister, who can read my mind. They’re my partners in crime, simply because they get me.
Where do you get your superpowers from?
My mother…and from extensive reading.
Where is your secret lair and what does it look like?
Oh, if only I had a secret lair! It would be filled with books, of course. And those bookcases that open to secret rooms, which would probably be filled with more books. I’d have to keep those books secret because my husband is growing exasperated by the fact that books are taking over our home.
What kind of training do you do to keep your superpowers in world saving form? How do you insure they are used only for good?
More reading, of course. My superpowers stay focused only on good deeds by limiting myself to good books. I have a personal policy of quitting books that aren’t grabbing my attention somewhere between pages 30 and 50. “Life is too short to read bad books” is my motto.
Granted, you probably don’t get to wear your superhero costume a lot, but if you did, what would it look like?
My superhero costume is modeled after the Jane Austen action figure, quill pen and writing desk included.
What is your kryptonite? What are the biggest challenges faced with in your book reviewing?
So many books, so little time!
What was the supervillain that threatened to stop your latest project and how did you vanquish it?
I have an inner supervillain, the wild child who loves new books and convinces me I will have time for them all. It takes sheer willpower to keep her under control.
What important lessons have you learned along the way?
Blog for yourself, not for followers or comments. If you accept review copies, make sure to leave time for books in your personal library so you don’t get burned out from reading deadlines. If you start feeling overwhelmed, take a break. Remember, if it stops being fun, you need to figure out why and make it fun again! Another thing I learned is that some of the most supportive people are those I “met” through blogging. My online community has pulled me out of the dumps so many times, and I’m eternally grateful.
What have been the best/most memorable experiences along the way?
Building relationship through book blogging that opened up opportunities for book editing, which is something I’ve always wanted to do.
If you did this again what would you do differently and what would you not change?
I wouldn’t change anything about my book blogging experiences, since I have a very relaxed attitude about the whole thing.
What is the best (writing or otherwise) advice you have ever gotten and why.
Keep writing, and worry about the editing later. That’s the hardest thing for me because I’m such a perfectionist.
Tell us about you new blog and why we need to drop everything and read it now.
Some people think my reading tastes are a little odd. I mostly read World War II fiction/nonfiction and Austen variations. If those genres catch your fancy, please check out Diary of an Eccentric.
What’s in store for you in the future? Do you have any other big projects on the horizon?
I’ve just started putting my 10+ years of editing experience to use as a freelance book editor, so I’m always looking to take on new projects there. I’m also working on an Austen variation of my own and doing extensive research for a novel set during World War II.
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