For me the most exciting and fun part of BBAW is Blogger Interview Swap. Not only do we get to know more about one particular blogger but we also get to answer some fun questions.
I have known Alyce’s blog for some time now, I have added a few books to my wish list because of her recommendations. Although I do have her blog in my Reader and do read it regularly, I wish I commented more. I’m sure most of you know her blog but those who don’t, please do check it out. You’ll be hooked.
Also, don’t forget to check out my interview on her blog.
Please tell us something about yourself Alyce
I am a stay-at-home mom of two boys, ages nine and six. I play the flute in a community band, and teach flute lessons to a couple of girls who live on my street. Although I started reading at a young age, I didn’t develop a passion for reading until a book reading competition in the fourth grade. From that point on I was hooked on reading and I even started hanging around with different kids at school – those who liked to hang out in the library and read in their spare time. Although I participated in both swimming and track in high school I am hardly athletic. I was pretty much the worst performer on each team, but loved the camaraderie and the exercise. My favorite form of exercise as an adult is hiking. I love that I get to see nature while stretching my legs.
I went to college at the University of Oregon and graduated with a degree in Linguistics. Then I worked at a couple of publishing companies before I decided to be a stay-at-home mom. Now my husband works for Oregon State University – the arch-rivals of our Alma Mater, and we root against our former school at all of the sporting events. My husband even dyed his hair orange (one of the colors of OSU) for the football season this year.
How is Oregon for book lovers? Does it have enough bookstores, libraries, author signings, second hand, bookstores, book clubs?
Oregon is a great place for book lovers, especially if you live anywhere near Portland, the home of Powell’s Bookstore. I have lived in three different communities in Oregon over the course of my life, each with decent access to books. The town where I am currently is the smallest I have ever lived in, with a population of about 7,000. We only have one used book store and the library, and it’s a half hour drive to a book store that stocks new copies. Thankfully our library has an excellent (and free) inter-library loan system with 17 other libraries from small communities in the surrounding area.
I wish that I could get up to more of the book signings at Powell’s in Portland. They seem to have something going on almost every day. Unfortunately I’ve only been to one author even there because it is an almost two hour drive from where I live, and the signings are all on weeknights.
Too bad about no book signings near by, but yay for libraries. Please tell us about something most of want to know – Time Management. How do you manage your time? Blogging takes a lot of time right? Considering you have 2 kids, how do you manage to do it all?
The biggest asset I have for time management in blogging is a wonderful (and busy) husband. When I started blogging my husband was traveling a lot for his work – he was gone about one week a month. That’s not to say that his being gone was an asset, but rather an impetus to blog. I had all of my evenings free during those times, and I was going crazy with boredom. Blogging filled that time nicely and then quickly started taking over all of the rest of my time as well. It was a struggle in that first year – not to become obsessed with blogging to the exclusion of other things, like cleaning my house or watching TV with my husband. He was very understanding in the first year as I worked on finding a good balance.
We have worked out a pretty good system now where I blog while the kids are at school and when my husband travels for business. In the evenings I hang out with my husband, watching our favorite shows on TV, or streaming shows off of Netflix. The wonderful thing is that when my husband brings a project home to work on in the evenings, I now have plenty of blog-related activities to keep me busy.
Cleaning the house, well that’s another matter. I have to admit that I’d rather blog than clean any day, and sometimes the house needs an emergency cleaning session if we’re going to have company over. I think what makes the whole blogging process fun for me is that I thrive on staying busy. I like the feeling of juggling a lot of activities at once.
In the summer time I read a lot of young adult titles because I just don’t have the time or concentration for much else. I have to seize any opportunity to read or blog when I can (which sometimes means putting a movie on for the kids because “Mom is going to write for a little while”).
That’s a pretty good system you have there. Blogging helps me a lot when my husband is away too. And now my favorite question. Does your family and friends know about your blog?
My family and friends know about my blog, but as far as I know most of them don’t read it. I only have one pre-blogging friend who reads and comments regularly on my blog. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that not a lot of my friends or relatives are obsessed with reading the same way I am. I have made some real life friends as a result of blogging though. I found out that there was a book blogger who lives about a half hour from me and I’m in her book club now.
I noticed you read quite a lot of memoirs which happens to be one of my favorite genres. If you had to recommend one or two memoirs, which ones would you recommend?
One of the best memoirs I have read recently is “Confessions of a Prairie Bitch” by Alison Arngrim. It is a fantastic account of her days as Nellie on Little House on the Prairie, and includes a lot of fascinating tales from her personal life as well.
One of my favorite memoirs that I read in pre-blogging days is “Madame Secretary” by Madeleine Albright. She has lead such an amazing life, and is a great role model for women of all ages. I loved that she didn’t become involved in politics until after she had already raised her children and was middle-aged. It just reinforced the idea that you’re never too old to achieve great things.
If there was one author you could be best friends with, who would that be? Imagine being able to talk/ meet her/ him on a regular basis, imagine having a sneak peek into the future books along with the editor, imagine having him/ her ask you for advice regarding the upcoming novel? You know what I mean.
When I was a teenager I would have said Anne McCaffrey (and part of me still wants to answer that way). She is one of my favorite authors of all time. I would love to get to know her because her dragon books and sci-fi novels have been a huge part of my reading experience. However, she hasn’t been writing anything new lately (at least not as a solo author), so I wouldn’t be able to have those chatty conversations about upcoming releases. I would love it if she came out with some new dragon books, but it seems she has passed the torch to her son.
As an adult I would have to say Sheri S. Tepper, has been one of my favorite authors since college. She writes a lot of books that are hard for me to categorize. They usually take place in modern day, but involve elements of fantasy and science fiction. They usually have some form of story in which the society is manipulated or changed in strange ways (sometimes almost dystopian), and sometimes have a feminist slant.
I also have a few Rapid fire Questions for you since I love asking them.
Your favorite color? Green, any kind of green that falls on the spectrum on the yellow side. I don’t like blue-greens.
Your favorite movie? It’s so tough to list just one, so I’ll list a few: Forget Paris, The Quiet Man, Meet the Robinsons, Anne of Avonlea, The Godfather, the Harry Potter movies.
Your favorite singer? John Mayer and ABBA
Your favorite TV show? Doctor Who, The Gilmore Girls, West Wing, The Big Bang Theory
What do you prefer wearing? Dresses or Jeans – Jeans
Winter or Summer? Summer
River or Ocean? Ocean, but only to play on the beach – I’m too chicken to swim in it.
Thank you Alyce for answering all my questions at the last moment. I enjoyed swapping interviews with you.