My interview today is with Wendy, from Musings of a Bookish Kitty. She's such a nice lady, I really hope you enjoy reading her interview and take a second (or two or three or a million) and check out her blog!
|Wendy's super cute kitty, Anya|
We decided to ask each other the same questions, so if you're interested, head on over to her blog to see my answers!
Please tell us a little about your blog! Why did you start blogging and how did you choose your blog's name?
My husband is to blame for getting me started with blogging. I have kept a reading journal for years and have been in online reading groups even longer than that. So when my husband suggested I start a blog, I figured it was worth a try. I was looking for a place to share my bookish thoughts with friends. From that, Musings of a Bookish Kitty was born. While I mostly blog about the books I read, I also share bits of my life with my readers as well. My reviews are informal—more about how what I am reading has impacted me rather than a more academic critique. I read a wide variety of books, from historical, all kinds of crime fiction and speculative fiction, literary fiction, general fiction to some nonfiction. I love talking—and writing—about books!
As for my blog name, I was raised with dogs and always considered myself a dog person. As a result, my usernames and online handles were often dog related. My very own first pet was a dog after all. Then Parker came into my life. An orange tabby with the sweetest disposition. I fell in love. In 2006, when I created my blog, I decided it was time to honor the cat lover in me—hence the name. The funny thing is, I actually spent a lot of time debating whether to go with “Kitty” as it sounded too cute-ish. I go by Literary Feline online, and could have used that, I suppose, but “Musings of a Bookish Kitty” had a better ring to it.
Who are some of the bloggers you look up to/admire and why?
I have respect for so many of my fellow book bloggers. I am always on the lookout for new ideas and new book recommendations. I’ve got that in spades, thanks to all of you book bloggers out there!
Three bloggers in particular that come immediately to mind include:
Jill from Fizzy Thoughts. I look up to her for so many reasons. She is funny, smart, and oh so articulate. She is the ultimate book blogging community cheerleader. Her blog is one of my favorites. Her reviews are insightful and I love her song lyrics (am I the only one who tries to sing along?).
Another book blogger I adore is Ti from Book Chatter. Her reviews never fail to make me salivate. She is thoughtful and honest about the books she reads and about life. There is nothing pretentious about Ti.
And, of course, Joy of Thoughts of Joy. I have followed Joy’s blog forever. Joy is my constant. She’s never been one to get caught up in any of the blogging controversies, always knowing who she is and what she wants her blog to be. I appreciate her honesty and join in her love for crime fiction.
All three are committed to books and reading and interact with their blog readers, making them feel welcome. They write from their hearts, and it shows.
What do you find most challenging about blogging? What do you enjoy the most?
The most challenging . . . Lately it would have to be just finding the time to blog. I rarely am able to get on the computer when I am home with my family (unless they are out of the house), and so I have to prepare and schedule all of my posts ahead of time. It’s quite a different from the way I used to blog, which was more off the cuff. I have great admiration for those who can balance family, career, and blog all at the same time. I haven’t found the secret yet. I do what I can though and am happy with that. I also find keeping up with other blogs a bit of a challenge. I am most drawn to blogging because of the community aspect, and so being able to interact with other bloggers is a must for me. Since having my daughter, it’s been a real struggle. I think I’ve found my new normal though. Accepting that I can’t do everything I did to the degree I used to do it has helped a lot.
As for what I enjoy the most . . . The community! Talking about books is one of my favorite things to do and through book blogging I discovered a world of people with a similar interest (and obsession). A friend of mine once said it’s like being a part of a big support group. We certainly enable and support each other’s book habits, don’t we? My To Be Read (TBR) collection and wish list have grown exponentially since I began blogging—I have read books I never would have considered and learned about new authors I might have missed had it not been for other book bloggers.
What about the person behind the blog? What do you do in your free time?
Actually, reading and blogging are what I do in my free time. And free time is pretty scarce around here, so I try and fit in what I can when I can. It can be a real challenge! My daughter, Mouse, turned 18 months old this past weekend. She and my husband take up most of my attention when I am not working. We like to go on outings on the weekends just to get out of the house. Sometimes it’s a visit to the local botanical gardens or a trip to the park to visit the ducks and other times it’s just down the way to the local Target or grocery store. My daughter is my reminder to slow down and enjoy the simple things in life. She came to us later in our lives and has been such a joy. I also have two cats and a dog, all three of whom have been with me for many years now and whom I adore.
My career is unrelated to books and blogging, and it keeps me pretty busy. I am a supervisor at the local child abuse hotline. I was an investigative social worker before that for a number of years and also worked at the juvenile court for a brief time. It can be rather stressful at times, but I feel passionate about the work I do and work with a great group of people.
I turn to reading and blogging to relax and unwind. I also enjoy watching movies and going to the theater, especially to see musicals (Les Miserables is my favorite opera—can’t wait to see the movie coming out soon!). I recently got back into pen palling (the old fashioned hand written kind). It had been a serious hobby of mine for many years, but I fell out of it when I began blogging. I write to a handful of people, some about books and others about parenting. There’s something to be said for coming home and finding an actual letter in the mailbox amongst the junk mail and bills.
What are some of your favorite books you have read so far this year?
So far, my absolute favorite book this year has been Sarah McCoy’s TheBaker’s Daughter . It really touched me on a personal level (which, for me, tend to be the best kind of books). It is one of those cross-over time books, one part of the story set during 1945 and the other in modern day.
I was also really taken with the book Playing Dead by Julia Heaberlin, a crime fiction/thriller. The protagonist receives a letter after her father’s death, suggesting that she was kidnapped and had been raised by people who are not her real parents. It is one of those novels in which the characters make the story—and being that I most value strong character development in any novel I read, it’s no wonder I loved Heaberlin’s book so much.
A few new-to-me authors really impressed me this year—and I plan to go back and read their backlists at some point: Deborah Crombie, Charles Todd, and Louise Penny. They are authors I am beating myself up over for not reading sooner.
Share five random facts about you. Don't be shy!
1. Growing up, my favorite children’s books featured Amelia Bedelia and Encyclopedia Brown.
2. One of my elementary schools had its own radio station. I was a reporter and a character on the radio soap opera.
3. Most of my favorite memories as an elementary school student revolve around the school library. I loved spending time in the library, helping shelve books and listening to the librarian read us a story.
4. When I was a child, I convinced my parents to name one of our dogs after a character in one of my favorite chapter books, Harry Cat’s Pet Puppy by George Selden.
5. I confess I am not a huge fan of board books in general, but I’ve come across a few among my daughter’s collection that I’ve warmed too. Sandra Boynton in particular has become a favorite children’s author of mine. I seek out her books now and wouldn’t be surprised if one day we have her entire backlist.
Wendy, thank you so much for this interview! It was great getting to know you :)
Wendy, thank you so much for this interview! It was great getting to know you :)