BBAW: Interview Swap -- Part 1

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Today's BBAW activity is the interview swap! Without going into further explanation I'll just say I ended up with two partners. So today I am pleased to introduce you to both of them!

One interview partner was Dana with Much Madness is Divinest Sense. I'm new to her blog, but I can tell by what I've read already that I really like her blog! I'd like to thank Dana for taking the time to stop by for an interview!

1. What brought you to book blogging?
I started book blogging by accident. I originally had a sort of eclectic blog where I wrote about whatever struck my fancy, but I really wanted it to have more of a focus, and people who read it seemed to like my book reviews, so I decided to devote my blog to books and reading full time in about February 2008 (I think). I love reading other book bloggers' posts, and I like being a part of the community.
2. Tell us about your blog.
Well, it's kind of an old blog in Internet terms maybe, but it has only been focused on books for about two and half years. I write reviews, discuss book news, and participate in the odd meme.
3. How did you come up with the name?
The title comes from a poem by Emily Dickinson. I think when I named the blog I chose the title because the blog didn't have a read focus, and as a result it felt a little bit "mad," but if you put it together, you might find it actually made some sort of sense, or at least that was the idea.
4. What makes Wuthering Heights your favorite book? (I was given this info when I got her name and website!)
That's an interesting question because I don't really know. I don't particularly like the characters, and usually I have to like the characters to love a book. I think Brontë's description, the way she evokes the setting and the truth I see in her language draws me. It's a difficult book. It demands a lot of the reader, but I think it can truly get in your head. I have had at least two students tell me later it's their favorite book or that they have an odd fascination with it they can't explain. There are also some truly beautiful passages in the book that just take my breath away when I read.
5. What are your favorite books of the year so far?
My favorite books this year so far are without a doubt The Hunger Games trilogy. I tore through them. I found them extremely disturbing, but compulsively readable, too. I wanted to find out what would happen to Katniss next, whether Panem would fight the Capitol and put an end to the Games, whether Katniss would wake up and appreciate Peeta. They kept me up nights and crept into my dreams.
6. So are you Team Gale or Team Peeta?
I am team Peeta. I just think that scene when Katniss is starving and he burns the bread on purpose so he can give it to her is so sweet. It's one of the only examples of a moment when someone did something for Katniss out of kindness. And he always came across as so genuine. Not that I dislike Gale or anything, but I just liked Peeta better, and it seemed to me like Katniss didn't discover she might be in love with Gale until she was sort of thrown together with Peeta anyway.
7. The Hunger Games is being made into a movie but I'm not sure yet who's being casted. If you could choose, who would you cast?
Cast. Let me see. I think they've already cast Katniss, but I forgot who they said. Jackson Rathbone would be a good Peeta, but he may be getting too old. So let me think of a teen-ish actor. An Entertainment Weekly poll said Hunter Parrish, so I looked him up, and he'd do really well, I think. He looks a lot like the Peeta in my head. Bradley James who plays Arthur on the series Merlin would work, too, but he sort of has the same problem as Jackson Rathbone. A little too old.

The same poll has Gaspard Ulliel as Gale, and provided he grew his hair long, I think he'd be perfect.

Chloe Moretz is supposedly in the lead for Katniss. I don't see it personally. The EW poll picked Kaya Scodelario, and she looks the part to me. Other than those three characters, I would have to think about it a lot.
8. If you could spend time with any author who would that be?
I would absolutely love to sit down to dinner with J. K. Rowling. I loved the Harry Potter books so much, and it would be great to be able to talk with her about all aspects of the HP world. I have so many questions for her, and I am waiting on tenterhooks for that encyclopedia she said she will write one day.
9. Any interesting author experiences?
I have met a few authors at book signings. Diana Gabaldon was so kind when I met her, and she even listened to me babble about my own writing and said encouraging things, too. I enjoyed meeting Jasper Fforde because he said something I think is so true: reading is a creative act, and readers bring so much to the experience of reading that even if an author didn't intend something, it doesn't mean it's not there. I loved that. Katherine Howe and Matthew Pearl are the kindest to their fans. Katherine and Matthew are so friendly, and it's a small thing, but they remember you. I have been to two signings of Matthew's, and he remembered me the first time from a blog post I had done about The Dante Club and the second time from our first meeting. I was really impressed. He sent me an ARC of The Last Dickens. Howe and Pearl are two authors I will read no matter what because of how open and kind they are to their fans.
10. Can you tell us anything about your writing?
My writing—well, I did NaNoWriMo last year and wrote a book about characters Katniss would find familiar. My grandmother is from the mountains in Breathitt Co, Kentucky, and I set my second book there. It's about a girl named Imogen whose family is falling apart. Her father is an alcoholic, and her mother throws him out and marries his brother, whom she's secretly been having an affair with anyway. It's a little bit of Hamlet in the hills, as it were. Imogen's stepfather is murdered, and her mother can't support the family. One son dies, and she has to send the others out to be adopted—it's a combination of some stories in my grandparents' background. I haven't published it. I haven't even proofread it. The first book is set in medieval Wales. Gwenllian is a teenage girl living with her uncle after the deaths of her parents. She is accused of a crime she didn't commit and runs, but ultimately can't really get away from her problems, so she returns to face whatever fate has in store for her. I actually published that one on Lulu mainly because I wanted to get it out there, and I worried about having time to find an agent/publisher. I figured a few people ordering it from Lulu is a few more people than would read it otherwise.
11. What do you do when you're not reading or blogging?
I'm a high school English teacher. I also have three children, and they keep me pretty busy. I am currently in grad school to earn a master's in Instructional Technology. I should graduate this December after about two years of hard work, and I'm looking forward to taking that "extra" time to relax and read.
Thanks for stopping by Dana!!


reviewsbylola said...

I think being a high school English teacher would be trying but also very fun! Great interview.

Zibilee said...

Very cool interview! I have a love/hate with Wuthering Heights and thought that Dana and I feel some of the same things about it. I also love the name of her blog. Also, I just heard yesterday that there is going to be a Hunger Games movie, and I am not quite sure how I feel about that yet!

Dana Huff said...

Jenny, your interview is up at my blog. Sorry it took me so long today! It was Curriculum Night at my daughter Maggie's school, and I just now got the chance to put it up. And thanks Lola and Zibilee!

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