BBAW Interview Swap: Amy from The House of the Seven Tails

Happy Book Blogger Appreciation Week, everyone!

Today is my favorite day of BBAW – it's Interview Swap day. BBAW pairs us up with another book blogger, and then we interview each other and post the interviews on our respective blogs. I was lucky to be paired up with Amy of The House of the Seven Tails, a blogger I have come to know through this blog over the last few months. In addition to us both being book bloggers, Amy and I have two other things in common – we are both former lawyers, and we are both big animal lovers. Oh! And we both don't like vampire books! No wonder we get along so well. 🙂

Amy's wonderful blog contains thorough, thoughtful reviews of mostly fiction, including a lot of books on my TBR list (such as The Winters in Bloom and Domestic Violets). Please head over to the The House of the Seven Tails and check it out. If you like EDIWTB, you'll like Amy's blog too. Her interview of me will be posted there today – we answered (mostly) the same questions.

Without further ado, here is Amy's interview:

1. Tell me about your blog – when did you start blogging, what kinds of books do you review, and what do you hope to get out of your blog?

My blog is a constant work-in-progress! I just made a few changes to it but I have bigger ideas for change in mind…possibly even moving servers! I'm never entirely satisfied with the look or content of my blog, which isn't a bad thing necessarily, although I've found it can be stressful!

When I first started blogging I had no plans to create my own blog…and then I discovered book blogs. It was like the clouds broke apart and the sun shined brightly down on me. I was thrilled to discover a community of book blogs! I spent some time visiting blogs within the book community and to my utter delight, discovered a welcoming, friendly, fun group of bloggers! Still, when I decided to start a blog, since I generally like to chat I thought I'd make a blog that mixed a few different topics, specifically, I thought I would blog a little about my life, a little about my many cats, almost all rescues and a lot about books. As time went on, though, I realized that I enjoyed blogging about and reviewing books the most and I spent the most time reading blogs, posts and articles about books, author interview, bookshelf porn! etc.. I started focusing more and more on books, taking one day a week to post a photo of the cats with info or an update on their life (the cats are more interesting and social than I am!) and frequently, on Sundays I'd write a Sunday Salon post, which includes anything going on in my life other than books and ends with a paragraph about the books I'm reading and reviewing at that time. Right now, that's the format of my blog.

My blog is mostly contemporary fiction right now. I was very excited when I discovered that publishers will send ARCs, galleys and newly published books to bloggers to review, which, I've also discovered, you can easily get carried away with reviewing these books! I also review for TLC Book Tours which I really enjoy. I've found that, although I enjoy reviewing galleys and new books, I miss reading books I've wanted to read for a long time, many classics and books by specific authors that have been around for years and I just haven't had a chance to read yet. I would like to review classics more that I have been, which should be easy since I think I've reviewed maybe 2 in the last year! I was an English major in college and I've been missing reading the classics. I want to reread some as well as read ones I haven't had a chance to yet. I'd also like to read and review some nonfiction, too including memoirs.

I started my blog in July 2009. I cannot believe I've been blogging for 2 years! Actually, not quite 2 years. I had to take a break from my blog because of some health and personal problems. I was gone for about 5 months in the beginning of 2010. Since then, I've had to take some mini-breaks from my blog, a week here, a few days there because of health and medical problems. One of the fantastic things about the book blogging community is the support bloggers give each other. It's like being part of a family of book lovers. I like to tell other bloggers who have to stop blogging for a period of time because of a crisis of some kind, that the light is always on for them here in the book blogging community. We eagerly await your return and contribution to this wonderful world of books and people!

2. If you were going to be on a deserted island for one year and were permitted 3 books, which 3 books would you bring with you?

Norton's Anthology of English Literature, Volume 2
Infinite Jest, by David Foster Wallace
A Short History of Nearly Everything, by Bill Bryson

3. If you could be friends with any character you've met in a book, who would it be and why?

There are many, many characters I have read about I would love to be friends with…Emma from Emma by Jane Austen; Eliza Sommers from Portrait in Sepia by Isabel Allende; and Charulata Apte from Miss Timmins School for Girls by Nayana Currimbhoy are just a few of the many I would like to at least meet.

But two characters that I know I’d love to be friends with are Frankie Bard from The Postmistress by Sarah Blake and Sarah Price from Husband and Wife by Leah Stewart.

Sarah Price is a young mother who discovers that her husband, Nathan, has had an affair and is still somewhat involved with the woman he cheated with. Sarah discovers the affair because her husband incorporates some of his experience into the novel he’s just published. Sarah’s funny, intelligent, kind and amiable. She’s also very hurt. She’s not a perfect woman, like us all, she’s has flaws. I thought her reaction to Nathan’s news was understandable and very realistic…she runs the gamut from acceptance of it to outright rejection of Nathan and eventually leaves the house, unable to be near Nathan or the home they shared. She wants to be needed, desired and admired which makes sense to me. She reacts in a way that I don’t completely agree with but it works for her and in doing what she does, she figures things out for herself and her family. I liked that Sarah is strong and weak at the same time, while she takes the steps she takes, she’s confused and not sure why she’s doing what she’s doing but she also feels it’s what she has to do.

Sarah would make a great friend whether you’re chatting while sharing a bottle of wine, seeing the latest girly movie or discussing a book you both read. She feels like a woman who is fine disagreeing about a subject with her friends and discussing it, comfortable with you both having differing opinions.

Frankie Bard is one of the first female radio reporters in 1940 during the Blitz in London. Frankie’s an American who wants to jolt Americans awake to what is happening across Europe. She’s convinced if she reports the right story, she’ll reach Americans. Frankie is stubborn, brave and has a one-track mind. She travels through Europe reporting what she sees and the words of the people she encounters. But this war correspondent wasn’t totally prepared for the sights and people she encountered. By the time she’s finished her reporting tour across Europe, Frankie is burnt out and needs a break. She’s only human, of course!

Frankie is strong and stubborn but she’s also got a heart of gold. She learns some tough lessons while traveling through Europe meeting people who are frightened for the safety and well-being of their families. She meets many children whose parents have sacrificed their own well-being to save their children.

I was so impressed with Frankie’s willingness to do almost anything to reach people and to help people once she realized what was happening. Frankie was willing to go so far as to risk her own health and well-being. Although she’s sometimes brash and doesn’t always think before she acts, her intentions are pure. I know many of Frankie’s stories would astound me up but I’d also learn about the beauty and worth of life, to celebrate living and, most importantly, to reach out and help people because these are all things Frankie does.

4. What time of day do you do most of your blogging, and where are you when you're doing it?

I blog most often in the morning and early afternoon. After a good night’s sleep I feel best early in the day. I have to cope with chronic pain and fatigue everyday so by late afternoon and evening I’m getting worn out. I can’t tell you ho w many times I’ve turned off the computer around 4 o’clock with every intention of returning in an hour or two. More often than not, it doesn’t happen!

5. What is your favorite guilty pleasure? (This can be edible or not.)

The magazines Elle and Vogue, especially in September and March issues. And Cadbury Milk Chocolate!