BBAW New Treasure - In which Wrapped in Foil talks about her Nanowrimo project, being a Cybils judge and many other topics over tea
Now, we shall move on to more interesting stuff, shall we? So, with a hot cup of tea (or coffee, if you prefer), let's find out more about Roberta and her blog, and *sshhhh* did you know she was a judge at Cybils award last year?
So, Roberta, Good morning and welcome to Reading on a Rainy Day, speaking of which I hope the rains come here soon *fanning myself hard*. I've noticed that you blog about children's books. How did you come about to start your blog?
Wrapped In Foil blog came about because of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), believe it or not. In November of 2008, while struggling to write 50,000 words of a mystery novel, I found myself keeping a blog of my experiences. In the end, I enjoyed writing the blog far more than the novel. It was much more fun and satisfying to report on the writing process than to keep track of my wacky heroine, who managed to get herself into one traumatic situation after another. You can find a link to the original blog on the About page of Wrapped in Foil.
As for why I chose children's books, it seemed to tie in nicely with my Growing With Science blog, which is about doing science and exploring nature with children. It turns out to have been the perfect choice for me. I love art as well as science and the two come together in nonfiction children's books.
I love how your blogging interests expanded. Also, I know exactly what you mean about finding the reporting/reviewing part much more interesting than the creative writing part. But, the satisfaction you get after writing a creative piece is priceless! So you've been blogging a long time! How would you say that blogging has changed you - in your reading tastes, interactions with other readers or bloggers, daily schedules, and life in general?
First of all, I admit I have become a blogging addict. The rewards have been many. I get to meet interesting new people (like you), and participate in carnivals and memes. I was a Cybils judge last year, which was a wonderful experience. Every once in a while there's the joy of finding a new book in the mail.
Sometimes I wonder if I live less in the moment, however, because I'm constantly mining my life experiences for blogging material these days.
I wonder that too - my online life is so much more interesting! Also thank you! It's been a pleasure "meeting" you too! In fact, I'm looking forward to more chatting! Since you've been blogging for a while now, I'm wondering what your main criteria has been for choosing a book, before you started blogging? What is your main criteria now?
With a few prominent exceptions, I often feel that books find me rather than vice versa.
Well said! *saluting* Since I'm very impressed with your reviews, please tell me and my readers about the points that you address in your reviews?
While reading the book I plan to review I try to focus on how child-friendly it is, what the reading level is, if it has been labeled appropriately, and how well the illustrations work with the text. I might not always comment on those things, but I always keep them in mind.
I also incorporate a bit of the flavor or voice of the book into the review. For example, if the book is light and humorous, I find myself writing in a light and humorous way. I think that gives readers another way to decide if the book is something they might want to pick up.
I love it that you make your review reflect the tone of the book! Now that's a tip I need to incorporate. (Not that I write a sleep-worthy review for a humorous book, just saying *wink*) So, let's see, where do you plan to take your blog over the next year?
That is actually a difficult question. When I first started out, I thought I would use the blog to help me organize my thoughts about writing, and particular about writing for children. It quickly went in a different direction when I started reviewing books. Through reviewing, I have learned a great deal about children's literature.
One of the reasons I decided to participate in these interviews was because I feel this particular blog is getting stagnant. I am looking for ways to move it forward, looking for new directions to take. Reading blogger interviews from last year and visiting other book blogs has been incredibly enlightening. I haven't made any decisions though.
Not one of the easiest questions to answer, really! Heck, I have no idea where my blog will be next week. I keep talking of plans but my lazy brain curls up and goes to sleep! Anyways, let's spice things up a bit, shall we? Here's some rapid fire questions for you! Sad we don't have a buzzer.
How many books do you read at a time?
Can you be a serious reader if you don't juggle at least four or five at a time? :-)Amen, sista! You speak for me and almost every other reader! What's on your nightstand?
Yesterday I was reading an adult nonfiction tome, Fire Ants by ant scientist Walter Tschinkel. Amazingly, it made me laugh out loud in places. This morning I was reading the much more serious Frozen Secrets: Antarctica Revealed, a young adult nonfiction book by Sally M. Walker. I will probably have a review of it up on Monday. I am also reading House Rules by Jodi Picoult and Log From the Sea of Cortez, by John Steinbeck.*distracted* Oh sorry, I was just unconsciously adding those books to my TBR. You know how that happens! Your favorite author? Your favorite book of all time?
In addition to the nightstand, I keep a cheerful basket of kid books in my home office that are in a queue for review.
Adult: A Country Year by Sue Hubbell is my favorite book, although several of Barbara Kingsolver's books also strike a chord. She seems to be ahead of the curve in many ways. Did I mention Bill Bryson? Okay, I can't pick just one. :-)Did you know that Winnie the Pooh is my favorite cartoon character? I dream of decorating my home in Winnie the Pooh style! What is the one book you want the whole world to read?
Children's: The original Winnie the Pooh books by A. A. Milne
Although I definitely have read important books that spoke to me in profound ways, I hesitate to recommend one single book to everyone in the world. I will list two books I found inspiring (because once again I can't stick to one.) Both these books offer solutions to difficult issues.And finally, on a rainy day, which book would you prefer to cozy up with? Or which genre of books?
Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin Seeds of Change: Planting a Path to Peace by Jen Cullerton and illustrated by Sonia Lynn Sadler (children's picture book)
Rainy days? Here in Arizona we don't get many of those. :-) In the middle of summer when it is way too hot to leave the house, I read a lot of nonfiction. Often I read aloud to my son, although this year is the first year he seems to be reading mostly on his own (sniff). Our house favorite is science, particularly biology. I also read biographies and poetry.
Well, that's it! Thank you so much, Roberta, for taking the time to answer my questions! I'm so glad to have "met" you! BBAW has been so much fun!
Also, m'dear followers, don't forget to check out my interview!