Tuesday, September 15, 2009

BBAW Interview Swap: Spotlight on Sheila

Over the last few months I've had the opportunity to get to know a great blogger who puts a smile on my face every time I visit her blog. As many of you already know she is truly a kind person who always has a nice thing to say. So I was ecstatic when I drew her name for the interview swap. So with no further ado I would like to present to you Sheila of One Person's Journey Through a World of Books.

Sheila hard at work.

1. What started you down the road of reading?

As long as I can remember I have been a reader. I cant put my finger on the when or why... in 2nd grade I won the Bookworm award for always having my nose in a book.

2. Was there a book or books that you feel changed your life in a positive way?

Hmmm... The Betty Crocker Cook Book. LOL.... Seriously... there are so many books that I hold dear to my heart and each one for a different reason... Other than the Bible I don't think I can name one.

3. How has having a family influenced you in your reading habits? Do you read books that you wouldn't have otherwise?

That is actually funny as I started reading the Harry Potter series to see what my boys were reading. By book two, we had to have three copies of each book in the house so we all could be reading it and by book three I was finishing them faster than either of them and waiting for them to finish so we could talk about it!

4. In what way does your faith influence you in what to read or not to read?

I really enjoy almost all styles of books other than real graphic gory, a lot of strong language or sexual content type books. I think to me that is my personal preference and not really a faith decision. If a book doesn't feel right to me I would put it down. Plenty to read out there that I would enjoy! :)

5. What influenced you start your own book blog?

I started my book blog for me. I am pretty sure when I started it I didn't know it was a book blog. I thought I was just recording books that I read in an online journal format. I thought what I was doing was unique and I did it only for me. This past June when someone commented on my blog (which was unusual) I followed their link and found the book blogging world!

What a fantastic outdoor workspace.

6. How has book blogging changed your life? (reading habits, time management, that sort of thing)

I really put more time into it than I ever thought I would. I am not complaining! It is a whole new world for me and I am still at the kid in a candy store phase. I love reading about new books on blogs, I love entering the contests, chatting with fellow book lovers, helping them.... if anything I need to limit my online time as it can cut into my reading time. I really do enjoy blog hopping.

7. Has your taste in books changed through your life? Have you found yourself reading books you might now have when you were younger? Or Are there books you loved in the past and now you can't imaging why?

My book tastes have really changed. In the early adult years I read everything I could get my hands on by Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Nora Roberts and Daniele Steel. When I started our book club 8 years ago it was to expand my reading and now I couldn't name a favorite author if I tried. I have learned to really enjoy diversity in books.

8. What is your favorite genre to read?

That's tough... I enjoy women's literature, historical fiction, books on other cultures.... yet recently have also dabbled into some YA and fantasy that I am really liking as well.

9. Are there favorite authors you tend to go back to whenever they have new releases?

Yes, there are a few... Harlan Coben is a must read every time! I keep an eye on what Jodi Piccoult is doing and I still watch Dean Koontz although I do not read all of his books anymore but occasionally see one that I want to read.

10. This is a totally subjective question. What elements do you look for in a book? What makes a book a "good read"?

I like strong characters. Wimpy characters are disheartening. Strong plots - a strong cause.... causes can really get me reading. I also find I like books with not a lot of characters. This may be just me, but books with many characters can be confusing. If their names sound anywhere near alike (IE. Bart and Barty) I find myself mixing up their characters and having to back track in the book to see what is what. I like to know the characters and too many takes away from that.

Does this look familiar to anyone?

11. How do you decide what books to review?

When I get an offer for a review, I make sure that the book is something I really think I will enjoy. I look at the author and see what else they have written. I read about the book and Google it for more information on it. I still occasionally find one I do not enjoy, but it certainly isn't from lack of research.

12. Are there certain foods or drinks you absolutely have to have when you are reading?

Yes, green M & M's and only in even quantities with a diet coke at room temperature. I am kidding.... actually no ritual foods. I do like to snack while I am reading but it is usually whatever is handy, sometimes popcorn or chocolate if I was foolish enough to leave it within my reach. :)

13. How much time are you able to read in a day? How do you juggle the desire to read with other priorities?

Really depends on the day. Most of my read time is in the evening. My husband and I own an excavating company and he keeps weird hours like up at 5 am and asleep by 8 pm. I am a night owl so I read (if I am not on twitter or blogging) about two hours+ a night. On a weekend if I do not have plans I can finish a book a day. As far as juggling priorities, I work in the office so I can check postings occasionally throughout the day - make a blog comment here and there and read during my lunch break. I have mastered reading while on the tread mill or elliptical when I work out and have taken to audio books when I am traveling so I really get my book fix whenever I can.

14. What are some little known facts about yourself?

1. I have been to Honduras five times and worked with children who live in the street. I will be going a 6th time at the end of October. 2. I fell off a horse when I was 14 and was in a coma for 5 days. They told my mom I had a 10% chance of living. 3. After a house fire in 1980, my mom and I lived in Soldotna Alaska for a year with relatives and I completed 7th grade there.


Ceri said...

That is such a great interview. I love Sheila's blog and this was such an awesome way to get to know more about her. :-D

Sheila (bookjourney) said...

This looks wonderful Ryan! :) Thank you.

Zia said...

Fantastic interview! I also enjoyed your interview at her blog this morning.

Krista said...

Fantastic interveiw! It's so nice to get to know awesome bloggers!

Laurel-Rain Snow said...

I just love visiting blogs! (And creating them!). I have five blogger sites and six on WordPress.

I'm trying to learn new things about how to navigate around the blogosphere.

In your interview over on Sheila's blog, (I think that's where you mentioned learning how to put three columns in the blogger blogs), my interest was piqued.

Are there any quick tips you can offer?

I'm at chezraine@yahoo.com

Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

My blog started the same way - I didn't even know there were such things as book blogs when I got started!

Alyssa Kirk said...

Great interview. I love getting to know other bloggers more personally!

Anonymous said...

I've been a Sheila fan for quite a few months now and loved learning some new things about her!!

Good job with the interview!!!

bookmagic said...

What great questions. I haven't been to her blog before, but I will now! Now that I've read alot of questions, I wish I could redo mine

Ryan said...

Ceri, Sheila's blog is wonderful. I'm so glad you follow her.

Sheila, You are more than welcome. The whole thing was really fun.

Zia, Thank you so much!

Krista, That was the best thing about the interview swap. It gets people to look at blogs we normally never get around too.

Laurel, Thanks so much for commenting. I will try to email what little help I can put out there sometime tonight.

Heather, Thanks for coming by!

Alyssa, I never knew the full extent of how many blogs are out there before today. I'm sure I still don't really have a clue.

Vicki, There is a lot in Sheila to be a fan of. She is truly one of my favorite bloggers.

Deb, I thought your interview quesitons were fine. When you visit Sheila you won't be dissapointed.

Julie J. said...


It's great to meet you! I found you over at Sheila's! What state were you a HOSA Officer for? I am a HOSA Advisor at my local high school! That's just awesome to meet a fellow book blogger and HOSA member! :)

Happy Reading!

Ryan said...

Julie, How cool! I was in Oklahoma at the time. I took Vo-Tech classes my junior and senior year and was a memmber of HOSA both years. I was a state officer my senior year and had a blast. Nationals was in Nashville that year (1994).

Cecelia said...

Great interview! Congrats on surviving that fall, Sheila! Loved the questions AND the answers, though I'm stumped as to the furniture question. My mind flits immediately to IKEA, but that may just be because I'm young and poor... :-) Awesome post.

Jenny said...

Great interview! How cool that you guys ended up with each other!

Sheila, you are an amazing person!!

Ryan said...

Celia, I'm jealous of anyone who has an IKEA store in their area....we aren't cool enough for that here in Kansas

Jenny, I loved interviewing her. She is a wonderful person.

Sheila (bookjourney) said...

I am so confused on the furniture question... LOL am I tired or missing something? I dont see a furniture question... :)

And thanks everyone for the kind words.... you make me smile. Thanks Ryan too for hosting my craziness on your blog! :)

Ryan said...

Sheila, You are more than welcome and come back anytime!

Michelle Stockard Miller said...

Great interview Ryan...you're a natural! Sheila is very interesting! I already follow her blog so it's nice to really get to know the person behind the blog.

Ryan said...

Michelle, thank you!