Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Interview With Stephanie from Misfit Salon

Posted by Simcha 4:04 AM, under | 15 comments

One of my favorite things about being a blogger has been developing on-line friendships with many of the other bloggers whose sites I enjoy visiting. After two years of blogging I've actually known some of these people longer than I've known many of my "real-life" friends and I thought that I would take this opportunity to try to get to know a few of my blogging friends just a little bit better.

This week I'm going to be doing a series of interviews with several of my favorite bloggers, most of whom I've known for at least a year now, if not longer.

I have to tell that I really had so much fun putting together these interviews and reading the responses that I received. In some cases I took this opportunity to ask some personal (but not too personal, I don't think) questions that have been on my mind for a while, and other questions were more general or just for fun. And the answer that I got back were just so fantastic, full of humorous anecdotes and fascinating stories. I feel like I really got to know each of these individuals a little bit better and I really hope that someday I'll get to meet each of them in person.

And now, for the first of the interviews...

My first interview is with Stephanie from Misfit Salon. I'm not sure when I started following Stephanie's blog but once I discovered it, I became a regular visitor. Stephanie reviews all genre of books and her reviews are clear, well-written and intelligent. Stephanie also worked with me on the Cinderella writing contest (and I probably wouldn't have gone ahead with it at all without her) and is the only blogger whom I've actually spoken with on the phone, which we both found a bit surreal at first, but was still pretty cool.

And without any further ado, here is...

Stephanie from Misfit Salon

Welcome Stephanie!

If you wrote a book what would the blurb on the inside cover (right beside your picture) say about you?

Despite the fact that Oprah has decided to temporarily reinstate her Book Club and talk show solely to feature Stephanie’s debut novel, she has not let wild success interrupt her life of reading and humble contemplation in Northern California.
How long have you been blogging for? 

2 years on June 23, 2011!

How did you come to start a book blog? 

This is going to sound pretentious but witnessing the struggle of the Iranian people in revolutionizing change for the better, to the point of dying just to simply express their discontent, overwhelmed me with relief and gratitude for all the freedoms I enjoy. Out of that – I decided to exercise one of my fundamental rights as an American, freedom of speech, and started a blog. Here is my first post ever. And because I cannot help but talk about books, Misfit Salon quickly evolved into a book blog. 

Have you always been an avid reader?

I pretended to read avidly even before I knew what letters meant on a page.

Was there a particular book that turned you on to reading? 

I'm not a religious person, but I devoured Bible stories, especially from the Old Testament. The story of Queen Esther was one which enthralled me early on and still inspires me today.

Has being a book reviewer changed the way that you approach reading?  

Because my reading has grown exponentially due to review commitments, I now read with a schedule. No more long, indulgent reading idylls.

Book bloggers often find that reviewing books encourages them to read books outside of their regular reading comfort zone. Is there a particular book that you would never have otherwise tried if you weren’t a book reviewer, but you ended up loving?  

Kindred by Octavia Butler is one book I found through another blog that I never would have picked up on my own. Never underestimate the power of a well-written review!

Are there any particular topics or causes that you have discovered a passion for since becoming a book blogger which you might have never thought much about before?  

I'm now more alert to the depiction of people of color in anything I read and feel a sense of responsibility as a blogger/reviewer to mention negative stereotypes whenever I encounter them. 

What’s the last book that you read that blew you away? 

Rotters by Daniel Kraus

If you met someone who was only going to read one book this year which book would you recommend to them? 

Only one book this year?! Must not be a reader; therefore, I would suggest what my nonreader son highly recommends: Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card.

What’s the most interesting thing that has ever happened to you? 

The most amazing, most life-changing, the summit of all my experience – the birth of my son.

Favorite snack while reading? Chocolate

Favorite word? Dream

Favorite quote?   "Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them." by Henry David Thoreau

Favorite childhood memory: My mother braiding my hair

Favorite comfort read: The Princess Bride by William Goldman (cheered me up on a bad day not too long ago)

If your life were a book what would the title be? Misfit

If you could spend the day with any book character who would you choose and why? 

A bit crazy, paranoid, and quirky, Fermin from Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon is one of the funniest and most unusual characters I have ever come across. Spending the day with him exploring the mysterious and dangerous side of Barcelona would be an adventure of a lifetime. 

Thanks so much Stephanie! 

Tune in tomorrow for an interview with  Ryan from Wordsmithonia.


Ohh Fermin, good choice :)
And awww on the most interesting thing that has ever happened

Simcha - Thank you so much for inviting me to SFF Chat and your kind words. Some of these questions I've never pondered before so you had me deep in thought :)

Are you going to answers these questions too so we can get to know you better as well?

Blodeuedd - Yay, a fellow Shadow of the Wind fan!

I love Stepahnie's blog and I have yet to read a book she loved that I didn't fall in love with myself.

I have to agree with the Bible stories grabbing you as a kid. I remember reading my yellow covered My Book of Bible Stories all the time, especially about Samson and Delilah.

Great interview.

Simcha, Stephanie, Great interview! :) And I have to say Stephanie, I LOOOOVE those boots! I need me a pair of those. lol. No,seriously I think I need a pair. :) Thanks!

Great interview! Misfit Salon is one of my favorites!
I used to love Bible stories too, even though I am not at all religious either.
Fermin from Shadow of the Wind is a good pick, btw.
Good to know more about you, Stephanie! I love the picture too.

Ryan - Thank you so much! I suspect we have the same sort of twisted taste sometimes :)

Melissa - These are my favorite shoes ever; I dreamt about them as a kid when I used to wear pseudo Doc Martens because that's all I could afford. "Jemma" style at the Doc Martens website...

Misha - Oh, you're sweet! And I think I'd like to design a T-shirt with one of Fermin's crazy sayings on it so we could all wear our love for him proudly.

I agree that a day with Fermin would be crazy! Great choice.

Awe Steph! Great interview. You have managed to crack me up and make me wistful. Love the blurb for your author photo.

I hope your son knows how lucky he is to have a mom like you! :)

Stephanie: I actually did consider interviewing myself with these questions but I doubt the answers I would give are as interesting as everyone else's. Sometimes it's better to remain the interviewer.

And the story of Esther is also one of my favorites. It's the basis for one of my favorite Jewish holidays, Purim, where we celebrate the fact that, thanks to Esther, the Jews were saved from being slaughtered. And on this holiday we have a commandment to hear the story of Esther read out loud (by someone who reads it professionally, in Hebrew) twice. So I know it pretty well by now.

Great interview! I loved all your answers. The Bible story of Esther is also a favorite of mine. Although I'm not particularly religious either, I do find Bible stories to be interesting and entertaining.

Stacy - Yay, Team Fermin is growing!

Missie - Oh, Missie, thank you so much! I count myself very lucky to be his mom.

Simcha - You are too modest. Esther is such a fascinating figure and a wonderful role model of a strong woman artfully handling a dangerous situation.

Michelle - Thank you! Daniel in the lion's den is another story I loved growing up, King David, oh, so many.

I'll say it again... you are so beautiful! I do need to get those boots. :)

Loved this and getting to know you better. I also used to pretend to read before I could! ;)

Great interview, Stephanie & Simcha!

Stephanie, I don't know if I could ever give up reading exactly what I want exactly when I want to. But I'm glad you have. Misfit Salon is often a key player in helping me to decide on the the books I choose.

Melissa (Books and Things) - If I could, I'd do a giveaway of those boots ...mayhap for my 5th blogging anniversary??? I'd have to save up for that one. Thank you very much for the compliment - you've made me smile.

V.R. - The thing with blogging is, I want to read everything I hear about! At least I can say that almost 100% of what I commit to reviewing is something I would have read on my own anyway.

I love Stephanie's Blog...Misfit salon, and this was a great interview. We now know so much more about her and the blog! Excellent interview.

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