Saturday, June 25, 2011

An Interview with...Me

Posted by Simcha 5:45 PM, under | 6 comments

So it looks like the last interview in my series of blogger interviews has not panned out so I've decided to pick up the gauntlet that Stephanie threw down and answer these interview questions myself.

But first I want to thank all of the bloggers who took the time to do these interviews and everyone that came to read and comment on them. It really felt like a party over here with all of my favorite people in the blogging world stopping by to visit and chat with each other and I can't think of a better way to have celebrated my 2nd year of blogging.

And now, on to the interview (and no, there is no picture because my eyes always come out weird and squinty in pictures and I don't have a cool pair of sunglasses like does to hide behind [not that I'm suggesting that

If you wrote a book what would the blurb on the inside back cover say about you?

Simcha lives with her husband, four kids and two dogs in a small town in Israeli's Judean desert. Simcha had never intended to become an author but when all the other book bloggers she knew became published authors she decided to give it a try herself. To her surprise she was quite good at it and Simcha’s first novel about time-traveling, vampire mice in space had been hailed as the book of the year for which the movie rights are currently being negotiated. Her next novel, about magical fairy rats is due to be released this summer.

How long have you been blogging for?

2 years!

How did you come to start a book blog?

I came to book blogging in a very round-about way. I actually knew nothing about blogs or book reviews before I started a blog of my own but I was told that maintaining a blog would be a good way to drive traffic to my website and get a high Google ranking. And the reason I had started a website was because I suddenly (and pretty randomly) decided to start an online science fiction and fantasy bookstore, and the website was to be part of it. I had really only intended to post once a week or so but before I knew it I was hooked. So now I’ve scrapped the website and am just giving my attention to this blog, while also trying to get my on-line bookstore up and running.

Have you always been an avid reader?

Yes. I used to enjoy reading reading from a pretty early age.

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

Not really, but the earliest book that I do remember reading to myself is a retelling of the Hans Christian Anderson story, The Snow Queen. But I had originally learned to read in Hebrew, which is a lot easier than English (none of those pesky vowels) and when we moved to America, when I was eight, I had a hard time getting into reading in English. It was the Sweet Valley Twin books that really helped me develop my English reading skills and I quickly became addicted to to that series, which helped me move on to other books in English.

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

Definitely. Now my reading is always accompanied by this little voice in the back of my head evaluating everything and commenting about what I should include in the review. I also find it difficult now to read more than one book at a time. When writing a review once I actually caught myself including details from a completely separate book that I had been reading at the same time.

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?

I actually never used to read science fiction books, just fantasy, but since I started a scifi and fantasy book blog to go with my scifi and fantasy website I figured that I should at least read the occasional science fiction book to keep up appearances. And to my surprise I’ve actually enjoyed quite a few of them. Two books that particularly surprised me by how much I enjoyed them were Gateway by Frederick Pohl and Venus of Dreams by Pamela Sargent.

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?

There aren’t any issues that I’ve taken a stand on but I have been really interested to discover the existence of these issues and to see the passion that other bloggers feel about them.

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

This is a hard one. The Quantum Thief kicked me around quite a bit and I’m still thinking about it a week after I finished it, but I'm pretty sure there was a lot here that totally went over my head. I think it requires a re-read. The last book that I really enjoyed, but was a lot less intense, was Attachments by Rainbow Rowell.

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

I’d go with one of my favorite books, A Walk in the Woods, by Bill Bryson, because I don’t know anyone that doesn’t enjoy this book. Unless that person hates the outdoor, in which I might recommend Bryson's other book, At Home.

What’s the most interesting that has has every happened to you

Well, there really isn’t anything I can think of that has been more exciting than the birth of each of my children, but since Stephanie already used that one I’ll try to think of another...

There was the time when I was thirteen and I went camping with my friend’s family. We rented a speed boat and went out into the water despite being warned that the water was too choppy, and that we should wait. The sky quickly got dark and stormy and the waves began tossing our little boat around until it filled up with water and the engine died. I was pretty sure we were going to drown. Eventually the waves calmed down and we spotted some land that we manged to get the boat landed on. There was nothing around except trees and a single cabin which my friend and I headed towards while her father attempted to get the water out of the boat. We knocked on the door of the cabin and when no one answered we opened it ourselves. Inside was a table covered in sharp looking knives, and we quickly decided that we better get ourselves away from the possible lodgings of a serial killer. We did check out the shed in the back which contained a bucket which we used to haul water out of the boat. Eventually we got the boat working again and made it into the water where someone found us and hauled us back to shore. It was a pretty exciting adventure which left me with a permanent fear of speed boats.

Favorite snack while reading?

Chocolate (though it's really an all-purpose snack)

Favorite word? 

Delicious ( l just love the way it sounds)

Favorite quote?

I have quite a few favorites but one of them is  “Some books are meant to be tasted, others to be swallowed,and some few to be chewed and digested”
 - Francis Bacon

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

Joyful Misadventures ( a bit of a play on my name which means Joy or happiness in English)

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

I’d love to spend a day with Jasper Fforde’s character Thursday Next. She seems really cool and fun and just the right amount of crazy. Plus Thursday has the ability to travel into any book so I'd enjoy getting to do some book hopping with her.

And that's a wrap! Thanks for visiting.


Victory! I'm so glad you decided to answer these questions for yourself, Simcha. That incident with the speed boat sounds like the start of a horror movie; thank goodness you guys got outta there. Who lives in a cabin with a bunch of sharp knives laid out on the table???

A clique related to Sweet Valley High sounds faintly threatening; glad you switched over to Babysitters Club :)

I am happy to meet you Simcha :)
great idea to interview yourself when that other fell though. Now we know you too.

And I am glad to have found your blog since I really like your taste in books and I won Cold Magic on this blog. Will always love that fact

Stephanie: Ah well, it didn't take much convincing. As you might be able to tell, I love talking about myself. ;)
Yes, the speed boat adventure was pretty freaky though bad things always seem to happen to me in large bodies of water. I have determined that water is definitely not my element.

Blodeuedd: Well I'm always happy to help create more Kate Elliott fans and it's been a real pleasure getting to know you as well.

Oh wow! I love that story with the boat. I wonder if that person living there was just a hunter. But still, that would be spooky to see! :) So glad you decided to join in the fun with the reviews. :) Thank you for having me by too! I really enjoyed it.

First of all, I need to say that I never want to go to an island on a speed boat. I think I would have ran, jumped in the lake, and swam to shore.

Which is a shame since I love camping and used to love going up the The Boundary Waters Canoe Area and find an island somewhere and camp for a few days.

I loved getting to know you just a bit more and I'm thankful for whatever it was that caused me to find your blog in the begining. Congrats on your two years!

I love it when an interviewer answers her own questions. So glad to meet you and get to know you a bit more!

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