First, let me start off by saying that I am very excited to be participating in Armchair BEA this year. Since this is the first day of the weeklong event, here are my answers to the interview questions:
Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging?
Well, the answer the first part of that question, I am a middle school Language Arts teacher in Florida (and probably one of the only people in a coastal city that hates the beach). I’ve been married to my hubby for 10 years and have 2 boys. My house is a constant zoo and I’m turning 30 in a few months. There is a mid-life crisis in my near future, I’m sure, but I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world.
I started blogging in December of 2011 out of necessity. Seriously. My students know how easily I am distracted when they ask me about books (I eventually caught on to their tactics), so I started blogging out of a need for more teaching time. (I should go ahead and mention that I never talked books all day—even though that would have been awesome—because the state of Florida would have had a fit, but I did lose at least 5 minutes of every class and in between class period to book chats.) So, I started the blog during winter break for all the new books I was reading. It’s always been a goal to read every book I put on my classroom bookshelf so I know what the kids are reading, so the blogging made sense. I already wrote review blurbs for the books, I just went digital. When a student would ask “is this any good” or “what’s this about,” I would direct them to our classroom computers and the blog. That’s how The Flashlight Reader was born.
Since then, it’s become more than just a way to get kids to look for books. I really do enjoy the interaction with other bloggers and staying up on all the “events” in the book blogging world. My students think I am some supreme being of knowledge (and I rather like it). I still want my students to use the blog for their own purposes of selecting books to read, but it’s more than that too. I’m being all super ninja-like and sneaking in writing skills when I challenge them to comment or enter a writing contest that I host. I do love the comments because it shows my kiddos the various interactions people can have with books. That’s one of my greatest loves of reading: no two people will experience exactly the same thing from a book.
What is your favorite book you have read so far in 2012?
Oh, hands down it has to be A Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Chris Healey. I love fairytale retellings, and this book is the best one yet. It’s quirky, funny, and an absolute blast to read. I am super excited to hear that there is talk of an animated movie version in the near future. It would be epic.
Tell us one non-book-related thing that everyone reading your blog may not know about you.
I am a domestic diva that should make Martha Stewart tremble in her slippers. You name it and I can do it (with a few exceptions). My favorite hobbies include sewing and painting.
If you could eat dinner with any author or character, who would it be and why?
I would never be able to narrow this down to one character, so I’m going to go with my favorite “modern” author: Laurie Halse Anderson. I am a huge fan of her books (no surprise there), and I would just love to pick her brain. Many of her stories are based on real-life situations. I would love to know where she gets her ideas from and how she keeps her sanity when writing about such tough topics.
If Ms. Anderson was busy that night, I would say Neil Shusterman would be my next choice. I really want to know where the idea for Unwind came from… even if it might give me nightmares for life.
What literary location would you most like to visit? Why?
I’m a big ol’ nerd for mermaids, so I’m going to go with an underwater location. I’m not picky; just give me a sparkly tail. I don’t think I would want to visit with Sarah Porter’s mermaids though; they are vicious (even though I love the books).