Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Interview with Charlotte of Charlotte's Library

I had the wonderful privilege of interviewing Charlotte from Charlotte’s Library. Being randomly paired up gave me the opportunity to find another wonderful blog to check out and follow. I value the friendships I have made along the path of blogging and would like to introduce you to my newest blogging friend Charlotte. What follows is my interview with her.

1. I noticed from your site that you are an archaeologist by day. Can you tell us a little bit about that job?
I am an archaeologist for my state's historic preservation office—my main responsibility is to review every construction project that needs a state or federal permit. Before I settled down with house and children and real job, I did get to do fieldwork in many exciting places—most interestingly Kenya, Iceland, Alaska, England, Bermuda, and two summers of underwater archaeology in Florida. If you happen to come across the October 2007 issue of Dig Magazine (archaeology for kids) you can read an article I wrote about the archaeology part of my life.

2. How did you get into blogging about books? How long have you been doing this?
I'm active in the Friends group of my local library, and I get to use some of the money we raise to buy books. About three years ago I started poking around the internet, to see what books we might buy, and I found the world of book blogs...after several months just reading, I thought it would fun to do it myself, so on 2/1/07, I started my blog…

That’s the official answer. The real answer is that I knew that someday Megan Whalen Turner would release a new book and I wanted to get an ARC of it. So for the past two and a half years I’ve been trying to establish myself as the sort of blog to which you would automatically send arcs if you happened to be Greenwillow Books . It comes out in March, 2010…

3. I noticed that you specifically read and review SF/F, are there other genre's

you read? Are there any genres you won't read?

I read children's books for fun, and a lot of history, archaeology, and anthropology on the professional side. I have a penchant for 20th century British girls’ books, and they make up a large part of my comfort reading. I'll read just about anything that looks interesting (or at least I'll put it on my to-be-read pile), but since life is too short to read the books I know I'll probably enjoy, I don't look much beyond my favorite genres.

4. Do you participate in any reading challenges?

I'm participating in my first one this year, the 2009 Debut Challenge hosted at The Story Siren.

5. What do you find to be the easiest, the hardest and the most exciting thing(s) about
blogging for you?

The easiest and most exciting thing is the writing, once I start. Conversely, one of the hardest things is finding the time to actually sit down and do it! It takes at least an hour for me to write a review, on average. Even harder than that is getting through the moments of self-doubt, during which I worry that a. too many people are reading my blog and noticing the hideously embarrassing typos and grammatical lapses or b. not enough people are reading my blog and it is all pointless!

6. How many books would you say are in your TBR pile right now?

We just went to a used book sale and came home with about thirty-five, plus the ones on the woodstove (high priority, since winter is coming and this isn't going to be an option much longer) about 25, plus maybe 20 more scattered around. But then there are the hundreds of books in my virtual TBR pile, including a list of about 50 scrawled on an old envelope next to the computer--these were all books recommend by other bloggers.

7. Who are some of your favorite authors?

For fantasy and science fiction, Ursula Le Guin, Megan Whalen Turner, and Patricia MacKillip. I also am a huge Elizabeth Goudge fan (20th century English writer of adult and children’s books), and love D.E. Stevenson (English author of many books that are my favorite comfort re-reads).

8. What is/are the best book(s) you have read in the last year?

I loved Ash, by Malinda Lo, The Demon’s Lexicon, by Sarah Rees Brennon, and
Silksinger, by Laini Taylor.

9. What was it that made you pick Science Fiction and Fantasy as the genre to

read and review?

Last fall I was on the committee that selected the shortlist for the Cybils in that genre, and so that was all I read for three months. I enjoyed it tremendously, and realized this was the children's and YA genre I liked best of all. And I wanted to focus my blog a bit--it was all over the map at first.

10. What advice would you give someone who wanted to start a book blog?
Read lots of blogs, to see what every one else is already doing! Find the genre you are passionate about--if you don't love what you are writing about, there's no point. Don't be afraid to jump in and take part, but don’t feel like you have to race to get to “the top.” I was ridiculously timid at first, and made no attempt to do this (I would take part in Poetry Friday without adding my link to the round-up), so I only got about 10 visitors a day for months and months, while I waited for my confidence to increase. Which it has done, to a point…see question 5.


  1. Thanks for being my book interview buddy, Sandra!

  2. Good questions, Sandra. And Charlotte, if/when you get that ARC, I'll be HIGHLY jealous. :-)

  3. Great job. I loved meeting Charlotte – and you too!

  4. Wow! I wanted to be an archealologist when I was a little girl.

    BBAW Interview

  5. I enjoyed this interview, you two. I love your "real" reason for blogging, Charlotte. And I completely understand.

    Your day job is also fascinating! Thanks for sharing.

  6. I really enjoyed learning so much about her and have enjoyed checking out all of the different blogs.

  7. Love you're blog!! You're awesome!!!
    I cant wait til you put up A COK

    Lil Jasy