Tuesday, April 26, 2005

I am quoted in Adam Langer's column about author blogs. I had a fun time answering his questions, and thought I'd share all of my answers here, since only a little bit ended up in the article.

1) Why did you decide to write a blog? What do you enjoy about doing it?

I initially decided to start a blog because I didn't have access to the inner workings of my website, and I wanted to have a way to let readers know about upcoming events, new publications, etc. I thought of it as a very practical tool at first, but it slowly became fun for me, as well. It's nice to have a place to share links that interest me or to spout my strange enthusiasms.

2) Is there a difference between journal writing and blog writing? Are there elements that you try to leave out or do you try to be completely honestly nakedly personal?

Sometimes I'll look back at blog entries and cringe a little because they sound like my high school diaries—lots of exclamation marks and words like "awesome." I think I tend to get a little carried away when I'm excited about something. I don't see the blog as a journal, however; while I occasionally post personal entries, I know I am not laying my whole life bare. The blog is like a pop-up-book version of my life—just little colorful moments here and there.

3) Do you have any impression of who is reading the blog, what they like or don't?

I don't get too many comments on my blog, so it's hard to know how people are responding to it. It's always a thrill to get a comment (even when a recent comment I received included a pair of emoticon breasts!) Every once in awhile, I'll get email from blog readers, which is always a treat, too. A few people—including my sister!—have told me that they feel a little guilty reading my blog because they feel as if they're peeking into my diary. I assure them I wouldn't post anything I wouldn't want them to know (in that sense, the blog is very different from my high school diaries!)

4) Do you blog less than when you first started out? Is it hard to keep doing it?

My blogging comes in waves—I go through phases where I don't think about the blog much at all, and then phases where the blog is at the front of my mind. Even when I blog often, I always feel as if I am not blogging enough or taking full advantage of the format. I write my entries hastily and often floridly, and sometimes wish I had time to write more thoughtful posts.

5) Do you have any impression of whether the blog and the website are helping sales and/or general knowledge of your books?

It's hard to tell. I do think that the blog is a good way to maintain dialogue with readers between books, though. I know I appreciate getting windows into author's lives, and I'm glad to be able to provide that for readers (even though it's a strange streaky window.)

6) Do you read other authors' blogs? If so, which ones? If not, why not?

I enjoy reading other author's blogs. The authors I visit regularly include Martha O'Connor, Stephen Elliott, Bee Lavender, and Damian McNicholl. I also appreciate authors like MJ Rose and Karin Gillespie who blog about the wider publishing world. And I visit literary blogs like The Elegant Variation and Maud Newton and Moorish Girl just about daily.

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