Showing posts with label interview. Show all posts
Showing posts with label interview. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

BBAW Interview: Florinda from The 3 R's Blog

I'm participating in the Book Blogger Appreciation Week interview swap. I was paired with Florinda from The 3 R's Blog: Reading, 'Riting, and Randomness (It's Not Just a Title, It's a Mission Statement) and we conducted our interviews via email. I edited these answers very slightly, and mostly just added some links.

Florinda posts frequently and has a very relatable style, so pay her a visit--you're bound to find something you like. In addition to her blog, you can find Florinda on Twitter and LibraryThing.

What is the history of your blog? When and why did you get started?
My first blog post was March 16, 2007. For several months, I had been using an online organizing program to keep a record of what I was reading, but as it started to get more detailed, I thought maybe a blog would be a better way to do it. My first few posts were summary reading lists with short descriptions of each book and a few comments, but after a couple of months I began doing individual posts after each book I finished.
Has your blog evolved over time?
I realized pretty quickly that my blog probably wouldn't be just about books. Most of the blogs I read early on weren't book blogs--it actually took me some time to start finding those. But I'd find things to think and write about on other blogs, and sometimes I'd even write about things that happened in my life. That mix is still there, and that's the third R (the "randomness").

I participated in NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) during November 2007, which got me into the posting-every-day habit--and I liked it. I still post five or six times a week (most of the time). I have a loose editorial calendar in which certain types of posts appear on specific days. And I think my book reviews have improved a lot :-).
It looks like you are much better than I am at having recurring features on your blog. What's your secret? Do you think this is more work for you or does it seem to make it easier?
I actually think it's easier. It helps give my blogging some structure (I'm an accountant--my brain operates better with structure). I also try to write most of my posts at least a few days in advance. The two features that probably look the most work-intensive--the TBIF book-related round-up on Fridays, and the Weekend Review linkfest on Saturdays--really aren't, since they're basically works in progress all week. (Google Docs is my very good friend.)
What is your favorite blogger meme/game and why?
I don't do a lot of memes, and I try to concentrate them into just one or two posts a week, even though that means some of the daily ones don't go up on their "official" day of the week. I've most consistently participated in Booking Through Thursday, and I like doing the Friday Fill-ins just because they're fun. But my favorite one may be Tuesday Thingers, because it's really helped me learn more about using LibraryThing.
What is your all-time favorite book (feel free to list more than one if you'd like)?
I usually avoid this question like the plague, because it's JUST TOO HARD! And since I've gotten out of the habit of re-reading, it's become even harder. But here are three that rank very, very high on the list (and that I've read more than once):
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott
Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon
Cloth, paper, or ebook? Have your book buying habits changed over time?
I probably buy more books now than ever :-) --nearly always trade paperbacks. I rarely buy hardcovers. I got a Kindle a couple of months ago, and I like it much better than I ever expected to, but it's not going to replace books on paper for me. However, it does give me a way to get new books sooner--I don't have to wait for the paperback, and they're cheaper, too!
What are some of your favorite blogs/websites?
Again, it's just too hard to play favorites :-)! I maintain three separate blogrolls--one for book blogs, one for blogs by authors, and one that's a hodgepodge of all the other types of blogs I read. But since it's Book Blogger Appreciation Week, here are a few book blogs I really like:

Devourer of Books
Everyday I Write the Book
Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin'?
Musings of a Bookish Kitty
Rebecca Reads
She Is Too Fond of Books
Sophisticated Dorkiness
The Betty and Boo Chronicles
The Boston Bibliophile
And, to steal from you, ask and answer any one question that you wish I had asked.
Q: What time of day do you do most of your reading?

A: I nearly always read at breakfast, and again before I go to sleep, although I don't really get through many pages in the morning, and the amount I read at night depends on how long I can stay awake! My favorite reading time, though, is the weekend mornings when I take myself and my book out to Starbucks.
Thanks, Florinda!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

[link] Interview with Mimi Smartypants

Fiction Writers Review >> [interview] Type type type: A Conversation with Mimi Smartypants

I experienced what Margaret Lazarus Dean describes here while reading her description of it:
Rather, what I experience sometimes when I read her diary is that strange phenomenon that first brought me to fiction as a child, and has kept me here all these years: the eerie way in which another human’s mind can reach across all gaps of time and distance and stranger-dom into your own mind and stir a feeling that had never been stirred there before. That sense of seeing something described that you had never seen put into words, that you would have assumed could never be put into words, yet finding that seemingly singular and resistant thing rendered perfectly specific and clear, even sonorous, and, maybe even funny.
If you don't already read Mimi Smartypants, you should start now.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Bob the Typesetter

Bob Reitz works in the production department at the University of Nebraska Press. He's one of the many people at UNP who taught me so much while putting up with all of my newbie questions.

What was your first job?
My first job was at the Journal-Star newspaper. I was hired as an apprentice. Back then it was known as hot metal, the stories were set a line at a time on a Linotype machine using melted lead. I also made up pages and learned to set type on the Linotype.

After about five years the paper made the move to what they called cold type—setting type on film. We typed the stories on a typewriter-type machine that punched out ticker tape. From there the tape was read by a typesetter which produced film that was developed, dried, and then cut out and waxed to be pasted on page-size grids.
Typesetter, compositor, or imagesetter—do you have a preference? What the heck do they mean (what’s the difference)?
Today I’d have to say were more like graphic designers. Saying typesetter to me implies you set type, compositor is one who composes the text or pages up a book, and imagesetter—I’m not to sure what they mean by that because we do more then set images.
Would you list (and maybe briefly explain) the different typesetting technologies you have used?
This could be difficult—many of the older processes were similar, but with improvements of machines or typesetting equipment. I’ve set type one letter at a time, one line at a time on the linotype machine, and using the ticker tape to produce whole stories.

Today we use computers which can have a variety of typesetting software installed. I’ve used a programs named Magna, PageMaker, TeX, and now I’m using InDesignCS3.

Magna set a page at a time which you sent to a typesetting machine which produced film, which was developed and sent to the printer. PageMaker and InDesign are very similar but I believe that InDesign is the industry's choice today. TeX was probably the fastest program I ever used: it was designed for setting math books, but was found to do a great job just setting text.
Which is your favorite and why?
This is a hard question to answer. My favorite would be a combination of TeX and InDesign, using TeX’s speed and InDesign's great handling of photos and graphs. Since that’s not possible I’ll have to say InDesign would be my favorite. Once one gets the hang of it it works well. I especially like the way it handles graphics.
What do you think about having to learn all of them? What have you learned in the process?
Learning them was at times a challenge especially when I first started—the linotype was big and noisy and a real challenge to an 18-year-old kid. But most of the programs were a step forward, they did different aspects faster or easier.

What have I learned? I’m trying to remember, lets see. I guess I would say that all new programs are usually a step in the right direction. They may do several things better or faster, in the process sometimes things that one used before are no longer a part of the program, which makes you wonder. There are times when I ask myself if the writer of the program even thought of asking someone who would actually use it for any input. Me thinks not.
Of the books you’ve worked on, do you have a favorite?
I can’t say that I have a favorite. Although I really enjoyed working on Dueling Chefs. It was a challenge and fun to put together. I’ve also tried some of the recipes which are very good.
Thanks, Bob!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Book Lover Interview #2: Courtney Burkholder

I met Courtney when she was in the marketing department at the University of Nebraska Press. I don't know what her title wasshe did so many different things it was hard to tell. We quickly became friends. She is currently the Director of Book Publishing at the International Society for Technology in Education and has recently agreed to stalk Laurie Notaro for me.

What is your favorite book (or current favorite)?

Comparing different books is like comparing trees, bicycles, and basketballs. How do I compare Tug of War: Classical Versus "Modern" Dressage: Why Classical Training Works and How Incorrect Riding Negatively Affects Horses' Health with Captain Alatriste? Those are two that I've read recently and really enjoyed, for very different reasons. I'm also finally getting to the last two books in the Series of Unfortunate Events.

What is your favorite book store?
Where I'm living? Powell's, of course!

Do you have a favorite book cover?
I had the good fortune to work with Richard Eckersley for over ten years, so I would have to choose some of his covers: Break of Day, The Crab Nebula, The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition with the river winding along the spines, The Governor's Daughter.

Do you have a favorite book-related website/blog/social networking service?
Will Work for Books, of course! And I like to keep up with what people are reading via Facebook.

What are you reading now?
When I'm done with Lemony Snicket, I'll probably start Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Book Lover Interview #1: Cinnamon Dokken

Cinnamon Dokken opened A Novel Idea Bookstore in downtown Lincoln as a college senior in 1991. In 2006, she opened a branch shop—A Novel Idea Bookstore, Chapter Two—in the Book Town of Brownville, Nebraska. Her web site,, has virtual tours and information about book collecting. Currently, she is working to build her online bookselling business and has recently attained membership in the Independent Online Booksellers Association. She and her fiancĂ©, Jon Carlson, have spent the past several months renovating a circa 1900 house in Lincoln’s Near South Neighborhood. Between them, they have two children—Isabel (5) and Aidan (4).

What is your favorite book (or current favorite)?

I've been captivated by non-fiction lately - The Worst Hard Time, Band of Brothers, Undaunted Courage, John Adams, etc. etc. Reading about what others have accomplished despite great hardship inspires me to put full effort into my own life. I've also been reading LOTS of children's books to my 5-year-old daughter, Isabel. Kate DiCamillo and Beverly Cleary are current favorites. It's fun to revisit some of the books I read as a child with the new perspective of a parent. I have a huge amount of admiration for children's book authors who don't write down to kids but, rather, lead them to new levels of thinking. (And there's just nothing like reading a funny book to a laughing kiddo.)

What is your favorite book store (other than yours)?

I have to say that, although San Francisco and Portland and New York are all home to some quality bookstores, Nebraskans have it pretty darned good. Bluestem Books, here in Lincoln, and Jackson Street Booksellers, in Omaha, are excellent stores. Being located in the Midwest doesn't lower us any.

I'm also looking forward to the opening of The Antiquarium in Brownville, where we have our second shop. Tom's doing some extensive renovations in Brownville's old public school building, and hopes to open in a month or two. Despite Brownville's population of 148 dear souls, it has 4 bookstores. It's a book-lovin' town!

Do you have a favorite book cover?

Several, actually. I love the old cover of Dai Sijie's Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress - the one with the red shoes. I also love most of the covers of the trade paperbacks currently being published by Black Lizard, which is part of Vintage. Very sexy Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler. The covers also have a matte finish, which makes me just want to pet them. Gorgeous. There's really nothing that compares to the cover art of vintage paperback mysteries and sci-fi, though. Some of the old Erle Stanley Gardner (Perry Mason mysteries) covers are hilarious.

Do you have a favorite book-related website/blog/social networking

I think your site is pretty special! ;)

What are you reading now?

Pitifully little, as my home-remodeling projects are demanding most of my attention lately. I just picked up a copy of Kurt Andersen's novel, Heyday, which I'm looking forward to. He hosts my favorite public radio program, Studio 360, and will be in town for the Nebraska Writers' Conference in June. I'm very excited about that! I've also been dipping into something called, For the Love of Books: 115 Celebrated Writers on the Books they Love Most. It's gratifying to see how people are influenced and affected by books. It reminds me that what I do helps people explore and discover—and engage in the world. It feels really good.