Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Celebrate Book Bloggers: Interview Swap
Today is the day for the BBAW Blogger Interview Swap. I was partnered up with L Diane Wolf from Spunk on a Stick. I was very pleased to be assigned a new to me book blogger. I would have been happy with someone I already knew as well, but this way, I get to know someone completely new to me! I hope you enjoy the interview. My interview will be up at Spunk on a Stick later today as well.
How did you come up with the title of your blog, Spunk on a Stick?
I wish I could take credit for Spunk On A Stick, but my husband came up with that name. I’ve always been known as Spunky, but my husband came up with a theory. Chicken is good, but chicken on a stick (like one buys at state & county fairs) is even better. Thus, spunk is good, but Spunk on a Stick is even better! I began using that name online over three years ago and it just stuck. Now it’s my professional speaker name as well.
If you were to describe your blog in 25 words or less, what would you say?
It a hodge-podge of promoting tips, book & industry info, author features, photos & links, and little optimism from a feisty redhead!
You write, you are a public speaker and you like to take lots of photos. Each one of those alone would be daunting to me, let alone all three. Which do you enjoy most? How do they give you different levels of satisfaction? How do you prioritise?
It sometimes scares me! Some days I feel as if I live multiple lives. Two of those were goals I set when I was just fourteen – author and professional photographer.
I am a visual person, so the photography satisfies that need. I used to do A LOT of stock photos, magazines, wedding, portraits – even an album cover! But author duties required that I cut back on paid photo gigs and now I rarely do portraits or weddings. It’s all for fun now, which has been a joy!
I’ve been a voracious reader since I was two and began writing like a maniac in my teen years. Writing is the deepest, most eloquent way of expressing thoughts and feelings.
Professional speaking is the best way I’ve found to share with others. When in front of a crowd, I have the opportunity to enlighten their world and make a positive impact on their lives. So many are terrified of public speaking, but for me, it’s intoxicating!
Which one I enjoy most depends on which one is receiving the LEAST amount of pressure at the time!
Prioritizing is the most difficult. It’s hard to chase more than one rabbit. The balance of effort I put into each area ebbs & flows like the tide. Before a book release, I’m focused on ‘author.’ When it’s time to send out brochures and seek more speaking opportunities, I become ‘speaker.’ And while I don’t have children, I have a husband and two cats, a small business outside of all this, a household to maintain, and I am very involved in my church.
Let’s just say I’m still lobbying congress for a forty-hour day!
You have been blogging for a long time now. How has your blog changed over the last 4 years. How do you keep your blog fresh, both for your readers, and for yourself?
It has change A LOT in the past year alone! To ensure variety and consistency, I set up scheduled post topics for each day. That eliminated the oh my gosh, what AM I gonna post about today?! I also feature guest posts, so my followers don’t have to listen to just ME all the time. Sunday is a wild card, Monday a featured author or wildcard; Tuesday is Photo Tuesday (writing as related to photography); Wed. I post for CFBA; Thursday is a guest spot called The Thursday Excerpt; and Friday is my favorite – And Now For Something Completely Different! It’s a roundup of book news from around the Internet, along with a movie or music review, and the photo of the day. And yes, it kicks off with a Monty Python quote!
As a blogger, I think having an author having a web presence is incredibly important. How does being a part of the book blogging community help you with your books?
It helps me connect with book bloggers and book readers. This provides more than promotional opportunities, too – I get a feel for the market and what people do and don’t like through book bloggers. I’ve also connected with many authors, and we assist each other with ideas, tips, etc. There’s always something I haven’t considered before that I’ll read on an author’s blog or perhaps a new trick to try with my writing.
Mostly, I just love people! It’s the friendships that matter. I’ve connected with some amazing individuals, so full of hopes, dreams, ideas, and inspiration, and it reminds me that each life is precious and unique.
Over the last 12 months or so, one of the new phenomenons has been the virtual book tour. Given that you have just been on a virtual book tour for your latest release can you tell us what the pros and cons of such a tour are?
This latest one was my FOURTH such tour in the past two years. And since I host authors as well, I can see pros & cons from both sides of the coin as well.
Pros include the reduced cost (physical tours can be so expensive), the ability to reach a wider audience, the fact that once it’s on the Internet it’s there to stay, increases what I call ‘search engine fodder,’ can be done from the comfort of home, and for those visiting a tour stop I have a chance to convey my thoughts and receive feedback. Overall, there are just so many more fascinating people to meet!
Cons are the amount of TIME it takes to plan a tour, contact hosts, submit guest posts & interviews, and visiting the site numerous times during the appearance. Sometimes there’s an issue with an author or host and information is not exchanged in a timely manner, or one becomes demanding and selfish, or there’s no promotion. If the author doesn’t bring in his or her people to comment (or the host’s followers fail to comment) then neither is getting a lot out of the deal.
Overall, I think the positive outweighs the negative!
Tell us a little about your books.
My main work is a YA series entitled The Circle of Friends. It follows a group of sports-minded couples through relationships, college and into their early careers. Meant to inspire as well as entertain, these books have been described as “encouragement personified”. The stories intertwine as the characters learn that with belief and encouragement, they can achieve anything.
My non-fiction title, “Overcoming Obstacles With SPUNK! The Keys to Leadership & Goal-Setting”, is an inspirational self-help book. I’ve tied all of my goal-setting and leadership seminar’s information together into one complete, enthusiastic package! Seven other authors also contributed to this title, which features the Five Keys to success and summary points for each chapter.
What kind of books do you like to read and what is your favourite read of this year?
LOL! I don’t get to read as much fun fiction as I used to, that’s for sure. I read a lot of marketing books now.
My husband and I run the singles ministry at my church and we’ve been studying Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages – Singles Edition. I love Chapman’s books, so that’s probably been the favorite so far this year.
Anything else you would like to add?
I’m a social bug online, so besides my blog, people can connect with me on Facebook, Deviant Art, Twitter, My Space, My Cat Space, etc. And my two main websites are www.thecircleoffriends.net and www.spunkonastick.net
I’m delighted to be a part of the book-blogging community. Please stop by and say hello!