Janetboyer.typepad.com had been unwell. So here, better late than never is my interview with Janet. She has now posted my responses to her questions. Hope you feel better soon Janet!
For those people who left responses to my original post, I will still post those in the next couple of days, so if you want to still participate, leave your responses and I will include them.
Now here is my interview with Janet.
Your blog is a mix of books and tarot. How did you come to be involved with tarot?
This may sound odd, but one day, I was sitting at my dining room table and just had the impression that I needed to start studying Tarot. I told my husband (who remembers the incident much better than I do!) and then began getting my hands on decks, reviewing them, and reading up on Tarot
Your husband does a lot of the art for your tarot cards. Is it hard to work with your significant other on something like this?
Right now, we've put on the brakes to actively producing Tarot decks simply because the art is so time-consuming (my husband has a regular 40-hour work week aside from his creative endeavors). I don't think we could have done it early in our marriage because he was so sensitive to any criticism and input, but now knowing that any suggestions are merely "business" (because I script the Tarot decks, it's basically "work for hire" rather than his own vision), he has no problem with my ideas. In fact, we work great together; our brainstorming sessions are a blast!
Over recent years I have often thought about getting my cards read, or my future read or something like that. I am not a sceptic, but I grew up being taught to stay away from things like tarot, and other forms of spiritualism. What would you say to someone like me who is either sceptical, or a bit fearful, about tarot in particular.
We often fear the unknown, which is understandable. Unfortunately, the case with Tarot cards is that not only have they been steeped in mystery (which is now changing, thanks to the internet), but have also been criticized by some religious folks as the "devil's work". But if you ask these same people why, or anything about the cards, they can't tell you a thing. Ignorance, really. The Bible is replete with divination--Joseph scrying and interpreting dreams, the high priests of the temple using the Urim and Thummim and so on. In fact, what did the disciples do when Judas Iscariot hanged himself? They cast lots to replace him! (And casting lots is yet another form of divination). Tarot is a complex tool that is used by psychotherapists, teachers, readers, business managers and more--because not only can it be used for divination (largely because the imagery is full of archetypes and recognizable situations), but also for brainstorming, creative writing, journaling, ice breakers and so much more. If you want to get a Tarot reading and you feel fearful, make sure you check out the reader's reputation--especially for a Code of Ethics and Testimonials (or referrals). Reach out to them and share your concerns even before the reading. Helpful, ethical Tarot readers will answer questions from the public, especially in terms of demystifying the cards and allaying any fears.
Thank you! The book Renaissance Soul by Margaret Lobenstine helped me in so many ways. I realized that my personality NEEDS to be exploring and experimenting with varied interests. That's why my blog has such diverse categories: I couldn't just be a "book blog" or "Tarot blog"--I had to incorporate all my interests, including the writing craft, recipes, homeschooling, and so on. I use the word "ablaze" because I'm a lot like the Queen of Wands in the Tarot, and the Wands are "fire" cards--full of energy, passion, optimism, ideas and innovations.
If you had to describe your blog in 25 words of less, what would you say?
A Renaissance Soul explores books, Tarot, family, spirituality, creativity and personal meaning.
You recently announced that you have a book deal. Your book is going to be about Tarot in reverse? What does that mean,and what is the most exciting aspect about this whole process for you?
This is my second book on Tarot, the first titled The Back in Time Tarot Book (Hampton Roads). Tarot in Reverse will be published by Schiffer Books in Fall of 2011 (my November 2010 deadline is looming!). My second book explores the upside down cards in a Tarot reading, known as reversals. What's exciting, to me, is that there are only two other books on this topic. I plan on making Tarot in Reverse the ultimate compendium for actual Tarot card reversed meanings (rather than mere theory on how to approach reversals).
For me, what grabbed my attention is the intriguing premise, strong characters and tight plot. Those three books--wow, I just devoured them. It's a cliché, but these were three page-turners that had me going "Oh my God!" more times than I can count. Because I live in a rural coal mining town, I very much identified with the lead character, Katniss Everdeen. And from a critical standpoint? Each of the books in the Hunger Games trilogy is model writing; truly outstanding from every perspective.
What aspects of BBAW are most interesting to you?
I'm thrilled that book blogging has taken off in the last few years! One of the reasons I started reviewing was because I lived in a rural area and bought most of my books via Amazon.com. Reviews were so critical for separating the wheat from the chaff...and I got burned more than once (especially with Tarot decks). So I took it upon myself to begin writing honest reviews for consumers--not an author or publisher or publicist. Thus, I'm so excited that book blogging is growing exponentially, but BBAW is celebrating those of us dedicated to promoting books and reviewing them!
Any final thoughts you would like to share?
I so much appreciate your time and the thoughtful questions you asked me! :o)