Tuesday, September 15, 2009

BBAW Blogger Interview Swap with Deanna Dehlsad

September 14 through the 18th is Book Blog Appreciation Week and through it, I am being interviewed by and have interview Deanna Dehlsad.

Deanna Dahlsad, an avid collector of many things but especially kitsch and "things pertaining to female history". You can find/follow her at Twitter and contact her via email at Deanna.Pop.Tart@gmail.com.

The only thing she loves more than kitsch & collecting is talking, err- writing. (Nearly anything but bios for herself.)

She is a staff writer at Collectors’ Quest (these are her columns and she is PopTart in the CQ Community).

At Twolia she covers kitsch & pop culture "From A (Feminist) Chick’s Perspective" at Kitsch Slapped.

Collectors News says, "Dahlsad is a touchstone of where women have been, what they wore, and how they carried themselves to get there. She is a historian of how powder puffs and nail polish have both ensnared and enshrined the image of womankind."

She and her husband run Kitschy Kitschy Coo and, when they remember to list things for sale, sell at We Have Your Collectibles.

With some gal pals she founded and participates in Pink Populace Paparazzi Parade Exposé.

Dahlsad also publishes vintage home ec tips and projects at Things Your Grandmother Knew.

So check out some of her links, I know Denanna would love it if you did. And I hope you enjoy reading the interview:

How did you get into book blogging? How long have you been doing it? Why did you start?

I've been writing on the internet for a decade now (geeze, I'm feeling old!), and while none of those sites are or have been "book blogs" per se, books, reading & literacy have always fit in because I'm a true bibliophile.

I read books, collect books, research with books, and I want to talk about them, continue their discussions. The author may have started the conversation -- maybe even think they've finished it! -- but I always have something to say. Since I can't always talk to the author or even my hubby as often as I'd like, I have to talk to somebody...

What's your favorite thing about blogging?

I feel that writing is really just another way to have conversations. As blogs (even the places I'm paid to write/review) usually do not have intermediate folk who edit prior to publishing, the conversations at blogs are far less managed -- they are more real, in the moment, as spontaneous as conversations with friends & family. In my experience, this has led to a far less commercial agenda. For example, I review many books which are, if not out of print, long past publisher promotional interests. Many publications would deem these reviews unfit for publication because they are not as likely to generate advertising income from book publishers as the latest releases. And I find that invaluable in & of itself because there are many of us who love to know about so-called "old books."

Do you blog about subjects other than books?

Heavens, yes! I write at several blogs; you can see a list in my Google profile.

At Kitsch Slapped I explore what "bad taste" really is from a pop culture perspective -- and that's not always the kitschy retro garden gnomes, but larger cultural issues.

What drew you to reading?

Like most children, I fell in love with story telling & story tellers; my family is full of great story tellers. Reading storybooks was a natural extension of that -- only when I tugged on the boards of a book, it never turned me away with a promise of later *wink*

I naturally fell in love with the idea of stories on demand, the independent access to what I want, when I wanted it. And that only grew when I discovered nonfiction.

I remember when I was about 8 or so and progressing from reading Walter Farely's Black Stallion series & C.W. Anderson horse stories to nonfiction equestrian books. And again, after realizing that myths were stories from real places, I stalked nonfiction books on Greece & Egypt, exploring the art and history that went with those myths. I was like Columbus discovering those tomes... Well, I was greedy, but I didn't destroy any cultures or enslave any people lol Unless you count librarians...

I vividly remember how my relentless pursuit of ancient Egyptian history books -- and anything related, like belly dancing -- startled the librarians at the public library. They were a bit surprised with my quest for such grown-up volumes & my voracious reading of them; but eventually, they just fed the beast. lol

Who are some of your favorite authors?

Perhaps because I tend to mainly read nonfiction, and so follow "subjects" more than authors, I don't have many favorite authors.

With nonfiction, one tends to be concentrating more on the research & credibility than the prose so to speak... Not to slight nonfiction authors, but it is more important to be clear and factual than to craft a clever phrase or paint a scene. That said, I'm currently absolutely in love with Molly Ivins (of Molly Ivins Can Say That, Can She? etc.) because she makes me laugh & snort out loud -- very embarrassing for my husband when I'm reading her while we are sitting in waiting rooms. And Maya Angelou & Alice Walker, who have so much truth in their books, they don't feel like fiction to me at all.

What is your favorite type of book? Why?

A book that forces me into action. A book that makes me respond out loud. You know, give a real "lol" or exclaim, gasp, cry... Maybe even snort or yell in outrage -- on the issue or plot, not the writing or misinformation. I can be, and enjoy being, a very vocal reader. (For these reasons, I do frequent libraries, but rarely read in them outside of research that must remain in the building.)

That vocal response can mean I will have to take other action too, like talking & blogging about the book &/or subject. Maybe even write a letter to a public official or obsessively research the subject more. Just whatever it takes to keep that conversation going!

Are there any genres you refuse to read? Why?

"Refuse" is a rather strong word; I'm too open to the serendipity & possibilities for that. The thing I am least likely to read though is a book I've already read for a second or multiple times. I've done it on very few occasions, but a book reread means another book I will not have time to read in my lifetime -- and that list is too-too long already.

Where is your favorite place to read?

On the sofa or bed with a blanket up to my waist -- preferably with a cat or dog within arms reach. But I will do it anywhere; books travel with me to appointments, skateboard parks with the kids, wherever.

Do you usually buy books, check them out of the library, or trade them?

I am a collector, so I prefer to own my books. The bulk of my book buying is thrift shops, rummage sales, used or old bookstores (online and off), and library sales. Other than review copies & galleys, I'm rarely the first to read any book. But I do make good use of libraries too.

Are you on LibraryThing, GoodReads, both, or neither?

I'm on neither of those, I'm afraid. As it is, I fear the time I spend on social or community sites already cuts into my reading (and reviewing) time -- and I am starting to resent it! lol

What do you do besides read and blog?

Aside from my various family & friend roles, I am a collector, an amateur anthropologist & historian, & general bon vivant.

Thanks for a wonderful interview, Deanna!


Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

Great job! You are both new-to-me blogs – Hello, it’s nice to meet you. :)

Deanna Dahlsad said...

Thank you, Nicole!

And nice to meet you, Heather ;)