Each week I’ll be donating $50 to the charity of a blogger’s choice as part of the “Read, Write, Give” drive. If you’d like to get involved, you can nominate a blogger using the form at the end of the post and also be entered into the competition to win a $200 Amazon gift card.
This week, Anita from Anita’s Desk is supporting The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. You can read more about them after her interview.
I’ve often said that book bloggers are the “Fairy Godmothers and Godfathers” of the literary world – and I really believe it. Therefore, I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to interview some of these wonderful bloggers and shed a little light on why they undertake this epic labors of love!
This week’s interview is with Anita, who runs the fantastic life and book blog Anita’s Desk. Anita is also a member of The Indie Exchange bloggers’ group (formerly The Book Bloggers’ Collaborative), and a devoted home-schooling super-Mom!
Interview with Anita: Anita’s Desk
Could you please tell us about yourself?
Hello, and thanks for having me here! I’m a single mom of a super bouncy, and just plain super 7-year-old little girl. I’m also an unpublished writer who is working towards getting published one day… provided I finish writing a book, that is. I’m very laid back and I live a simple life, but I’m also a serious prankster.
Could you describe a typical day?
My typical days are quite typical for a homeschooling, single mom. My day is full of teaching and hard-core playtime with my daughter. During my free time, I usually either read, write, or play games with my daughter. My days often end with a book or a movie (or both).
You cover a wide range of topics on your blog. Could you please tell us why you started the site and how you’ve built your following? What other projects are you working on?
I do cover a wide range of topics, but I don’t believe in blogging just to blog. I tend to write about what just happens to be on my mind, and that is the main reason I started the blog… I needed to get a few things off my chest. I don’t blog daily, or even weekly, and that may be why I don’t have a ton of followers. But, I’d like to think there is at least a little importance or humor to what I do choose to blog about. My following increases mainly by word of mouth; although, I do use the standard networking sites as well. Currently, I’m working on 3 books. Two are fiction (of the mystery & psychological variety), and the other is about my life’s journey. Yikes!
You cope with bad days by turning to books and living by Faith. Could you tell us more about how books and Faith help you through tough times?
I truly believe I wouldn’t be here to ‘tell the story’ if it weren’t for God. Life is hard, but there have been a few miracles in my life that cause me to believe and hold onto my faith. Books allow me to escape the madness for a while… to live in someone else’s world. Sometimes, a temporary escape can be the biggest life energizer.
What do you enjoy blogging about the most? Least?
Blogging is definitely a release for me, but I also enjoy knowing that people are interested in what I write. That said, I guess I enjoy blogging about topics that either shock readers, make them laugh, or cause them to stop and think. I don’t enjoy writing about abuse, especially of women and children. It is very difficult for me, but I believe it needs to be done.
You sometimes open your blog up to book reviews. How do you decide which books to review?
I’m not a dedicated book reviewer, but I do like to give my take on books I’ve read, whether that take is good or bad. My preference is to let people know about books I really enjoyed reading.
What, for you, is the most important quality in a book?
Readability! If I can’t read it because of excessive grammatical or spelling errors, what’s the point. A good plot and character development become irrelevant if the book is visually difficult to read.
Do you feel there is a stigma against self-published writers? If so, do you feel it’s deserved? Why or why not?
Yes, there is; and yes, I do (but not for the reasons you may think). Having the ability to self-publish is awesome, and it may be the only avenue that will allow some really good writers to get their work out there-maybe even me. But, let’s face it. Many people use this option when they shouldn’t be writing, or at least publishing, at all. Not everyone that claims to be a writer is truly a writer, and unfortunately, attention is always drawn to the not-so-great examples of a group. The bad apples spoil it for the whole bunch– i.e. the good writers. Hopefully, many talented writers will rise above the bad publicity, and that unfair and undeserved stigma will disappear.
As both a writer and blogger, are there things authors do that make you say, wait, don’t do that? Or maybe that turn you off altogether?
Uh-oh! After some serious thought, I have to say that two things bother me. Regarding novels, I really hate it when authors spend too much time and space describing characters. One well known author is notorious for doing that, especially with her male characters. As readers, we do need a few adjectives to help us ‘see’ the character or even a location, but please leave a little to the imagination. I really don’t need to know exactly how long the arm hair is on your leading man. Yuck! In my opinion, too much description seriously diminishes the quality of a book. Second, I’ve recently seen a few unprofessional authors try to elevate themselves (or their books) by smearing other authors, or leaving undeserved negative reviews of their work. This is another reason there is a ‘stigma’ attached to self-published or Indie authors as a whole. As writers, we all have a common thread, so it saddens me to know that some authors can’t just be happy for and support the successes of other authors. As a reader, those actions are an absolute turnoff, and result in the complete opposite of their desired effect.
You’ve nominated The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Can you tell us why?
I don’t have a preferred charity at this point. I have actually been trying to find a reputable national charity that focuses on helping abused women and children. That charity would also need a high rating on the various charity watchdog sites. Sadly, I haven’t had much luck. If you know of one, let me know. In the interim, I think The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children is a wonderful organization.
Do you have anything you’d like to add?
Writing is absolutely a passion for me because it is such a beautiful way to communicate ideas, thoughts, beliefs, and even emotions. The best writers can take us to unimaginable places, introduce us to incredible people, and take us on exhilarating adventures. I have a lot of work to do, but I hope one day someone will read one of my books and think of me as one of those writers. I’ve enjoyed this interview! Thank you so much for inviting me!
Anita says: “I’m a writer, an avid reader, and a firm believer in ending a bad day with a good book. I’m a geek, a nerd, and a serious prankster, and I like it that way. (I’m also anti-social, but my friends tend to argue that point). I’ve never claimed to be perfect (or sane for that matter), but living by Faith gets me through the rough stuff.
Anita’s Desk is about information: from the funny to the unjust. It’s about relationships, current events, the latest technology or scam, an injustice; and sometimes, whatever pops into my mind. Periodically, I may come across something that I think may interest you. I hope you’ll come along for the ride.”
Anita’s post is in support of The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, (NCMEC), is a private, (501)(c)(3) nonprofit organization which was created in 1984. The mission of the organization is to serve as the nation’s resource on the issues of missing and sexually exploited children. The organization provides information and resources to law enforcement, parents, children including child victims as well as other professionals.
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