Hello all you Love-A-Thon participants! I’m so glad I get to participate in this lovely event and we are kicking things off with an interview swap. I had the pleasure of interviewing Alyssa from Books Take You Places! Alyssa is a librarian who graduated with a degree in English. I think we hit it off pretty well because not only does she love books, but she also loves cats and tea! Ok, let’s get into the interview to learn more about Alyssa. Make sure you leave a little love for Alyssa in the comments, and you can check out my answers to her questions here!
I am extremely happy that we both love cats and tea! It’s always fun sharing stories about the things we love. Do you have any funny stories involving your cats?
Well, both of my cats are named after Shakespearean characters, Celia and Cordelia, and they are both rather uppity as are Shakespeare’s leading ladies so they have very strong personalities and attitudes. Celia is more likely to give an attitude, especially when I am not around, she pretty much just tolerates my boyfriend. One of the funniest thing about my cats is that they love human food, despite the fact that we do not give it willingly. Celia has been known to eat my cereal if I walk away from the bowl and Cordelia has literally put her head into a bowl of strawberry ice cream. A few weeks ago my boyfriend was eating potato bread and Cordelia literally snuck up and took a bite as he was bringing it to his mouth. They’re stealthy and sometimes “stalk” us through the house if we have something they want, thankfully they were raised with love so have never taken a claw or tooth to “their humans!”
I live about two hours from Disney World, so naturally I grew up loving all things Disney. Tell me, do you have a favorite Disney Princess? If so, who and why is she your favorite?
Ahh! I have never been to Disney! We are planning a trip for later this year and I can’t wait! I would say that my favorite Disney princess is Belle in terms of her reading habits and strength of character – she stands up for what is right and isn’t easily scared away. If I was to compare myself to any Disney princess I would say that I am a mashup between Belle and Merida from Brave as she takes her destiny into her own hands and goes all Katniss on everyone trying to win her hand via archery contest. She wins herself. You go girl.
Ok, let’s get to the bookish questions!
With the advancement of technology, e-books are becoming increasingly popular. Are you on the e-book bandwagon, or do you prefer traditional books?
I’m a librarian so I value all ways in which one is able to read. Because of my degree, I was never one to shy away from technology and think anything (or any form) of reading is excellent. I have an iPad and really love the luxury of throwing it in my purse to read while in line at the Post Office. That being said, I will never EVER stop loving books in print. Seeing them on my shelf gives me a special kind of joy, and I go to the bookstore – especially used bookstores – at any chance I get. Nothing like the feel and smell (which is usually mold) like a real book!
I think reading is such a magical experience, especially when you finish your first book. Do you remember the first book you ever read? If so what was it?
I do not remember the first book I ever read. I do, however, remember the first time I ever read my favorite books, Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling, and Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier. These novels are still my favorites, to this day, and I read them nearly 15 years ago. It is a magical experience feeling a connection to a character, finding someone (though fictional) who somehow relates to you as no one else can. Falling into a world when you are desperately needing to fall out of your own reality is something really amazing. I will never forget that feeling.
Imagine you’re stranded on an Island and you have only two books with you. It’s getting cold and you have to use one of the books to start a fire, but the other you can keep to read. Which book wouldn’t you mind sacrificing for a fire? Which book can you not part with?
I think I could sacrifice one of my copies of Shakespeare’s complete works, though not a copy that has all of my notes inside and here’s why: first, it’s huge and would keep me warm longer than any of my other books. Second, I taught it and therefore have nearly every play memorized. Third, I have more copies of his complete works than I can count and I am determined that I will get off of that island and be reunited with them all. I don’t think I could part with my copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows OR Son of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier, they are both special to me and I could read them over and over without ever getting bored.
Authors like to tear our hearts out when they kill off a character that we have fallen in love with. What character would you bring back from the dead?
Harry Potter spoiler alert! First person I thought of when I glanced at this question was Sirius Black. I was devastated, beyond devastated, when he died, he and Harry were just about to be a family *sobs* but I would also have liked to see Snape live. Who knows, perhaps he would have been able to move forward and enjoy Harry’s family as his own, the world will never know. There was also a crazy cliffhanger in A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin that I won’t get too far into because I don’t want to spoil…but…if that person has died…I can’t even deal..
If you had the power to choose the next book that would be turned into a movie, which book would you choose? Why?
Ohhh good question! If the movie would be amazing, like…Harry Potter amazing, then I think I would like to see The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss made into a movie or TV show a la Game of Thrones. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostava also holds a special place in my heart because it is the first book that my boyfriend and I read together, the rights were actually sold years ago and I have heard nothing since! *Waits impatiently*
Now since you asked me, I have to ask you…
What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
I am somewhat boring…the craziest thing that I have ever done is when I dropped out of the education program in college, and after graduation, applied to graduate school to be a Librarian. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be an English teacher, it was always my dream, and in my senior year I decided that it wasn’t my dream anymore. Very scary but I am happy now. Ironically, I am pretty sure that I am going to go back for my PhD in English Literature to be a professor, not for quite a few years, but the dream is there.
If you could witness any event past, present, or future, what would it be?
I think I would want to be present to see one of Shakespeare’s plays performed. Perhaps, in the court of Queen Elizabeth so ya know…I wasn’t a peasant. I am very interested in the speculation surrounding Shakespeare and that many question his authorship. As a scholar, I wholly believe that William Shakespeare is as most believe him to be, a brilliant writer. However, it would be fantastic to see him in the flesh to just KNOW, and seeing his plays performed as he wished them to be would be just amazing.
If you could have dinner with any three people (real or fictitious, dead or alive), which three people would you choose, and why?
Albus Dumbledore, Geoffrey Chaucer, and Neil Gaiman, for a few reasons. First, they are all hilarious and all have very dark humor so I think that they would get along swimmingly. Secondly, I am a HUGEEEE fangirl of all three (especially Neil Gaiman) so my reasons are also a little selfish because to meet these people, that would be a dream. Third, I find them all to be brilliant in different ways and they are all wordsmiths so I think that it would be enlightening, and hilarious, to share a meal with any or all of them.
I really love that you named your cats after Shakespearean characters! Especially since it seems that the names fit them so well. I also completely agree with you about technology versus real books. I value both forms of reading, but I’ll never lose my love for books in print!
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