Saturday, 8 January 2011

Your questions answered...

A few days back I invited readers to ask questions ...

What did you study in college/grad school? I'm only wondering because your new job looks so amazing and I'm currently applying to colleges, but don't really know what to study.

Thanks!  I attended the University of South Australia and graduated with a Bachelor of Education with a minor in Children's Literature.  I then chose to punish myself by working as an Assistant Dean of a residential college while earning my Masters in Business (Administration Management).  I worked my butt off and finished my Masters in a year.  For the past eight years I have been teaching in regional and metropolitan schools as well as filling a number of leadership roles so I've used my college education rather well.

At 17 I didn't possess a great desire to become a teacher.  I didn't know what I wanted to be post-high school and chose teaching as I liked working with young kids.  I chose to minor in Children's Literature for obvious reasons.  I was in your position twelve years ago having no idea what I wanted to do or be - just knowing what I loved.  Go with your gut.

When did you come up with the name of your blog?
Elena, New York

I am partial to the snide remark so 'snark' was easy.  'Persnickety' is a word I had been using the previous year as I loved the sound of all the consonants bouncing off one another, the fact it wasn't often used and snobbery is unfortunately something I have been accused of.  Together they sounded great.  Extra geek factor - I liked that the name of my blog sounded like the noise coming from Wolverine's (X-men) claws when they unsheathed.

Do teens really read steampunk books? I think I saw this addressed somewhere, but I'm curious. I haven't gotten into steampunk yet. I'm not sure why the reticence. But I'm curious. Dystopia seems big. But is steampunk really a big sell?
Linda, Chicagoland area (Illinois) USA

To be honest, I am not the person to be asking.  Steampunk isn't a genre I've really explored all that much outside of Clockwork Angel (not really but kinda - Cassandra Clare) and Worldshaker (Richard Harland).  Like you I possess a reticence for it but I am curious to read Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan.  Having taught teens I haven't noticed a huge push towards steampunk but that doesn't mean there hasn't been one.  I think people like the idea of steampunk more than the actual execution but that is coming from a place of little understanding.

I want to know how the blog will change with your new job.

At this point I have no idea.  There are three options - 1) It stays the same, 2) I stop reviewing but present other content, or 3) cease blogging altogether.  I'll get back to you...

I can't think of any questions right now but I do want to use this as an opportunity to beg/implore (on my hands and knees) that you not stop writing this blog. I religiously read your blog and think it is one of the most entertaining and well written blogs around. I love your writing and your sense of humor and I will shed many tears (not of joy) should this blog end. I understand that you might not have as much free time with the start of your new job but please do not consider discontinuing this blog. Slow content is better than no content so maybe consider posting fewer entries rather than shelve this site all together. I rarely make comments so you might not know that I am an avid fan but I am most definitely an avid fan of Persnickety Snark. Whatever you decide best of luck on your new job; it sounds so exciting.  
Danielle from San Mateo, California (San Francisco bay area)

Thank you so much, Danielle!  You've made my week.  Unfortunately the blog's future is dependant on the position I am about to fill.  I will be in constant contact with YA authors and as such there might be a conflict of interest if I continue to review.  I won't ever be a pandering reviewer so stopping might be the best option.  We'll see.   But thank you so much for your kind words and support.

What are you looking forward to most about your new position? What are you most nervous about? 
Also, how did you go with the move to Melbourne?
Jessica, Melbourne

I am looking forward to working in an organisation that strongly promotes and believes in the power of the written word and our youth.  I am really excited to work as part of a team that is equally passionate about youth literature. jobs are always nerve wracking as there is so much to process.  I am actually flying to Melbourne in the morning and starting at the library the morning after that so there isn't much time to get nervous (which is how I planned it).  The move hasn't been too bad but I have moved from Japan 20 days prior so it has at times been a little overwhelming.

How does the development of your critiquing skills as reviewer help/hinder you with your own writing? And further, what are your aspirations for your own writing?

I think critiquing does both.  It helps in that you have a greater understanding of what is required in terms of quality characterisation and plotting but it also has the opposite effect.  When your own writing doesn't meet what you know is quality then that can make continuing a problem.  At this point in time I find it extremely hard to turn off the critiquing part of my brain and just relax into writing.

Thanks for the questions!


Helen's Book Blog said...

So interesting, thank you! I love learning more about the bloggers whose blogs I follow. Good luck with the move and new job; we all hope it doesn't interfere with your blogging!

asamum said...

Thank you for this post Adele. It gives real insight inot you as a person not just a reviewer.
I also do not want you to stop PSnark as I love it *begs*