Seven Impossible Interviews Before Breakfast #8:
Little Willow of Bildungsroman

h1 February 19th, 2007 by Eisha and Jules

Team 7-Imp is pleased to present this week’s blogger interviewee:

Little Willow of Bildungsroman!

We think Little Willow is just about the sweetest presence in the kidlitosphere. If you moved next door to her cyber-house, she’d totally be there ringing your doorbell to welcome you to the neighborhood with a big plate of freshly-baked cyber-cookies. However, she’s shy about using her real name or her actual photo on the web. So we improvised with the book cover on the left. (Okay, neither of us have read the book, but the cover seems to fit – playful, sunny, sweet… and it even has a cat!) By the way, in case you’ve wondered, none of the pics on her blog are actually of her, either. {Jules would like to add — with a bit of red in her cheeks — that she was once convinced that Little Willow and Anna Nalick were one and the same. Well, they’re not. She just outright asked Little Willow, and — even though it was a dumb-ass question — Little Willow was gracious about it}.

Here’s what we love about Little Willow: She’s the queen of book list-making, she’s one of the best go-to gals for YA lit, and she’s always got some pretty kickin’ interviews going on over at her LiveJournal (“I have had the chance to interview many authors over the past year. I have spoken to prolific authors as well as debut authors. I love contacting with authors I admire and giving them the feedback and praise they deserve. I am grateful to the authors who have taken time out of their busy schedule to speak to me and correspond with me”).

As for her list-making, here’s what she has to say about it: “I have had friends and strangers alike — teachers, librarians, booksellers, avid readers — request booklists for certain age groups and/or topics. I read an average of one new book a day, but I do not get a chance to review every single book. I’ve recently added some playlists, which are lists of songs to fit the certain stories and their characters.” Yeah, did we mention she reads a whole stinkin’ lot? That’s what else we love about Little Willow — as well as her always-informative and interesting contributions to The Edge of the Forest (for this month’s issue, she has contributed a profile of author Rachel Cohn. Check it out).

But our very favorite thing about her is that she always seems to be there — always listening, always responding, always staying involved and contributing thoughtfully to discussions on others’ sites and blogs. Little Willow’s always got your back! She’s a mainstay. (And what a great online name she has, huh? And isn’t Bildungsroman the perfect name for a blog primarily about teen books?)

And she’s also oh-so tried-and-true when it comes to contributing to Poetry Fridays. Her weekly poetry selections are always ones to look forward to.

She’s also — as you’ll read below — terrifically multi-faceted (reader, writer, actress, dancer, singer). Check out this impromptu hoe-down song she composed in the comments for our first Picture Book Round-up post! And she’s a talented webmistress who also co-runs a webdesign company (we recently saw readergirlz’s wonderful site and noticed that Little Willow’s talents were behind it). We’re wondering if there’s anything right-brained that she cannot do! Wait, she’s pretty left-brained, too. Man, she’s got both spheres goin’ on. Go, Little Willow.

7-Imp: What do you do for a living?

LW: I am a bookseller. I’ve worked in bookstores ever since I was old enough to do so! Prior to that, I worked at the library for years for free.

I am also an actress, a singer, a dancer, and a writer. I write everything from novels to stage plays and screenplays, from pop songs to musicals. I’ve had my non-fiction published — articles and essays, mostly — and my journalistic efforts are mostly freelance, but I really want to get my fiction out there in its various forms, especially novels and TV/film/stage.

7-Imp: How long have you been blogging?

LW: My LiveJournal became focused on books in the summer of 2005.

7-Imp: Why did you start blogging? Why do you continue to do it?

LW: I have always been an enthusiastic supporter of anything I love, be it a book, a television series, or a hobby. I want to get others interested in whatever I’m gushing about and get them motivated to read that new story, to try that difficult dance step, to give that classic book or film a try.

At the bookstore, people know to come to me for book recommendations. They also know they can ask me wacky questions, and that I’ll track down a book for them when they can’t recall a book’s title but remember vague details, such as a duck (or was it a frog?) being in the story somewhere, or that cover was definitely teal – or maybe hot pink.

I created Bildungsroman to promote my love of books and the importance of literacy.

There are so many amazing books out there, and with the Young Adult section expanding exponentially every year and including a vast multitude of genres, kids and adults like can feel easily overwhelmed by that department and not know where to start.

I found myself creating more and more booklists because I wished I had them at my store to hand out to customers or send to friends. Now I can!

7-Imp: Which blog or site would you take to the prom to show off and you love it so much you could marry it?

LW: I never want anyone to feel left out, so I’m wary of selecting one particular site and leaving others feeling like wallflowers. Also, it’s extremely hard to pick just one! How about I encourage everyone to dance to different songs with different people – Erin Downing, when “Dancing Queen” begins to play, you KNOW we’re going to boogie on down; MotherReader, bring your munchkins and we’ll all dance to the Charlie & Lola theme song – and then all dance to songs like The NeverEnding Story theme song in a big group?

7-Imp: What are your other favorite things to do, other than reading and blogging?

LW: Singing. Acting. Dancing. Writing. Taking care of my cat, Hollywood. Directing.

7-Imp: What’s one thing that most people don’t know about you?

LW: Most people that know me in person know this, but people who only know me online do not: My appearance does not reveal my true age. (I look much younger than
I am).

7-Imp: What’s in heavy rotation on your stereo/iPod lately?

LW: I love music! I could talk about this as much as I could yammer on about a book I just read! Duncan Sheik and Jonatha Brooke are my favorite modern-day singer/songwriters. I love the original soundtrack to Singin’ in the Rain and could listen to “Good Mornin'” every day and never tire of it. I’m a musical theatre girl, if I hadn’t already talked about that enough. I don’t often listen to mainstream radio or watch televised videos, tending to prefer George Gershwin and Cole Porter to many of today’s artists.

7-Imp: If you could have three (living) authors over for coffee or a glass of rich, red wine, whom would you choose?

LW: I’d serve some yummy hot chocolate and some healthy 100% fruit juice instead, and invite Sarah Dessen, Justina Chen Headley, and Tara Altebrando, all of whom have been very kind to me but I’ve yet to meet in person, all of whom have written amazing novels that I really enjoy. If I can sneak in some authors that I know personally, I’d bring along Christopher Golden and Thomas E. Sniegoski. Those boys make me laugh so hard that my eyes tear up and my breathing becomes rather impaired.

The Pivot Questionnaire:

7-Imp: What is your favorite word?

LW: Truth.

7-Imp: What is your least favorite word?

LW: Hate, disappointed, or any curse word.

7-Imp: What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?

LW: Music, movement, truth, justice, respect, bravery, loyalty, determination.

7-Imp: What turns you off?

LW: Hate, prejudice, lies, disrespect, greed, sloth.

7-Imp: What is your favorite curse word?

LW: I don’t curse.

7-Imp: What sound or noise do you love?

LW: The sound of my cats meowing – Twinkie, Hollywood, and Spooky each have a distinct sound.

7-Imp: What sound or noise do you hate?

LW: Jackhammers, construction work.

7-Imp: What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

LW: See above for rambling on about the performing arts. I’ve known what I wanted to be since birth, we all like to joke, but it’s totally true. I’ve always known that I wanted to pursue my writing and my performing, and never backed down when people attempted to make me pick only one.

7-Imp: What profession would you not like to do?

LW: Anything which went against my morals.

7-Imp: If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

LW: I don’t think it does, so I just aspire to be happy and successful in my own terms and enjoy life.

9 comments to “Seven Impossible Interviews Before Breakfast #8:
Little Willow of Bildungsroman”

  1. You two are too sweet. I cannot deal with the compliments you’ve served up! Thank you so much for your kind words. 🙂

    I requested that title from the library the moment I saw the cover. Hollywood is a black cat! So is Spooky. Twinkie is Siamese.

    I’m now realizing I could have told you to put up the cover to a book in which I actually have a byline, as opposed to those I contributed to without getting any actual credit.

    Don’t forget – Someday, when I write something related to Alice in Wonderland, I’ll gladly pass copies your way!

  2. Another lovely interview, E & J. Thanks for showing off these people we might not otherwise know.

  3. I agree, Little Willow is sooo sweet. Add cool, smart and strong. Her lists and recommendations are wonderful. I was hoping to see a picture of Little Willow, to see if she was…thankfully Jules already asked that. Thanks for this interview!

  4. Great to see LW over here and I’ve loved reading mroe about her!

  5. Sorry, folks. Hate to break it to you, but I am the president of the Official LW Fan Club. And if we ever meet in person (over hot chocolate and watermelon juice), I would even make an exception to my never-sing-in-public rule and sing a duet of Singin in the Rain with her, tap dancing included. That’s how much I adore her.


  6. Thank you all so much for the heartwarming comments!

  7. Little Willow is my list-making, speed-reading, interview-garnering, poetry-advocating, all-round-wonderful hero.

  8. Enjoyed reading the LW interview. She’s a sweetie and one very busy lady.

  9. I just have to say LW is a joy and pleasure to work with. She’s been a champion for readergirlz, and we would have been hard-pressed without our webdiva. She is incredibly gracious and patient, especially with me who often has new ideas. “LW could we….”–“But of course!” she answers with a smile and an occasional little dance. Woot, woot to LW and this great interview!
    Lorie Ann, readergirlz diva

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