Seven Impossible Interviews Before Breakfast #49: Jackie Parker, the Interactive Reader

h1 October 17th, 2007 by Eisha and Jules

{Note: Please see the post below for today’s Robert’s Snow schedule!}

Hey, all. We’re kicking it old-skool here at 7-Imp by posting a straight-up blogger interview, something we haven’t done in almost a month. We’re extra-pleased that our comeback interview features Jackie Parker of Interactive Reader. In keeping with the nostalgia theme, here’s…

***Seven Reasons Jackie ROCKS!***

1* Her book reviews. You can count on her for pithy, outspoken commentary on mostly-YA-but-occasionally-adult novels, like this one about Jack Gantos’s novel The Love Curse of the Rumbaughs (that almost makes Eisha want to read it even though the premise is so very very wrong).

2* She’s funny. Wicked funny. We tried to find specific examples from her blog that were extra-hilarious, but it’s too hard to choose. Seriously, she’s always funny. So just read anything at random. Go on, we’ll wait…

3* She’s a joiner. She’s a Postergirl for Reader Girlz, participated in this year’s Summer Blog Blast Tour, and is both a Category Organizer and Nominating Panelist for this year’s Cybil Awards (check out her bio at the Cybils blog).

4* Eisha is actually serving with/under her on the YA Fiction Nominating Panel, and has been very impressed with her communicativeness, her not-bossiness, and her mad Google Doc skillz.

5* She’s a librarian. So are we. ‘Nuff said.

6* This non-review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Brilliant, and somehow so much more entertaining than a real review.

7* She sent a baby picture! You know how we love that! And just LOOK at the SWEETNESS!! Look at her precious little PIGTAILS in those little white BOWS! And that adorable little shy smile on her ADORABLE LITTLE FACE!!! OOH, PUNKIN POOKIE BEAR!!! Not to mention the inherent nostalgia that picture conjures in us, since probably everyone born between 1968 – 1982 was photographed on that very same lump of rust-brown shag carpet. It makes us feel like throwing a big ol’ tantrum just looking at it.

Here’s what Jackie had to say for herself when we asked about special features on Interactive Reader:

No features. Close as you get is a vague rehashing of the book group I run for adults once a month at the library. It’s almost the only time you’ll find non-youth books reviewed on the blog. It’s almost the only time I read adult books. I am a poster girl for Reader Girlz, though, which means I, and the other girls (Little Willow, Miss Erin, Jen Robinson, and Alexia), help choose the titles the online community talks about each month. I don’t know how I got so lucky as to be involved with that; working with LW last year in the Cybils and a chance meeting at ALA Midwinter in Seattle with Justina Chen Headley, is the best I can come up with. Other than that, I try to participate in the SSFABKIDLIT (we really ought to come up with a real name for that) stuff as much as possible.

And the title – aren’t you wondering about the title? What does “Interactive Reader” mean, you ask?

It was mostly my friend Dan. I’ve known him since junior high and he and his roommates (all dear friends themselves) watch A LOT of sports. I would want to hang out, but since their idea of fun was often to sit in front of the tv and watch game after game, I would bring a book. Or three. Dan began to notice that he could always tell what was going on in the book based on my reactions (laughing, grimacing, edge of seat, napping, etc), and a name was born.

We had a great time getting to know Jackie a little better, and we hope you’ll feel the same. Enjoy the awesomeness that is Jackie Parker!

* * * * * * *

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

Jac: I’s a librarian. I also edit (probably badly after interacting with Amazing Anne in regards to the Cybils blog) the Washington Library Association’s Children and Youth Services Newsletter (CAYAS). I just sent out my first newsletter this Fall. It’s way too much work, so now I’m trying to convince them it should be a blog instead. 🙂

7-Imp: How long have you been blogging?

Jac: I started blogging on December 7, 2005, so just shy of two years.

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

Jac: I knew that I would soon be leaving the only place I had ever lived and I wanted to have something to keep me connected to everyone in Michigan that wanted to stay connected to me. Most people do this with MySpace or FaceBook. I, apparently, like to create extra work for myself. I also started because I was beginning to forget some of the books I read, and I figured it would strengthen my Reader’s Advisory skillz (RA skillz: the thing librarians do to magically figure out the books you didn’t know you wanted to read) if I started a reading journal. At the same time, I loved talking about books with the people I was moving away from, and I wanted something to continue that dialogue. I don’t think that many of the people who read it in the beginning do anymore, since I’ve largely stopped posting about personal stuff. I didn’t delete any of it, though, so you can still laugh at my attempts at bowling and walking, if you must. I still do it largely because I’ve found a community and virtual friends that have become really surprisingly important to me. The kidlitosphere is doing fascinating things that I want to be a part of, so no matter how much I sometimes don’t want to write, the payoff is so much bigger than the pain.

Maureen Johnson (photo by Anthony Two Moons)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?

Jac: I think Maureen Johnson’s. Mostly because I would surely be having too much fun to remember that I was, yet again, dateless. *grin*

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

Jac: I like geocaching and letterboxing, although I don’t do that as much as I used to. I love trying out new restaurants, especially new dishes. I recently fell in love with malai kofta, and I plan on trying Moraccan next (anyone have a favorite Moroccan dish I should try?). I do like to cook for people. I love museums and travel – I try to get to at least one new place every year (2007 was Key West with my bff Sarah. We talked about stalking Meg Cabot, but didn’t go through with it.). In January, I plan to take up sewing with the machine my mother has promised me for Christmas. I want to make skirts. Otherwise, I watch A LOT of movies. My Netflix queue is currently at 488. It never seems to dip much below that (wanna be my Netflix friend?).

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

Jac: I was the fourth person in my extended family to get my Master’s in Library Science. My mom, my aunt, my cousin. My favorite uncle works for Barnes & Nobles, too. We’re a bit bookish.

Jon McLaughlin7-Imp: What’s in heavy rotation on your stereo/iPod lately?

Jac: I actually tend to listen to iTunes on Party Shuffle – so it’s random, but not entirely uncontrolled. That said, I recently watched Shut Up and Sing so I’m listening to that Dixie Chicks album a lot again. Also, the soundtrack to Wicked, and I can’t get Regina Spektor’s songs out of my head. I’m also liking Eric Hutchinson, Mika and Jon McLaughlin. This could be a never ending answer, so I’ll just stop now.

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

Jac: First, I’m a tea snob, so I’d be serving one of the… David Sedaris (photo by Robert Banks)let me count… yes, 18 types of tea I have (Man. I am SO not allowed to buy more tea.). Otherwise, it’d be white rather than red wine.

Ok, David Sedaris, definitely. But from there, where do you go? Authors you think you’d actually be friends with? Ones you may already sorta be friends with? But, then what would the point be, if it’s something that could actually happen. I’m not really a girl with idols, so… ergh. Brent Hartinger. Laurie Halse Anderson.

The Pivot Questionnaire:

7-Imp: What is your favorite word?

Jac: Yeah. This changes almost weekly. At the moment it is “Syncategorematic.” Super fun to say.

7-Imp: What is your least favorite word?

Jac: “Sneaked.”

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

Jac: Honesty.

7-Imp: What turns you off?

Jac: Pretension.

7-Imp: What is your favorite curse word? (optional)

Jac: “Fuck.”

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

Jac: A live symphony.

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

Jac: Cars. Those effing dirt bikes down the street. My neighbor’s kickboxing.

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

Jac: I wouldn’t mind teaching a course in Teen Lit someday.

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

Jac: Sales. It’s soul-sucking. Anything where the goal is making money rather than providing a service to better humanity. Um, what was I saying about pretension? Right.

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


God: Welcome to Heaven!
Me: Dude. Really? Awesome!
God: Yes.
Me: How’s Mom doing with the Geneology? I bet it’s a bit easier from this end. Where is she?
God: All of your loved ones are down the hall to the right. They have cake.
Me: Seriously? Cool. Hey, is there a library around here? Are there, like, cloud couches?
God: If you want one, it will be there. The library is down the hall to the right. With the cake.
Me: Score. Hey, where’s Peter? I thought he was the official greeter.
God: He’s on a cake break.
Me: Rock on, God, nice of you to step in for him. I’m going to get some cake. See ya!
God: Hey…
Me: Yeah?
God: Would you.. maybe bring me a piece when you get a chance?
Me: Sure thing, God. And hey, thanks. For everything.

26 comments to “Seven Impossible Interviews Before Breakfast #49: Jackie Parker, the Interactive Reader”

  1. YAY! Back to the interviews! And could the baby pictures get any cuter!? (I, however, though born within the requisite year span, did not get to have a picture taken on a bizarre brown shag lump — please note, tantrum to follow.)

    I love how strange a bunch we are — who even knew what letterboxing or geocaching WAS? And now I do! I’m telling you – we’re a creative bunch of people, we bloggers. Jackie is always going to be my Cybil Sister, even though SHE somehow ended up in charge of YA, and I’m on SF/F this year. That’s how I “met” her, and she was so sweet and easy to work with – you lucky YA people, enjoy! Great interview, you guys! And Jac — God SO has got cake for you. Way to go on getting him a piece and all.

  2. I LOVE LOVE the conversation with God, and Eisha gets ALL the credit for that intro (well, formatting the whole interview, really, while I got other 7-Imp stuff done), which made me laugh out loud.

    Oh, rust-brown shag carpet, I miss you (just a little).

  3. OMG. Seriously? The lump of carpet? HILARious. Crying from laughter.

    Thanks, guys, you are both awesome and sweet.

  4. I guess I was born just one year too early for the shag carpet…sigh.

    I second Eisha’s comment that is a pleasure serving under Jackie on the ya committee! (thanks Jackie!)

  5. Another fab interview, guys. Adorable baby picture!

  6. P.S. Jackie, I love Regina Spektor, too. I love to turn “On the Radio” up very, very loud and dance.

    And I love love love the end to this video:

  7. Cute picture and love the god conversation. Awesome!

    Charlotte, I’m one year too old for the shag too, but I think we had it at home.

    And, Jackie…a kickboxing neighbor? Yikes.

  8. Our shag carpeting was avocado. Same brand, though, I’m sure. I love this interview and didn’t know her blog so thanks!

  9. Bookmarking this so I may read it completely later. For right now, I must say:
    Jackie rocks.
    Jackie is incredibly supportive.
    Jackie, Jon’s song plays during our intermission.

  10. Jackie, you rock! And OMG you have never shown me your baby pics — lol you are SO freaking adorable in those pigtails! Yay for a fabulous interview! And I so totally agree with you about Maureen Johnson’s blog. She’s hysterical.

  11. Even if you were born in the requisite time span, I think you only got the carpet-lump photos if you had your portraits taken at Sears. Or possibly J.C. Penney’s. There’s one of me standing on top of it wearing ruffley drawers and a bonnet. Swear.

  12. Uh…Wicked soundtrack. Live symphonies. Oh yeah, Jackie is definitely in my cool book. 🙂

    And I can definitely testify for the ‘wicked funny’ trait. She so totally IS.

  13. So, I may not be as funny and entertaining as you, Jackie, but I TOTALLY get credit for getting you hooked on Regina Spektor. Great interview and darling baby pic!

  14. Holy cow — I don’t know which is funnier, the carpet or the cake!

  15. Yes, Rachel, you get FULL CREDIT for Regina Spektor.

    LW, you and you alone make me want to visit LA.

    And just for hilarity’s sake, my friend Gwendolyn’s answer to the Pearly Gates question, which she emailed to me, but wasn’t gutsy enough to post:

    God: “I like red too.”
    Gwendolyn: “Squee!”

  16. Okay, who else votes for a Jackie-God conversation posted once a week? (I was going to ask for once a day, but I know God and Jackie are both a teensy bit busy.)

    So, so, good, guys. I LOVE reading these interviews.

  17. I vote for that.

  18. Great interview and I LOVE the baby picture! What a cutie! It’s great to get to know you better. I didn’t know that you were into Geocaching – we just started getting into it, so if we have any questions, now I know who to ask!

  19. Oh yeah, God should definitely get cake.

  20. OK Jackie you are too funny! Seriously, you are always cracking me up! love, Love, LOVE the interview! Now I need to wrangle me up some cake!!!! Dude, where is my cake?

  21. So much good information and such cute pictures! Reading stuff like this reminds me that I still work in a library.

  22. What a fun interview! I was also one year too early for the shag carpet, but I do have a photo up in my living room of myself with cute little pigtails. Not as cute as Jackie’s, though. Not even close.

    LOVED the dialog with God. Except, it kind of made me feel a need for cake…

    Seriously, it’s been great getting to know you through the Cybils and Postergirlz, Jac, and this interview adds a whole new dimension.

  23. Jackie’s always been a literary super star to me. Way to go, Jac, love you!

  24. As a friend of Jackie’s since H.S. & a former roomie of aforementioned friend Dan, I’ll say that it was nice to hear that Jackie is doing so well. I can totally hear Jackie talking to God just like that & also hear her saying her fave swear word quite often…

    …and I like the idea of a weekly conversation between Jackie & God…that would be totally frickin’ awesome!!

    Thanks for the insight into Jackie’s new life…hope to get out & see her soon…

  25. […] We have Jackie at Interactive Reader to thank for our new-found adoration of Julia Denos’ illustrations. […]

  26. What an awesome interview! We had mustard yellow shag carpeting, and I second or third the motion for weekly Jackie-God conversations. But, seriously, why couldn’t God just conjure himself some cake? Yay, Jackie! And congrats!

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