Here’s my self-interview for the 2015 Book Blogger Love-A-Thon, spearheaded by Alexa Loves Books.
1. What’s your name? Kalisha Buckhanon
2. Where in the world are you blogging from? America
3. How did you get into blogging in the first place? I just wanted to be a fan of writing and books again, with no grades or deadlines or pressure or lesson plans attached. I have lengthy education in and multiple careers based on the work and business of writing and books, not always just the simple reading and pure enjoyment of them. Even in grade or high school, much of my writing and reading was linked to grades and book reports. My collegiate and professional circumstances only arose because I was a writing and book fan first. My blog has been a way to reconnect with the passion part of things. I really like just writing to stay sharp, engaged and working.
4. How did you come up with your blog name? I remember I first imagined and mentioned it as a merging of words to create a separate category of psychological study and mental health practice based solely on consideration of the black psyche’s required performance under mandates of oppression, repression, suppression, etc… The complicated and problematic African-American terms “Negro” or “Negress” blended into these.
5. What genre do you read and review the most on your blog? I am most likely to write on NEGRESSION about Black and women’s fiction, serious non-fiction classics and stories because those are book types I’ve been most trained (and paid!) to write about. However, I read any genre of book as long as it’s good, with preference for kind of weird and even scary thrillers or mystery and old dimestore novels when I am reading on the treadmill or passing time.
6. What other types of posts do you do on your blog, apart from reviews? Essays on film, pop culture, current events, women’s issues, black women, black America, culture and history. It has been very meaningful for me to address some stories of our times, of challenge and violence and struggle, such as the losses of our young people Trayvon Martin and Hadiya Pendleton and some others as well.
7. Best blogging experience so far? I have had a number of people talk to me for my essay response to the heartbreaking story of a once-vibrant black female Londoner who passed away in her government-assisted flat and went undiscovered there for 3 years. And, women just needed to talk about feeling for her and for themselves. I had to respond in some way to make myself feel better for knowing such a thing could happen in our world. And many women have cared for this woman’s life and shared their same stories of going through similar geographic isolation and social disillusionment. So something that was personal for me wound up being a piece of writing others needed to see and express about without me knowing they would.
8. Favorite thing about the blogging community? I like the versatility, commitment and overall positive content. There is something about being able to carve out your own space how you see fit, regardless of what anybody else is doing or wanting, that keeps people cool with being who they are and giving rather than fussing. And I had been reading a lot of articles and such for authors talking about the “blogosphere,” as a zone of support. It’s such solitary work so I love the company of writers I can have from the comfort of my home and right in front of my computer. I don’t have to stop working to stay connected to others’ work or show appreciation to others’ interest in my work.
9. Name the 5 books you’re most excited for this 2015! Toni Morrison’s GOD HELP THE CHILD; Bernice McFadden’s THE BOOK OF HARLAN; Miranda July’s THE FIRST BAD MAN; Terri Francis’s JOSEPHINE BAKER’S ANIMATED BURLESQUE: RACE, FILM AND PERFORMANCE; Harper Lee’s GO SET A WATCHMAN
10. What’s an underrated book or series that you think everyone should read? Ann Rule is a very prolific true-crime author the masses do not hear too much about anymore, but I grew up on her books. She is basically the precedent if not inventor of American true crime books, hard and horrific material but illuminating of the human psyche and ranges of being.
She wrote one of my favorite books, and I am not saying favorite in terms of material but in terms of actually feeling a story being woven from multiple perspectives and places and times, in Small Sacrifices, based on Diane Downs’ premeditated attempted murder of one child and actual murder of two children, for a man.
11. Which book boy or girl would be your book BFF? I would love to hang out with Maya Angelou during any time in her life from any of her autobiographies. She seems like she would have been a kind, peaceful and smart person no matter where and when we were together.
12. Apart from reading, what are your other hobbies or interests? Movies, cooking and dining, managing far too many cats, discovering new music, live shows, doing my small part when called or necessary to make our world better.
13. Apart from book shopping, what else do you like shopping for? Clothes and cosmetics I do not need 🙂 Also, I probably shop far too much for others, but I am a diehard gift-giver who is going to keep wrapping paper and the U.S. Post Office in style.
14. At a party, the DJ suddenly changes the song – and it’s your song. What song would be playing? DREAMS by Fleetwood Mac
15. Pick out either a book you want turned into a film/TV show, or a film/TV show you want turned into a book. SULA by Toni Morrison (book to film)