An Interview With a Reader
by Caroline Clemens
I am delighted to bring you Victoria Zigler who happens to go by a shortened version as just ‘Tori.’ This lady is an avid reader, well, more than that actually. She reads close to 300 books a year; I think this qualifies her to know if its a good read or not. What do you think?
I found her on Goodreads and in her bio it said she likes music, horses and the Stone Age, amongst other things. She writes Children’s Stories and Poetry. Tori is in the purple shirt petting an owl.
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1. What do you love about the Stone Age?
In the Stone Age there were still so many discoveries to be made. Plus, the need to own things that weren’t useful hadn’t been so firmly fixed in people’s minds, so there wasn’t so much pressure to get the latest thing that was in style. Also, the concepts of “waste not, want not” and “reuse and recycle” were second nature to everyone. Some people would argue that you can say this about many points in history, but it seems to me that the wasteful and greedy nature of humans wasn’t so apparent in the Stone Age, since it became apparent as shiny new “toys” (weapons, jewelry, etc) that weren’t readily available to everyone became available.
2. What is your favorite type of horse?
There are a couple of horse breeds I’m quite fond of, and which I would pick as my favourite would depend on what I’d be doing with the horse. For events (races, jumping, etc) I would choose a Thoroughbred. For a working horse, a Shetland Pony would be my choice. For a family pet who would be used for neither events nor as a working horse, but would be for gentle pleasure rides, I think my choice would be an American Quarter Horse.
3. Please list your top five Children’s books.
These kinds of questions are always difficult for me; I always find it so difficult to decide on my favourites, since I have so many favourite books. But… Let me think… In no particular order, my favourites are…
For younger children:
1. Anything by Beatrix Potter (cute stories with talking animals in them… What’s not to like?)
2. Any of Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tales.
3. Lauren Child’s “Charlie And Lola” books.
4. Enid Blyton’s “Wishing Chair” and “Faraway Tree” collections.
5. Robert Mason’s “Obee” squirrel stories.
For older children:
1. “A Little Princess” and “The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgeson Burnett.
2. Any of Roald Dahl’s books, though “Matilda” especially.
3. J K Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series.
4. David Estes’ “Nikki Powergloves” series.
5. Monica Dickens’ “World’s End” and “Follyfoot” books.
Yeah, I know I sort of cheated with answering this question, but some authors I just can’t pick a single favourite book by, and if I tried then I’d just end up changing my mind in five minutes time!
4. How many books do you read per year?
I read a LOT! Exactly how many books I read varies, depending on book length and what else is happening in my life, but I read a couple of hundred books a year as a rule; some traditionally published, and others self-published. Last year I read 290 books (not counting re-reads, which I never count when figuring out the number of books I’ve read) and I’ve already read over 200 books this year (again, not counting re-reads). I list and rate them all on Goodreads, but only write proper reviews if I’m asked to by the author; usually because they gave me a free copy in exchange for a review, though that’s not the only time I write proper reviews.
5. Do you write poetry? And if so can you give us a favorite poem?
I mostly write children’s stories, but yes, I write poetry. Mostly rhymes that can be enjoyed by children as well as adults, though not exclusively, since I have written darker stuff that’s not child friendly, and used a few other styles. I have a couple of poetry collections published as ebooks, actually. But as for my favourite of my poems… Hmmm… This one’s tricky, and if you ask me again another time my answer will most likely be different. Right now though, I’d have to go with “Mr. Pumpkin-Head” (which is the title poem for the first poetry collection I put together).
Here it is:
In a pumpkin patch
Near a big red barn
Looking out over the fields
Of a very big farm
Lived Mr Pumpkin-Head
All day he’d sit in the pumpkin patch
Wishing he could do something good
“If only,” he said to himself one night
“Pumpkins could be more than just food.”
Then one day, when the aire was chilly
And the trees were almost bare
Someone came to the pumpkin patch
Who’d never before been seen there
She was just a child – no more than six
With hair the colour of gold
Wearing a pretty little pink coat
To protect herself from the cold
She looked at Mr Pumpkin-Head
And all his friends in the ground
Then knelt beside Mr Pumpkin-Head
Making hardly a sound
She put her hand upon him
And smiling said, “You’ll do!
You’re coming home with me, you are.
I’ll make a jack-o-lantern out of you!”
In the window sill Of a little house
Looking out of the window
Beside an ornamental mouse
Sits Mr Pumpkin-Head
His smile may be carved on
But inside he’s grinning too
For he thinks a Jack-O-Lantern is
A great job for a pumpkin to do
That’s why you’ll never see a pumpkin smile
As wide as Mr Pumpkin-Head
~Written by Victoria Zigler in 2008, and published in the poetry collection titled “Mr. Pumpkin-Head And Other Poems” in April 2012.
~note by interviewer … I just have to say that is a delightful and wonderfully written poem!
6. Who are your favorite poets? Name three and their titles of your favorite poems.
I’m a big fan of the poetry of William Wordsworth and Robert Frost, but I’m not sure I can pick favourite poems for either of them. As for a third… I like other poets, but I can’t really say anyone stands out as a third favourite.
7. Please tell us what music you would pair with a Stone Age book?
I would probably choose something new age with rattles or drums, and little to no actual singing. That seems the most appropriate, since it has some similarity to the music used in ceremonies back then, and would work well for creating the right atmosphere.
8. What would you like to see written for children in 2014 and beyond?
I’d like to see some stories being written about other fantasy creatures. I love stories about fairies, dragons, mermaids, etc, but it would be nice to see some of the other creatures getting some attention. Don’t think I’m not eager to read more about fairies, dragons, mermaids, etc… I am! I’d just like to see some stories about other creatures too.
Thank you so kindly for answering my questions and I’m truly glad we got to know more about you ‘the reader’ and also your creative talents with the pen.
We have something in common as old time favorites of mine are “The Secret Garden“ and “The Little Match Girl.”
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