Last month I chatted with Pauline Millward from Kingston-upon-Hull in England. This month my guest is Shauna Holden, an American.
Hello, Shauna. Welcome to Once Upon A Word. I'd like to begin our chat by asking you to tell us about yourself,
Thank you, Linda, I'll be happy to. I now reside in Northwest Arkansas (Home of the Razorbacks). I am sixty-three, the oldest of three children. My brother, sister, and I were children of a Bivocational Minister and grew up in a small farming community in Southeast Missouri, where most of my ancestors resided for generations. I have been married forty-one years to my college sweetheart and have a daughter, son, and a four-year-old grandson.
I was the first in my family to graduate from college (with a Bachelors Degree in Psychology and Physical Education). I married that same year and we lived in Tennessee, then Texas, where I became a military wife. I worked as an employment counselor, psychotherapist, and in Texas Tech University Health Science Centers as administrator for the Psychiatry department and attached clinics. I never dreamed my education would lead me down this path but I loved it! When we moved to Arkansas in 1989, I became a stay at home mom involved in school and church activities and helped my husband. start a private practice in Psychiatry. Our lives changed in many ways in 1990 when he was mobilized and sent to the Persian Gulf. Since then he has been to the Middle East combat areas for 7 different campaigns. Needless to say, during those times (since our children left the nest) I have had lots of time to read!
You have certainly led an interesting life so far while adapting to your family's needs. And the jobs you have held are impressive and show your ability to be flexible! I'm glad that with all these activities you have still found time to read. Can you tell me what you read and which are your favorites?
Everything! I first discovered my love for books from my mother, Gwanda Hency. One summer my brother and I caught her at private reading time for herself and she shared the story with us. Enoch Arden by Alfred, Lord Tennyson was heavy reading for us youngsters since we were in the age bracket of Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys! But she read with such passion and explained what each section meant. The story appealed to me as a young girl for the romance involved and to my brother because it was about ships, schooners, and going to sea.
I was taught "reading is knowledge and knowledge is power." My dear maternal grandfather had almost no formal education, but he always encouraged us to educate ourselves. He made us aware that there were two things that could never be taken from us; our salvation (spiritual relationship) and our education.
Thank you for sharing these wonderful memories, Shauna. I can see that you were brought up with the Classics and have read many lengthy books.
Does word count matter to you in books you read now?
I really don't mind how long or short a book is as long as the chapters are short. It's okay to leave me hanging at the end of a chapter, because I get to decide if I want to put it down or read for hours to see what happens.
What are the main reasons that cause you to buy a certain book?
I usually buy books by author, title, then genre (in that order). I read many types of books, some for knowledge and some for pleasure. So I try to find reviews about those I might want to purchase. Covers are not really a selling point for me.
Do you prefer ebooks or print books?
Both. If I am travelling and depending on how long the trip in distance and time I will carry ebooks. Otherwise, I like the printed versions. Our church encourages the E Bibles but I just don't feel right if I don't have my printed version in my hands. We have also collected over the years quite a few books in our library. We have begun donating due to space. The rule is if a book is given to us, or signed/autographed we keep.
We've talked about what you like in books but I wonder if there are also things that turn you off?
I like to read books that flow well or at least begin to make sense before the end. It does irk me at times when a publisher has not had enough pride in their people to proof well and edit misspellings and follow simple English rules.
Do you ever read books a second time just because you like them?
I do read books more than once, but not often. It is to me like a re do of an old classic movie--never as good as the first. When I do read a good book again, I let some time go by so it seems fresh. I can always find something I missed the first time around.
Most authors have websites and/or FB pages. Do you visit either, and if so, tell us what you like to find there.
I follow you! I know anything I pick up that has your endorsement or you have written is going to be great. Otherwise, Barnes and Noble is my friend for finding out if print books or new ones are coming out. That is how I started your collection in my library.
Thank you for those heartwarming words and I'm flattered that you have my books in your library. I have one final question to ask you, Shauna. Do you often read blogs such as this? If so, do you leave comments?
I do read some blogs and leave comments when I can get them to post. I usually read a few comments at first to see the direction it is taking. I will respectfully disagree with others but if it is turning negative, I'm done. Life is too short to waste.
I totally agree. It is so much better to seek positives rather than negatives in life.
I've considered it such an honor that you chose to interview me. I cannot tell you! Thank you so much from myself and those in my circle of friends and family that continue the legacy of reading good books such as yours.
Thank you for saying that, Shauna, and for being my guest today. I hope a lot of other readers and authors will visit the page and share their own comments. We look forward to hearing from you. Anyone commenting should remember to click on the blue square that says "Publish" to have their comments appear on the page.
Thanks to all who stop by. Other authors will be posting soon so be sure and visit this page again.You can find me at the links below: