[R]evolving Incarnations: A Questionnaire for Passionate Readers-Laura A. Lord from History of a Woman

[R]evolving Incarnations: A Questionnaire For Passionate Readers is an interview series done in classic Q&A format. Each entry features one intrepid writer/blogger/artist/creative mastermind as they take on the same 40 reading-themed questions and scenarios. Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section!


Laura is the writer behind the fantastic blog, History of a Woman. Please stop by and say hello!

  • What book have you always wanted to read, but haven’t? Why? I’ve had a huge volume of Ernest Hemingway’s stories on my shelf for entirely too long. I keep staring at it, thinking, Today, I will read that book. And then I grab something far less intimidating and settle in for a bubble bath.
  • What is your favourite line or passage from a book? “It was a fine cry – loud and long – but it had no bottom and it had no top, just circles and circles of sorrow.”-Toni Morrison, Sula. The first time I read that line, I had to stop and read it again. And then again. Then I sat back and wished I had written it.
  • Who do you think is the most underrated author? Me. No, but seriously, I love Brian Jacques and am constantly surprised when someone says they don’t know who he is. He’s brilliant. Go read his work.
  • What is your pick for the most underrated book? Mattimeo by Brian Jacques. Certainly not the first in his Redwall series, but my favorite of the whole.
  • If you could make everyone in the world read one book, what would it be? The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby. One, because it was an amazing read, but mostly, because it shows what someone can accomplish with true determination.
  • Is there a book you wish you had written? The Last Time They Met by Anita Shreve. I threw the book across the room at the end of it. I want to write something that makes my readers feel so strongly.
  • What are you currently reading? The Pilot’s Wife by Anita Shreve. I’ve been on a kick with her work lately.
  • How many books do you have in rotation at any one time? Two. One fiction and one of poetry.
  • What is the funniest book you’ve read? Janet Evanovich’s books are still some of the funniest I’ve ever read.
  • What is the saddest book you’ve read? The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne broke my heart. I couldn’t make myself watch the movie.
  • What is the last book you couldn’t put down? Bodysurfing by Anita Shreve. Third time I’ve mentioned her, but she is a captivating author.
  • When you are reading a great book, do you read it all of the way through as fast as possible or hoard it for as long as you can? I don’t mean to, but I read fast. I can’t help it. If it is well written and has a firm hold on me, I’ll forfeit sleep to finish it (and people, sometimes food…rarely food).
  • What book have you re-read the most? Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein. My children adore this book.
  • Who is your pick for sexiest character in fiction? I’ll take any romance that involves a man in kilt. Kilt yeah.
  • Approximately how many books do you read in a year? Twelve to fifteen, depending on the size of the books. I read far more poetry, but rarely entire books of poetry.
  • Do you prefer fiction or non-fiction? Fiction. I really love historical fiction, especially if the author manages to keep the story very close to the truth. I want the non-fiction…with the emotion of fiction.
  • If you could swap places with your favourite fictional character, would you? Explain your choice. No. Any character I have ever considered a favorite has dealt with such heartbreak and agony. I’d rather avoid it and let them deal with the situations.
  • What is your favourite literary food or meal? I bought the companion cookbook for the Redwall books by Brian Jacques. Nothing beats that Meadowcream recipe.
  • Where is your favourite place to read? The bathtub…preferably when the children are in bed and I can lock the door and pretend I am not in my house.
  • What is your favourite bookstore? Amazon! But I’m out in the country. I’d have to travel an hour away to get to a bookstore.
  • Name six writers, living or dead, you would want as companions on a non-stop, cross-country road trip. Brian Jacques, Toni Morrison, Ernest Hemingway, Sylvia Plath, and my two friends, Tamara Woods and Hasty Words. However, looking at that list of my favorites, I realize this would be a very odd trip and most of these people either wouldn’t get along, or would make terrible traveling companions. 
  • Do you have a favourite and a least favourite genre? I read just about everything. I’ve never been much on Westerns or hardcore Sci-Fi, so they are probably my least favorite.
  • What is the longest period you have gone without reading a book? A week? Maybe?
  • Name three literary characters you would want as roommates. Khal Drogo, because…well what woman wouldn’t? Miss Havisham, because I found her extremely entertaining, and one of the cooks from the Redwall books. I’m not picky on who, I just want someone else to handle kitchen duty.
  • What was your favourite book as a child? The Velveteen Rabbit [ed. note-by Margery Williams]
  • What is your favourite literary city? I think my favorites in any book are the ones based in reality. I loved James Patterson simply because he wrote books that took place in my home state.
  • Name your favourite Brontë. I don’t have a favorite. In fact, I don’t really like any of them. Don’t stone me.
  • What is your favourite e-commerce site for books? Again, Amazon.
  • What is your favourite pen name? For myself? My pen name is Ashlyn Kingsley.
  • What is your favourite closing line in a book? “He was withered, wrinkled, and loathsome of visage. It was not till they had examined the rings that they recognized who it was.” – Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
  • Do you prefer owls or elephants? Owls.
  • Do you have any reading rituals? Not really. I read anywhere and everywhere. It’s the only thing I like about eBooks, though I’ll always want an actual book in my hands.
  • Who is your favourite literary couple? Florentino and Fermina from Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
  • Who is your favourite poet? Sylvia Plath
  • What is your favourite poem? Lady Lazarus [ed. note-by Sylvia Plath]
  • Do you have a favourite film adaptation? I loved The Help in its movie version. [ed. note-by Kathryn Stockett]
  • What book title would make a great band name? Pride and Prejudice and Zombies…bwahahahaha. [ed. note-by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith]
  • What is your favourite quote? “Out of the ash/ I rise with my red hair/and I eat men like air.” – Lady Lazarus, Sylvia Plath
  • What is your favourite book series? Redwall by Brian Jacques
  • Finish this sentence. People who read books are…Infinitely better company than those who don’t.


If you’d like to participate, please email us at: onetrackmuse@gmail.com.

Go here to check out previous entries in the series.