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An interview with Rebeca Schiller of Alvah’s Books blog

Tell me about your Blog?

Alva’s Books is a book review site. It’s named after my favorite author Alvah Bessie. Alvah was a veteran of the Abraham Lincoln Brigades who fought in the Spanish Civil War. He was a novelist, the literary and drama critic of The New Masses, screenwriter, and one of the Hollywood Ten. For Alvah’s Books, I review literary fiction and non-fiction. I also include essays, author interviews and publishing news.

What was your first blog?

My first blog was A Novel Approach. It was supposed to be a blog chronicling the trials and tribulations of writing my novel. It was discontinued because it turned more into a lament about my job. It morphed into Exiled at the Beach: A Year’s Chronicle in Creativity.

What is the biggest tip you would give to a newbie blogger?

Have a plan. Think of your blog as a magazine. Think of what you want to publish daily and make it interesting.

What do advertisers do that you wish they wouldn’t?

Stretch the truth too far.

What do bloggers do that you wish they wouldn’t?

Some bloggers seem to be a little snarky. If they want their blog to be a source of information then I think they should be more objective. I try to keep my reviews in the third person and keep the editorializing in check.

Where do you see growth in the blogging field?

I see growth in the news field. As more newspapers fold and reporters lose their jobs, you’re going to see more blogs in those respective beats.

What new ideas are advertisers coming up with to take advantage of new trends?

I really don’t follow advertising trends.

What do you do to improve the world?

I’m an animal lover and I’ve adopted several dogs.

What do you do that is green?

I live on an island and we’re forced to recycle (but I already did that when I lived in the city). I take public transportation; we burn wood instead of using oil or electricity for heat. We eat whole and organic foods, and not highly processed foods. We shop at green markets and keep local.

What is one thing about you that not many people know?

I’m a member of the CPUSA (Communist Party USA)

What’s your favorite book?

Men in Battle by Alvah Bessie

What is on your iPod?

REM, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Mozart’s The Requiem, Vivaldi, Eric Clapton

What are your contact details (email, company, blog, facebook, myspace, forums, etc)?

[email protected];
Alvah’s Books on Facebook

How do you prefer to communicate?

Email or telephone. I’m flexible

Who would you recommend, and why?

Joseph Cavalieri. He’s a talented artist who works with glass.

Jeff Rutherford. A very savvy PR professional who has given me a quite a bit of advice on Social Media

Tony Powell. A good friend, but an excellent editor and writer.

Martin Brooks. A great friend who supports my writing endeavors.

Dan Bessie. Alvah’s son. He’s been very kind and generous to share his stories about Alvah. He’s also become a good friend.

Greg Burt. He’s my husband, but he’s also a terrific writer and he keeps me on my toes.

Fabiola Bleiberg Schlessinger. She’s my cousin, but also an excellent doctor with a great bedside manner.

Natasha Souranoff. She’s one of the first people I met in college and has been one of my closest friends. Plus she’s one of the best hair stylists in Palo Alto.

Hillary Herskowitz. Another good friend and fabulous publicist.

Randall Radic. Randy is a writer who specializes in the true crime genre and has reviewed books for me. A terrific writer!

What is one thing people can do for you?

Visit Alvah’s Books and leave comments.