Margaret C. Sullivan is the editrix of AustenBlog and the author of The Jane Austen Handbook: A Sensible Yet Elegant Guide to Her World. She is a life member of the Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA) and webmistress for JASNA's Eastern Pennsylvania Region. During the day she works as a web content coordinator for a large international law firm, and by night she attempts to convince the world that Henry Tilney is much cooler than that Darcy fellow. She lives in the Philadelphia suburbs. Her personal website is Tilneys and Trapdoors.
Why do you blog? > I started AustenBlog because I thought Jane Austen fans needed a central place to get news about all the pop culture stuff going on in relation to Jane Austen - movies, plays, books, etc.
What has been your best blogging experience? > Having people write to me or approach me at a JASNA meeting and say, 'Because of your blog I got to read a great book or see a great play or learn something about Jane Austen that I didn't know before.'
What has been your worst blogging experience? > Having a film studio control some of the content I disseminated to my readers, because they had given me inside information during filming of one of the recent adaptations.
What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? > A blog is not a magical object; it is just a method of delivering content. Deliver well-written, useful content and the rest takes care of itself.
What are your favourite blogs? > Making Light, because it is eclectic, intelligent, and has a wonderfully erudite group of regular commenters. I like the snarky style of Go Fug Yourself. I admire Cheryl Klein's blog tremendously because she does such a wonderful job of combining her personal and professional life and presenting it without being overly intrusive on either; and she is a lovely person!
Who are your intellectual heroes? > Jane Austen, of course. And Benjamin Franklin, who was a true Renaissance man.
What are you reading at the moment? > Edmund Bertram's Diary by Amanda Grange, which I'll be reviewing on AustenBlog. In queue: The Midnight Bell by Francis Lathom (one of the 'horrid novels' that Isabella Thorpe recommends to Catherine Morland in Northanger Abbey) and a re-read of Sense and Sensibility prior to the US broadcast of the new series. I do read non-Austen related stuff, but with everything going on right now, the concentration is heavier than usual.
What is the best novel you've ever read? > Persuasion by Jane Austen.
What is your favourite movie? > Singin' in the Rain. Gene Kelly rocks my socks.
What is your favourite song? > 'Dream On' by Aerosmith.
Who is your favourite composer? > Beethoven.
If you could effect one major policy change in the governing of your country, what would it be? > Universal healthcare for all, not based on employment.
What would be your most important piece of advice about life? > Don't get attached to stuff.
What do you consider the most important personal quality? > The ability to stand in someone else's shoes and walk around in them, to paraphrase Atticus Finch.
What personal fault do you most dislike? > Hypocrisy.
In what circumstances would you be willing to lie? > To save a life or avert a disaster.
What commonly enjoyed activities do you regard as a waste of time? > Watching television, though I do it, but not nearly as much as I used to.
If you were to relive your life to this point, is there anything you'd do differently? > Take better advantage of my educational opportunities.
What would you call your autobiography? > Illegitimi Non Carborundum.
Who would play you in the movie about your life? > Janeane Garofalo, though she would have to grow six inches or so, get over her Darcy obsession, and embrace the Tilney Way.
What would your ideal holiday be? > I would love to go back to the UK for a driving/walking tour of Jane Austen country. I'll have to wait for the exchange rate to get better, though.
What do you like doing in your spare time? > I like to do needlework, mostly crocheting and tatting these days, but I also do cross-stitch and needlepoint.
What is your most treasured possession? > 'Treasured' might be too strong a term, but the object I find most useful on a day to day basis is my Treo, aka Enrico, my personal assistant.
What talent would you most like to have? > Singing! I can't carry a tune in a bucket.
Who is your favourite comedian or humorist? > I've been a fan of James Thurber since childhood. 'The Catbird Seat' might be the most brilliant short story ever written.
Who are your sporting heroes? > When I was young: Bobby Clarke, Mike Schmidt, and Torvill and Dean. These days I have a crush on Chase Utley - like most of the women in the Philadelphia area.
Which baseball team do you support? > The Philadelphia Phillies. Go Phightins!
How, if at all, would you change your life were you suddenly to win or inherit an enormously large sum of money? > I would hire people to do for me all the mundane stuff I don't like doing - like housework.
If you could have any three guests, past or present, to dinner who would they be? > Benjamin Franklin, Jane Austen, and the current Dalai Lama.
What animal would you most like to be? > Adrien Brody's chihuahua!
[The normblog profile is a weekly Friday morning feature. A list of all the profiles to date, and the links to them, can be found here.]