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AnaBanana (and Awesome!) Revisited :-)

Photographing Sunflowers

If you’re new to my blog, you might wonder why I giveaway an AnaBanana gift basket every month. Well, the reason is twofold. First, I want to give back to visitors who pause to leave a comment. Bloggers can be very needy. Comments make us feel needed. Or at least “seen.” LOL

Second, I’m a huge fan of AnaBanana’s goodies and I love sharing that wonderful with others. The person behind AnaBanana is also the awesome cover designer behind my cover art for my re-issued books. And she has a keen copy editing eye. She saved me when my publisher closed down in July and helped me get my books back on sale. She’s also a wonderful sister-in-law. (No, I’m totally NOT biased. She really is awesome.)

I interviewed AnaBanana back in August of 2012, but I thought this would be a good time to “re-meet” the awesome Ana. I’m reposting a few snippets from her interview, but I hope you’ll check out the whole interview here. And now here’s the shorter version:

Tell us a bit about Ana when she’s not making soap. How did you become AnaBanana? –  I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t AnaBanana. It’s a name that just was always there. If you chant it, I might have a snit, but that was the kid me then, not now. I’m much more grown up now. <wg> Yeah… So, I live in Wyoming, which is a very large desert and offers a very wide personal space. My town boasts 500 souls (plus change). I have custody of several critters – one mare plus new filly, one three-legged cat, four birds (technically they’re my daughter’s), fish (I haven’t counted, actually)… I think I got them all. I read like a mad woman, and I’ve read ALL of your books and I think all of your short stories too (which I love, love, love btw). I worked on a dude ranch once upon a time, was a medic in the Army, waited tables forever, transcribed medical records until my ears fell off, made eyeglasses and was once upon a time a cook, and not necessarily in that order… Wow, this is a tougher question to answer than I thought! Can I get back to you with the rest of the story? <Wg>

What made you go into soap making?  –  Mad scientists. Er… Love of things that go boom? No… Um, well, I have a true love of creating useful things. Part of this stems from my desire to create art but tack on use, part of it was desperation. I wanted to have skin-care products that I could actually stand to use. The crummy fragrances and products offered by commercial manufacturers really lacked appeal to me. They either made my nose itch or my eyes water, and they left my skin feeling itchy and looking like it should be on an alligator or snake rather than a person. I knew there had to be something better, so I set out to make it. That I love chemical reactions and am fascinated by the soaping process has been a huge source of my drive. That I don’t know I’m not supposed to be able to do these kinds of things works well for me. <g>


anabanana bath and body treats, pauline baird jones, author, writer, science fiction romance author, romantic suspense author, project enterprise series, steampunk

Oh yeah, the chocolate coconut is YUM!

How does one learn how to make soap?  –  There’s lots of info “out there” on making soap. I started with a soaping forum on the internet, then bought a couple of books, and then just sort of dove in (after donning goggles, gloves and apron). I’ve never taken a class on soap making, but there are those who teach it, just not anyone close to where I live or can easily get to – I do live out in boorah! <wg>  Without a mentor or a real class, I just took it slowly, if diving in is slow.
I know it’s a bit like asking you if you have a favorite kid, but what’s your favorite soap? Scent? Kid? (just kidding!)  –   My favorites change sometimes. When I was a kid, I could never answer the question, “What is your favorite color?” I felt like I was standing at the bridge, trembling before “Tim” (as in, “You can call me Tim” from Monty Python’s Holy Grail), fearing the catapult into the abyss! LOL!! Red. No, green! I do find myself coming back to lavender a lot. Lavender by itself is really appealing to me. Lavender blended with other essential oils is also on my “love” list. I then tend toward the fruity. Most (but not all) of my fragrance choices tend to be either essential oils or fun and fruity fragrance oils. So, I guess (since I don’t really have a definite answer) is my favorite soap is lavender & peppermint. No, wait… LOL!

What goes into making such great soap? Don’t have to share secrets (though I promise not tell anyone!) but your bars are especially yummy. You’ve even got the hubs hooked on your soaps.  –  Great soaps? Thank you! Well, hm… Ingredients. Technique. Passion. Willingness to fail… (yeah, I’ve had my share of soaping catastrophes!). It’s like making a really good batch of cookies or a great cake – start with quality ingredients, a good recipe, and put your own touch to it. It’s sad, but many, many people have never tried a handmade soap. Ever. It’s like never having homemade cookies – a tragedy! LOL!

If you could flee, er, go anywhere for meditation and inspiration, where would it be? (You’d come back, wouldn’t you? Because I’m totally addicted to your stuff!) –  Scotland. I’d go to Scotland. I am fascinated with the history and beauty of it. Maybe that’s why I married a Scot? Plus he keeps promising me he’ll get a kilt (in the family plaid, naturally). Yowza! And I’d probably come back. Maybe. I’m sure there’s a way to send you more stuff, just in case I didn’t. Come back, ya know?

Have you ever used hand crafted soaps? If now are you CRAZY? Sorry, but I’m totally addicted. Now that you’ve “met” AnaBanana, do you feel better? Because you should. As you should know by now, comments are entered into my monthly drawing for an (drum roll please) AnaBanana gift basket of awesome ($50 value this month in honor of NaBloPoMo)! Made by awesome and shipped to you via the less awesome post office. (We use the tools available to us. Trust me, teleportation is widely available, I’ll be using that!) Winner will be announced the first blog post of December.

AnaBanana logo


Perilous Pauline's signature



When Pauline isn’t oohing and ahing over her yummy soaps, she writes books. So far she’s written 13 (yes, she is a bit nervous about that and is working to get #14 out) novels and several short stories. Her books are available in digital and audio and print (though some print editions are only available used unless you email her. She does have sitting around and for a suitable bribe, will make the trip to the post office to send them out. But she does have to be bribed for that.) For more information on her and her books, hop over to her website or look at the nav bar above. 🙂

Family Treed cover art

Can she survive dinner with the killing cousins?

AnaBanana’s latest cover creation. And…

It’s available to buy right now!

At present this book is only available in digital. It’s a short story. What can I say?

Today is last day my Lonesome Lawmen bundle is on sale!

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