Tuesday, June 9, 2015

InfoBarrel Newbie of the Month: HLesley

I'm not sure if Lesley knows this or not. But when I was perusing the HubPages forum at the end of 2014, I caught her forum post (since removed on HubPages). I was impressed by her honesty (but not surprised by the backlash she received from the same people in my Why on Earth Is Any Squid Filing a DMCA With Google? article).

So, when she reached out to be the first InfoBarrel Newbie of the Month in this series, I was excited. She was the first person I had in mind for it.

Here's Lesley in her early years, about to enjoy her birthday cake. I met with her for this interview and I have to say, she hasn't aged a bit.

Lesley Hebert, InfoBarrel Author, Photo for Interview by RoseWrites
Photo provided by HLesley (June 7th, 2015)

After I read The Silbury Hill Mystery, I remember thinking Lesley obviously knows how to write for the web. I was impressed with her layout, organization, and use of headings.

Later, I read her Five Health Benefits of Drinking Beer and I thoroughly enjoyed how she presented the history part (even though I don't drink beer). Her writing style was both informative and entertaining. She even included some wacky beer ads at the end. I knew she would appeal to readers of all ages.

Since I've traveled a bit, I found Lesley's article Five Important Travel Safety Tips to be spot on. I also sensed that she'd be perfect for InfoBarrel since travel pieces tend to do quite well on the site.

Without Further Ado

I present to you my interview with HLesley (as she is known on InfoBarrel). Again, I was pleasantly surprised that she also answered all of my questions, including the inappropriate ones.

Writing-related questions:

Q: How did you find out about InfoBarrel? And what (so far) is your opinion of it?

A: An InfoBarrel writer invited me to be her Facebook friend (actually it was you, Rose). I used to write for Helium.com and when the site went down I was feeling abandoned and homeless and had been looking for a new writing site for a while. I tried a few other places, including HubPages, which left a sour taste in my mouth, but never really discovered "the one" until I joined IB. I was immediately delighted to meet other former Helium writers and found the community wonderfully helpful and supportive. I also like being able to write about anything that takes my fancy and am pleasantly surprised at the way my earnings are starting to come in.

Q: Is there any topic you'd like to write about but haven't (and why)?

A: I actually write on a range of topics - pretty well anything that catches my interest. At the moment, in addition to writing new material I am also reworking a lot of my old Helium articles. I take pride in crafting well researched and accurate articles. Most of my topics are pretty conservative but I have a secret yearning to write something totally original, shocking and sleazy that will go viral. [Oh I likey.]

Q: If you could change anything about the online world, what would it be?

A: Companies and websites seem to come and go at the drop of a hat and the environment is changing all the time. This can be exciting and challenging but as I get older, I am beginning to think that more stability would be good. Not only did my previous favorite writing home, Helium, disappear and abandon its faithful writers, but other writing websites have done the same thing. I have also experienced disappearing websites in my other online life as an ESL teacher.

Q: Are there any spelling/grammar errors that make you cringe?

A: When someone says "I could care less" when they really mean "I couldn't care less."

Inappropriate and personal questions (completely voluntary):

ziplining at Papa Kits at Liloan Cebu
whologwhy on flickr CC-by-2.0
Q: What is the most daring or dangerous thing you've ever done?

A: I went ziplining once. I would never have chosen to do it by myself but my husband talked me into it. It was really exciting and I'm glad I did it once, but I don't think I'll ever do it again.

FYI: For those who don't know, a zip-line is a cable and pulley system with a suspended harness. Users strap themselves in (securely) and start from a high point at one end and allow gravity to swing them across to the other side. Photo shown at right is of a zip-line at Papa Kits at Liloan Cebu. 

The photo author, whologwhy, stated: "It is a 2 minute thrill, 800 meters ziplining to the other island dangling over Silot Bay."

Hey Lesley, this was my zip-line:
Clothesline with Wet Jeans by Patrick Lentz on flickr CC-by-2.0
Photo credit: Patrick Lentz (violentz) on flickr (CC-by-2.0) Wet Jeans From the Front

Q: If you had to spend a week with just one celebrity on a secluded beach, who would it be and why? 

A: I had a serious crush on Paul McCartney when I was young, but I think he's getting a bit long in the tooth now. However, I wouldn't consider anyone younger than my eldest son either.

I think George Clooney would be the perfect choice. He's mature enough without showing signs of decrepitude, a nice guy with a social conscience, and darn nice to look at.

[Next time George in in Toronto, I'll give him your number, Lesley - if you like.]

Actor George Clooney in Toronto 2009 at the TIFF "Men Who Stare at Goats" premiere
Photo credit: Courtney on flickr CC-by-2.0
Q: Have you ever had a crush on someone you couldn't have?

A: Since Paul McCartney, quite a few times.

Q: What pisses you off the most?

A: Narrow mindedness.

Q: What character on any TV show past or present best portrays who you are?

A: Tough question. I can't think of anyone who captures my uniqueness.

Q: Which three articles of yours do you want people to read first?

1. My first charity article, "Why is Childhood Obesity a Worldwide Problem?" because I want to raise funds for InfoBarrel's current charity, the Canadian Diabetes Association.

2. "Adventures in Eating: Breakfast in Japan" because it's a fun article. [Nods]

3. "What Happened to the Aral Sea?" because it deals with an important topic.

Q: Where can readers find you?

A: I am Lesley Hebert on Facebook and LinkedIn. And HLesley on InfoBarrel.

Q: How else do you spend your time online?

A: My main online job is teaching English as a Second Language via Skype. I have been a cyber teacher since 2004 (see my article Life as an Online Tutor).

Q: Are there any other writers on InfoBarrel you'd like to see interviewed and are there any questions you'd like me to ask him, her, or them?

A: Mommymommymommy - How on earth do you find time to do everything that you do?



  1. I've enjoyed her material, and that piece on the Aral was excellent.

    1. I agree Vic. Thanks for dropping by and commenting. Everyone on InfoBarrel, I'm sure, appreciates your endorsement of their work.

  2. I've enjoyed her material, and that piece on the Aral was excellent.