In the course of internet wanderings though, I’ve ran across a lot of really awesome people, and culled an enormous amount of information from blogs. As I raided my brain – yes, I picture myself on the prow of a Viking ship, approaching my own gray matter – for more people I’d like to interview, it repeatedly offered up names of bloggers. And so, my readers, I give you the third series; Bloggers of Awesome. Yeah, it’s the BOA.
Today's guest is Jemi Fraser an aspiring writer of both YA steampunk & romantic mysteries (or whatever she's working on at the time). Jemi's blog is a great example of how to get yourself out there without making everyone very, very sick of you. Check it out!
So you run an excellent blog over at Just Jemi. What made you decide to take the approach you do on your blog?
Aww –you’re such a sweetie! Thank you. As a teacher, I’m an observer of people. I love finding out how their brains work, why they make the decisions they do, how they approach each task. This makes for a fun classroom with all kinds of risk taking. I decided I wanted to find out how other writers approach things too. I’ve learned so much this way!!
I know a lot of aspiring writers who are intimidated by the idea of blogging. They want to, but they are worried it will cut into their (already precious) writing time. You run a successful personal blog and also contribute at From the Write Angle. How do you recommend one be both a successful blogger and writer?
It’s tough. Time is limited for everyone. My job takes up a minimum of 50 hours a week and I’ve got my family here at home as well. Thankfully I’m a pretty good multi-tasker. I tend to blog, respond to comments and visit other blogs when I’m hanging out with the family or in spurts when I’m cooking dinner, doing laundry and all the other fun stuff. I can do blog stuff in chunks of a few minutes at a time. When I know I’ll have 30 minutes or more at a time, I tend to write/revise/edit rather than blog. So far so good!
One thing that stands out about your blog is the amount of comments your posts get. Any tips for other bloggers about how to inspire a vocal following?
I do have a ton of awesome blog buddies! I’m not really sure, but I think I get a lot of comments because I try to visit a lot of blogs. I definitely try to visit the blog of each person who comments on my blog. Then I’ve got my Google Reader divided into folders for each day of the week & some other folders too. I visit as many as I can each day – although it’s never everyone in the folder.
When do you recommend building a platform? After an agent? Or should you be working before?
Publishing is slooooow! I think it’s probably best to start building when you’re at the stage when you’re ready to query. I think I started way too early (I had NO idea what I was doing!!!) but I blog because it’s fun so it all balances out.
Do you think social media helps build your readership?
If I ever get a book out there, I’ll let you know! :) I do know that I’ve bought several dozen books written by my blog buddies, so I do think it works at least a little bit.
Let's talk about your writing for a little bit. What's your genre, and what led you to it?
I’m kind of all over the place as a writer (and as a reader). Currently I’m in the middle of a rewrite for a YA Steampunk novel. Fellow FTWAer Calista Taylor introduced me to the concept a while back. Then I realized I loved some earlier steampunk like Philip Pullman’s THE GOLDEN COMPASS. I was totally drawn to the unique settings, tinkerings and possibilities of the genre. I’ve also got a romantic suspense for adults sitting and marinating. And there’s this idea knocking really loudly on my skull – it’s a MG sci-fi fantasy adventure. See? All over the place!
What other websites / resources can you recommend for writers?
Query Tracker is awesome for when you’re querying! Also Elana Johnson’s From the Query to the Call is invaluable when you’re writing that query. Plus there a huge number of brilliant bloggers who have very helpful & instructional blogs. I’ve learned SO much from my friends!
Any words of inspiration for aspiring writers that aren't clichéd?
That’s a tough one. Who am I to inspire anyone? I’m just climbing on the writing roller coaster ride. So how about… Hold on tight, keep your eyes wide open, hang on until the end and enjoy the ride!