Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A BBC BOA with Just Jemi

My original intention for the series of interviews I do here was to focus on agents (BBCHAT) and successful authors (SAT). 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!

BBC:  So you run an excellent blog over at Just Jemi.  What made you decide to take the approach you do on your blog?
Jemi: 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!!

BBC: 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?
Jemi: 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!

BBC: 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?
Jemi: 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.

BBC: When do you recommend building a platform? After an agent?  Or should you be working before?
Jemi: 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.

BBC: Do you think social media helps build your readership?
Jemi: 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!

BBC: Let's talk about your writing for a little bit.  What's your genre, and what led you to it?
Jemi: 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!

BBC: What other websites / resources can you recommend for writers?
Jemi: 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!

BBC: Any words of inspiration for aspiring writers that aren't clich├ęd?
Jemi: 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!

Thanks so much for having me visit. This was a blast BBC!

38 comments:

Yvonne Osborne said...

wow...two of my favorite bloggers and old buds from Agent Query on one page! Good selection for your interview series, Mindy. Jemi, you've been an inspiration to me ever since we reviewed The Giver together. You do have an amazing blog, and I've never been able to figure out where you find the time. And, Mindy, I can't wait for your book to come out and congrats again on getting an agent to stand in your corner. Hope the two of you have a great week!

Lindsay N. Currie said...

Great interview! I've come across Jemi a few times on Twitter and she is just lovely:) Gonna hit her blog right now and say hi!

Teresa aka Journaling Woman said...

Jemi, It's nice to know you a little better. Great ideas!

Mindy, thanks for the great interview.

catwoods said...

Thanks for the great post on a fabulous blogger, writer and cyber friend. I love the insights your interviews bring to the writing table.

Hugs~

Jemi Fraser said...

Thanks again Mindy for having me visit! The questions were a lot of fun! :)

Anita said...

Fun interview! I like Jemi's blog, because her honesty shines through. I feel like I'm getting an authentic experience there...that's important in all kinds of writing.

Jemi Fraser said...

Yvonne - thank you!! We had a lot of fun doing that Giver bit - one of my favourite books of all time :) And time is that all-elusive quantity isn't it?

Jemi Fraser said...

Lindsay - hi! And thank you - it's funny how we can come across people and become so familiar with them through this ol' internet!

Teresa - thank you! It's fun to 'spill' every once in a while :)

Jemi Fraser said...

Cat - thanks! You're such a sweetie - and Mindy does have great questions!! :)

Anita - thank you!! What a kind thing to say :)

Amie Borst said...

so great to get to know you a little better, jemi!

Gennifer Albin said...

I'm always in awe of teachers who find the time to write. Best of luck to you, Jemi!

Anita Grace Howard said...

Great interview, Mindy and Jemi!

And I loved your advice about visiting other blogs to encourage people to be vocal on yours. And the way you organize your folders is fab. I shall have to try that. :)

Old Kitty said...

Awwww Just Jemi!! I love your approach to blogging and how you are just having a whale of a time with this particular social network! Yay!!!

Thank you BBC for having lovely Jemi as your guest here!! Take care
x

Rosalind Adam said...

I must admit I too had noticed and admired how many comments you pick up on your blog. It sounds like you're really well organised with your blog commenting though. I really must get to grips with my Google Reader. It's a mess.

Great interview by the way.

http://rosalindadam.blogspot.com

M Pax said...

Great interview, Jemi. Nice meeting you, Mindy.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jemi is a fellow blogging Ninja!!

Jemi Fraser said...

Amie - thanks! I appreciate you poppin over :)

Jemi Fraser said...

Gennifer - Thanks so much! There are a lot of teachers who like to write - probably because we see how much fun the kids can have reading :)

Stephen L. Duncan said...

Excellent post. It's acronyfic! ;)

Nas Dean said...

It was lovely reading about you Jemi, thanks for sharing!

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Great interview, Jemi and Mindy!

Shelley Sly said...

I love this interview! It's so nice to learn more about you, Jemi, and your positive attitude is refreshing and contagious! Thanks for sharing!

Mindy, it's nice to meet you and visit your blog!

jmartinlibrary said...

Jemi is just the best. Simply one of the most genuine people you could get to know in the online writing community. Thanks for the great blog advice!

Jemi Fraser said...

Anita - I can't remember who I borrowed the folder idea from, but it helps enormously. I still miss some people, but not as many as I would another way. I hope anyway :)


Old Kitty - thanks so much! It is fun, isn't it? :) I know I can always count on you!

Jemi Fraser said...

Rosalind - thank you! I try to be organized -- doesn't always work, but I try! :) Once I got used to Reader, it was much easier!


M Pax - thanks! And thank you for dropping over - appreciate it!


Alex - Woohoo!!! You made my whole day - blogging ninja - yay! :)

Jemi Fraser said...

Stephen - thanks! You always make me smile :)


Nas - thanks so much for dropping by!! :)

Sharon - thank you!! :)

Jemi Fraser said...

Shelley - thank you! It's easy to be positive when you get tomeet so many wonderful people blogging - lots of fun! :)


Jenny - awwww - thank you! What a sweet thing to say - you made my whole day! Thanks :)

Talli Roland said...

Great interview, ladies! Jemi's blog rocks and deserves every comment it gets!

Jackee said...

How I love Jemi! And her idea for folders for each day of the week is so good... will have to get more details from her on that one. :o)

Thanks for the interview, Mindi! I'm glad Jemi led me here to your awesome blog.

Cheers!

Jemi Fraser said...

Talli - thanks so much! What a nice thing to say - you're a sweetie! :)

Michelle said...

Great interview spot! Inspiring, informative and interesting. xx

Mindy McGinnis said...

Thanks to everyone for checking in on the Just Jemi BOA! She's an inspiration to everyone - and proof that there is time to work, write and blog.

Thanks for doing it Jemi!

Jemi Fraser said...

Jackee - thanks - you're such a sweetie! Pop me an email about the folders - it's SO helpful!


Michelle - awww - thanks so much! You're a doll! :)


Mindy - thanks again for hosting me! This was a lot of fun!! :)

Theresa Milstein said...

It was nice to learn a little more about Jemi. She's a great blogger.

Jemi Fraser said...

Theresa - thank you! You're such a sweetie :)

TerryLynnJohnson said...

YES! I love Jemi! Great interview. Agreed, publishing is sloooow!
Super to meet you BBC. New follower!

Mindy McGinnis said...

Terry- Thanks for following, I've got many more interviews lined up, so hopefully I can keep you entertained and informed!

Jemi Fraser said...

Terry - awww - you're so sweet!! And you'll love Mindy's blog - it's awesome!

Thanks again BBC! :)