Monday, February 28, 2011

Q&A with MJ Fredrick


Please help me welcome romance author MJ Fredrick to the blog.

Q--Thanks for being here today. Would you please share a short bio about yourself?

A--Thanks for having me! I’m a 4th grade teacher in Texas, I’ve been married 2 dozen years and have a son in college, but amazingly I’m only 30 years old ;) I’ve been writing seriously for 11 years, was a four-time Golden Heart finalist, and in 2007 sold 2 books within a month, and both came out within two weeks of each other! Since then I’ve sold 2 more books and a novella to Samhain, another book and six novellas to The Wild Rose Press, 2 novels to Lyrical Press and 2 books and a novella to Carina Press! I won the Epic Award for Hot Shot in 2009 and Breaking Daylight is a finalist this year.


Q--Do you consider yourself a shy and/or introverted person?

A--Yes! I hate being the center of attention!


Q--In what ways has being shy or introverted hindered your writing career?

A--It is so hard for me to talk about my books, to put myself out there. Booksignings are murder. I cannot think off the top of my head, which is why I’m a writer—I can let things simmer!


Q--In what ways has being shy or introverted helped your writing career?

A--I’ve found that I REALLY like the Internet. I can think before I submit something, I can retreat if I need to. Also, I’ve made good friends online who help me out. Turns out they’re pretty introverted, too!


Q--What’s the hardest part of this business for you?

A--Promotion! Especially approaching people I don’t know well. I had an opportunity to approach Sue Grimshaw, who runs the Borders blog, and I just couldn’t do it. I’d rather lose the opportunity than step out of my safety zone.


Q--Tell me about a time that you had to step outside your comfort zone either in your writing career or in your personal life?

A--Okay, I’m a teacher, right? So I should be used to talking in front of people. I was invited to speak at a group at Barnes and Noble about perseverance, something I really know about. I stuttered and stumbled and made the biggest fool of myself. BUT when I went back to ask the customer service manager to carry my books, she remembered me from that speech and agreed. (Also, asking people to carry my books is outside my comfort zone! And with small presses, you have to do it every single time.)


Q--What’s one tip you could share with shy and introverted people that’s helped you?

A--What I’ve had to do is to recall what I’ve accomplished, and take some confidence in that. Every one of us is unique and has survived something we wish we’d never had to go through, and we’ve come out on the other side stronger. Draw on that event, the difficulty of it and what you learned from it, and boost yourself from within.


Q--Where can my readers find you on the web?

A--My home page is www.mjfredrick.com. My blog (where I’m having a fun contest featuring heroic traits this month) is www.mjfredrick.wordpress.com. I’m also on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MJFredrick and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/mjfredrickfanpage. (I know what you’re thinking! Some introvert! LOL!)



8 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for being here today, MJ!

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  2. Thanks for having me, Rebecca! I love your blog!

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  3. Fun interview! How funny, I thought since you're a teacher, you'd have public speaking in the bag. Who knew? :)

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  4. LOL, you'd think, right, Jennifer? I KNOW I know more than the kids, but I don't think I know more than adults. That's not something I want to repeat!

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  5. So how do you keep your students from finding out and do the parents ask you about your writing?

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  6. Funny you should ask. I took a pen name so my kids wouldn't know. My principal found out and told everyone, even arranged for me to be interviewed on TV! So my kids know but aren't too interested. Some of the parents know but don't care. I do get nervous every now and then when a teacher is called out for having a personal life, though.

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  7. I'm glad you wrote about this; it's a great point. I'm not truly an introvert, just somebody who needs privacy. I went so far as to borrow from another writer (I would give her credit if I could remember who it was!) and put a sign on my office door: "If the house isn't on fire and you're not bleeding, don't come in." Humor aside, I'm so glad you actually found your introverted nature a boon to your writing and surmounted the difficulties that so often accompany being a private person. You're an inspiration.

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  8. Miriam, I think you hit the nail on the head for me--I need privacy! My favorite part of the day is being in my car, ALONE. When you teach, you have people with you All. The. Time. So privacy is essential!

    An inspiration--I like that :)

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