Saturday, August 20, 2011

Saturday Savvy Sensation: Theresa Milstein

Today's Saturday Savvy Sensation Award goes to substitute teacher and YA writer, Theresa Milstein.  Theresa writes paranormal/fantasy YA. I met Theresa through Deana Barnhart's Blogfest last month. Well, Theresa can certainly tell you about herself and her fabulous blog better than I can, so here she is:



LB: Who are you (what do you write, what are your personal stats)?

I write children’s books, mostly YA contemporary fantasy.  I’ve been writing for about five years.  I have a short story “Daisy” included in the 100 Stories for Queensland anthology.  This October, my short story “My Moment” will be part of the Tiny Dancer anthology.  I’m waiting for the release date of Fang Tales, which will include my vampire short story “Allured”.

LB: Where can we find you online (blog, twitter, facebook, etc.)?

My blog “Substitute Teacher’s Saga” is at http://theresamilstein.blogspot.com
Find me on Facebook: Theresa Brown Milstein
I’m also on Google+: Theresa Milstein

LB: When did you begin your online platform building?

I began blogging in September 2009 because I was about to begin substitute teaching, and I figured the best way to get through it was to vent about each and every painful subbing day.  At some point, I wrote more about writing than subbing, and the majority of my followers were writers.  It took me a long time to understand platform.  I’m slow.

LB: What is your message, if any (is your blog about anything specific, for example)? 

My blog is about writing, teaching, and life in general.  If something happens to me and I think, I should write about this, I turn it into a blog post.  I rarely do interviews of book reviews.  Whether I’m being humorous or dealing with something hard, I try to write from the heart. 

LB: How have you built your followers –

What have you done that has been the most successful?

My follower count was pretty low until Nicola Morgan had a Blog Birthday in January 2010.  We were invited to link our blogs and tell a little about them.  Then we were supposed to comment and follow at least 5 other blogs.  Some of the followers I gained back then, I now count as friends. 

I had my own version of the Blog Birthday with a Halloween Haunting, where I told people to haunt other blogs.  There have been a few opportunities like that around the blogosphere.  Rachael Harrie  http://rachaelharrie.blogspot.com/ periodically has a Writer’s Platform-Building Campaign to get other bloggers together.  I think I gained at least 50 more followers from being a part of her last one. 

LB: What have you done that has failed?

When I first blogged, I didn’t focus on writers’ blogs.  Often, those people didn’t follow me back.  It also took me months before I realized my blog wasn’t linked to my profile, so when I followed other blogs, people couldn’t easily find my blog to follow back.

LB: What else should we know about you?

For me, blogging is more than platform.  My posts let me express my humor, frustrations, anxieties and accomplishments.  I try to maintain a certain amount of privacy, but every once in a while I cross the line.  And when I do, the outpouring of support has been uplifting. 

LB: Any additional advice for our readers?

Use your blog to build relationships.  I’ve found beta readers and friends.  I’ve met some of these friends in person.  I’ve received invaluable advice.  I’ve stumbled upon wonderful opportunities. 

It’s a generous community out there, so give as much as you get.  

Theresa, thanks so much with sharing your wonderful thoughts and advice! Rachael Harrie is having another of her platform building campaigns starting this Monday, August 22.  You only have until August 31st to sign up.  Will I see you there?

33 comments:

Theresa Milstein said...

Thanks for hosting me, Laura. And thank you for my lovely award. I just linked this post on my blog and e-mailed Rachael Harrie about the blog love:

http://theresamilstein.blogspot.com/2011/08/saturday-savvy.html

Carol Kilgore said...

Great post, Theresa. You're so right about blogging being all about making friends and building relationships.

Nice to meet you, Laura.

Michelle Fayard said...

Two of my favorite bloggers collaborating on a guest post? It doesn't get much better than this! Thank you for this opportunity to learn more about Theresa, Laura. And, Theresa, you are a true inspiration.

Michael Offutt said...

Fantastic post and the blogging advice Theresa gives here is pure gold. I too didn't have my blog linked in my profile (which is bad) but corrected it when I discovered the mistake.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Great interview. Theresa, I loved reading more how you started blogging. I'm not sure how I found you, but I'm glad I did. And I've learned to that it's important to follow author blogs, especially aspiring ones, to make friends and build a following.

Laura Barnes said...

Thanks, Theresa. Great thought to tell Rachel. That's why you're so good at connecting with people!

Michael - I didn't have my blog linked until someone wrote an almost embarrassing post on their blog directed to me telling me how to do it! I'm glad I'm not the only one who started off that way :)

Thanks for the comments and the new followers!

J.L. Campbell said...

Laura and Theresa, nice interview. I think I met Theresa through Rachel's Crusade if I'm not mistaken. The interview has told me a little bit more about Theresa.

Old Kitty said...

I love Theresa Milstein and her blog and just know she'll go far with her writing - she's one determined amazing woman! I've learned so much about her through her blog. She does write from the heart with such passion and discipline (an amazing skill in itself!) and it's always a pleasure to read her posts.

I found her through the fabulous Nicola Morgan's birthday blog - so these really fun events are brilliant ways to link up with fellow writerly bloggers.

Yes it is very important to link one's profile to one's blog!

Thanks for hosting her, Laura!
Take care
x

Karen Lange said...

Good interview! Thanks, ladies for sharing it with us!

Tara Tyler said...

super interview! i liked the answers, i'd wondered about some of that too, like how you built your following.

LynNerd said...

Love this interview and what great advice. Thanks for Rachael's link. I'll sign up. Your idea to haunt other blogs in ingenious!

Thanks for interviewing Theresa, Laura. I just signed up to follow you.

Hilary said...

Hi Laura and Theresa .. great read .. and an understanding of blogging as it develops - we all find our feet .. in whatever style of blogging we're doing. As you mention an incredibly interesting enthusiastic group of friends .. cheers - enjoy Sunday - Hilary

Sarah said...

I love hearing about what works and what doesn't--it's very useful stuff! I have had much the same experience as Theresa, in that casual blog-comment conversations have turned into more enduring friendships. It's one of the things I love most about blogging. Great interview!

Jess said...

Great interview and wonderful advice/reflections on blogging! Thanks ladies :)

Liz Fichera said...

Lovely interview. And nice to meet you, Laura!

Rachel Morgan said...

Great advice, Theresa. It's about relationships and not "follower numbers" :-)

Laura Barnes said...

Wow, I am even more impressed by Theresa now that I see the amazing support she has from her followers! Thank you all for coming over here. I'm so glad to meet you!

Missed Periods said...

I always love reading your interviews. Thank you.

Lynda R Young said...

Great interview and thanks for letting us know about another platform building campaign. They have been so great in the past.

Alleged Author said...

Great interview! It took me quite a while to catch on about platform building as well. :)

L'Aussie said...

Thanks Laura. Thanks Theresa. Great interview. Your blog has certainly grown over time Theresa and it's always a delight to visit.

Denise

slamdunk said...

Fun interview Laura and Theresa.

I like your building relationships advice. I started blogging for selfish readings and was surpised at the connections that can be made.

Michelle said...

Great interview! Love hearing how Theresa got started and how her blog has organically evolved.

Laura Barnes said...

Michelle, I saw you at WOC. Great to see you here!

LR said...

Great interview. I like the honesty in Theresa's posts. And somehow she does it without sounding "whiny." :)

Jules said...

Great interview and yes, by all means, give and you will receive! :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Katie Gates said...

Great interview. I agree that it is a generous community. (Funny, I'm one of Jules' followers, and this morning, I appear to actually be following her! Spooky!)

Stephsco said...

Great post! Sometimes I wonder what my platform actually is conisdering everything I've written is still in progress. I don't really have a product... but I've learned so much from other writer's blogs so I pretty must just post book reviews for now :)

You're right about the writer's community being a generous one.

LTM said...

yay! Great interview. And it's true. Blogging is a great way to build relationships in the writing world--especially since it's such a solitary one.

Good stuff; yay, Theresa! :o)

Jemi Fraser said...

Great interview ladies! I so agree with your comment that the online writing community is generous and kind and all around wonderful!

Medeia Sharif said...

Great interview, ladies.

I love the blogging community and have built great relationships through it. And I've met many fellow bloggers in person, which is wonderful.

cleemckenzie said...

Followed you from Theresa's blog. Enjoyed my visit here and glad that Theresa shared so much helpful information.

Theresa Milstein said...

Thanks to all of you who commented on my interview here! And thanks again for hosting me, Laura.

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