Who are you (what do you write, what are your personal stats)?
I'm a mom of three kids, a part-time primary care internist, and my passion is writing. I eat way too much salt, have a love of young adult fiction, and am geektastic at heart. I'm represented by Eric Myers of the Spieler Agency and my YA sci-fi novel, The Fountain, is coming out in 2013 (Dial/Penguin).
Where can we find you online (blog, twitter, facebook, etc.)?
My blog is called The Word Is My Oyster. On Mondays I answer fictional medical questions and track down bizarre illnesses to fan the flames of inspiration for other writers. Wednesdays are usually random writing-related stuff. Fridays I host authors. I have been known to blog about zombie ants and stinky medical conditions.
When did you begin your online platform building?
In March of 2010. My second blog post ever declared how I was going to quit blogging. Luckily, I ignored that sentiment and just kept going.
What is your message, if any (is your blog about anything specific, for example)?
Don't eat as much salt as I do. Pretzels are not a food group, unless you want to wake up with sausage fingers and puffy eyes on a daily basis. I'll leave it at that.
How have you built your followers? What have you done that has been the most successful?
I used to seek out new blogs and new civilizations, boldly going where no one--oh crap, that's the wrong line.
Take two. I used to seek out new blogs, and most of the time, people would follow back. Those who liked my content kept coming back. I participate in a few blogfests every once in a while, because I can find new blogs (and bloggers can find me) and it doesn't feel like I'm smarmily stalking strangers.
The bottom line to my success, I believe, has ultimately been content and being myself. I think that Medical Mondays, which I was very embarrassed by at first, ended up being a big draw. It's really unique. I've embraced it completely. And I am truly myself on the blog. A little kooky, at times serious, but generally there to hang out with people I like and talk about what I'm passionate about--writing. :)
What have you done that has failed?
I have been unable to make cold fusion work. I also can't bring Elvis back from the dead. Oh I'm sorry--were we still talking about blogs?
I don't proactively check blog posts as often as I should. I simply can't--I have over 1000 followers at this point, and my first priority is always visiting the blogs of my commenters. Until I can figure out how to alter the space-time continuum, that will be my biggest failure.
How much time do you spend blogging? Reading blogs? Commenting on blogs?
I probably spend three hours each Sunday writing a week's worth of posts. I spend anywhere from 1-4 hours on M,W, and F checking blogs and visiting commenter's blogs. I feel horrible if I don't visit my commenter's blogs within 2 days.
What else should we know about you?
I can cuss in sign language. I'll never show you though, it's too dirty.
Any additional advice for our readers?
Learning how to write fiction has included a series of mini-nirvanas for me. Show vs tell. Make every sentence count. Tension. Character arcs. Writing crappy stuff and having people tell you it's crappy is part of the process. The trick is to find people who will tell you it's crappy in a nice way.
What makes you unique?
My eleventh toe. Just kidding. People always praise me for doing so much--working, writing, momming (yes, I just made up that verb), making up verbs. But I'm far from perfect and I'm always late. Always.
Okay, but seriously? Here's a secret to my inner neuroses. I always had this fear that I was smart but not smart enough. So I worked my a** off in school to get where I am. I think that when I tackle some new project, I put in 120% effort for fear that 100% of me is never good enough. That recipe has always worked for me so far. But at the end of the day, I'm always worried that I'm not good enough.
Okay, should I charge you for this session, or what?
Thanks Laura for having me!
Um, wait, were we playing the psychiatrist in the end there, cuz then I should be charging you! So glad to have you Lydia. Congrats on everything you have accomplished and have yet to accomplish. You're savvy, sensational, and something else.