I want to introduce you to Stacy Juba, blogger, author, Reiki enthusiast. She was a journalist and has written books in a few different genres. Stacy blogs over at One Stop Reading and after you say hi to her here you should click over and check her out. You might even find an interview with me over there 🙂
1. Did you start your blog as a way to promote your books? How has it evolved?
I started my website first and added the blog about six months later. Since websites are static, I felt that I needed to add a blog so that I could keep getting my name out there and to have my site be more search engine-friendly. I made sure that the blog and the website were integrated, so that one would draw traffic to the other.
I discovered that having a blog was like being the editor of my own magazine. I enjoyed putting out quality content and receiving comments from readers. It wasn’t just about promoting my books even though that’s how it started; it was also about expressing myself, and connecting with other writers and book lovers.
2. You wrote your first book at 18 (wow!), what’s the best writing advice you’ve ever given or received?
I actually wrote it at 16, during high school study halls, and it was published by Avon when I was 18 after I entered it in a contest for teen writers. This was my young adult family hockey novel Face-Off, back in the early 1990s. I recently brought it back into print and put out an e-book edition. The best advice I’ve received is to be determined and to treat writing like a business. There is a lot of rejection on the writing path, and then once you do have your books published, it is a lot of hard work to build readership. If you want it to be more than a hobby, you have to invest a great deal of time and believe in yourself, as well as learn a lot about writing, editing, marketing, social networking, the publishing industry, and even about website design and e-book formatting.
3. You’ve written in so many genres, but which genre do you read the most?
I used to read mystery novels the most, but recently I’ve been reading a lot of sweet romances and romantic comedies on my Kindle.
I’m also writing a romantic comedy. I still love mysteries, but lately I’ve just felt like reading some lighter and more upbeat books.
4. Who or what inspires you?
As a writer, I’m inspired by the world around me and by following my interests. A subplot in my novel Twenty-Five Years Ago Today was inspired by my interest in Greek mythology, and my book-in-progress was inspired by a family trip to a theme park. Reading great books also inspires me. Reading a book fuels my desire to express myself through my own stories.
5. I love quotes, do you have a favorite?
I have Eleanor Roosevelt’s quote, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent,” on my Facebook page. I think it’s a good quote for writers, as you need to have a tough skin when your story is rejected or if you receive a negative review. I’ve always been very sensitive to criticism and I need to remind myself not to take it personally.
6. Blogging takes a lot of time. How much time do you spend writing posts and reading other blogs?
I used to spend a couple hours per week writing and editing posts, but now it’s just a few hours per month. I’ve found that less is more when it comes to blogging. If I blog too much, then it takes away from my time to work on my novels. I publish guest posts on my blog, but just a couple per month as those take time to set up. I don’t read any blogs on a regular basis, just due to time constraints, but I do follow links for blog posts on Twitter, Facebook, and Triberr if a title catches my interest. It is amazing how many talented bloggers are out there, providing informative and entertaining posts.
7. You are trained in Reiki, tell us about it.
Reiki is a form of hands-on energy healing. I’m very interested in holistic practices such as Reiki, acupuncture, hypnosis, massage, Tai Chi, etc. and I took a few classes to become trained in the different levels of Reiki. I don’t practice it professionally, but I use it on myself and on family members from time-to-time, and I’ve incorporated aspects of it into my books.
8. What’s your favorite read of the year so far?
I guess I would say the Hunger Games books. When I started the first one, it took me several chapters to get into it, but once I did, I found the characters compelling and the storyline fresh. I still have one more book left to read in the series, and I know I’ll devour it in a couple days.