01 02 03 Erynn's Blog: An Interview with BJ Hamrick 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

An Interview with BJ Hamrick

Hi guys!

I am SO glad to see everyone's comments on the Future Husband series! We'll have to continue with more of that soon - it's a fun topic, huh? :)

This week (and probably next week too!), I want to talk about writing. It is hands-down the most popular question I get asked. How do you become a writer? I love to write - should I be a writer? How do I get published?

Hopefully we'll get to all those questions. And, at the end of this series, I'm going to have a Q&A - so post your questions and I'll do my best to answer them!

One of the questions I get has to do with writing non-fiction. Since I don't have too much practice with this, I asked my friend BJ Hamrick to answer a few questions for me. She's a non-fiction writer and also a fabulous interviewer (and interviewee!...if that's a word). She's a regular writer for Real Teen Faith. And I'm going to let her tell the rest!

Erynn: Why did you decide to write non-fiction?

BJ: Because I love talking about myself, and my friends got tired of listening.

Actually, while that may be partly true -- I was not really given an option about the whole non-fiction gig. In 12th grade when I whined to my English teacher that there weren't any FUN non-fiction books out there, she had a surprising answer.

"Fine," she said. "You write one."

I gave her a bunch of lame excuses about how my friends would never talk to me again, how it wasn't cool, and how I had my whole life ahead of me... why ruin my reputation now? Then she said something that changed everything.

She looked me squarely in the eyes. "If you don't write this book," she said, "no one will."


So I wrote my first non-fiction book completely clandestine. By the light of my laptop into the wee hours of the morning... (I always wanted to use the word "wee" in a sentence appropriately.)

Erynn: How do you usually get ideas?

BJ: I don't know where the saying originated but someone recently told me, "If you want to write humor, you should do stupid stuff."

Oh, lucky me. That's exactly where I get my ideas. They just seem to happen. (Like here. And here.)

Erynn: Do you ever have problems finishing a book or an idea? How do you overcome that?

BJ: The first part of my newspaper column usually takes about 30 minutes to write. The last paragraph sometimes takes two or three hours. It's ridiculous. I usually just push through until I get it right. With a little solitaire in between.

Books are a little easier. I usually have a beginning and end in mind already. It's the center part that starts to look like an old lady if I'm not careful... a little too fat around the middle.

Erynn: Are there any books on writing that have helped you?


On Writing, by Stephen King
The Art of Column Writing, by Suzette Martinez
Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott

Erynn: What's your favorite part of writing? Your least favorite part of writing?

BJ: I am one of those "love to have written" people. This is because I cannot stand to spend two solitary seconds by myself. So favorite: having written. Least favorite: writing.

Erynn: How do you take your coffee? :)

BJ: Don't hate me, but I take it down the drain. And I'm not speaking metaphorically. (I'm sure we can still be friends anyway... maybe? Please? You seem like a reasonable person...)


Not too sure about that last one... Just kidding. I guess we can still be friends. Acquaintances at least. :)

Tomorrow we're going to cover the first steps to becoming a writer - how do you get your foot in the door? Be sure to post your questions for the Q&A!

Love you all! Hope your week is going well!

Erynn :)

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