B.J. Gaskill, Author and Personal Assistant - Behind the Scenes
Surprise was definitely the reaction to a recent discovery about B.J. Gaskill. Knowing the lady for several years, my connection with her was as an avid reader, a reviewer and a major fan of quite a few authors. It appears that like a lot of us, she has taken a new life track, that of a virtual author assistant, or Personal Assistant as she refers to her new adventure. Curiosity made me reach out to B.J. to discover why she decided to take this new role. So, here is our conversation.
You are someone who hangs out on social media a lot, but when did you decide to turn it into a business as a virtual author assistant?
I guess it came from people asking me here and there. I just finally said “Ok, I’ll go for it”. Thus, I put my foot into the water and have been wading through since. I’m not saying I’m the brightest crayon in the bunch, but I’ve worked my way into the crowd instead of just jumping into the box. I stayed in the background enough to know what’s good and what blows.
What skills do you have that makes you valuable to authors?
I think my overall personality….it’s unlike the rest. I’m out there. I may sit on my rear, but gosh darn it, I’m promoting the heck out of whom I need to in a fun un-boring way.
Is there a reason authors need virtual assistants?
Authors can’t do everything, and I will totally speak for a lot of readers when I say we’d rather have them writing!!!! So, if they can have someone doing their newsletter or promoting them, more power to them. Also, if author does a party I would totally prefer that author have someone else do the posts and have that author chatting with the people there during the party. Simple things that could mean the world to a fan.
Sometimes their assistants are the ones they can call when their characters are being total booger butts and they need someone to work it out without throwing their computers.
Do you currently, or have future plans to work for more than one author?
Oh HECK YEAH!!! Why limit myself when there are so many more authors I can corrupt!!!
If you were to have a large client base like an agent, do you think things could get confusing?
I think with a large client base I would feel like someone is being let down due to my over extending myself. Not following through on promises isn’t in my makeup! I would have to draw the line somewhere. I think maybe 5-7 as my cut off works, depending on the need of each author. If their needs are simple, then another one or two authors are possible.
What is the number of author clients that you could comfortably support?
LOL…I’m such a dork I already answered this….5-7 depending.
Some Virtual Assistants specialize in a few particular areas, while some are more diverse and chose to do everything asked of them. Which category best describes the way you work?
I’m …the one you can call to scream at when your characters are being butts. I can get your newsletter up for you, promote your book, get an event set up and invite people to come. I don’t really know where that puts me in the scene of PAs …I like to classify myself as just BJ.
If someone reading this thinks, “I can become a virtual author assistant,” what advice do you have for them?
OMG….Sure go for it, but first sit back and watch what goes on behind the scenes before you jump in. Can you be out going, are you able to be on call when need be, can you meet deadlines (this one is major), do you know enough people, ARE YOU ORGANIZED???? That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Then you have to ask yourself can you take away the time from your family and everyday life to do this. This isn’t a simple “Oh sorry I didn’t get this done, I was sick, my kid was sick, etc., etc.” this is your job, you need to get it done. They are counting on you.
How can interested readers connect with you to inquire about your services?
I actually am in the process of getting my Facebook page up and going. It looks rather bleak as I was deciding with the new Facebook terms if I was going to use Facebook or not. It is located at https://www.facebook.com/bjpassistant or you may feel free to email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Columnist Lizzie T. Leaf: Award winning author, Lizzie T. Leaf started life in Kansas, continued her growing in North Carolina, and currently shivers through the winters in Colorado.
Since discovering the fun of writing paranormal, she plays with creating vampires, faeries and other immortals. When she needs a touch of reality, her Contemporary Erotic Romances come into play. Her most recent release is Nordic Heat, available at http://amzn.to/1owng5k
If she’s not creating mischief for paranormal beings, or getting under the covers with her erotic heroes, she can be found exploring the other genres she wants to write. She also served as the 2012 President for the Heart of Denver Romance Writers and is the 2014 VP of Programs.
Lizzie loves to read, spend time with her family and travel with her best friend husband during her free time.