Thursday, April 2, 2020

Interview with writer Jemi Fraser about her memoir Dancing with Dementia

My special guest today is writer Jemi Fraser. She’s chatting with me about her memoir, Dancing with Dementia.

During her virtual book tour with MC Book Tours, Jemi will be awarding a $20 Amazon gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too!

Jemi Fraser writes both fiction and nonfiction. Her nonfiction work focuses on the ways that dementia has impacted her family. Her fiction work varies from contemporary romance to suspense and flash fiction. Years as a teacher have taught Jemi that life is short and that happy endings are a must.

Jemi lives in Northern Ontario, Canada where snow is always a topic of conversation and the autumn leaves make everything better.

Welcome, Jemi. Please tell us about your current release.
As first-generation Canadians, we didn’t recognize the early warning signs. We didn’t know the differences between regular aging and the early stages of dementia. We’ve made mistakes but we’ve learned a lot.

Dancing with Dementia will help you:
•Identify those early warning signs
•Use visuals to improve communication
•Choose your words wisely
•Redirect and reassure
•Stay calm and cope with your own emotions
•Consider nursing home options
•Improve caregiver self-care

We’ve learned to dance the early steps of the disease with our love and laughter intact. If you are looking for help recognizing early signposts along with practical ways to cope with early Dementia and Alzheimer’s, this book is for you.

What inspired you to write this book?
Dancing With Dementia was a tough book to write. Dementia slammed into our family a few years back without any warning. Well, looking back there were warning signs, but we didn’t recognize them. This was the inspiration for the book. We know we’re not the only people to be taken by surprise by dementia. We hope telling the story of our first steps through the early stages of dementia will help others. We know that Mom would appreciate that her story could make other lives easier.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m currently working on a contemporary romance series set in the fictional town of Bloo Moose, Vermont. The first book, Reaching For Normal, involves a freelance journalist and a former SEAL - both with all kinds of troubles in their pasts. When a wolf is butchered and left as a bizarre warning, they must work together to solve the mystery before the killer escalates to people. Lots of shenanigans ensue!

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
It took me a while. I started writing when my kids were both napping at the same time (miracle!). It took me many, many years before I thought about writing for publication. Then I had to learn how to write for people other than myself. I think the first time I thought, “I’m a writer!” was when my short story Until Release was accepted into the Dancing Lemur Press anthology: Tick Tock: A Stitch In Crime.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
It has to be my Tigger Brain! My brain likes to bounce around … a lot. It’s not uncommon for me to have 3 different Scrivener files open, each for a different writing project. The Tigger Brain helps me switch easily between projects, but it can sometimes make it difficult to focus on one task for any length of time.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
So many things! My earliest ambitions were many and varied. Horse rancher, veterinarian, professional tennis player, Broadway director, special effects technician, cartoonist, astronaut, photographer, chef, natural biologist (studying dolphins and/or wolves in the wild), scientific researcher, baker, and so many more. Strangely, teacher and writer didn’t top the lists early on!

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Dementia is a tough disease, and the book can be an emotional read. Facing the early steps of the dance with dementia is daunting. We’ve listed some tips and ideas that have helped us keep our mom safe and content. Everyone is different and the disease appears to affect everyone differently, but we hope the tips we’ve learned might help others who are just starting the dance.

Buy links:


Thank you for being here today, Jemi.

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Mason Canyon said...

Lisa, thanks so much for being a part of Jemi's tour and sharing her book and background with your readers. It's a very inspiring book.

Jemi Fraser said...

Thanks so much for hosting Dancing With Dementia, Lisa! I appreciate your support!

hamjenny said...

Thanks for introducing this good to know about the author and the books