Today, I’d like to welcome Camille Frazer. Welcome to The PBS Blog! Let’s get started.
What is your name and where are you from?
My name is Camille Frazer. I was born in Jamaica.
Jamaica in the house. Are you employed outside of writing?
Yes. I am a Child Advocate Attorney. I advocate for the best interest of children who have been removed from their parents due to abuse, abandonment or neglect. I support a team of attorneys in Florida.
I love that. What was your childhood dream?
To be an attorney.
Dream fulfilled. What job do you think you’d be really good at?
I think I would be good at Logistics Management. I feel I do quite a bit of it already in my job as I cover a vast region (Central and South) in Florida.
What skill would you like to master?
I would love to master marketing. It is important to reaching people, establishing relationships and building a base for your audience.
Agreed. What skill do you think you’ve mastered?
Delivering a closing argument in court. I love pulling out the facts that support my position and crafting a strong and moving argument.
Awesome. What’s your favorite food?
Ackee and Saltfish. It is the national dish of Jamaica.
What kind of music do you like?
Every kind except metal.
Lol. Who is your favorite writer?
Speaking of writing, let’s get into that. When did you publish your first book? What was that like?
I published my first book in December 2017. It was an exciting process as it was a dream of mine for so long. The book was self-published in collaboration with Createspace. I was attracted to the support and efficiency of the process and the sort of a la carte approach. Meaning, the ability to choose the services I wanted, such as copy editing and marketing and foregoing services related to creation of a book cover. The team kept in regular contact via messages on my dashboard and by phone, if necessary. It was such a wonderful feeling receiving the finished work in my hand.
What would your perfect writing/ reading room look like?
My perfect writing/reading room would be a room with bay windows overlooking water, with built in bookshelves, a daybed for reading and a writing desk.
What’s the most difficult thing about being a writer? The most exciting thing?
The most difficult thing I have found is the discipline to write every day, no matter the distractions. I got distracted in 2018, so my goal is to write every day in 2019. So far, I am on track. I carve out time to write, so it is built into my day.
The most exciting is crafting a story or poem from an idea, and creating new pieces of it that you can share and hopefully someone finds it beautiful or helpful.
Why is writing important to you?
Its important because I love it and I see it as an ability to help others lose themselves in a story or poem. It’s also a way to express my thoughts and emotions.
You seem to have a passion for being an attorney and writing so I have to ask. If you had to pick one to do the rest of your life, which would it be?
If I had to chose, I would chose writing. I have practiced law for many years and have focused more on it than my writing. I welcome the opportunity to focus on my writing and the experience the joy that it brings.
Good to hear. You are so talented. What would be the most amazing adventure to go on?
It would be traveling abroad for at least a year, volunteering, mingling with the locals and collecting stories and inspiration for a novel and other collections of poems.
I am so feeling that. I love to travel. What small things makes your life easier?
Audible makes my reading goals easier. My goal in 2018 was to read 24 books for the year. My 2019 goal is 36. I travel quite a bit, so Audible helps me meet my goals.
What makes it difficult? Traffic.
What TV channel doesn’t exist but really should?
I think there are so many channels already, but if there isn’t already one, there should be a channel that prepares children to live successfully after they leave home. It should cover budgeting, balancing a check book, provide information on credit card spending and debt, savings, insurance, and creating healthy relationships.
That is so needed. What TV channel exists but really shouldn’t?
Channels with infomercials. They can get you into trouble if you are not careful.
In your own words, what is humility?
Humility is a letting go of one’s ego and demonstrating a sincere interest in another person.
In your own words, what is love?
Love is an appreciation of self, letting go of ego, aiming to be your best self so that you can be the best for another person and also, sometimes putting the needs of another before your own.
What is the most thought provoking book you’ve ever read?
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson who founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a law firm dedicated to defending the poor and condemned, and individuals on death row. Its a call for us to consider mercy for these individuals as chronicled in the stories, they faced mental and familial challenges that contributed to their involvement in the criminal justice system.
What do you think of police brutality in the black community?
There is no denying the police have a difficult job, and there are good policemen and women who serve their communities honorably. However, given the statistics it should be hard to deny the disparity in treatment. For example, “black Americans are more than twice likely to be unarmed when killed during police encounters than whites” (2015 Guardian report), and “black people accounted for 31% of police killing victims in 2012 even though they made up just 13% of the population,” (Vox report by German Lopez).
I am concerned about the examples of brutality that have been documented and have led to the death or serious injury of civilians, particularly in the black community.
It’s unfortunate that good officers are blighted by the bad actors who tarnish their reputation. However, we can’t ignore the brutality suffered by black Americans.
I think better training and screening of officers would help to address the problem.
Outside of writing, what are some of your passions?
I love to play tennis. I enjoy exercising outside and tennis is a great sport for running around and burning calories while having fun.
If you could, would you visit the past?
Yes. I would love to have lived in Egypt during the time of their inventions such as the papyrus writing paper, their contributions to medicine, and the building of the pyramids.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Be more consistent with your writing and network more.
Life is not always pretty. We all experience hardship every now and again. What is your best advice for reducing stress?
Deep breathing and meditation. They help clear and relax the mind.
Thank you Camille for spending this time with us. We enjoyed you!
Camille Frazer currently serves as Regional Legal Counsel for the State of Florida Guardian ad Litem Program. Ms. Frazer has been with the Guardian ad Litem Program for twelve years. Prior to her current position, Ms. Frazer was the Supervising Attorney in the 19th Judicial Circuit.
In 2005, she began her tenure with the Guardian ad Litem Program as a Best Interest Attorney in the 11th Judicial Circuit. While there, she also represented the Guardian ad Litem Program in the capacity of Litigation Attorney. After a one year hiatus practicing in the field of Insurance Defense, Ms. Frazer re-joined the Guardian ad Litem Program in October 2009, continuing her advocacy for the best interest of children.
Ms. Frazer earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the University of the West Indies, Jamaica. She obtained her law degree from New England Law, where she served as a Senior Editor for the New England Journal of International and Comparative Law.
Ms. Frazer serves as a mentor with the Florida Take Stock in Children Program, which prepares high school students for college and provides scholarships to assist with their educational needs. She is also a member of the Family Support Committee with Habitat for Humanity.
The Unveiling is her first collection of poems. The poems cover the many nuances of a relationship between people, between an individual and a community. Ms. Frazer believes that every moment has meaning, and each should be utilized to achieve its full potential.