Author Rachel Karrington is a registered nurse and is a native of Newark, New Jersey. She relocated to Atlanta, Georgia in November of 2006 where she currently resides. She is the youngest of nine children, and the mother of two beautiful daughters that give her ceaseless love and support in her endeavors.
Rachel began writing at the age of 12 and was influenced by New York’s renowned television anchorman & documentary filmmaker, John Johnson, and late reporter and producer, Gil Nobel. She’s also been influenced by writers such as; Terry McMillian, the late Richard Wright, Maya Angelou, and James Baldwin.
Rachel’s first novel entitled; “Silence in a World Full of Thunder” was published December 13, 2016 with Archway Publishing.
1) First, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me! When did you know that writing is what you were called to do? What is it about being a writer that you love the most? What about being a writer frustrates you the most?
I didn’t know that I was destined to be an author even though I have always loved to write. I starting writing in junior high school for the school newspaper, but I had an interest in journalism, news reporting. I also realized that writing gave me a creative outlet of expression. When I was sixteen my mother experienced a stroke and my high school creative writing teacher encouraged me to write in a daily journal so I could relieve the inner turmoil I was experiencing. Writing allowed me to cope with her illness and various adjustments to my living situation. I learned to use daily journaling as a mode to relieve stress.
I love writing because it gives me the opportunity to express myself, be creative, use my imagination to the fullest, make my words come to life page by page, give the reader a vivid picture of a scene or emotion that I am conveying. I love being able to create a theme, or tone, and address specific audiences and using my writing as a tool to be therapeutic, informative or entertaining.
The part that frustrates me the most about being a writer is the infamous “writer’s block” that me and other authors encounter.
2) Can you tell us a little about your book(s) and where our readers can find out more about them and you?
My book is called Silence in a World Full of Thunder. I am a self- published author via Archway Publishing. My book debuted on the market on December 13, 2016 and my genre is fiction related to fictional characters and locations used throughout the book but my storyline is based on real disease processes, and real events.
It depicts the story of a 21 year old woman named Kanasia who is a wife, mother of two children under 5 yrs old, and is caregiver to her mother. She tries to keep her family together despite the fatal diagnosis her husband has been given. Along with the challenges of her husband’s illness, she has to face some of life’s most brutal realities, but Kanasia continues to be resilient, courageous, and conquer her fears.
Silence in a World Full of Thunder can be found on Amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, archwaypublishing.com (bookstore tab) and in paperback, hard back and eBook formats.
Readers can also find out more about me and view interviews, photo gallery or speaking events on my website, RKarrington.org, or my YouTube Channel for Rachel Karrington https://www.youtube.com/watch?V=WVtr5lvlTKQ, as well as my other forms of social media listed below:
Facebook- Rachel J Karrington,
3) Where do you draw your inspiration from for the stories that you manage to weave together and the characters that you create?
My inspiration for my storylines and characters derive from real life events that I have encountered first hand. It’s more like and autobiography than fictional genre.
4) Do you have a schedule for when you write? Do you outline your novels? How long does it generally take you to finish a novel? What projects are you currently working on?
I don’t have a particular schedule because I don’t write full time, and my full time occupation is being a registered nurse. If I can I write after work if time and energy permits. I try to write usually at night when everyone is sleeping and on the weekends.
I don’t outline my novels but I do go back to reread and edit as needed. Due to my storylines being based on real events that I have experienced it can take me anywhere from 4-9 months to complete based on focus, energy, on the severity of circumstances encountered.
I am currently working on the sequel to Silence in a World Full of Thunder and I also have plans to take it from book to screen as well.
5) What’s the first book you ever read that really moved you emotionally? Who is your favorite author to read? What book are you currently reading?
The first book I read was, Maya Angelou’s ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.’
My favorite authors are Maya Angelou, Richard Wright, Terri McMillian.
I am currently reading author Justin Michael Williams book ‘Stay Woke.’
6) What has been your most significant achievement as a writer thus far? Where do you see yourself within your career in the next five years?
My most significant achievement as a writer was becoming an inspiration, and a motivational speaker, being able to shed light on topics that were taboo in our society.
In five years I see myself as a screenplay/ theatre writer, producer, and director of films.
7) How have you dealt with rejection within your writing career? What is your advice for other writers to better be able to cope or navigate their way through the publishing process, be it traditional or self-publishing?
The rejection I encountered during my writing career was during the process of hiring a publicist to help promote my book, and writing career. I was rejected because my publication date was a year old, and the publicist worked more with the clients in the music industry. I listened to their feedback for the rationales for not wanting to work with me as an author. So I learned from this experience to hire a publicist that specializes in promoting authors, has a good reputation for being successful when working with authors. Another good tip is to get a referral when trying to find a publicist, and be prepared to ask questions during your consultation to make sure they are a good match for your brand.
During the self-publishing process I recommend that all aspiring authors do their research about publishing companies, publishing packages, and getting the best percentage of their royalties. I also advise new authors to prepare a marketing budget as well as obtaining the publishing package. This will better prepare you for book advertising, and give one the full potential to grow their brand. Be very cautious when sending out your manuscripts as well because not everyone that states, “We’re here for you” has your best interests in mind. There are a lot of scammers/storyline stealers so proceed with caution, copyright your manuscript, and research the publisher.
8) Do you find it hard to juggle the creative side of being a writer against the business side of being a writer, in terms of marketing and promotion and things of that nature? How hard has it been (or easy) for you to build up your author platform?
I did juggle between being an author and the business side related to marketing, building my brand, and increasing my audience in the beginning stages after publishing. Being a “newbie” author is exciting, but one can also make a lot of mistakes due to lack of funds, information or experience. Now the marketing is not hard for me because I rely on experts to assist me to create my website, or promo videos.
9) So many writers say that they hate reading their own work. Do you ever enjoy reading your own work back to yourself after it’s out there for the rest of the world?
I enjoy reading my own work once it’s published because I look at it as a great accomplishment, and display of the diligence I maintained to get my book on the market.
10) Do you believe that there is ever a point in life where it’s too late for an aspiring writer to become successful in this industry? Do you feel a late start would hinder their chances?
I am an optimistic individual and believe in aspirations, and making them come into fruition. One can always pursue their dreams and be successful if they dedicate time to work on their aspirations, maintain a positive mindset, and be determined to make it happen.
I don’t believe there is anything such as a late start in the writing industry or any other industry. If you have the dream, focus, faith, and determination to make it happen it will. My motto is, dream, believe, and create!
11) I feel like writing is a remarkable tool to help people not only express themselves, but also to cope emotionally and mentally. I know for me I write to be and feel more authentic. What unique quality is there about you, about your art, that you feel represents your authenticity? How does writing help you to be more empowered in your purpose?
My writing has empowered me to share my testimony with audiences about my experiences with dealing with HIV/ AIDS from a wife and caregiver prospective. This journey has led me to being a motivational speaker for various HIV/AIDS non-profit groups, women empowerment groups, as well as an advocate for mental health counseling and the promotion of healthy and effective coping mechanisms. I encourage anyone dealing with a disease process to research the disease and get all the information one can so they can be equipped to handle any challenges presented and to seek guidance from professionals.