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? I have always wanted to write since I was fifteen in high school. When I wrote my first short story in Mrs. Cooper’s class, she was the teacher who saw my gift for writing and pushed me to write for various state and national writing contest.
What is it about being a writer that you love the most? I love to tell stories and allow my imagination to run wild. It’s an escape that one gets can lost and has a lot of fun.
What about being a writer frustrates you the most? When you encounter an editor who does not get your story, one who does not edit in the genre your writing but tries to anyway, and editor who is only in it to make money who is not passionate about storytelling. Also, when my characters stop talking to me and I am still trying to write the story can be frustrating.
Can you tell us a little about your book(s) and where our readers can find out more about them and you? Autographed copies of my books are available on my website at www.letrisecarter.com and they can be purchased from Amazon by visiting my Amazon author page at https://tinyurl.com/bdd2sdw9
Where do you draw your inspiration from for the stories that you manage to weave together and the characters that you create? Some of my stories come from dreams, some come from life activities that I have observed, witnessed, and what if’s scenarios of events that I like to get a message across for all ages?
Do you have a schedule for when you write? Not really, I just write when stories come to me. I tried doing a writing schedule at certain times and I am always interrupted with family or friends needing me for help or assistance, so I stopped planning it and just write every morning for 30 minutes and I have dedicated every Saturday to my writing time. I unplugged from Social media and turn all notifications off. That has worked better for me these six months.
Do you outline your novels? I do an outline and storyboard for each scene.
How long does it take you to finish a novel? It depends on my characters usually 3 months or longest 6 months if I am writing a series. Since I work full time as an Associate Director of Accounting and run my own media company, Sistah’s Place trying to turn books around quickly like others is impossible for me right now.
What projects are you currently working on? Finishing up the third installment of the Lucy Mason Series- Lucy’s Heart. I am working on for release in 2022 the follow up to Deceitful Secrets 2-Truth & Lies. I have a few outlines in other genres, with synopsis drafted for A Sister’s Betrayal, and my first non-fiction story that I just created on my storyboard with a target date for 2023.
What’s the first book you ever read that really moved you emotionally? First book that moved me emotionally… wow hard to recall after chemotherapy, but one that hit me was Purpose Awakening Toure’ Roberts.
Who is your favorite author to read? Wow, only one? I have many favorites, starting with Tesa Erven, Selena Haskins, Oprah Winfrey, Kimberla Lawson Rob, M Shelly Conner, Toni Morrison, and Terry McMillian.
What book are you currently reading? I am reading Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
What has been your most significant achievement as a writer? One of my most significant achievements as a writer is learning how to take constructive criticism of my work that has allowed me to grow as a writer. Interviewing the great granddaughter of Madam CJ Walker A’Leila Bundles, interviewing Kimberla Lawson Roby on my podcast and magazine, winning the 2017 Black Excellence award for Sistah’s Place presented by Black Pearl Magazine, and writing an article for Influential People Magazine, Caution Magazine, and BSM magazine. These are some of my greatest accomplishments as a writer.
Where do you see yourself within your career in the next five years? I have many goals for writing over the next five years. I do see myself teaching writing on a college level and retiring early from Corporate America in next 3 years to write full time in many genres that I desire. Writing books in multiple genres like Children’s, Young Adult, Non-Fiction, and Mystery to my bookshelf, along with more romance thrillers.
How have you dealt with rejection within your writing career? When I wrote my first book, Deceitful Secrets, I threw my book in a corner for two years before picking in back up after getting a mentor.
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? My advice for writers is to get themselves a mentor who will give true guidance, direction, criticism to help them grow, not tear them down. Believe in their writing even when no one else does, hone their gifts by taking writing classes to improve their skills. There are many free and not so expensive courses offered in Udemy and other writing places.
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? Yes, it’s hard to juggle, and you have to find balance. For me, it’s a constant learning process and continue to learn how to market yourself to your readers so you understand the process before you hire someone to do your marketing and promotions for you.
How hard has it been (or easy) for you to build up your author platform? For me at first was easy but you have to maintain it and continue to grow your author platform. You have to learn where your readers are at in order to grow.
What unique quality is there about you, about your art, that you feel represents your authenticity? I am genuine. This one is a hard one that makes you really think. There are so many unique qualities that I have, like I am a superwoman who helps everyone.
How does writing help you to be more empowered in your purpose? Writing allows me to step outside of my shell, be vulnerable to my readers by sharing my imagination using some events from my own life experiences so that I can be impactful and make others smile, cry, laugh, and even have that light bulb moment to change their lives.
How can readers find you and your books? Readers can visit my website www.letrisecarter.com and my social media handles are below:
FB- Author Letrise Carter
LinkedIn- @author Letrise Carter (showcase page)
LinkedIn- Letrise Carter