We want to introduce you to a very intriguing writer that has the wit that can keep today’s readers glued to a page. This interview will introduce you to Robin Carroll an inspiring writer with skills that have been mature since a young age. Take a moment to allow her to give you some insight on the person behind the pages.
When did it dawn upon you that you wanted to be a writer?
The writing journey started for me when I was eight, and my 3rd grade teacher gave me a copy of the book Little Women. After I read it, I remember thinking how much it touched me, and that I wanted to bring that same contentment to other little girls. At the time, I didn’t know how to write a book or where to even begin so I abandoned the idea.
I think the real definitive moment for me came when I was eleven, and my English teacher gave the class an assignment to either write about a person we admired or to make up our own story. I wanted to write about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but ten other kids did too, so I decided to go the creative route. I went home that day and started writing whatever sprang to mind. That brainstorm session produced my first short story called A Family Tragedy. After I handed it in, my teacher asked me to return to her class later in the day. When I arrived, I saw my paper on her desk with red ink marks across the entire front of it. I immediately thought that she hated it, but luckily, I was wrong. She expressed how talented I was and informed me that I got an A. She asked if I was interested in having the story entered in a contest for middle school students across the state of Pennsylvania, and when I said yes, she instructed me to make a few corrections. I did, and a few weeks later, it was announced on the school’s intercom that I won. I knew then beyond a shadow of a doubt that I wanted to be a writer.
Wow, I find that to be most inspiring it must have at the time felt like a great achievement.
Do you have a daily habit of writing?
I do try to write every day because I’m working on my next book, Dream Killer. I know that once people finish reading Two Faced, they’re going to ask about the release date for the sequel, which is why I’m anxious to get it completed. However, despite that urgency, or perhaps because of it, I have days when I can’t seem to focus on the book. During those times, I work on other things like my blog or poetry to keep my artistic juices flowing. It’s important for me to not allow writer’s block to stifle my creativity, and that’s one way I overcome it.
Yes, I also have those days when a change of activity keeps the creative juices flowing.
Over the years, what would you say has improved significantly in your writing?
The ability to find my own voice has improved my writing significantly over the years. People in the publishing industry strongly suggest that you follow a certain formula to be successful with book sales. Every writer’s conference that I’ve attended has been filled with agents and publishers warning the participants about the dos and don’ts of publication. But I’ve learned that I don’t want to follow the exact path that’s been laid out for me in the industry. I want to carve out my own space, and I can only do that if I stay true to myself and my talent. And there are other writers out there who can follow my lead through self-publishing. That doesn’t mean they have to copy my approach or style, but they can create their own spaces also. I think the desire to break the norm will open the door to more diverse stories being told by indie authors, and it will give readers the opportunity to relate to characters that are like them.
For me, finding my voice gave me the courage to broaden my imagination and hone my writing skills to the point that I was able to merge several genres together, which I was told I shouldn’t do in my first book. There’s suspense, mystery, romance, drama, paranormal, and crime in Two Faced. And, in my opinion, this mixture gives the reader one of the craziest, thrilling, fast-paced rollercoaster rides they’ll ever experience in a book.
Being able to mix genres I feel keeps the door open for ideas to bust out on the pages. It allows you to write what you feel without being locked in a box. I tell young lyric writers to always stay open to find your direction within the context of the verses.
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
I love to read, and honestly, I missed it while writing my own book. Once I complete the sequel to Two Faced, I plan to take a few months off just to read. I have a list of books I want to finish before I start my next project.
My favorite author is Stephen King, and after I’m done my second novel, I plan to write horror. That’s part of me creating my own space. I don’t want people to tell me that I can only write in one genre. I refuse to use a pen name or try to change my style so that people won’t recognize me. I want to write what makes me happy, and I believe the readers that enjoy my other books will purchase horror also, if they’re not too afraid.
I really like the confidence and I feel your readers will follow you no matter what direction you choose. Once the style reaches the heart it creates that feel of intrigue and as long as your readers feel that they will follow.
How did it feel when your first book got published?
I’m the type of person that’s always cool, calm, and collected. Many of the wonderful things that have happened in my life seemed like small bleeps on my radar. For years, I thought I was incapable of the type of joy that other people experienced and spoke about so fondly. However, on the day that my book arrived in the mail, I was overwhelmed with emotion. To hold the manifestation of years of hard work in my hands was almost too much for me to process. I was elated to finally have my dream come true, but I was also sad that my mother wasn’t there to witness my accomplishment. It was her Stephen King books that I used to sneak and read when I was a little girl. She was the one who told me that I couldn’t make a career out of writing. And that was fine because I understood that she was only trying to look out for her daughter. After all, there weren’t many African-American women who wrote books when I was a child. I wanted her to be proud of me, and in that moment, I felt like she was, and there was no greater joy than that. I truly believe she was watching me from heaven and whispered, “well done,” in my ear.
We want to tell you “well done,” the readers of this interview are getting a small glimps of the passion associated with your writing.
Any advice you would like to give to aspiring writers?
My advice for aspiring writers is to always believe in yourself, and no matter what happens…keep writing. When you feel like everything you compose is not good enough…keep writing. When someone tells you that you can never make a living as a writer…keep writing. If all you have is an idea…keep writing. If you feel like you’re too old to follow your dream…keep writing. If someone reads your work and hates it…keep writing. When someone says that you must write the way everyone else does to be successful, just stay your course and…keep writing. Work that 9 to 5 to support your family but…keep writing. And most importantly, when fear and doubt darken your doorstep…keep writing.
In the movie Sister Act 2, Whoopi Goldberg shares a quote with Lauryn Hill’s character, Rita, from the book Letters to A Young Poet, which says, “Don’t ask me about being a writer. If when you wake up in the morning and you can think of nothing but writing, then you’re a writer.” That was true for me, and if that’s true for any future writers out there, then my advice is to simply keep writing
Robin….We are honored to be apart of your journey and to have been blessed by an amazing author.
The Stream Team
Link Up With Robin Carroll
Book Links: www.robinmichelecarroll.com
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/robin.carroll.52
Release date: August 1, 2018
Purchase Link: www.robinmichelecarroll.com
Favorite Radio Stations: @mixxbiz @itsstream