Outstanding Literary Category
There’s your current life. And then… there’s Your Next Level Life.
Please take this time to read Karen Arrington's interview and her experience writing this award-winning book. Her book would make an excellent mother's day gift or any gift in general for any female to read.
1. What drew you to write Your Next Level Life: 7 Rules of Power, Confidence, and Opportunity for Black Women in America?
I am passionate about helping women rise into their next level lives. Over the past 20 years, I have personally mentored over a thousand young women, helping them land life-altering scholarships, step into powerful careers in media, business, medicine + law — transforming their lives + communities. It was a natural next step to write a book that would reach and empower more women.
2. What was your writing schedule when you wrote Your Next Level Life: 7 Rules of Power, Confidence, and Opportunity for Black Women in America?
First, I hired a writing coach. Think: personal trainer for a writer. She held me accountable and helped me stick to my weekly deadlines. I created a draft outline of the book which included 7 rules of success. I set a goal to write one rule (or chapter) a week. After, I completed writing a rule, I sent it to my editor for feedback. By the time I finished writing the last rule, I had a fully, edited manuscript.
3. What were the challenges in writing Your Next Level Life: 7 Rules of Power, Confidence, and Opportunity for Black Women in America?
My greatest challenge is/was fear. I did not view myself as a writer. I am a storyteller, a success coach, and mentor. Even though I earned an A in Honors English in college, I still didn’t view myself as a writer. Through working with my coach, My writing coach helped me through this with some very valuable advice. She said: “Pretend you’re writing an email.” Imagine you just got an email from a woman who’s seeking you out. She wants your advice. What would you say to her? Do you have any recommendations? Words of encouragement? Maybe an inspiring story for her to hear? That’s exactly how you can write the book. I took her advice, and it was a game changer. The words began to flow effortlessly. There was so much magic in my writing. I now call myself a writer. An award-winning writer. :-)
4. Do you ever get writer’s block? What do you do to get back on track?
Yes; absolutely! Generally, when I get writer’s block it’s because I have competing activities. I have learned to schedule my writing early in the morning when my brain is clear, phones are silent and there are no distractions. If I have a pressing deadline, I will pre-write and write about something that I am passionate about. This generally gets my writing creativity flowing.
5. What do you hope readers will take away from Your Next Level Life: 7 Rules of Power, Confidence, and Opportunity for Black Women in America?
Your Next Level Life is an inspiring quick-read that will get women everywhere asking, “What’s my Next Level Life?” I outline seven rules of power, confidence, and opportunity —showing readers “how to create all the money you need” through grants, scholarships, awards, sponsorship deals, and entrepreneurial projects, “how to position yourself like a star” featuring tips from a makeup guru whose clientele includes Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey, “how to find your Next Level friends” and connect with powerful women you’ve always dreamed of meeting, and more.
6. Silly-Game question: From Your Next Level Life: 7 Rules of Power, Confidence, and Opportunity for Black Women in America could you please leaf through the pages and point at a random place. What is the full sentence? And what is the page number of this random sentence?
“I hope you’ve got at least five amazing Gayle-level friends in your life.” Page 33
7. Congratulations on winning NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work-Instructional, how did you first discover that you were nominated?
It is an unbelievable honor. I received a text from a friend asking if I was watching the NAACP Image Awards press conference life stream. My book was just nominated for an Image Award. I rushed to the Image Awards Facebook page and caught the list of all the nominees. My heart almost stopped when I saw my book Your Next Level Life on the screen listed as a nominee.
8. Could you give a fun fact about your experience at the NAACP Image Award Ceremony?
I was seated at Table 8. Think: nose bleed section of a sports stadium. Why would I be seated so far away from the stage if I was going to win. I pretty much look for signs in everything. To me, this was a sign, I would be going home empty handed. So during most of the show, I was practicing my “I didn’t win face”, while my attorney seated to my left, was prepping her camera to capture the win. My Publicist, seated to my right was charting a path for me to make it to the stage. When they called my name, I sat there for a few seconds in disbelief and took what seemed like the longest walk of my life to the big stage to accept the win. It was surreal!.
9. Which celebrity did you meet and talk to at the NAACP Image Award?
There were celebrities at every turn. It was amazing to have the opportunity to speak with them without all the fanfare. I talked to Tia Mowry, Merle Dandridge, who plays the character Grace on Greenleaf (OWN). I especially enjoyed speaking with Tamra Simmons, the executive producer of Lifetime documentary series "Surviving R. Kelly,
10. If you have your own talk show, who would your first three guests be (besides me, of course)?
I am always interested in speaking with individuals, especially women doing meaningful work. Besides you, of course, my first three bucket list guests would be Gayle King, Savannah James (wife of LeBron James), and Meghan Markle (Duchess of Sussex)..
11. Last question, if you have the skills of an Olympic athlete, what sport would you compete in?
I am a BIG fan of the U.S. Women’s Olympic gymnastics team. I would definitely compete in gymnastics, which require balance, strength, endurance, agility, coordination, and flexibility.
Thank you to Karen Arrington for taking her time to answer those questions. You should definitely give to your friend or any female that you know that might benefit from reading it (Your Next Level Life). Thank you for visiting my blog as well. Keep coming as I would have more interviews to come. Take care and have a great day.