Promoting Creativity – June Edition

This month I’m very pleased to be promoting Keri Karandrakis! Hope you all enjoy reading this, and please stop by her website!
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1) Tell us a little bit about what you do.
I’m a writer first and a freelance editor close second. I primarily work on novel manuscripts–I’ve written probably 10 different ones since I was 13, almost all of which never made it off my laptop–but since those take so long and I have a short attention span, I also write short stories. My latest thing is flash fiction, because I’m taking a course on it as part of my Creative Writing undergrad studies. I like the lack of commitment that short stories require, since I have trouble maintaining interest in writing a novel.
With editing, my speciality is developmental editing, which focuses on plot, characters, and other story elements. I started beta reading when I was about 13, learning to analyze what makes a story successful or not and what could make it better. I finally started demanding payment in exchange for it a couple years ago. Usually I edit novels, but I’ve also worked on short fiction and even poetry.
2) When and why did you start writing?
I don’t remember. That’s not to say I have a poor memory, although some close to me would say I do, but rather I have been writing for such a long time that I don’t know when or where it started. It probably started once I learned to physically write, as in draw the shapes of the letters in a coherent order. I can guess at the why. I was homeschooled and lived a fairly isolated childhood, so I had a lot of free time and few friends. Those things coupled with a wild imagination created the perfect storm in which to birth a little writer.
The first story I remember writing beyond just a storyboard concept was a copycat version of Read It and Weep, a Disney Channel movie from my preteen years. I inserted myself and some mean girls from my church into the plot and created a revenge fantasy. I don’t think I ever finished it. After that, I got into fan fiction. It was fun enough, but I really liked the freedom of creating my own characters, so when I was 13 I participated in NaNoWriMo for the first time. I wrote a 50,000-word mystery novel about a serial killer who was erasing their victims’ information from federal databases, as though they never existed. I don’t remember much about that because it was so long ago, except that the serial killer ended up being a woman.
3) Tell us about a project that you are currently working on that has you really excited.
My current novel project is a YA fantasy about a fire-wielder who’s imprisoned in a remote savannah town. She thinks it’s not so bad at first, since she was expecting a harsh prison, but once people start dying, she finds out about this big conspiracy. I’ve always wanted to write something with elementals, so this is me finally fulfilling that.
4) What are some of your goals for the future?
Well, I want to publish a novel. That’s always been my goal, really. I certainly have a better chance of it now than I did 8 years ago. The key to that, of course, is actually finishing something. So I guess my first goal is to get this story finished and polished. Some other goals I have are getting my degree and growing my editing clientele.
5) How can we support you?
You can hire me to edit something for you! I do all kinds of fiction, working on everything from structural issues to grammar. When I get around to submitting things again, I’ll have links to them on my site, too.
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Keri’s website is https://kerikarandrakis.com/.  You can also find her on Twitter, Facebook & Linkedin.
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