About author, Cari Kamm: Cari Kamm has worked in the beauty industry for over a decade, building brands, working behind the scenes, and even selling her own skin care line. She has a master’s in clinical nutrition from New York University. Kamm currently works in corporate social media management with clients in the beauty, fashion, and restaurant industries. Living in New York City with her mutt Schmutz, Kamm loves finding inspiration in the most unexpected places, being a novelist, and convincing her fiancé that ordering takeout and making dinner reservations are equal to cooking.
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“Cari’s Writing Life: The Past, Present, and Future”
I connected with writing in my late twenties. I’ve always been a storyteller or that person that loved to entertain and make my friends and family laugh. It’s a characteristic I get from my father. In my early twenties, I started keeping travel journals. I moved to New York City at the age of twenty-two to attend NYU for graduate school with a goal to take advantage of JFK International airport. Growing up in a small town in West Virginia, I was eager to explore the world and wanted to document it all.
I decided to write professionally when I was twenty-eight and craving inspiration at a specific point in my life. Here I was in such an electric city, living and loving everything, even a shadow. However, there was still something missing in my life. There was a void. So… I researched new hobbies from cooking (high burn risk), painting (too messy), volunteer opportunities, and new career paths. I ended up taking a creative writing class with Mediabistro and it changed my life. I quickly learned that the void was passion . . . to write stories. The class challenged me, made me insecure, and sparked my spirit. The workshop assignments got me writing in class and at home. Sometimes, I would come home from a late dinner or having cocktails with friends and find myself writing until 3:00 a.m. Eight months later, I had a manuscript, my first novel–Fake Perfect Me.
Writing isn’t a job. It’s a habit. I begin first thing in the morning. Before anything can shift my mood or motivation, I make coffee and hit the keys. Writing is my morning stretch. I write from anywhere, anytime, and on anything. A notebook, a cocktail napkin, or even taking a photo of a person, place or thing that inspired me. I love being surrounded by music, strangers, voices… simply just life. When a theme moves me, I sketch out an outline breaking down Act I, II & III and write up descriptions of the characters I have in mind. Then, I just write. I don’t look back. I don’t reread. I would say it’s a crappy first draft and then I spend months on revising – editing – revising – editing.
My favorite part of the writing process is creating the outline of the story I have in mind. Then several months down the road realizing where the characters actually took me while reading the story they created. For the past two years, I’ve done just that. My second novel, For Internal Use Only, was released on February 14, 2013. Completing the book was the best birthday gift I could have given myself.
In November 2012, I had participated in National Novel Writing month and completed my third book. It’s my first romance novel! My 80-year-old Italian grandma will be thrilled. I always caught her reading books with Fabio decorated covers. I hope to release this novel later this year.
Writing has taught me one of the most important lessons. If I could go back in time and tell my younger self one thing, it would be that . . . ‘You grow more from criticism than you do from compliments.’
**Click HERE to see the trailer of “For Internal Use Only!”