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The Voice of Ink: An Interview with Karissa Whitson, author of Poems That Wrote Me

Whitson 1

Karissa has written more than they’ve ever spoken, finding it an easier way to communicate. They live quietly, spending most of their time with their five pets and family while also working full-time and attending graduate school.

You can buy the book here.
Are you a writer, too? Submit your manuscript to Atmosphere Press.

Tell us the story of your book’s title. Was it easy to find, or did it take forever?

I figured out my book title before I knew I was writing a book.

How did it feel when you first saw your book cover? Or when you first held your book in your hands?

I nearly cried. The process or writing is one thing but to see my book become a real, tangible thing was a whole other sensation.

Who/what made you want to write? Was there a particular person, or particular writers/works/art forms that influenced you?

I don’t remember. I always wrote stories for my mom as a kid. I just had so much in my head that I wanted to get out and show everyone else.

What other professions have you worked in? What’s something about you that your readers wouldn’t know?

I worked retail for a long time, then in a kitchen for a short time, was a special education para, and almost became a teacher. I am now in grad school studying psych and working at a children’s physiatric hospital full time.

What was the most rewarding/meaningful part of publishing your book?

Hearing from the people who read it, from little comments in passing from people I grew up with to comments from people I barely know who tell me they could see themselves in my writing.

If your book had a soundtrack, what are some songs that would be on it?

I immediately thought of the emo playlist I made as a fifteen-year-old. Lots of K.Flay, Black Veil Brides, and probably some Counting Crows too.

What is one thing you hope readers take away from reading your book? How do you envision your perfect reader?

I want to put words to feelings—so the reader can feel seen and heard too.

What new writing projects are you currently working on? Or, other projects that are not writing?

So many. I have two other poetry books not published yet. A few novels I’m tweaking. I’m also really into power lifting and have been working on myself in that aspect too.

How was working with Atmosphere Press? What would you tell other writers who want to publish?

I always recommend Atmosphere Press to people who say they write but don’t know how or where to publish. They make it easy, they’re amazing at communicating, and they make my work feel like it has value.

You can buy the book here.
Are you a writer, too? Submit your manuscript to Atmosphere Press.

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Atmosphere Press is a selective hybrid publisher founded in 2015 on the principles of Honesty, Transparency, Professionalism, Kindness, and Making Your Book Awesome. Our books have won dozens of awards and sold tens of thousands of copies. If you’re interested in learning more, or seeking publication for your own work, please explore the links below.