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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Author Interview: Karimah Grayson

Today's interview is with Karimah Grayson, author of The Shoulders On Which I Stand.

Karimah recently began writing in the little known genre of Muslim fiction and looks forward to sharing the Muslim American experience with the world.

Can tell us a little bit about yourself and your book, The Shoulders On Which I Stand?

My name is Karimah Grayson. I have been married for more than 25 years and am the mother of four. I also have two grandsons. Currently I’m a Social Science teacher for high school. I live in Broward County, Florida. I’ve been Muslim my entire life. I grew up in Philadelphia at a time when all the Muslims knew each other.

“The Shoulders On Which I Stand” is my debut novel. It chronicles a time in the life of Daria Van, who is a US History Teacher. While teaching, she teaches more than the standard history provided in the textbooks. She ensures to include all of the ethnicities of the country. However, her principal doesn’t like that she is going outside of the textbook and causes a lot of turmoil for Daria. On the home front, she finds out her husband takes a second wife. While she doesn’t mind that he took a second wife, she does get upset when he disrespects her and his second wife.
Daria begins receiving threatening calls and cars following her and her children. Because she doesn’t know what to do, she turns to her brother who’s been on the run for more than twenty years. This story takes twists and turns of emotions and different situations. I cannot tell too much more because it will be a spoiler alert.

What inspired this story?

What inspired the book were the various stories that I’ve read through the years of teachers being fired or disciplined for teaching African-American history beyond what I termed, the African-American History Trinity (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, and Harriett Tubman). I imagined what it would be like if a principal went beyond his means in making someone stop teaching something he disagrees with.

Highlight some of your achievements and challenges while working on your book.

While working on my book, some of my achievements were improving my showing versus telling. Also, I decided to go the independent publisher route and by doing that I found various entryways into marketing my book after it was published. On the other hand, some of my challenges while working on the book were working on description of characters and settings. I found myself doing a lot of research on character development and setting development to work through those challenges.

Describe your writing style in ten words.

I write the story first and then edit the story.

Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.

Five positive words that describe me as a writer are determined, excited, enthralled, tenacious, and serious.

Thank you so much, Ms Grayson, for taking time out of your busy schedule to share your writing journey with us.

Want to learn more about the author and her books? Visit her at:
Her website.
Her email:
Her facebook page.

Her Amazon author page

1 comment:

  1. As salaam alaykum...This was an interesting interview. Thank you for sharing your writing motivations and processes. NbA Muslims is looking forward to reviewing your novel. You have us intrigued