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Member Spotlights

Member Spotlight: Khadijah VanBrakle

author Khadijah VanBrakle and an image of her book Fatima Tate Takes the Cake

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world? Writing stories featuring Black American Muslim teens is important to me since I’ve only found one other traditionally published YA contemporary novel, with characters that share my dual marginalization. Diverse literature is very important so all teenagers see themselves on the printed page.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block? I make it a habit of completing a ton of pre-work before I start drafting and tend not to get a lot of writer’s block. When it does occur, I take a break from writing. Reading is a favorite thing of mine to do.

What is your favorite time to write? I don’t have a favorite time but whenever I can manage to find a block of a few hours to work, that’s optimal.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers? There are two pieces of advice I’d like share with other writers. 1) Learn the craft of writing. As I wasn’t someone who ever dreamed I’d become an author, this was especially important to me. 2) Read recent books in the genre you want to write. If they’re not already, make trips to libraries a regular habit.

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age? Nowadays, writing doesn’t have to be such a solitary activity. I’m very blessed to be a part of a few writing organizations. It’s essential to find fellow authors, so that you can support each other.

Khadijah VanBrakle’s Fatima Tate Takes the Cake is out now with Holiday House.