Introduce yourself and profession to our readers:
Hello, my name is Carissa Bryant and I am the Author of the children's book series titled Ketchup with the Jessup's. I was born in Memphis, Tennessee but spent most of my childhood and adult life living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I obtained my Bachelor's degree in Business Management from West Chester University followed by my Master's degree shortly thereafter. I am the proud mother of two boys Jaylen and Jordan whose love and support encourages me to continue to keep working to reach my goals. I am an advocate of reading and helping students to become proficient readers by the end of third grade. I have been a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Atlanta for the last three years and counting, a board member with a local organization within my community as well as the CEO of Carissa Rochelle Enterprises llc.
Currently, I have three published books within my book series. My stories teach on the importance of sibling love, friendship and togetherness. I hope to encourage my readers to always be there for their siblings and to just be kind in general. I have been writing ever since I was in third grade and I have always loved children, so as an adult I get to combine my two passions and write books for young people all over to enjoy.
What inspired you to pursue this area of interest?
I was inspired to write books for children a few years ago when I came across some children who had poor relationships with their siblings. I thought about how close my brother and I are, as well as how close my two sons are, and I was motivated to write stories about families and encourage young readers to value their siblings and be each others friend.
What would be your advice to women interested in a similar pursuit?
My advice to others interested in writing and publishing would be to first get a mentor. Reach out to other Authors and learn about their journey and their up's and down's. Read other Author's websites and do your research on publishing and the process of publishing. Ask questions and take notes. Connect with other professionals on LinkedIn. That site has helped me tremendously. Know that you will run into opposition and people who will not support you, but you have to stay encouraged and believe in yourself and your purpose and keep knocking on doors until one opens. Don't give up and don't be discouraged. Keep pushing and keep hustling in silence.
Tell us about a professional challenge and how you overcame it:
A professional challenge I have experienced was not always having dependable team-mates. No matter what you do in life you'll always need people and I've run into working with some people who weren't always ready to work when I needed them. I learned early on to do as much as I could myself even if it meant learning a new skill, and I went out to find the right team of people who could come through for me when I couldn't do something myself. Once you find your team, keep them close.
What is next for you in 2017?
My goals for 2017 are really exciting for me. My plan is to add another book to the Ketchup with the Jessup's series by the end of the year. I am also working right now to start my reading literacy non-profit. Like I mentioned earlier, I am an advocate for children and helping them read proficiently by the end of third grade, so I'm so excited to get that business opened and off the ground.
How can readers connect with you online?
LinkedIn via Carissa(Jessup)Bryant