Get to know author Barakah Jamison – Ramona Portelli Blog

Get to know author Barakah Jamison

Author Barakah Jamison grew up in a family of seven children, including her, and was number five out the bunch. Her mother, who will forever be teacher, taught all of her siblings and herself to read and write while they were home schooled. Though her mother was very creative with how she taught them with songs, poems, and games, Barakah still ended up hating to read and write. She reads because she had to read and writing only served the purpose of jotting down her name and address. It wasn’t until Barakah found her first fiction novel in 5th grade that a whole new perspective was given to her. Suddenly she was transported to a world of magic and places made so real with detail it must have been a real place.

From that point on, Barakah devoured books and stories and soon began writing her own stories and works of fiction. She gained some notoriety in school with essays or competitive writing events and it was often mentioned, “why not become an author?” The notion was sort of daunting to her at first because she didn’t think her own work could stand up to the wonderful worlds she had previously encountered. Some years later she finally got the courage to publish her first book. She hopes this will be the first of many and people will have a chance to explore her worlds and be inspired.

Ramona: Tell me more about your latest book

Barakah: Stranger in a Familiar Place is really a story of long line of questioning I asked myself and the results put down in story form. The character Elias wakes up with no memories, no sense of physical touch, emotions, and generally everything that we would define our own humanity missing. He meets Malakh, a massive polar bear, who journeys with him to help him recover his humanity. Meanwhile Malakh’s own past may put Elias in harm’s way and he must come to terms with his past in order to help Elias. Malakh and Elias are definitely a fun pair and share a bond not often explored in fiction.

I think this book is unique in its approach to telling a fictional story and has a lot to offer. I had so much fun dropping hints in plain sight and knowing that the average reader probably would never know the hints were thereThis book is meant to get you thinking and wondering just like I did when I first thought of the concept.

Ramona: When is it scheduled to be printed & out for distribution?

Barakah: We are almost to the finish line! It is scheduled for late November 2019 and it will be available to order from Amazon and Barnes and Noble in hardcopy and e-book form.

Ramona: What was the most challenging aspect of writing?

Barakah: For me it was two things. The first one was knowing the beginning and the ending but not knowing how to exactly to connect the two. The second thing was not giving away the plot and giving too many hints. I often would get stuck not because I didn’t know what to write but because I didn’t know how not to reveal the plot.

Ramona: How was and how long was the whole process of this book’s journey so far?

Barakah: Because I am not a full-time writer, I had to learn to balance life with sectioned out quiet time for writing. Not to mention there were times I would sit at the computer and go “how am I going to write this?”. This book from start to finish took about 4 years to complete but I am proud of my results.

Ramona: What motivated you to become an author?

Barakah: The motivation literally came from wanting to take a chance on myself. Before I even had a notion of becoming an author I did have one wonderful woman who would always ask me when I was going to write a book. But to be quite honest I was scared, scared of seeing my book on the shelf and realizing that it would not live up to anything I had read and adored. I have written loads of short stories and novels, and maybe we will revisit them now, but none of them had ever seen the light because of this fear. When I began writing Stranger in a Familiar Place I just kept having this feeling that it needed to be published. The thought was so powerful I really couldn’t work on anything else until it was done. I think mostly I did not want to look back at a chest full of stories and realize that no one would read them. Stories were meant to be shared and inspire others and you never know what might happen when you decide to take chance on yourself.

Ramona: How many books have you written so far?

Barakah: So far Stranger in a Familiar Place will be my first officially published work.

Ramona: What book or books have had a strong influence on you or your writing?

Barakah: For this particular story I had two authors that were a big influence in the way that I chose to tell the story. C.S. Lewis and Frank Peretti are brilliant writers and their work has always inspired me and there are so many fond memories for me surrounding their books.

Ramona: What’s your opinion about book & author promotion?

Barakah: It’s hard being the new kid on the block. You need some kind of creditability when you first step out there. Sometimes no one pays attention to you unless you have a big-name company behind you or you worked your tail off getting recognized. In that sense its like a second job where your that door to door salesman trying to pitch a product that they haven’t heard of before and they already have plenty of product that already works for them. Being this is my first go-round I am trying to soak up all the tricks of the trade to give the book the best chance possible.

Ramona: What is your advice for aspiring writers?

Barakah: Invest in yourself. Always give yourself that chance to shine and the more you are willing to put into it the more you can be proud of the work you’ve accomplished. Don’t take the easy way out and strive to inspire others with your work.

Scroll to top