Interview with Author Dominique Carson – Ramona Portelli Blog

Interview with Author Dominique Carson

Dominique M. Carson is a freelance journalist, researcher, massage therapist, writer, reporter, and author. Carson’s work has been featured in several publications including, The Grio, NBC News,, Education Update, and Brooklyn news media outlets. She interviewed over 100 notable figures in entertainment such as Charlie Wilson, Regina Belle, Patti Labelle, Kirk Franklin, and many more.

She also collaborated on Brooklyn historian and journalist, Suzanne Spellen and launched a 118-page journal on Lefferts Manor, a neighborhood on in Brooklyn and released a biography on R&B musician, Jon B in November 2020 while her first book is going through some legalities.

Despite her impeccable work as a writer, Carson’s writing journey began 22 years ago. Carson started writing at eight years old and it was a troublesome period in her life. Carson discovered that writing can be a valuable tool when you are going through personal challenges as a child. Her uncle Ricky and cousins, Niani & Fatima influenced her to express her creativity on paper as a therapeutic source. Carson took writing seriously after watching Teen Summit on BET and editing her fourth grade, classmate Erica Booker’s essay. Carson says her elementary school teacher, Ms. Asregadoo encouraged her to embrace her artistic expression. She knew becoming a journalist was her destiny. With the help of her late grandparents and mother, she started submitting poems and short stories to different writing contests and was an honorable before she was a teenager. Carson graduated from the prestigious Brooklyn high school, Edward R. Murrow High School in 2008. She says her writing improved greatly when she attended the school.

Her hard work landed her a nomination for Princeton’s High School Summer Journalism Program and a co-interviewer with the cast of Degrassi at the High School Journalism workshop at MTV Studios in January 2007. It was around the time when Grammy award winning rapper, Aubrey “Drake” Graham was on the show. After high school Carson graduated from City University of New York, Brooklyn College with her bachelor and master’s degree. During her time, she wrote for Brooklyn College’s Excelsior and worked at Brooklyn College’s Office of Communications and Marketing. Her post-college life consists of writing articles, books, and adding another venture, massage therapy. Carson’s overall goal is to facilitate people’s lives with her hands and words.

Tell me more about your latest book.

The name of my first published book is entitled Jon B: Are You Still Down and it is about the life of R&B legend, Jon B. I wrote my first book, but I could not release it due to legal matters. You need to receive permission from the music distribution to insert lyrics in literature. I decided to write a Jon B because he is a R&B icon in his own right. I do not believe he does not receive recognition in R&B. I wanted to write a biography on a man that has played an intricate in my life as a music lover. If it were not for him, you would not have a Justin Timberlake & Robin Thicke. He was determined to make a name for himself in R&B and Jon achieved his goal. Jon’s collaboration with the Tupac opened the doors for many other African American male rappers to work with other singers outside of their race. 

What was the most challenging aspect of writing this book?                                                                              

The most challenging aspect of writing this book is finalizing the subject matter after my first book was put on hold due to legal matters. My first book was edited, designed, and copyrighted but I could not release it without receiving permission from the music distribution company. So, I started brainstorming ideas for my next book and I decided to write about one of my favorite singers, Jon B. Jon is extremely talented but, in my opinion, do not receive the necessary credibility from mainstream R&B.  I had writer’s block during the pandemic because my second career, massage therapy was heavily affected from the pandemic. Secondly, I was moving to Virginia after leaving hometown of New York City after 29 years. Therefore, I needed the motivation to write the book and my fiancé, Jeffrey encouraged me to utilize my down time to write the book. He did not want me to worry about household expenses and I just became one with the computer. I appreciate my fiancé’s support because he was able to take care of our household financially when my industry experienced a downfall. His way of thinking and movement exemplified bravery and discernment. Jeffrey made the best move for us financially and emotionally.

What is your normal procedure to get your books published?

Well for starters, I figured out if I wanted traditional or self-publishing. I chose self-publishing because I wanted more creative control over my work and I believed it was the best decision for me, financially. My cousin and friends advised me to work with Amazon Kindle Publishing for self-publishing to lower my costs. As a result, it was my final decision. I started my research process for my subject matter 3-4 months before I started writing the book. Then, I reached out my editing and designing team about visual and editorial concepts for the book. We worked remotely since I am no longer living in New York but, we still met our deadline. In six months, my book was edited, review immensely, and designed and I really took my time to work on my book. I knew I needed an attractive cover to captivate people’s attention and my end goal worked out successfully. My editor and friend, Emily Timmerman and former high school classmate, Stephen and I worked together, and I truly thank them for their contributions. This was not a solo project and I am just grateful and blessed that my test supported and believed in my editorial content.

Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice?

 I discovered that writing was a gateway to my healing process when I was about nine years old. I suffered an asthma attack that I nearly lost my life. It was a wakeup call for my family and myself because kids can be stressed out emotionally as well. Stress can sabotage your body only if you let it, you must be in control and do not take life over consume you. Therefore, my temperament would change once I jot down my feelings and emotions. I can control my thoughts or not have a filter when I am feeling despondent and vulnerable. Writing became my spiritual affirmation because I can impact people’s lives with my words.  I discovered it after watching the BET television show, Teen Summit. Writing was bigger than me, it is a creative tool that can change people’s life. I can leave a positive or negative mark like a pen. I just chose to be positive. Being positive does not mean you will not make any mistakes, but you must be authentic and transparent. Each time when I fell, I thank God that I had the courage and strength to get back up, even when its hurts.

How many books have you written so far?

Jon B: Are You Still Down, my first published book but I am planning to write more in the future. My forthcoming book would be about the iconic cartoon character, Betty Boop. It will be released in late summer/early fall 2021. By the time I am 40, that’s 9.5 years from now, I would like to publish four books in total.

What is the best way to market your books?

I am still learning this process as a new author. But I hired my publicist, Danyell Flowers and her team, Maven Media Management advertised my book/and or career to different outlets and continued to promote on social media platforms. Danyell and I worked together on various projects when I first started as a freelance journalist. We developed a professional and personal relationship over the years, and I trusted her years of expertise in the field. Then, I submitted my book to different contests in self-publishing as well. Marketing is truly a learning curve, but I knew publicity/marketing is essential when promoting a book. You must market your product for people to purchase your book. Yes, I hired a publicist, but I have an inquisitive attitude about book promotion. My friend, Lorenzo encouraged me to review the website, for book promotion. This was my process before I hired a publicist.  As a journalist, I understood the importance of pitching to publications and brands that are interested in your book/and or career journey. I also reached out to different groups for authors and writers on Facebook and I am reviewing webinars on how to market your book to increase book sales.

How hard or easy is it to establish and maintain a career in writing?

It is not easy maintaining a career in writing, but it is doable. In addition to passion, you must have a strong work ethic and be reliable to have a successful career in music. When I say success, I am not talking about financially, you must be success as an induvial. If you want to write solely for money, you are in the wrong profession.  It all starts with you and if you are not driven, it will show in the writing. Due to the competitive nature of the field, you may have to work in certain fields that would allow you to utilize your writing skills. My grandfather also told me every field needs a strong writer so be open in terms of employment. I am a freelance journalist but being a freelancer has its’ challenges. You must constantly pitch to publications and you are competing with other freelancers for one job. It took me a long time to understand the politics of the business, but I was still eager and motivated to be a writer. I attended conferences and networking events to learn more about other media outlets. Furthermore, my ambitious and diligent personality and journalistic skills allowed me to freelance for other publications. I left a lasting impression on my professors and they would send opportunities across my way that would blend well with my skillset. Lastly, a writer is constantly working and improving their craft. You should not allow your pen to be completely dusty; you can not be complacent in this profession. You may be a great writer but there is an extraordinary writer in the field. I have been an active freelancer for 8 years and my career is still at the tip of the iceberg. I started writing articles when I was 16 but there is so much more for me to learn.

What is your advice for aspiring writers?

1. Believe in your work as a writer, have to be PASSIONATE! W/o passion, there is no drive or motivation to write. You must say to yourself that “You are a writer.” It all starts with your frame of mind.

2.  Reevaluate your circle, especially if you want to be a writer. Network with people who are associated in your field. You can start this process in high school or college.

3. Constantly work on your writing; it is an ongoing craft that needs to be worked on consistently.

4. Participate in your activities that will land you your next opportunity in communications/ journalism.

5. You do not get a second chance to make a first impression. Deportment and presentation are everything. Be kind instead of being egoistical.

6. You have to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. You cannot play it safe, take more risks.

7. Your work should include the following A- Accuracy, B-Brevity, & C- Clarity.

8. Your writing may be rejected but you are NOT a reject. You will fail but it is up to you to pick up the pieces and continue to write.

Visit Author Dominique Carson book links: –

Amazon Page to the Book:


Instagram: domcarson90

Twitter: domcarson

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