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Meet Kirsten Imani Kasai of Magic Word Editing Co.

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kirsten Imani Kasai.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Kirsten Imani. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I’ve always been a writer, but because the path to publication is typically a complicated one, I’ve worked in a number of industries over the years. As a writer, editor and manager, I supported corporations and small business owners in industries ranging from publishing/journalism, health and wellness, commercial real estate, HR staffing and personal coaching.

However, those positions were always “day jobs.” The rest of time was devoted to my writing. In 2009, my first novel Ice Song was published by Random House, and its sequel, Tattoo, followed in 2011. Those two were set in a borderline dystopian universe where the main character, Sorykah, is a single mother who has the unique ability to genetically morph into her male alter ego, Soryk. There are half-human sea monsters, an ice-mining submarine, and a tribe of forest people led by a slightly mad queen. It was a lot of fun! My third book, The House of Erzulie, is an African-American Gothic novel set in present-day Philadelphia and 1850s New Orleans. The House of Erzulie was just released in February 2018 by Shade Mountain Press, an independent, feminist publishing company in New York. The book’s been doing really well and has earned some seriously high praise. Hooray! This spring, I’m traveling to New York City and Washington DC to give readings, as well as doing events here in San Diego. (Check my event calendar for upcoming stuff.) My website has links to my chapbook, short stories, audio, and video, as well.

My fiction and poetry tend to be pretty dark and strange. Foreword Reviews said: “Kirsten Imani Kasai makes the macabre beautiful,” which sums it up nicely. Now, I’ve parlayed my talents into, three different areas. Last year I launched the Magic Word Editing Co., which offers a full range of editorial and e-book design services for creative writers, academics, students, scientists, independent publishers and small businesses. I teach creative writing to adults, seniors and high schoolers, and English Composition to adult ESL students around the world. Lastly, I’m the publisher and editor of Body Parts Magazine: The Journal of Horror & Erotica. (Writers who are interested in submitting a piece to Body Parts Magazine should visit its submissions page for guidelines.

And of course, my fiction, nonfiction, and poetry are available via my website: www.kirstenimanikasai.com. You can buy my novels from the publishers and online and retail bookstores and I encourage you to support your local or independent bookstore by ordering from them.

Has it been a smooth road?
Building a business (as a writer or entrepreneur) that’s dependent on frequent and repeated outreach hasn’t been easy for this little introvert! Honestly, that’s one of the hardest parts for me. But, because I know how important it is, I’m always working on my skills, networking creating or strengthening a community.

Trying to make a living from fiction can be daunting. It’s easy to get discouraged and want to give up. I’ve been there lots of times, but there’s a little fire in me that kindles again and gives me the courage to keep going. I embrace the motto, “She who dares, wins.” But, in the case of creative writing, it’s more apt to say that “She who perseveres, publishes.”

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Magic Word Editing Co. story. Tell us more about the business.
It’s my mission to serve those who wish to use the editing process as a learning experience to better their own understanding of storytelling craft. The focus of Magic Word Editing Co. is to provide a collaborative, joyful and professional experience. I want my clients to leave our work together confident that their project is at its best-polished, clean and ready to meet the world to fulfill its purpose.

While pushing forward with my own writing career, I’ve spent many years nurturing creative writers and journalists in supporting their visions and refining their talents. I was the managing editor of a magazine for seven years, and have more than a decade of experience in print and digital publication management.

l help my clients to reach their goals in the way that is the most useful and meaningful to their creative vision, while also serving readers and publishers by shaping a raw manuscript into an effective and powerful vehicle for its story. It’s my hope that my clients will be inspired and empowered to use the skills learned through our process to write works which are a dynamic, exploratory force for social, personal and artistic communication.

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