author spotlight with Winnie Tataw

Hello everyone! Welcome to another Author Spotlight! These spotlights are for showcasing author’s (predominantly women and people of color) writing talents and published works. So without further ado let’s get on with the Author Spotlight!

About the Author:

Carla E. Criswell was born in Chicago, Illinois and now lives in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. She is the recipient of a Bachelor’s degree in “Middle Grades Education” from Western Kentucky University and a Master’s degree in “Educational Leadership” from the University of the Cumberlands. She is a highly motivated teacher, mentor, and self-published author of her personal memoir, “I’m Not Leaving You , I’m Loving Me.”

What and when started your love for writing?

My writing was my way to express my thoughts and feeling as a young child that I was afraid to say aloud. As I enter high school, I fell in love with words and how they could paint the authentic emotions that I felt inside. I teach writing, but I just started back writing for myself two years ago. I was at a place in my life where I was not happy with the way I was living or how I was sabotaging my own desires, so I started writing to tell my story hoping to reveal things I could heal from so I would no longer live in the darkness.

Author Spotlight Carla
Author Carla

Of all of the book genres, what drew you to write about yours?

Writing my book was my way of revealing and healing. I felt like what I was going through other people, especially women were experiencing the same insecurities, frustrations, and emptiness. I wanted to share my journey to understanding the value of self-love and understanding how to be your authentic self to encourage others to heal and love themselves again. The tragedies and traumas of my past shaped who I am today. No one could tell my story better than me and I felt like the world needed to hear it.

white and gray stone on brown wooden table; author spotlight on Win's Books
Photo by Alina Vilchenko on

 If you could meet your favorite author who would it be and why?

I love writers from different genres for different reasons so I do not have a “favorite,” but I would love to meet and have a conversation with Nikki Giovanni. I love her unapologetic writing style. Her work both in the literary world and social justice has had a profound impact on the African American experience and culture.

What makes your book(s)/writing special?

I think it is extremely vital for writers to write from the heart. As a writer, I am transparent, vulnerable, and authentic as possible so my audience can feel connected to me and believe what I am saying to them. My writing creates a safe space for my
audience to face his/her baggage and work through it so they too can experience happiness and freedom on the other side of the healing. 

So…what are you working on now?

I am currently working on an affirmation journal and an urban street literature book. I am super excited to tap into the world of street lit, especially since I fell in love with it while reading Sister Souljah’s “The Coldest Winter Ever.” This will definitely give me an opportunity to show my audience my creative, exotic side as a writer.

Carla was a great author to interview and she had such a beautiful story to tell. I’d love to get my hands on her affirmation journal! If you want to get in contact or connect with Carla you can follow her on:

Thank you all for reading and remember:

Live. Love. Laugh.

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