What (More) Authors Have to Say
"From the conceptualizing stage until my book was between two covers, Rakia Clark was a professional, conscientious and dedicated editor. She took the work seriously, balanced the often-difficult space between the needs of the writer and the business of the house and by my mind there was only one way to make that possible: by really caring. We all want to feel like our work matters and Rakia gave my book the kind of attention every writer craves. It sounds basic, but trust me, it is not."
- Howard Bryant, author of The Heritage: Black Players, a Divided America and the Politics of Patriotism
"Rakia is ... everything. I would not have my book without her. She is brilliant, skilled, supportive, compassionate, and the biggest cheerleader. She really helped me get over the finish line and I never doubted that she cared about not only my book, but me as a human being. I hope to work with her again and again and again."
- Feminista Jones, author of Reclaiming Our Space: How Black Feminists Are Changing the World from the Tweets to the Streets
"Rakia Clark was right most of the time. But being right never trumped her ultimate goal of making my copy better each time she touched it. She is the only person in the industry who could have edited my book and put up with me at the same time. Even in my most acerbic moments, she not only managed to be collegial and decisive; she displayed the ability to conjure occasional magic in the editorial space between us. She knew how and when to press hard without sowing too much frustration. She reveled in my best moments often enough to soften the mentions of some of my unfortunate ones. I felt supported enough to take chances, and she inspired me to bring forth my strengths while simultaneously addressing issues that could potentially impede readers' connection with the very controversial and emotionally wrenching topics in Spare the Kids. Over the last 20 years of my writing career I’ve had a lot of editors. But Rakia is the first that I’ve ever remained in close and consistent conversation with throughout the editorial process, from start to post-publication. I’m not being hyperbolic when I say that she picked up the phone almost 100 percent of the time. We argued and debated a lot, and we laughed just as much. She listened and had a great ear for phrasing, tone, and pacing. She empathized, cajoled and did whatever it took to make my work better. But she never imposed her will on me or tried to stifle my voice. Readers around the world are grateful because of her editorial pruning. And so are legions of children living and yet to be born."
- Stacey Patton, author of Spare the Kids: Why Whupping Children Won't Save Black America
"Rakia is a pleasure to work with, giving me freedom to create productively and giving me strict deadlines to meet to keep us on schedule. She is smart, capable and personable. I highly recommend her. What is also significant is that the biography of Miss Brooks was Rakia's idea. She recognized that such a testament ought to be available on the 100th anniversary of Miss Brooks's birth. Rakia is a visionary editor."
- Angela Jackson, author of A Surprised Queenhood in the New Black Sun: The Life & Legacy of Gwendolyn Brooks
“Working with Rakia Clark as a first-time author was an incredible experience. She is the reason my book Infinite Hope is in bookstores today. Looking back on this journey, I am thankful to have had her as my editor. You ROCK, my sistah!”
- Anthony Graves, author of Infinite Hope
"Rakia Clark has been an indispensable treasure -- as a researcher, editor and multifaceted assistant. She's steady, reliable and has a million dollar personality!"
- William C. Rhoden, New York Times columnist and author of Forty Million Dollar Slaves: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Black Athlete and Third and a Mile: The Trials and Triumphs of the Black Quarterback
"Thank you so much for your work on my first book. And for the vote of confidence. You are a real G at this editing game!"
- Luvvie Ajayi, author of I'm Judging You: The Do-Better Manual
"Rakia Clark is a hard worker and really did an awesome job editing and preparing me for the publication of my book. She worked endless hours to get the manuscript into shape and keep it on schedule. I couldn't have done it without her. Thanks Rakia!"
- Lisa Leslie, four-time Olympic gold medalist and author of Don't Let the Lipstick Fool You: The Making of a Champion
"In 2007-2008 Rakia Clark was the editor at Kensington Publishing Corporation when Lisa Leslie and I co-wrote Don't Let the Lipstick Fool You. It was my first book and we were on a very tight schedule to get it finished and into bookstores before the Beijing Olympics. Rakia had a strong grasp of our concept and content and she guided us through several twists, turns and bumps in the writing/publishing road. We were all proud of the finished product and thankful for the insights, talents and efforts of Rakia Clark. I would definitely work with her again and I highly recommend this classy professional!"
- Larry Burnett, writer of Don't Let the Lipstick Fool You: The Making of a Champion
"I hired Rakia to edit my first novel, Preseason Love, prior to approaching publishers. She came highly recommended and her work exceeded my expectations.... As I went through her development and line edits I realized that she was an expert in catching minor mistakes as well as helping me to strengthen my manuscript with her feedback and ideas. Her notes were thorough, which made my job easier. Rakia also took the time to sit with me to go over all of the edits in person.... I followed Rakia’s advice and my finished product led me to a publishing offer from a major publishing house, so I must say that she worked her magic on my manuscript."
- Ahyiana Angel, author of Preseason Love
"Rakia is a great editor to work with. She's patient, understanding and really knows her stuff! She helped me to add more structure to my forthcoming novel, which is something I was really struggling with. I appreciate her talent and insight."
- Starrene Rhett Rocque, author of Bloggers Can't Be Trusted
"Rakia makes the writing experience so pleasurable and stress-free. She is someone I can actually call on for advice while I'm writing because she has great ideas and is very knowledgeable. She is a FANTASTIC editor who catches even the smallest errors and inconsistencies. I can honestly say that I would recommend Rakia to any writer."
- Janine Morris, author of Playthang and Diva Diaries
“Rakia is a very patient and attentive editor. With her, I was able to take off my ‘do everything’ hat and simply write, knowing she’d edit smartly and judiciously while maintaining my own voice as the author. Every book with her was a great experience.”
- Grace Octavia, author of Something She Can Feel, His First Wife and Take Her Man
“Rakia is the best! She’s the kind of editor who respects an author’s vision and work while adding her expertise to ensure that—in the end—the body of work shines.”
- Vanessa Davis Griggs, author of Practicing What You Preach, If Memory Serves, Strongholds and Blessed Trinity
“Rakia has edited two of my books and is wonderful to work with. She is honest in her opinions, professional, knowledgeable, and addresses my questions and concerns promptly. What more can any writer ask for?”
- Bettye Griffin, author of A New Kind of Bliss and Once Upon a Project
“Rakia Clark is a terrific editor who believed in my writing as much as I did. She’s passionate about her job, and that and her energy earned my trust and respect. I highly recommend her.”
“Rakia has a great knack for editing and an eye for details. I enjoy working with her because she was always available and she has a clear vision on everything from the plot to the cover art. She was a joy to work with and has only great things ahead of her.”
- Angela Winters, author of A Price to Pay and No More Good