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ABOUT ME

My mother said I started telling stories as soon as I could put sentences together, and I suppose that love has always been a part of me. It's in my blood. I grew up listening to my grandmother and her siblings talk about everything, from all the ways my uncle used to get in trouble as a kid to how many times Grams wrecked her dad's car on the dirt roads of Ozark County, Missouri. Every family gathering I can remember involved storytelling,  including those on my father's side once we settled in small-town Oklahoma. So, in a way, it was only natural that I would gravitate towards telling stories.

 

I decided at 14 that I would be a writer. My eighth-grade English teacher - Oklahoman YA novelist Anna Myers - wrote, "You should be an author," at the top of one of my short stories, so I figured she was probably right. At the ripe old age of 15, I decided I would be a journalist because at least then I would have a steady paycheck upon graduating from university (even if it wasn’t a big one). I went on to make the newspaper staff at my high school in rural Oklahoma, which only fueled my love for journalism. Upon entering university in northwest Arkansas, I learned really quickly that the world of journalism was tough. And that I wasn’t as great a writer as I had thought at the time. But through my professor, Gary Warner, I learned perseverance, how to be a better writer and reporter, grew a thicker skin, and deepened my love and appreciation for news and the written word.

 

As he’s said to me many times, words mean things. We must always be mindful of the words we use and how they affect those around us, whether it’s in an article or blog post. It’s an adage I’ve carried with me throughout my career.

 

Since then, I’ve done many things. I’ve worked in the news industry since 2009 doing TV, newspaper, magazine, and radio. I’ve been a copy editor, reporter, radio news anchor, editor-in-chief, and even a weather person for a week. I have also freelanced and written everything from blog posts to business analyses on the relationship between South Korean SMEs and conglomerates. And of course, I am still working towards my goal of someday being a full-time author.

I currently work as a reporter for The Lincoln County News, though I do take freelance projects from time to time. My professional portfolio is listed on this site. If you are interested in discussing a writing or editing project with me, please email info@emilyckalka.com.  I can provide my full resume and any other writing samples or references that you require.

 

As for everything else, well, I try to live life to the fullest and never give up an opportunity to experience more. I’ve done amateur burlesque and community theater, sang Broadway at open mics, been to music festivals (and written about them), cosplayed, gone to the Winter Olympics, and interviewed some pretty awesome people in my career (current fave - Billy Boyd from Outlander and Lord of the Rings). But there is still so much more to see, do, experience, and write about. 

 

Thank you for coming to my site. Stick around. Check out my books and let me know what you think!

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