How Actor and Influencer Carrie Berk Also Became an Author With Her Ask Emma Series
Carrie Berk is proof that when you set your mind to something, anything can be achieved.
The Stage Fright actress is also a blogger with a massive social media following, and with her Ask Emma series, she's added book author to her impressive and ever-growing resume. These books follow a middle schooler and advice columnist named Emma who dispenses some sage wisdom in a blog of her own, and the latest book, Frenemies, is one we can all relate to.
We got the chance to chat all about these books and Carrie's fascinating career with the author herself. Here's what she had to say.
Sweety High: What inspired you to start writing the Ask Emma books with your mom? What kind of things did you two want to write about?
Carrie Berk: Around the same time the book came out, I started a blog, so I was inspired to create a character who was passionate about the same platform. I also was watching the movie Clueless with my mom for the first time, and I turned to her and said, "This is so dated!" The idea was to create a modern-day Cher who wanted to help others but through an online advice column instead!
The latest book in the series, Frenemies, addresses how friends go through misunderstandings and difficulties, just like any close relationship. Emma and her BFFs stop talking and she's heartbroken. I think it's especially important now—when so many friendships are strained by being apart during quarantine—to talk about our feelings. I miss my friends a lot, and we've had to find other ways (like FaceTime calls late at night) to stay close even though we are apart.
SH: What is the most powerful message that you wanted to get across with the latest book in the series?
CB: Cyberbullying is prevalent, especially as we spend more time online during the pandemic. Emma faces a lot of cyberbullies, but she learns to overcome them with a little help from her close friends. She learns that not everyone will love and support her blog, but she must still stand her ground and maintain her passion for helping others.
SH: What are your top tips for staying socially connected during these challenging times?
CB: Social media is key. I love connecting with friends and supporters from around the world through Instagram and TikTok. Feel free to join a new TikTok challenge each day. Plan a Netflix party with friends. Purchase a Friendship Lamp to connect with others from afar! I posted more tips on my blog!
SH: Do you have any rules of thumb when it comes to being respectful and empathetic on social media?
CB: Not everyone will support what you do, and revenge is never the answer. Stay in your lane and surround yourself with people who have your back. If you keep striving toward success and ignore online bullies, eventually the hate will dissipate.
SH: Between your acting, writing and being an influencer, is there one part of your job that you're most passionate about?
CB: I love all sides of my career! I'm so grateful for the opportunities I've had, whether on screen, paper or social media.
SH: What makes TikTok different from all of the other platforms out there?
CB: TikTok has a sense of community unlike any other social media platform. I love how every day there's a new hashtag or challenge that anyone can contribute to. The "For You" page is also a really special feature—it allows people to explore videos catered to them that they may not necessarily have come across otherwise.