The Ladies started this journey with the simple thought that life is different from textbook or what society told them. They missed some things. They forgot to teach everything needed to be a successful women in today's world. The ladies came together to write a book about what they have learned throughout their lives. The And I Thought Ladies range in age from 26-62 (they are all 27 and holding) and have done every sort of job and faced challenges involved at every level of life. They discuss everything from surviving domestic violence to throwing the perfect twenty dollar party. The ladies (Wilnona and Jade) have appeared on Atlanta TV, WNAV, Everyday Woman LA TV, Roku TV, ABC, FOX, Sky and more! Check them out online at - http://www.andwethought.com/
BLH: Who or what inspired you to pursue writing and what birthed your love for books?
Wilnona: When I was seven years old my teacher complimented me on a free write, I wrote. I was hooked. I knew I would be a writer.
Jade: Wilnona inspired/forced me to write. After Wilnona’s initial push, I have often found the inspiration to write.
BLH: When and why did you launch the "And I Thought" radio show?
Jade: We started the Show in January of 2016.We started the podcast to chronicle our journey. We eventually became curious about publishing, directing, acting, and so much more.
Wilnona: I was taking an audio engineering class at college. One of the assignments was producing a book podcast, so that is what I did. At the time, the whole group of original writers were getting together once a week for interviews about the new book. We agreed to do the podcast once a month. That didn’t last long, but Jade and I kept going.
BLH: Tell us the top 3 things that authors can gain from appearing on "And I Thought".
Wilnona: First, we consider ourselves to be good interviewers for authors who have never done an interview. This is a great way to get used to doing interviews. We also tend to help our guest should we be able to reach out to other interviewers or toward whatever our guest's dream is at that time.
Jade: We have a wonderful a conversation with most of our guests. We tend to stay in contact with the guests and offer speaking opportunities to be in our magazines and show up for table reads. This tends to come with other interviews. We add many of our guests to our network. So, when other event planners or podcasters ask about potential authors to interview, we can suggest former guests we actually know.
BLH: Wilnona, is And I Thought Divorce Was Bad your first book? Please give us a brief overview of the story.
Wilnona: I wrote a few other books before And I Thought Divorce was Bad. However, And I Thought Divorce was Bad is my first published poetry book. And I Thought Divorce was Bad is a celebration of life after a hiccup, be it grief, divorce, losing a friend, your children leaving home, or abuse. It is a raw look into how a woman changes as life throws curve balls.
BLH: How did you get "And I Thought" on Roku TV? I love Roku TV!
Jade: We used instant TV Channel.com. This service setup the channel for us. We had to do the research about the pictures, and metadata. Besides that, Instant TV Channel did the rest.
BLH: Tell us about the And I Thought book series.
Wilnona: The And I Thought book series is a way to acknowledge the reader whose life has turned out different than expected. The book series is our way to say "that’s okay" to readers who are adjusting to change. We were there once. In the book series, we share what we did to make it to the other side. We do this the only way we know how, by having fun and smiling while overcoming our own life surprises.
BLH: You travel the world, interviewing in London, the USA and Ireland. Where did you learn your hustle?
Jade: When I was young, my parents would give me money (no chores involved). If, I wanted more than they generally gave me, I could save for it or try to earn some money on my own. From that point on, the hustle started. Just a sidenote that my parents would see me working toward what I wanted and always kicked in the last little bit of money for me to get it.
Wilnona: I had a publishing company when I was 19. I don’t mean the self-publishing type of publishing we have now. Every morning before heading to work, then school, I would print out the book or print it on my industrial copying machine. I'd take those two-sided pages, have them properly formatted and cut down to book size. Then, I started haggling over the cost of paper for the book covers. After I procured the paper, I printed the graphics at another printer 30 minutes from home. Then, it was back home to start the project of actually assembling the book. I mean gluing the pages onto the cover after trimming it down to size. I made $1,000/month profit doing this. I learned my hustle from this.
BLH: Tell us about your 2019 Thoughtful Book Festival. What was that experience like?
Jade: The Thoughtful book festival is always a lot of fun. It has been a virtual festival since we started it. The festival offers many different subjects that seasoned author or new authors would find interesting.
Wilnona: We were exhausted. It was a lot to coordinate. But, it was worth it. The information, and the authors that show up every year are amazing. Each year we stand in awe.
BLH: For Book Lover's Haven readers who are interested in launching their own book festival, please tell us what goes into building out a successful book festival.
Wilnona: We try to keep up with authors from most genres and develop relationships with people in publishing and in Hollywood.
Jade: A lot of coffee. Besides that, a great line up. A great line up does not have to be 75 bestselling authors. The lineup can include people talking about the business end of writing/editors explaining why you need them,etc. The last tip is to know something will go wrong and that’s ok. Have fun and learn a bunch at the festival.
BLH: Please share two to three tips that authors could use to land radio interviews.
Jade: Get a Wilnona. (LOL) Outside of that, do not be afraid to ask for an interview. Also, when you are on your interview be engaging.
Wilnona: We find it useful to tie our books to bigger social issues or concerns. We use that to interest others into wanting to talk to us. It is important to remember an interview has to offer something to the audience not just be a sales pitch for the author.
BLH: What are the top two actions that you have seen authors get right while marketing their books?
Wilnona: Many authors get professional book covers because no matter what people say, they do judge a book by its cover.
Jade: Getting reviews, and taking out well targeted ads.
BLH: Are you working on any new books? If so, please give us a glimpse into what you are working on and when we can expect to see it on the market.
Jade: We recently released a few books of pop poetry: If Only I Were Me / a memoir in Verse (2nd edition) and A Thoughtful Collection / a miss-fit guide (2nd edition)
Wilnona: We have an audiobook coming out soon. And I Thought… Being Grownup Was Easy.
BLH: What last words of encouragement or advice would you like to leave with The Book Lover's Haven readers?
Wilnona: Keep pursuing your dream. I started writing at ten and didn’t get my career anywhere close to where I wanted it to be until now. So, keep writing.
Jade: Thank you for reading this interview all the way to the bottom. It is much appreciated. Also, thank you Book Lover’s Haven for having us. My words of advice (my 2 cents), keep perusing those goals and let nothing stop you. Remember that progress is progress! So, no matter how little that progress is, it is still one step closer to completing your goal.
“Indeed, learning to write may be part of learning to read. For all I know, writing comes out of a superior devotion to reading.” — Eudora Welty