We had the good fortune of connecting with Ain Drew and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ain, how do you define success?
For me, success is aligned with joy. You can have all of the material things you could ever desire and still not have the joy you deserve, because that’s internal.

I’ve gotten so much joy from reading the reviews, seeing how children receive the story of Ari J., and how parents speak about how much Ari’s story has helped their little ones deal with their complicated feelings about their appearance. My creative success is grounded in the impact my book has made, not necessarily by how many books I’ve sold.

Of course we all want monetary success, but at the end of the day, we should all do what fulfills our spirits.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
As a children’s book author, I’ve published one book and a follow-up to that book will be released later this year. I’m really proud about the reception of the book and the fact that my illustrator, Shamar, and I really produced a beautiful picture book.

The publishing process is never easy. You have to be completely open to feedback, revisions, and the subsequent reviews.

My biggest lesson has been to be open to feedback while also maintaining the integrity of your work.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We’re eating at all of my favorite lowkey spots – The Big Ketch, Atkins Park, Local Green Atlanta, and Food Terminal.

We would definitely catch some outdoor vibes on the Beltline and take a hike at Sweetwater or Cascade Nature Preserve.

For shopping, we’re hitting all the thrift stores near me and Ponce City Market – making sure to swing by Village Market.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
All credit goes to my mother who recognized me as a writer before I did.

My son, DJ, who hypes up everything I do and is truly my biggest cheerleader.

My tribe who pushes me creatively, encourages me to never compromise, and is always honest with feedback.

I also have to shoutout Black, woman-owned skin and haircare company, Urban Hydration for the partnership that made way for my book to be present in every JCP Salon around the country.

Instagram: @ainheathdrew

Twitter: @ainheathdrew

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