We had the good fortune of connecting with Amanda Dodson Gremillion and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amanda, what’s the end goal, career-wise?
I published my book in 2019 and the first year I put a lot of money into professional editing, getting an audio book recorded and some advertising and promotion, so 2021 is the first year I will actually make a little profit. Just being able to make a profit on something that helps me and others and that I love doing has been a huge accomplishment, but I still work full time as a preschool teacher. I love that job too, but I hope to eventually make enough to focus only on this. I continue to have my writing published in more places and my blog and podcast are slowly getting more followers. My book sales continue to rise slowly as well and I feel the more money I make and the more well known I become, the more awareness and money I can raise for treatment and prevention of postpartum mood disorders. I would also love to write more books, even completely different books, like maybe a fiction one about working in a retirement community, based on my time working in one myself.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Two years ago I published a book about my experience with Postpartum OCD, Anxiety and Depression and started a blog about parenting, mental health and more. I also recently started a podcast. All are called Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. This is based on someone I know making a comment about buying someone a dress after they had a baby so they would not get postpartum depression. If only, it were that simple. My book, blog and podcast all have a little humor to lighten a tough subject. My daughter is 13 now, but back when I went through all of this, no one around me knew hardly anything about postpartum mood disorders and neither did I. I feel there is more awareness today, but still not enough and still a lot of misconceptions, not only about postpartum mood disorders, but about mood disorders and mental health in general. What I went through almost ended my marriage, so when I was up at night, not able to sleep, trying to figure what had gone wrong in my relationship and life, I wrote down my thoughts. These eventually turned into blogs, which eventually turned into people I knew, and some I did not know, private messaging me, telling me how much it helped them to know someone else was going through the same and that they were not alone. The blogs turned into a book. Some close to me were uncomfortable I was sharing so much, so it was not easy, but it was part of healing for me and also helped others in the process. It was also not easy putting so much time and money into something at first with a very slow financial return that not everyone close to me supported, so when you do this, it has to be something you absolutely love, and I do. As I have had more success and as they have seen it help others and help me, I have gained more support from those closest to me and luckily I already had support from the one I wanted it from most of all, My 13 year old daughter is my biggest fan! We have a very good relationship and are very close and of course I want to prevent her from ever going through the same.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I live near Birmingham, AL in Calera. I enjoy going to a couple of Wind Creek casinos only about an hour from here sometimes. We don’t live too far from Alabama Safari Park and it is amazing! You can feed giraffes and zebras will come up to your car, You can pet and feed a zebra! There are a lot of great parks around here where I take our dogs walking. One called Orr Park in Montevallo is a hidden treasure. Many of the trees in the park have faces and other art carved into them. There is also a dessert place in Alabaster called K & J’s elegant pastries and they have dessert that not only tastes great, but looks so amazing it has already been nationally recognized by many including the Travel Channel and Southern Living. My favorite places to go in downtown Birmingham have included Topgolf, the McWayne Center, Birmingham Barons baseball games and Railroad park. In the winter, the park often has ice skating and in the summer they have even had beef and chicken flavored shave ice for dogs. I would also take anyone who has not been to Vulcan and to the Civil Rights Museum. A couple of other fun places are Alabama Splash Adventure Water Park and the Birmingham Zoo.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My biggest inspirations in writing have all been people I know. I actually lost one of them recently. He was a friend who wrote about his own struggles with his mental health in a way that helped others and seemed to help him as well in the process and that inspired me. Unfortunately he was not able to overcome his most recent mental health struggles and he died by suicide. His name was Steve Austin and he was an author and blogger as well. I also have a second cousin who has published many books about overcoming her own personal struggles and about leadership. She also is a wonderful speaker and has a podcast, Fearfully and Wonderfully Made. Her name is Ria Story. My husband also has a second cousin who is from Mississippi, Tiffany Quay Tyson, who now lives in Denver and she has been successful as a fiction writer. She is living my dream career of just writing and blogging and teaching. All three of them have helped me in my journey and have been great mentors to me.
Allison Garza Photography