We had the good fortune of connecting with Andrew Snorton and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Andrew, what do you attribute your success to?
Of the factors that are helping me grow since my author debut in 2017, just showing dedication to the craft is key to my success. Dedication shows in multiple ways, ranging from your focus, making adjustments for growth, your consistency in sharing your narrative of the work you are doing, being engaged with bookstores from all walks of life (from your “big-brand” to your independent stores), and of course, showing this same consistency and gratitude to your readers (current and future). Underlying with this is being respectful to those who have come before you (as writers), the stores and festivals you work with, and being appreciative of the opportunities presented. Doing so allows you to enter spaces and places others can’t and won’t be able to go; I am extremely fortunate to be where I am and truly looking forward to what lies ahead.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Authentic and accessible. This is the mindset I have when it comes to my writing, my television show, and related work. When you consider the writing styles (from poetry, inspiration/testimonials, sports, and an audiobook series that is freestyle in nature), it takes a special kind of writer or mindset to do so in a credible manner. With my television show (The Conversation Corner), having credibility with a wide range of guests across entertainment, business, community, and even candidates for state, local, and national office, it showcases a skill set that others may not do in a fluid manner as possible. I’m excited and proud of where I’ve come from since 2017; if anyone had told me at that time I’d have written 3 books, recorded 3 audiobooks, edited fellow authors’ books, host a show, and still conduct education related work (i.e. tutoring, student coaching, ACT/SAT prep, and related workshops), I don’t know what I would have said then. However, I do know what I’d say now: I’m thankful for the growth and looking forward to building upon what I’ve done with a similar tenacity, focus, and making adjustments to be an even better resource. Getting to this point was not easy (actually, it’s still not easy). There have been some lean days and times I’ve questioned why I am even going this direction. However, my faith, and reminding myself this stage is akin to running a journey, yet being willing to pick up my pace periodically (i.e. the combination of working hard and smart, taking time to continue to learn, and make adjustments), are key components of getting me to this point. Combined with a team of supporters known and unknown, these are things that will help me get to where I’m trying to go (which is to grow as an author, host, speaker, educator, and expand my reach in as positive and professional a manner as possible). Getting here does mean you have to encourage yourself, and sometimes, you do have to unplug and revisit a few things. You do have to filter out the noise of negativity and destruction from people (who aren’t even trying) dissuading you from your goals, and sometimes, that voice you have to silence is yours (meaning doubt or fear). Again, just stay the course. The way you travel may change, but keep traveling and get to where you are trying to go, which is a higher and more positive level of professional and personal growth. I hope that the main thing the world learns from my story is that is CAN be done. Get started, research, formulate a strategy as well as an action/business plan, and stay focused. Mistakes are going to happen, but use them as learning tools. As taken from my book “nothing Minor” (and my interview with Tristian Casas), you either win or learn a lesson. There are plenty of lessons to learn; take time to apply what you’ve learned and continue to grow and remember that you CAN.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
This is a great question as during our now-normal (due to Covid), it’s a little interesting. Here are some things we can do during these times:
1. Scheduled arts times. The High Museum of Art and even Fernbank (to tap into the big kid inside of us) would be 2 places to go to just appreciate and take in the arts.
2. Scheduled music time. This is a little tricky as we’d have to find venues operating at limited capacity, but favorites include Kat’s Cafe and The Velvet Note (we’d have to book a reservation as their space is limited, but given these times, safer venues to visit).
3. Scheduled history time. Again, on an appointment basis, the King Center, the AU Center, and the National Center for Civil and Human Rights are must-visit venues.
4. Sports time. The College Football Hall of Fame is a must; pro and college games would be on the to-do list, but again, due to Covid, it’s about being creative and as safe as possible.
5. Places to eat. One of the sneaky good places is Slim and Husky’s, especially on $10 Tuesdays to get a taste of #Pream. Others along these lines include Auto Spa Bistro (they do a great car wash, but their food selection is awesome, and you may run into someone famous from time to time), Tin Lizzy’s (on Memorial Drive), Slutty Vegan, Milk and Honey, and Poor Calvin’s among other spaces and places. I would also make a stop at Piedmont Park, but one of the calmer spaces where there’s some great views of the city (or from one of the area high rises where you can truly enjoy the skyline. Again, it’s a little tricky given the current health landscape as it’s truly safety first. Now when we get through this, I’m sure there’s more spaces I can think of!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to thank all of the bookstores who are carrying my books (Wake Forest University Main Campus Bookstore, Park Road Books, Hub City Bookstore, Fiction Addition, Book Additions, Black Dot Cultural Center, Medu Bookstore, Nubian Bookstore, Tubman Museum Bookstore, Lemuria Books, Readmore Book-N-Card, Pan African Connections, Detroit Book City, Young Gifted and Black Children’s Bookstore and Workshop, Winder Public Library, and Luella High School). I thank all media outlets who have interviewed me, including (but not limited to) Time with JC Moore, DNA Sports Talk, Chicks Into Sports, Hard in the Paint Sports, Good News with Twanda Black, Black Diego Magazine, Georgia Heartland News, Gwinnett Daily Post, the Winston-Salem Journal, the Winston-Salem Chronicle, WJCU, WSNC FM, and Wake Forest Magazine. I am very thankful to the Status Network not only for my interview with the show Say-Tell-Us (September 11, 2018), but them seeing something in me to have me host a show of my own (The Conversation Corner). Now in my 3rd year, given the wide array of guests across entertainment, business, community, and more, I am grateful for the opportunities to not only connect with some amazing people, but expand my reach beyond my wildest dreams. By the same token, all of the book festivals, including (but not limited to) the Mississippi Book Festival, East of the River Book Festival, Detroit Book City Festivals, African-American Authors’ Book Festival (Nashville), and the Bluffton Book Festivals have been a tremendous help. The same goes for all readers and supporters, including EmoryRose Photography.
Other: https://www.statusnetwork.net/Shows/conversation-corner/ Twitter and Instagram: @asnortonccs YouTube: youtube.com/channel/UCmirissSEw4FBWGt-FiFjUg
All images are taken by Andrew Snorton except for the black and white photo (photo credit to EmoryRose Photography).