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

Hi Jillian, life can be so busy as an adult, and for many, especially those who’ve moved to a new city, making friends can be hard. We’d love to hear your thoughts?
For starters friendships in adulthood are super important. For a while there was a trend of “no new friends” which I understood but in order to grow, you have to surround yourself with different people. Sometimes we get so caught up in “keeping our circle small” that we don’t realize you can only grow if you seek new experiences, people and knowledge. A few years ago I became very intentional about the new people I allowed in my life. I actually prayed to God to surround me with God fearing, kind, intelligent women that I could learn from , and He did. Being that I grew up as an only child, I was no stranger to being alone , so even in adulthood, I don’t really hang out in large groups. I will say that when you begin to seek out friends as an adult, let it happen naturally. Your mind, body, and spirit will let you know when you need to branch out and meet new people. Also, when you’re meeting new people, pay attention to their vibe, vibes don’t lie.

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.
Currently I am a Program Manager in Cobb County. I manage some of the grants that come into the county and ensure non profits are in compliance with federal regulations. When I’m not working as a Program Manager I’m creating children’s books under my brand JilleyBean Books. JilleyBean Books will feature children’s books aimed at telling the stories of and encouraging children that often felt like outcasts. Right now there are two books under this brand, Write on Boy and Write on Girl! Both are guided journals for teens and preteens. I’m excited about JilleyBean Books because I know the books will encourage kids with low self esteem and those that often have trouble expressing themselves. Sometimes I am asked if I want to write other children’s books for the general population but what sets my books apart is the fact that they are for the kids that are often forgotten about or at least they feel that way. It’s important to me to create literature for this demographic because I was that child growing up. I want other kids to see themselves in the books I create.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
This is a funny question to me because though I’m born and raised in Atlanta… I rarely go out! But if I had friends coming in town I would definitely take them to Krog Street Market and Ponce City Market. I absolutely love the atmosphere and the food at these places. My favorite place to eat at Ponce City Market is Minero. After dining, the Rooftop at Ponce City Market is a must! The scenery is amazing and there are cute carnival like games to play. For live music and a cool atmosphere I would suggest City Winery (never been there but heard it’s nice lol) and Apache cafe’ if you’re into the Arts. The last place I would take them is The High Museum to check out the amazing exhibits.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There have been so many people that played a part in my success as a writer! First and foremost, my parents have been a huge inspiration and keep me on my toes. Whenever I tell them an idea for a book, they are all ears and are full of encouraging words.Second will have to be my best friend of 20+ years Marcus Borders. Marcus has been there from the very beginning before I had even began to write any of my books. I told him my idea for journals for teens and he encouraged me and has even helped to develop presentations for my speaking engagements. Last but definitely not least, children’s book author Crystal Swain Bates has been with me every step of the way since publishing my first book, Write On Girl! in 2017.

Website: https://jilleybeanbooks.com/
Instagram: jilleybeanbooks
Twitter: jilleybeanbooks
Facebook: jilleybean books

Image Credits
Chris Barker and Marcus Borders