We had the good fortune of connecting with The Ladies(Jade & Wilnona) and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi The Ladies, why did you pursue a creative career?
Wilnona: When I was seven a teacher told me I wrote a fantastic page turning free write in class. She wished I would learn about a plot to make the threads come together. I was sold on being a professional writer although my teachers tried to talk me out of the profession. I was published for the first time when I was ten. At that time I dropped my first love of medicine and focused solely on writing. Accepting rejection became a part of my daily life because I started to query publishers and of course they all said no. At 12 I made my first few dollars by writing a story and letting school mates, family friends, read the notebooks where I wrote my stories. The tablets were passed to their friends each person paid five dollars, three dollars was returned when the tablet came back to me. The two dollars were used to buy a new supply of notebooks or just saved if I had enough paper. This is a long way of saying I continued to pursue a creative career because it was my first job and has always been dependable stream of income when I needed it to be there. This became my sole career because Jade persuaded me to go back to writing poetry. Well, here I am and the career kinda pursues me now.
Jade: Wilnona dragged me kicking and screaming. The things you do for your best friend. After the initial hesitance I really liked pursuing a creative career. I never thought of myself as a writer/poet but Wilnona said she always thought I could be. I am enterally grateful for her seeing this dream for me. Thanks Wilnona.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Wilnona: What sets us apart from other poets is our personality and writing style. I’ve been around other professional writers since I was 10. They have spent time mentoring, and teaching me how to improve. What I learned was I didn’t want to be a literary poet. How I was going to achieve that was never clear to me so I started writing genre fiction, mostly suspense thrillers. When the ladies were formed I found my niche.
There aren’t chapters in our book. Where chapters would be we write steps to a biscuit recipe, directions to key west, in one series we write the whole book as an answer to a classified ad in, including a resume. Each section correlates to the poetry theme.
Our main strategy to getting where we are today is brand expansion. We constantly push the boundaries of what people think a poet should be. We made an online clothing store out of poetry. We have wearable poetry. This another reason we consider ourselves to be pop poets. I’m going to let Jade answer the question about challenges
Jade: We are Pop poets or a loner way to say it is Pop Culture poets. Our writing is not the traditional poetry you are forced to read in school. We write with women and some men of all ages. That is what sets us apart. We strongly believe in our tagline we say at the end on our show/podcast “wisdom is all around you if you’re open to finding it and accepting it.” I believe that writing with people of all ages, and backgrounds brings that wisdom to the reader.
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?
Wilnona: I always start with where I fell in love with Atlanta. The CNN building. Something about knowing that the news is so close at hand makes the city feel on the cutting edge. It’s odd reason to love the city. My guest of course have to go to the omni hotel for the view from the Top Draft bar. Then we must walk off the calories from the cocktail and food in cenntinal park. Sometime during their visit I bring everyone to my aunt’s house, because my cooking/bartending actions aren’t on par with hers. I explained the touristy part of their visit. I’m going to hand off night life to Jade.
Jade: Thanks Wilnona. Here are some places I would take visitors I love, love, love cheesesteaks so Philly G Steaks is a stop I will never pass up going to. Scofflaw Brewing Co. because who doesn’t love a good beer, and Ponce City Market food, shopping and The Roof need I say more.
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?
Wilnona: My mother deserves the most credit because she didn’t freak out when I came home at seven with my career change. At 5 I decided I wanted to be a doctor (a neurosurgeon) because I loved anatomy but especially the nervous system and the brain. Instead of trying to change my mind, she bought me notebooks and let me write. She passed away a week before my first tv appearance. (2) I want to thank Brandy M. Miller the 40 day writer because she is always there with her enormous tool box of skills ranging from advertising/marketing to editing skills. She is one of the many secrets behind our success.
Jade:My dad he has always been there for me as a shoulder to cry on, lean and climb on. Thank you Dad I know you’re reading this.
2.) I have to agree with Wilnona Brandy M. Miller she is amazing. She edits our magazine and is the 40 day writer has many books out and even has a Twitch channel.
3.) Gina Smith wonderful Marketing, Jo Sands Book narrator and podcaster, Gheliza Rowe audiobook radio in the UK, Sue Sheridan Opque Artist She is a manager and very knowledgeable,Gregg Patrick our brand photographer (thank you the photos are stunning),Monika Thornton CEO of Powerful Beginnings she is doing great work with domestic violence survivors (thank you for you’re great work) and Iolande Argent, and the countless others out here paying it forward but I didn’t have enough space to write all of you in.
Other: Tik Tok: https://www.tiktok.com/@andithoughtladies?lang=en Merchandise Store: 1) Clothing https://www.cowcow.com/artist/andithoughtladies?ps=80&fbclid=IwAR3lHUMdu0zJ8J_PUGRmxH0ipcTfS46a3-IbssevFnY59zVD0JU_4ZBYx1U 2) Merchandise https://www.cafepress.com/andithoughtladies Podcast: 1)And I Thought: https://www.spreaker.com/show/and-i-thought 2)Meet Hollywood Monday https://iheart.com/podcast/81283869 3)The Ladies Tales https://open.spotify.com/show/62EJBqqffdyWeSyCr8Ex8c 4)The Writing Class https://www.spreaker.com/show/writing-class Facebook TV And I Thought https://www.facebook.com/And-I-Thought-Ladies-1871832516261122 Ladies Tales Podcast https://www.facebook.com/Ladies-Tales-Podcast-107492197684620
Gregg Patrick Photography