This week On The Same Page has the pleasure of interviewing new author, Kimberley Lindsay Wilson, author of debut book, WORK IT! THE BLACK WOMAN'S GUIDE TO SUCCESS AT WORK..
M.T.: Why did you feel the need to write such a book as WORK IT! THE BLACK WOMAN'S GUIDE TO SUCCESS AT WORK?
K.L.W.: I wrote WORK IT! because I was tired of seeing Black women getting messed over or messing up on the job. Usually these sister's had no idea that they were doing something wrong or that there were people working against them. After watching one very talented young woman get fired I sat down and starting typing what I at first intended to be letters to my younger cousins telling them what to do and what not to do on their first jobs.
M.T.: Your title is very catchy. How did you pick it?
K.L.W.: While I was writing my book a coworker kept playing RuPaul's song Work! over and over again on her tape player. I hate that song but it got into my head and I was going to call the book Work! A few weeks later another coworker and I were talking about one of the Black female attorneys at our job. This woman was what I call a Corporate Star and my coworker and I were saying it was fantastic how this attorney always looked so sharp and in control everyday. My coworker remarked, "Yeah, that's one sister who knows how to work it!" A light went off in my mind and I knew here was my title.
M.T.: Where did you do your research on the different job sites?
K.L.W.: If you mean the Internet job sites listed in the back of the book, I've either personally used each site or it was suggested to me by friends who knew I was writing a book about working.
M.T.: What do you see as the biggest problem for Black women in the work force?
K.L.W.: Lack of preparation. Racism, although a more refined version than our parents had to deal with, is still alive. Too many young Black women are completely surprised by this.
M.T.: How long did it take to write your book?
K.L.W.: I thought about writing this book for so long that when I finally did sit down to write the words just flowed out of me. I'd say it took about months to do the first and second draft. If you add in the third, fourth and final drafts I'd say it was a little over a year and a half.
M.T.: Are you at work on another book? Is it also non-fiction?
K.L.W.: My next book is called Eleven Things Mama Should Have Told You About Men. It's non-fiction and it's on a subject that is absolutely precious to me: The relationship between Black men and women. I'm so sick of books that dog Black men. Sometimes I want to go to those authors and ask them if they're taking secret payments from the Ku Klux Klan. Eleven Things Mama Should Have Told You will show a woman how to avoid the troubled or simply inappropriate man for her and will give her guidelines on recognizing the right man when he comes along. The family is the root of society and for the sake of Black America we have to start at the root with one man and one woman working together.
M.T.: How long have you been writing?
K.L.W.: Maxine, I've been writing since I was seven. I always dreamed of being a writer. My parents, especially my mother encouraged me and saved every twenty stanza poem, short story or mini novel I wrote.
M.T.: How did you find out about iuniverse.com?
K.L.W.: I belong to the African American Writers Guild and in an email discussion one of the members mentioned Iuniverse.com I decided to check it out.
M.T.: Can you explain what the print-on-demand process was like for you?
K.L.W.: It's been incredible. Print on demand is a huge money saver to the author. Instead of paying to have 2000 copies sit around in a warehouse or your garage why you hustle to sell them with print-on-demand the book is created when a paying customer wants it.
M.T.: What are some of your marketing techniques that you have found helpful in getting your book out to the public?
K.L.W.: The personal touch. With the generous help of my husband I've sit out over 700 personal letters to bookstores, magazines and colleges. Terry McMillan sent out over 40000 letters to launch her first book so I have a long way to go. The Internet has also been a huge boon. I've sent out countless emails about Work It! and even though I do not enjoy chat rooms I've done my time plugging the book there as well.
Blessings! Thank-you Maxine! I really appreciate this opportunity to talk about my book.
Kimberley Lindsay Wilson
author of Work It! The Black Woman's Guide to Success at Work (Iuniverse)
Eleven Things Mama Should Have Told You About Men (African American Images in September)
M.T.: Thanks again for your interview. Please order the books through Barnes and Nobles.com.