And I Thought Ladies
Photography & Words: Owen James Vincent
United States' Power poets Jade Dee and Wilnona Marie have taken the United Kingdom by storm with interviewing celebrities and even going behind the scenes with agents and managers. They recently made the list of 20 Iconic Authors according to Every Writers Resource Magazine. This dynamic duo has contributed to eleven books: The And I Thought Series & The Miss-Fit Guides.
We did a visual photoshoot with the poets and had a interview on their favourite book, their experience with winning their awards and they also gave us advice on upcoming poets and authors.
Hello Wilnona & Jade! Thank you for doing an interview with ReVamp Magazine. How has the past year treated you?
Jade: Well like everyone else right? We’ve been in our house, you make the best of what life gives you.
Wilnona: We actually took our time expanding our brand. We made board games out of our books.
Jade: Ooh! We also made sure there was no misspelt words on our website. That’s amazing right? *laughs*. We have a logo now which is super cool! We actually hired an artist to draw us a logo because you know how we are with hiring artists. It’s so important!
Wilnona: We merchandise our books even further, we made them in to dresses, bathing suits, jewellery, umbrellas and tennis shoes. Who doesn’t like a cool saying on a coffee mug or sweatshirt? We’re poets, we write a bunch of sayings all the time!
Jade: Absolutely! As Wilnona is fond of saying “Engage with your…”
Wilnona: Engage with your fan… the way they feel most comfortable. So maybe they don’t find it comfortable reading your poetry but they would listen to your podcast and your TV show, movie, all play the board game or if they want a cool classic bathing suit for the beach this year. The important thing is if you have something for them, they will be curious about the rest of thing things you have.
You’ve released many books in your career. Which book was your favourite to work on?
J: Ok so… I do like have babies. I love all of my books! I love all of them! Some of them have more love from me than others. So I really like, ‘And I thought I did my journey alone’ which will soon be coming to audio book. We also have this book called ‘If only I were me’ and then we really started to think about it, that book was really us talking by talking about ourselves.
W: For me, I’m a little selfish to say a book outside of the ladies brand. I write individually and always a huge fan of my widow series. That’s the reason I started writing in the first place! I’ve been writing it for *coughs* amount of years. I started writing it when I was twelve, so it was two years after the first time I got published. I got published when I was ten! For inside the brand, I like the cocktails poetry book.
J: Of course you would love that book!
W: I do love the collections book!
J: Oh my goodness! Yes! I do think it’s the bang for you book. We get a bunch of saying and we’ve got original artists that drew in there, painters and photography.
W: Also the reason it came about, was we have 18 poetry books all together, so when we do a poetry reading we tell a story in our books. Our books aren’t like normal poetry books, the chapters tell a story, since we’re pop poets, the sections tell a story and that’s where the poetry will be about according to the section. When you finish the sections and the poetry, you have finished two stories.
You’ve interviewed many talents such as Nate Simpson, Crissy Rock, Bailey Patrick and the Kinsman boys from Cheaper by the Dozen. Are there any talents out there you would love to get on your show?
J: There are some talented people I would love to get on our show. They are people that are really paying it forward it in the world, they’re using their platform.
W: If I list the people that I want to talk to, they’re all like mangers and studio excess…a few authors and publishing executives. Everyone’s going to be like “So where are the celebrities?” *laughs*.
J: Our podcast is all about behind the scenes of shows, in publishing etc.
Jade you won IALA 2019 Poet of the Year & Wilnona you are an Advocate Awarded Author. How did it feel to achieve both of these?
J: First I was confused! I feel like this is Wilnona’s award and it’s truly not my award at all. It felt amazing right? The truth about me is I’m dyslexic. Sometimes I look at the award, I laugh about it because the kid that struggled to read and write, got an award for it? Wait… that’s confusing? But it’s also wonderful because when my friends have their children, and if they dyslexia… I’m like I have dyslexia and I have an award for it and all these books! So you can have it!
W: The Advocate award was fun I guess because it was a surprise…
J: I totally knew it was coming though! So I made her to get the perfect dress, the make up artist needs to spend more time on your face…*laughs*
W: Yes she knew I was getting it… I was really surprised! All I got to say was through the entire speech was “Don’t cry, Don’t cry” and then I started crying but it was for emotional abuse, I was in an emotional abusive relationship, so it was not just about surviving it, but thriving it and then writing it as poetry, so other people can learn.
Any advice to creatives that want to become an author & a poet?
J: Sure! Listen but don’t listen. What will they tell you? They will tell you poetry doesn’t make money? Listen! You’re going to have a hard world of it right… You’ll say I’m a poet and they will say “Why?”
W: People do congratulate us when they meet us. They would say “Congratulations your’e a real poet”
J: Yes they will tell you your world is going to be hard. So, listen but don’t listen. You need the warning but you don’t need the negativity and keep going!
W: Never give up! Sometimes the career that you have might not be the career that you're planned but it is probably a better career. I definitely did not on planning on being a poet, I wanted to be a genre author and now I’m a poet!
With the world slowing going back to normal. What are you most looking forward to doing?
J: The Greek isles. I believe my chair is waiting for me, it is the third one from the left in the third row *laughs*. Travelling! The world can come on as it wants to I will still be at the beach!
W: We’ve got an album coming out. It’s just us reading over some poetry on top of music.