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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

BITS & PIECES: LOLA AUGUSTINE BROWN



I "met" Lola Augustine Brown on Twitter. Her tweets are always lively, honest and full of life. Per her Twitter bio, Lola is a freelance writer, single momma, traveler, whisky lover, social media something or another. We spoke via Skype while her daughter Perdida was asleep. The energy that she had online was infectious and completely full of the sentiment that I felt behind her tweets. It made me laugh that she used a voice apparatus to help her since she is not a fast typist--I myself still have to look at the keyboard in spells--but we managed to have a lively exchange as you’ll read below. Lola is the real deal, a writer with a work ethic to model after. A recent tweet said she broke her iPhone but she is still able to use it. Lola truly could make lemonade out of lemons and it would be so sweet....



One day, I saw a book at the University bookstore called MAGAZINE WRITING - THE HOBBY THAT PAYS. I bought the book, followed the directions, wrote a story on spec then sent it away to a magazine. The magazine called and offered me £100 for the story and asked if I'd like to take on a column for them. That was my start.

I think part of the reason I'm able to make a living at being a writer is that I am very diverse. I write about pregnancy and children because that is something that I am experiencing every day. I write about sex, because it is a subject I really enjoy discussing, and I think that my editors recognize that it is something I'm able to communicate about in an easy to read way that doesn't alienate readers.

One of my first regular gigs was actually a sex advice column for FHM in the UK, and then I had a Canadian sex advice column for a magazine called Razor (which is long gone). Giving sex advice is certainly something I love to do. My latest column, the one on Sympatico, a Canadian web portal, is titled “The Love Expert". I was approached by an editor I knew when I was working for Click, the magazine of Lavalife.com. I sometimes worry that because I have no formal qualifications I shouldn't be giving anybody advice so I am actually looking into doing a masters degree in human sexualities.

The column on Sympatico is clean and very vanilla, I don’t really touch on sex, but on the radio show I do here in Halifax, I get to be a little more dirty (in a smart and sassy way, using lots of innuendo, because it is a show that gets listened to by parents and kids).

I am an over sharer, and probably a little TMI at times. Revealing so much on Twitter, it is just an extension of how I am in real life. I am an open book if you're my friend, and I wear my broken heart on my sleeve.

I was named after the Kinks song. I named my daughter Perdida after a character in a couple of Barry Gifford books.  He writes with David Lynch, and wrote WILD AT HEART ; Perdida Durango appears in the movie, played by Isabella Rossellini.

I love to travel and feel very lucky indeed to be a travel writer and get paid to have all these incredible experiences. I really enjoyed Nashville, New Orleans, and Vegas obviously. I had a great experience at a spa in Lapland (Northern Finland); Rome was pretty spectacular. I always love going to Montréal because it is one of the sexiest cities I've ever experienced. The men are fantastic looking and their accents kill me.

On a typical day, I am awoken by my child telling me it's a sunny day, whether it is or not. I make a big pot of coffee and try to be a good mom for the hour before I take her to daycare. Once I get back from dropping her off, I'll sit down and procrastinate for at least half an hour drinking a second cup of coffee. I basically just try and slog my way through whatever I have to do. I work until I pick her up at 4pm, then if I’m on deadline I’ll start working again once she goes to bed.

Although single parenting and being a freelancer are incredibly hard, I do pull it off fairly well. As for advice to others in my situation, I think it's just all about finding your own way. Make sure you surround yourself with positive people who are supportive of what you are doing, get rid of any negativity because you really can't deal with that.

Finding balance is tough, especially when I'm on deadline. I pretty much work all the time, and if I'm not working I'm thinking about working. I know that's pretty sad, but I do really love what I'm doing. When I do take time out, I love to just hang out with friends doing silly stuff like going bowling or going to a karaoke bar. At home I'll watch a movie and knit, or do some canning. I'm a domestic Goddess! I am a great cook, not that my three-year-old appreciates it.

Part of the reason I love being a writer is that I don't want to have to work 40 hours a week. Time is more important than money.♥


Follow her on Twitter:    http://twitter.com/lolaaugustine

4 comments:

  1. Lovely Column as usual! And we should all be so lucky as to meet someone as interesting as Lola on Twitter or anywhere else!

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  2. Sex is everywhere....Thank, goodness.

    Lola, you have a new follower. :p

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  3. Great column as always, Fidencia, and Lola, lovely to meet you. Tho I write romance fiction full time now, I've done some (local) travel writing in the past as a freelancer and really enjoyed it. Good for you for following your passion.

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  4. Love reading about writers making a living from this profession. Impressive!!!

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