Sylvia & Me, conversations with extraordinary women who are changing the world by making a difference in their lives and the lives around them. Life changing events can be frightening, exciting, overwhelming; a range of emotions. They are usually followed by decisions made by some bold, strong, independent, persevering women who open the door to a new journey. We’ll be taking journeys through conversations with these women. ‘Sylvia & Me’ can be found on most popular podcast platforms including Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Google Play and iHeart Radio. And our website, https://lifeapres.com/podcast Listen, subscribe for free and take us with you wherever you are.
Sharon G. Flake: – Multi-Award Winning Author ‘The Life I’m In’, Peeling Back the Layers
Sharon G. Flake is a multi-award winning young adult and children’s author. She is a three-time winner of the Coretta Scott King award. Her latest book, The Life I’m In follows her groundbreaking debut novel The Skin I’m In. The impact of her debut novel more than 20 years ago, is felt today. Sharon’s books withstand the test of time. It was a given that a sequel was needed, even if it took her 20 years to be convinced of it.
Sharon continues to take on the tough issues: race, self-esteem, self-protection and empowerment. Issues that teenagers can face on a daily basis. With the advancement of technology, these issues can be paralyzing. And she always reminds us that we are talking about children. Teenagers are not adults. They are still children and we need to protect them. With The Life I’m In, Sharon takes on the multi-billion dollar business of human trafficking, targeting venerable teens.
Prior to becoming an author, Sharon was a counselor for teens at a foster placement agency. Excelling as a counselor, Sharon garnered valuable insight into teens, adoption and foster parenting.
Sharon had literally exploded onto the literary scene with The Skin I’m In over 20 years ago. And she was named a Publishers Weekly Flying Start. Since then, she has won multiple Coretta Scott King Author Awards. Many of her novels have received ALA Notable and Best Books for Young Adults citations from the American Library Association. You can visit her website at sharongflake.com.
This week’s ‘Sylvia & Me – My Reading Corner’ a conversation with author Sharon G. Flake
Teenagers and children
Social media and teenage pressure
Remember – these are children
Predators and human trafficking
Survival and the power of human empathy
Compassion and its powerful cure
1st question asked
Dr. Fatima Khan: – Menopause Specialist, This Isn’t Your Mother’s Menopause, Let’s Talk
It’s no longer taboo to talk about menopause. In fact, it’s one of the healthiest topics for women to talk about. Dr. Fatima Khan is the ‘Menopause Specialist.’ She is an expert in perimenopause and menopause. Using a holistic approach to women’s physical, emotional and mental wellbeing, Fatima is empowering women through the transition.
Fatima completed her medical training in the United Kingdom from Imperial College London in 2007 where she received a Bachelor in Medicine and a Bachelor in Surgery. She also received a Bachelor in Science in Pharmacology and Therapeutics with the publication of her research.
After extensive training at Kings College London, Fatima received an Advanced Menopause Certificate accredited from the British Menopausal Society and faculty of Reproductive and Sexual Health. Fatima undertook further training in the USA on optimizing hormonal health for anti-aging and longevity. She also sees patients at AGORA Specialist Centre. Fatima is involved in teaching medical students at the Epworth Clinical School at the University of Melbourne.
Fatima and her medic husband currently live in Melbourne with their daughter. She actively educates women on menopause awareness through her social media platform. https://instagram.com/menopausespecialist?igshid=2zg06ux1u11c
A very informative and much needed conversation with Dr. Fatima Khan:
Journaling and being aware of your body
Heart disease and dementia
Perceptions and myths
A continuing conversation
Jona Frank: Author ‘Cherry Hill: A Childhood Reimagined’, Photographer, Balancing Reality and Fantasy
The debut of our special Thursday's segment 'Sylvia & Me - My Reading Corner' with author and portrait photographer, Jona Frank. Known for her portraits surrounding youth culture, Jona made a slight detour and wrote a memoir. Not one for doing what is expected, Jona’s memoir is done not with words, but with photographs. But if you’re thinking, great, a book of old photos…you're wrong. 'Cherry Hill: A Childhood Reimagined´ stars Laura Dern as her mother.
Jona grew up in the 60’s in suburban Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Her mother lived the life that a suburban housewife was supposed to live. The men went into the City, a grey background while the women stayed at home, tending to their house and family. The stereotypical suburban woman, Jona’s mother never deviated from the standards that had been set for her. She did what was expected of her, not what she may have wanted to do. But Jona rejected this way of life and went on to construct her life from within herself. The result - Jona is living her life freely, rejecting the standards that others have set.
Meet Jona Frank:
Meet Jona Frank, whose high school passion for photography led her to study at the University of California on a scholarship. Jona did go home after graduating, but returned to Los Angeles pursuing her personal dreams, not other’s expectations and standards.
Her works have been exhibited at such venues as the Smithsonian’s National Gallery in Washington, Bowdoin College Museum of Art, and the Kimbal Art Center.
A photo shoot in a small town in England and a connection with Cherry Hill
Suburbia and the stereotypical woman
Art class, a blank piece of paper, a phone call and tulips
Doing it her own way
Societal norms and individual desires
Casting Laura Dern
Staged pictures and the strain of maintaining an image
Recreating the non-Kodak moments
Creating images between reality and cinematic fantasy
Bunmi Laditan: Award Winning Writer, Believer, Moniker – ‘Honest Toddler’
Bunmi Laditan, is an award winning, Webby nominated writer. Most of you may know her by her moniker ‘Honest Toddler.’ Her debut novel, Confessions of a Domestic Failure, is a satirical, realistic look at motherhood. Bunmi has outdone herself with her latest book, : Honest Prayers to a God who Listens.
She had originally written this collection of poetry and prayers as a way of following her own spiritual journey. With candor, self-aware humor, and a profound insight, Bunmi saw that so many were struggling with similar journeys. And so with much humility, she agreed to publish Dear God. The book is for anyone seeking to reconnect as well as for those looking for a good word. Bunmi shares her journey, a journey of emotions that we all experience at different points in our lives – doubt, anger, love, desperation, gratefulness and more.
Dear God was featured on the Today Show and Bunmi is a contributor to Parenting.com, Mothering.com, iVillage.com, the New York Times and the Huffington Post. Bunmi lives outside of Montreal with her family. Her social media following is large. But more impressive is that there is communication between her and her followers, not just emoji’s. Bunmi relates and is not afraid of having a conversation, even with someone who disagrees with her.
A candid conversation with Bunmi:
Childhood and faking it
Marrying at 16 and converting to Judaism
Culture not religion
Identity as a Jewish wife and mother
Divorce and becoming a seeker
Struggles with depression and anxiety
Journey to reconnect with God
Raising her three children
Jenny Lecoat: NY Times Bestselling Author, Screenwriter, Former Stand-Up Comic, Actor, Teacher
Jenny Lecoat grew up in Channel Islands, 15 years after World War II. She knew her family’s history, but she didn’t know the horrors that they had experienced. Her curiosity peaked in her 30’s when Jenny saw photos of her family being shown in documentaries on national British television. Seeing them, Jenny realized that she had a responsibility to tell their story and the story of Channel Islands. Especially after having heard a variety of differing stories of the people and the islands’ occupation by the Nazis.
There are stories that need to be told and stories that should never be forgotten. Stories that tell the history of events that have taken place. And stories that need to correct the ones that have not been remembered correctly. One such story is the story of Channel Islands and its occupation by the Nazis.
She may never have written a novel before, but she had done quite a bit of writing. You see, Jenny had been a stand-up comedian writing her own material. She also wrote for sitcoms and soap operas. And then onto dramas and more serious historical subjects. In 2017 Jenny wrote the screenplay for ‘Another Mother’s Son’, the true story of her great-aunt who, during World War II, hid a young Russian war prisoner.
‘The Girl From Channel Islands’ is a historical novel based on the true story of Hedy Bercu and the woman who hid her from the Nazis for 18 months, Dorothea Le Brocq. The book debuted in February of 2021 in North America. It made the New York Times bestseller list its first week.
This week I talk with Jenny Lecoat:
Transitioning from standup comic to writing a New York Times bestseller
Her dad at 5 and the occupation
What you don’t know about the Channel Islands
The timing of the North American publication of The Girl From Channel Islands and the release of her movie, ‘Another Mother’s Son’
The untold stories of the heroes of the Resistance
Why this story needs to be told and remembered
How does it start
Meet Jenny Lecoat:
Jenny is a New York Times bestselling author, screenwriter, former standup comedian, newspaper and magazine feature writer and teacher. Over the last thirty years Jenny has written for a wide range of formats including feature film, television drama, sitcoms and sketch shows. She has taught screenwriting courses and is a qualified teacher of English as a Foreign Language. Jenny has studied British Sign Language enabling her to work with D/deaf writers and actors. She lives in Essex Sussex, UK with her husband, writer Gary Lawson.
Nikki Edmundson: Founder Canty Boots®, Making Special Memories into Wearable Stories
For Nikki Edmundson it all started with a single pair of her own boots - cowgirl boots that is. She cut them down to fit, folded them over and, as the saying goes: 'These boots are made for walking.' Turns out that everyone wanted their own pair with their own story. And so, in the small town of Harrison, Montana, Canty Boots was born.
‘I really had no option except to give them away, sell them or cut them and I cut them. So I cut and rolled them and when I wore them into town, everyone gave me compliments. I just figured why not, you know, why not start selling them. So that's how we started.’ – Nikki Edmundson, Founder Canty Boots®.
And that was how Nikki Edmundson started Canty Boots®. She opened an Etsy store and her first customer was from Australia. First sale and already Nikki was international!
Cowboy boots always make a statement. And boy, are they ever hard to part with.
Security vs Passion
Nikki had to make a choice - start her career as a teacher or design and handmake cowgirl boots. Teacher = stability...Boot Designer/Maker = passion and fulfillment. She made the right choice for her and it's been a great journey.
Who's Been in My Boots?
Try Victoria Secret's Models, Katy Perry, Tanya Tucker, Nahko Bear and Cam Newton, just to name a few.
This week's conversation with Nikki Edmundson:
All it takes is the first
Passion vs Security
Her all women's team
Rural and hot
Bringing stories together
Memories and walking
He's a rancher
Mom of four
It's all in the name
Finding the balance
Keeping it close to home
Turning Memories into Walking Stories
Nikki learned quickly that selling footwear, especially cowgirl boots online could result in huge returns. Not all boots fit the same. Having cut down and refreshed her own pair, people had started asking her to do the same for them. So she took it a step further. Now Nikki is giving people the chance to hold onto memories and turn their own boots into their own unique story. The result...boots that her customers know will fit and walk in their story.
Sylvia is a dynamic podcaster with a wide array of female guests who share their insight and passions with her. She's a delight! Women empowering women!
What a first-rate podcast that I came across by accident!
Sylvia and Me, Episode one, Candace Lightner and ALL episodes!
Big kudos to Sylvia for creating inspirational podcasts just when we need it! Don’t miss any- but especially don’t miss Scarlett Lewis who was able to forgive the madman who murdered her 6 year old at Sandy Hook. Her message (that came from her son) is one that everyone needs to hear right now! Thanks again Sylvia!!👏👏👏👏
It was so inspiring to hear Candace Lightner‘s incredible story! Can’t imagine surviving such a big loss much less transforming it in such a powerful way. Sylvia makes her interviews sound so effortless, like she is talking to a neighbor, yet she’s interviewing one of our nations greatest advocates. Thank you to Candace for saving so many lives, and thank you to Sylvia for sharing this. I can’t wait for the next one!