I’d like to welcome B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree Lynnda Pollio to Layered Pages today. Lynnda was born in rural New Jersey, she grew up surrounded by trees. She communicated to insects, raised baby birds that fell from their nests, and wandered through a childhood feeling like she belonged somewhere else…like there was always some other time, some other place that was waiting for her. As an adult, Lynnda moved to New York City and began experiencing life from many perspectives. After her father died, she heard a voice tell her to go to Sedona, AZ, and that began a journey into spiritual awakening. She immersed herself in raw foods, spiritual disciplines, energy work and levels of awareness.
Lynnda has always been deeply committed to elevating human consciousness. This life purpose guided her as an accomplished senior advertising executive, as a consultant and thought leader in conscious business practices, and as the world’s first Chief Consciousness Officer, supporting Fortune 500 companies by helping them engage the human technologies of wisdom, intuition, compassion, empathy, forgiveness and gratitude. Currently, as a New Consciousness Educator and Author, Lynnda continues to connect people with the universal truths that lie within their hearts, so that we all may reach a more sustainable, caring future. Lynnda never expected to be a writer until she heard the mystical voice of Addie Mae Aubrey, a Southern, African-American woman asking to tell her story. Together they shared an amazing journey through space and time that transformed the author’s life forever.
How did you discover indieBRAG?
I discovered IndieBrag online, as I stumbled around looking for a platform to promote Trusting the Currents. As an Indie-published author, it is difficult to find ways to illuminate your book. I loved how authentic they were. I wasn’t looking for anyone to tell me the book was good. I wanted honest insights. I felt I got that from IndieBrag…lucky for me they loved Trusting the Currents and awarded me a medallion.
Tell me about your book, Trusting The Currents.
I never expected to write Trusting the Currents until I started hearing the voice of a Southern, African American woman, Addie Mae Aubrey. I began writing what she told me and two years later I had the first draft. I wrote stream of consciousness. I never knew the story until I wrote it, and she always picked up where she left off. It took me another 10 years to finish the book, (It was quite a journey) and Indie publish it. It’s an interesting novel in that it has three layers to it. The first is the story itself, of a teenage black girl in the late 30’s/early 40s rural South, the second are inspirational life messages woven through her story. And the third is an energetic frequency that helps to bring the reader deep into their own heart and story while they read about Addie Mae.
Tell me about Mae Aubrey.
Addie Mae has been the most important person in my life. She changed everything I became. Through sharing her own life experiences and struggles, she brings readers into their own struggles and opens their heart to find answers. She came to me as an old woman but she told me the story of her teenage years. Though I was told Aubrey was her last name, I was writing the book for a year before she gave me her first name. She explained I had to discover it for myself. I kept changing it but nothing felt right. Then, while watching TV one day, on the anniversary of the Birmingham church bombing that killed 4 little girls, on the screen was a picture of each of the girls. As soon as I saw Addie Mae Collins, I knew that was her name, Addie Mae. It became my way of honoring those girls. For the rest of the writing of the first draft, I kept a picture of Addie Mae Collins taped to my computer. Addie Mae sort of shape shifts and becomes each reader.
Will you tell me a little of what life was like for her in 1930’s rural south?
The emphasis of the story is not on her location, her race, her age, or her gender. These are just place marks for a more universal theme of sharing the human experience. In Addie Mae’s mind, she just happened to be living in the South at that time, just happened to be black and female. While I was writing, I had to keep these structures as loose as possible. (I actually just guessed when she was living, by the story itself). I did not know why at the time. But now I realize it was because everyone can see themselves in Addie Mae, regardless of race, gender, age, religion and culture. By keeping the details of her life loose, the readers’ mind does not create judgment about who she is and they can see themselves in her easier. But, she lived a small, simple life in the South at that time.
What is one of the things she learns about the spiritual world?
Two things define Addie Mae’s journey and the person she becomes at the end of the book. Reading and spirituality. The spiritual center of the book is her cousin, Jenny. It is through Jenny’s guidance that Addie Mae experiences the magic of nature and of the journey of self-discovery. She learns to trust her own inner guidance, even when she does not quite understand it. Unlike Jenny, who is connected to “The Invisibles” and is steadfast in her beliefs, Addie Mae stumbles through her spiritual growth. But ultimately, she learns to “trust the currents.”
Who is Jenny?
Jenny is Addie Mae’s beautiful, bi-racial cousin who comes to stay with Addie Mae and her mother after her own mother is killed in a fire. She is brought there by her shadowy step-father, Uncle Joe. Jenny lives by her own rules, which cause her to be a bit of an outcast. But she is the wisdom keeper of the family. Throughout the struggles and tragedy in the story, Jenny is always Jenny. She is my favorite character.
Why did you choose to write this story?
I did not choose to write this story. It chose me. I never expected to me a writer, particularly write a book. But here I am, an Author, having won 10 book awards and garnering beautiful reviews. When I first wrote Trusting the Currents, I did not know if it was meant for anyone but me. At first, I just HAD to write it. I was reluctant but Addie Mae was insistent and I could not do anything else during the day if I did not write some of the story. Once the first draft was completed, Addie Mae left and the rest of the book—the years of editing, giving up, editing more, giving up again (because why was I doing this?) and then deciding to Indie publish was all mine. Trusting the Currents has defined my life in many ways. And I hope it helps others in their own journey through life.
Who designed your book cover?
Vanessa NoHeart from Sacramento, CA. She did an amazing job. I wanted a cover that would help people experience the same feeling while holding the book that they do when reading it. And she succeeded. Everyone loves to hold the book! People tell me they can feel the energy of the story within it. Particularly the paperback.
How did you come up with the title for your book?
Trusting the Currents took 10 years to complete because I kept giving up, then would be called back by Addie Mae, the narrator. She would not let me surrender. For most of the book’s writing, it was called Soulseeds. I was very attached to the name. But much happened in my life during those ten years. I struggled. It was when my mother fell and I had to care for her 24/7 for months on end, that I went back to the book one long, sad night. While I wrote another edit, I felt a new energy come into the story. When I finished that edit a couple of months later, I just knew it wanted to be called something else. I actually cried giving up the title Soulseeds as it had become part of my identity. Then I asked the book what it wanted to be called. A couple of weeks later after continued asking, I heard Trusting the Currents. So, I read the book through again with that title in mind. And I realized that Trusting the Currents is what the book is all about. It was perfect. Now I love it and can’t imagine ever having another title.
Where in your home do you like to write and what is your process?
I write mostly in bed, mostly in the morning before the day’s events begin to clog my mind with the past and the future. For me, writing is very much about being in the present and allowing it to take me deeply into the moment. I write what I feel first, whatever wants to be heard. Later, I go back and find better words and work on the structure of the writing so it flows. But if I don’t have the initial resonance with what is trying to rise from me, the writing never works. The resonance is everything.
When you’re stuck on a scene in your story, what do you do?
I was never stuck during the initial writing. Listening to Addie Mae, I wrote stream of consciousness. I never knew where I was going. It was a year before I knew I was even writing a book. I just had to write! She always picked up where she left off, so the first draft (which took about 2 years) was only dependent on me willing to listen and write and follow her direction. During the long years of editing I got stuck often because I had no idea what I was doing. Sometimes I gave up for months. Sometimes days later the words would come to me. Sometimes I would work on one sentence for hours because it had to sound a certain way. I think, in the end, it was always about not giving up. Even when I was stuck. Just give it some time and wait. The answer is always there.
Is there a particular hobby you enjoy when you’re not writing?
I am very immersed in the work of consciousness. It’s not so much a hobby as a calling. I believe we are experiencing a major shift in global consciousness. Understanding what that is and how to engage the energies to lead us all to better lives and a more sustainable future is a life-long quest of learning and helping. I practice intuition, resonance training among other energy practices. And I love connecting to people who share this inner drive. I guess seeking in my hobby.
Awards Trusting the Currents has won
2015 B.R.A.G Medallion
2014 Nautilus Book Awards Gold Medal in Fiction
2015 IPPY Gold Medal in Visionary Fiction
2015 National Indie Excellence Awards Gold Medal in Visionary Fiction
2015 International Book Awards Gold Medal in Visionary Fiction
2015 Readers Favorite Gold Medal in Inspirational Fiction
2015 USA Book News Best Book Awards top Winner in Visionary Fiction
2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards Finalist in Inspirational Fiction
2015 Los Angeles Book Festival, Honorable Mention in Spirituality
2015 Writer’s Digest Book Awards, Honorable Mention in Inspiration
A message from indieBRAG:
We are delighted that Stephanie has chosen to Lynnda Pollio who is the author of, Trusting the Currents, our medallion honoree at indieBRAG. To be awarded a B.R.A.G. Medallion ®, a book must receive unanimous approval by a group of our readers. It is a daunting hurdle and it serves to reaffirm that a book such as, Trusting the Currents, merits the investment of a reader’s time and money.