You can’t get any praise without some criticism, that’s what I learnt from Lynnda Pollio, whom I met in New York this summer. Two years after she published her book, Trusting the Currents, she sold a few thousand copies and won 12 awards. I met Lynnda on a hot sunny day in New York close to Union Square, we have some iced coffee and I tried to pick her brain how she wrote a book that turned in such success.
Lynnda Pollio’s Journey
Lynnda has amazing charisma and she’s one of the sweetest people I’ve met. I met Lynnda initially through the WeWork network and I had a long Skype conversation with her about self-publishing. At that time I only knew she published a book and that it won some awards. I read the description, a spiritual journey, and a few of over 70 reviews on Amazon that praised the story and the depth of the main character, Addie Mae.
But who is Addie Mae, really? As I learn from Lynnda, she’s based on a real person, Addie Mae Collins, a young girl who was murdered along with 3 other little girls in the Birmingham Chuch bombing in the 1960’s. After Lynnda’s father died, she heard Addie Mae’s voice, telling her to go to Sedona, Arizona. Two weeks later, Lynnda finds herself in a place she’d never been before. And the voice tells her again to write a book, today published as Trusting the Currents.
Lynnda told me she went through a spiritual awakening. What she says may sound a little unusual but she doesn’t need to explain anything to me. Although I don’t consider myself “spiritual”, I know there are things in life you can’t explain unless you experience them. Her calm, yet excited voice tells me it all happened. And I don’t doubt anything she says.
Trusting the Currents
Lynnda explains that you can read her book from a few different point of views. It depends on who’s reading it and what’s that person’s journey. Some people say it’s a spiritual book. In fact, Lynnda told me that her writing has “spiritual vibrations” that open the heart chakra. Other people say it’s a fictional or self-development book. The rest of us read it as contemporary fiction. Although she agrees that neither way of reading is wrong, there are readers who claim in their Amazon reviews miracle transformation.
As far as the story goes, the story is narrated by a young Southern African woman, Addie Mae, who lives with her younger cousin and mother is a small town. The place is not an actual town in the country and Lynnda shared with me that some people criticised her work for not giving away specific details about the settings. Another characteristic of the book is that it’s not set in real time. You’re only guessing in which era it’s set. My guess was either 30’s, 40’s or 60’s. Nothing in the story suggests that television exists, although it could be just a matter of living in a small town. When I read the book, this unknowingness gave me a sense of comfort. It gave me space to imagine things the way I related to them.
Possibly the biggest challenge Lynnda had to face after publishing the book, was telling a black Southern woman’s story as a white woman living in New York. But as I learnt from meeting her, you can’t do anything great without some criticism. And Lynnda Pollio‘s book Trusting the Currents is nothing less than that – absolutely great.