Sunday, November 12, 2023

Interview With Author Sonja Williams


1. What inspired you to write this book? I was inspired to write this book, A Kid's Guide to Life Choices by two events that have occurred in my life:

a) Constant interaction with my nieces and nephews as they were growing into the adults they have become today, ranging in age from 22 to 38.  As I tried to impart knowledge upon them, I noticed they had issues with understanding why savings were important and understanding the difference between needs and wants.

b) The mentoring program I ran with the kids at Washington High School in Atlanta, Georgia as an employee of BlueLinx, Inc. I created a game called My Potential Life which introduced the kids to real life situations for which they were required to think about and record the financial impact of their decisions.  Overall, I wanted the kids to understand that money is emotional and that nothing is free (someone pays for it). 

2. What exactly is it about and who is it written for? The book is a quick read that covers needs and wants from the perspective of what a kid (13-15 years of age) might think of as achieving the American dream of success - a big house, a luxury car, a big family, great education.  It includes examples that drive the point home that responsibility is a big part of getting those things that you need and want. It is designed for parents of kids in that age range and the kids themselves, preferably as part of a school curriculum. 

3. What do you hope readers will get out of reading your book? In a nutshell, I hope readers come away with a good idea of what it takes to acquire those things they need and desire and that the choices made early in life don't come without consequences. Think before you act. 

4. How did you decide on your book’s title and cover design?  I went through an iteration of titles, but decided on A Kid's Guide to Life Choices because it helped to identify the audience and the message.  The cover page makes the targeted audience know that the content is aimed at kids that are entering their pre-teen/teenage years. 

5. What advice or words of wisdom do you have for fellow writers – other than run!? I would advise other writers to take their time and get the message right.  I'd also advise them to be patient, and find a good partner(s) to help with marketing.  This process is not easy and marketing is not the same as publishing. 

6. What trends in the book world do you see -- and where do you think the book publishing industry is heading?  I see speed to write on the part of writers and an increase in the number of people who want to self-publish.  Self-publishing would be great if it was as easy as the name implies, but it isn't.  I think the industry for writing and publishing will continue to take advantage of existing technologies as well as dive into artificial intelligence, which I am a little afraid of due to lack of controls and integrity on the part of some people. 

7. Were there experiences in your personal life or career that came in handy when writing this book?  Yes.  The mentoring program I mentioned earlier as well as growing up and experiencing the house, car, family decisions.  I remember being 20 years old and seeing my first luxury sports car, a Porsche 911.  Even back then, I found out that the vehicle was about $90,000, which was a little more than I was prepared to pay for any car. That changed how I looked at those big-ticket items and life in general.   

8. How would you describe your writing style? I would describe my writing style as KISS (keep it simple silly) I find that when I try to provide to many details, it tends to be a turn off, especially with the group that I am targeting which tends to be a younger crowd. I can't really say that my writing is similar to any author I have read.  This is because when I read, it is generally a mystery which I may read to relax. 

9. What challenges did you overcome in the writing of this book? The biggest challenge I had in writing the book is analysis/paralysis.  I didn't want to make the book available until I got it to the point where I thought it was perfect.  I had to remember that I could always make changes.  Being an accountant by education and training (first career), I also don't like wasting my limited resources, so everything had to be in place including what it would cost to get the book published. 

10. If people can buy or read one book this week or month, why should it be yours? Picking up a Kid's Guide to Life Choices should be the one for two reasons:

a) It's an important topic, especially if you have kids and b) it's a quick read which can help kids and parents not be hesitant to pick up a book.  We are inundated with so much printed and televised material that it's great to be able to get through a topic in one sitting and have learned something that will be beneficial. 

About The Author: Sonja Williams is a born and bred Georgian who grew up in the Atlanta area.  She holds a BBA, MBA, and holds certificates in human resources to include PHR (Professional Huan Resources), SHRM-CP (Society Human Resources Certified Professional), CDE (Certified Diversity Executive). She has 20+ years of corporate experience in the areas of accounting and human resources with a focus on diversity and inclusion. She loves traveling, meeting new people, and is a sports enthusiast with baseball and gymnastics being her favorites.  She loves teaching kids to better themselves though education and making wise choices. For more information, please see:

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