Encountering Sister Souljah: Prt 2
So check it. The hubby and I made a weekend of ATL. We went out to eat, grabbed a drink and went back to our hotel. I woke up early the next day, had breakfast and started preparing for my interview. I skimmed my questions over and over again, practicing etiquette, tone etc. Like I said, her energy was so powerfully-calm, that it made want to step ALL the way CORRECT when encountering Souljah. I do a couple woosaah’s to calm my nerves, and press call: She picks up.
Not an assistant who has to connect me to her line, or pass the phone over, but HER! I’m a little nervous, as I am about to interview my literary idol and I feel like I’m a little in-over-my head, but I begin. I say my greetings, give thanks for the interview, and ask if I may record our audio. She gives me permission, but not without saying— “For transcribing purposes only”. Hahahaha So no, you guys won’t be getting that audio!
I begin by telling her the angle of my article and start going through the questions I so carefully composed. After all, this was Souljah I was interviewing so I didn’t want to ask any mundane, run-of-the-mill questions. I wanted to ask smart questions, I wanted her to be impressed by me. I wanted…..for her to take me home and lock me in her library, and hold me captive until she’s successfully transferred all of her knowledge to me. But unfortunately, and despite all my “best-case” imagined scenarios, that didn’t happen. And no, she and I did not become best-friends either. #Damn #WhyNot? #ImCoolAsHell #SheWouldHaveLovedMe
But I continue, and read her roughly….8 of the 20 bomb ass questions I had for her, and she stopped me cold: “Young sister, and with all due respect, I agreed to a book interview, and you are asking very big documentary-style questions. I cannot answer those types of questions for you for a number of reasons. I am on a book tour, and I agreed to a book interview” (emphases on the words book & interview lol). In short, she said she was working on a project that speaks to some of the same material I had in mind. Basically, her thoughts and ideas are gold and proprietary, and she couldn’t give me her thoughts on the issues I wanted discuss. #Bummer #OMG #WhatTheHellAmIGonAskHerNow?
My big, iconic interview idea kind of backfired because I didn’t realize that I was being ballsy, thinking I could ask those types of questions. All I knew is that I didn’t want to waste the opportunity asking dumb, shallow questions. It never fails, every interview I see of her interviewing about her books or characters, the people always ask dumbass, stupid questions. Questions they could answer for themselves if they’d actually ever read one of her books. So, I wanted to be different and memorable, and I wanted to talk about her activism, and thoughts on our society, etc.
I wasn’t prepared for an alternative angle, and of all the mishaps I tried to imagine in attempt to protect this moment, I never dreamed of needing an alternate approach and a whole new set of questions. What am I to do now? She’s on my line, and is not willing to answer any of my questions…respectfully lol.
I come clean: “Big sister Souljah, I have to be completely honest with you and tell you that I am not prepared for an alternative angle. Please forgive my audacity, but I didn’t realize that my interview needed to be specifically about the book series; although in hindsight that does make perfect sense. I’m a well-versed-well-read fan, I’ve read all the books multiple times, so for me to even ask you questions that would be worth my asking, your time, and this opportunity, I’d need a moment to think”.
She’s kind enough to tell me that there was nothing audacious about my angle, I went after what I wanted, but she just can’t give it to me. Being the gracious Queen that she is, she said to me: “Young sister, you’re fine, you did not offend me. I said I would give you a book interview, and you’re going to get it. Call me back this time next week, and you’ll get your interview”.
I thanked her for her kindness, and told her that she would not regret it. We exchanged a few words about life and people in this industry, and she tells me that she gains nothing from making someone feel small or like her time is more precious than theirs.
I hang up feeling a myriad of emotions: gratitude, accomplishment, slight disappointment, but mostly thanksgiving. I had not lost the opportunity, despite my epic fail.
To be continued….
Check Out This Bonus Video From The Souljah Encounter!