CNN commentator and USC Lecturer Miki Turner's continues work on volume two of her best-selling book, Journey To The Woman I've Come To Love, which is back in the news as part of the Black History Month celebration and discussion in Los Angeles.
In her first book, Turner asks women from all walks of life to answer the question, "When did you first fall in love with yourself?" She said the inspiration for this book came from a high school reunion where many of the women present, then in their forties, were discussing undergoing cosmetic procedures of all types. Turner said she thought to herself, "At what point do women really start to accept themselves as they are?" That snowballed into a series of newspaper articles and later, the book project was born.
The more recognizable women in Turner's book include Angela Davis, Angelina Jolie, Gladys Knight, Halle Berry and many more. She also chose to include lesser-known women, who are pillars within their own communities.
When asked how she got the high-profile women to be part of this project, Turner said it was a mix of organized interviews and what she refers to as "happy accidents." "Angelina, I ran into in Paris," she said. "Gladys Knight, I ran into in the bathroom at the Beverly Hilton." Turner would take every opportunity to let women who inspire her know about the book, and in turn, her efforts were rewarded.
Turner said in a previous interview that she, herself, was a bit of a late bloomer. She said she did not truly start to love herself until her early 30s, after landing a job at the Oakland Tribune as the first African-American female to be regularly featured as a sports columnist at a major outlet. For her, it was about moving past being a novelty in her profession and being regarded based on the merit of her work.
In addition to her accomplishments as a best-selling author, analyst, educator and photojournalist, Turner recently co-founded The Art Of Re-invention series, which launched in Paris in 2013. She also went back to school, and is pursuing a master's degree in communication management.
Turner's advice for aspiring authors and journalists is to take the tip she got from an Italian billionaire when she was trying to find a publisher for her first book. She said he told her, "Do it yourself, so that you can keep all the money and you don't have to answer to anyone."
"But make sure it's right," Turner said. "Make sure you've got something that will resonate with the people you are trying to reach."
Turner is currently working on a photo project that will highlight the women of Annenberg (the School of Communication and Journalism at USC). She expects to release the second edition of Journey To The Woman I've Come To Love by Christmas.
Check out Miki's full interview here.