Episode 1

Published on:

4th Jul 2023

Join In Conversation...With Jayne Allen - Introductory Episode

Welcome to the first episode of In Conversation...With Jayne Allen!

In this episode, Jayne starts the Conversation with an overview of what to expect from each 30-minute weekly episode of her newly-launched podcast.

Jayne Allen is the author of the bestselling novel series Black Girls Must Die Exhausted, Black Girls Must Be Magic, and Black Girls Must Have It All.

Listeners are invited to participate in the podcast conversations by leaving a voice note for Jayne at https://podcast.jayneallen.com! Voice notes can contain comments about the Black Girls book series, questions for Jayne about writing, publishing, topics or characters in the books. Selected voice notes will be featured and/or answered in future podcast episodes.

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Links to Jayne Allen's Books:

Black Girls Must Die Exhausted (Book 1 of 3)

Black Girls Must Be Magic (Book 2 of 3)

Black Girls Must Have It All (Book 3 of 3)

Link to Jayne Allen's Website and Join Email List :


Announcer Voice:

New friends, old friends, family folks, and everyone here, there and elsewhere. You are now in conversation, in conversation with Jayne Allen (repeats 2x).

Announcer Intro:

Welcome to the podcast, where we take you inside and outside of the pages of Jayne's books, including the best selling Black Girls novel series, and place you in community and in conversation, centering the real life topics and people to provide you with a little entertainment and a lot of insight all in 30 minutes or less.

Jayne Allen:

Okay. Yes, I did just speak about myself in third person and I did voice my own podcast intro. This podcast is giving very DIY. I know that, but that is how we launch. Can't be perfect. Sometimes you just have to get it done on your own. Right. So anyway, let me say hello to you as your host. I'm Jayne Allen, 'tis me. So you might know me best as the author of The Black Girls Must Exhausted novel series, I just published the third and final book of the trilogy in April of this year, 2023. And this series is now headed to television. Super excited about that. And we're coming up on the five year anniversary of the first edition of Black Girls Die Exhausted. The first self-published edition, I should say, which which came out in September 2018. So now does seem like the right time to pop open the doors of this real life journey that has accompanied the book series. I really wanted to do something special for the worldwide community that these books have created. It's really blown my mind. And so with this podcast, my goal has been to create a living and breathing place for us all to connect. That's just a little bit more dynamic and rich than just the website post on my website and social media post. And I know we do talk back and forth and social media, but I figured this was something that was going to be a little bit more interactive and a lot more special. So to that end, this is actually going to be a real conversation if everything goes how I planned it to go. And so, in fact, you can leave a voice recording at any time for me. And so those voice recordings will get incorporated into the podcast. I'm going to give you the website and you can leave a voice recording with your comments about the book series if you have questions for me. If you have questions about the latest developments, you want to know what's going on with new books, with the television series. If you want to ask me about writing or publishing or what my journey was like more specifically. Any kind of question you have, any comments about the book series, all that's helpful because this really is meant to be in conversation. And so that doesn't happen without you. And it really is a two way conversation that I'm envisioning, even though it will be accessible via podcast for the whole community around the world. So the website to leave a voice recording is https speak pipe dot com s-p-e-a-k p-i-p-e dot com backslash convo. C-o-n-v-o. Super simple. I'm going to leave that link in the episode notes the show notes for this episode and probably every episode it will be there because it's it's so central to what we're trying to do here. So your participation in feedback is super important. It's just crucial to what the vision is for this podcast. It's called In Conversation with Jayne Allen. So I really want to be in conversation with you. I want to hear from you and I am so excited about this way that we can speak back and forth. So you'll leave your voice notes and it will get incorporated in the podcast. If you have questions, if you have comments, it's just I feel like it's going to be hopefully very organic and just feel like it bring us all together. There's a community. I'll speak more about this too, in this episode, but there's a community of over 150,000 people, 150,000 of us around the world. And I think it's I don't know, I'll go through the continents. I'll have to list them when I when I talk about that in a second. And I want to get us off track, which I have a tendency to do. So just know that a little bit. I am the queen of an aside. Okay? But I love to tell stories and I love to let people know who've been part of this incredible journey and part of this incredible community how big this community is and how wide the reach is. It's really, really worldwide. And I just I don't want to be the only person that knows that.

Jayne Allen:

So if you're just hearing about the Black Girls Must Die Exhausted books or the Black Girls trilogy, or if you're a reader and you don't know the full story of these books and how it's an absolute miracle that these books have made it to shelves around the world. It's just it's an incredible journey of a self-published book that turned into basically a traditional publishing best seller, which is completely rare. Traditional publishing doesn't really pick up books and place them alongside books that have started out in a traditional publishing capacity. But this book has had this very unique journey, and it's really been reader driven. And it's just to me, such an example that anything is possible. There's nothing that's impossible. The improbable is is on the other side of what is definitely guaranteed to be an interesting adventure. But it's it's doable. So the the first Black Girls Most Die Exhausted book the first edition. I like I said earlier, I originally published it on my own in 2018, in September. And then it was later acquired in 2020 by HarperCollins, a big five publisher, which was my dream ultimately. And it was a four book deal, which is very, again, very rare. But all of this was it was reader-driven. HarperCollins, it was the HarperPerennial imprint. They were so impressed by the community. It wasn't just the books, but it was the community. It was the excitement. It was the palpable energy. It was the conversations that we were having about the books and the topics in the books.

Jayne Allen:

So since 2020, that book, even after the fact, has gone on to sell over 100,000 copies around the world. And then there are more readers than that. We are a huge worldwide community. The the book Black Girls Must Die Exhausted. The first book in the trilogy. It became a Target book club pick. It was reviewed by The New York Times, which was a huge dream of mine. It was on my vision board. It was part of my vision statement that I wrote out for the project before I even wrote a word of the book manuscript. I was just so focused about what I was hoping to accomplish with this, what I hoped the book and the series would attract as an experience and just as a journey what I wanted it to be to the people who read it. Really I viewed it as an act of service and it needed a vision because it felt bigger than me. And I just I wanted to do a good job of shepherding this work. And so I wound up being on Good Morning America, GMA3 with the book. And the second book, Black Girls Must Be Magic, the second book in the trilogy, was called One of the Best Books of 2022 by Essence Magazine. So it's been everywhere, which has been incredible. And and so hopefully one of those places has brought you here. And if not, welcome. There's a lot of story in history here that we will unpack over over multiple episodes, but this has really been a true word of mouth phenomenon with readers. It's a book that people talk about and pass from one person to another, and it's a book that people read together and ultimately discuss in book clubs, which honestly, I've been in so many of those discussions, which has really been an honor for me to be able to to meet people and interact at that level.

Jayne Allen:

So how the community really grew, it happened. It started really it really started exploding in 2020, during the pandemic. And because we were all at home and I was at home, it was so important to me that these books got into the hands of whomever they should and that the conversations that were meant to happen about the topics in the book was, you know, is just still very unusual to see this type of character, Tabby Walker, as a protagonist, this black woman, protagonist, that's not really a tragic protagonist, and she's not living some kind of crazy life of crime or, you know, she's living an everyday life, she's a professional. And but just examining what she's dealing with on a day to day basis is enough of an adventure. And I think it shows readers of all cultures, dispositions, absolutely of every description, something about them themselves. So what I decided to do in my service during the pandemic and what I really wanted to do to help others with their experience of the books, I said, Look, if you're you're reading my book, virtually, I'll come to your book club, just, you know, send me a note. And so that wound up becoming over 60 book clubs around the world during the pandemic time. So there were book clubs all across the United States, California and Tennessee and Texas and New Jersey. A Book Club in India, a Book Club in England, more than one. There were book clubs in Tanzania, in Zambia, in Kenya, in South Africa, in Australia. There were club people in New Zealand. It was it was literally all around the world. And if you can imagine me sitting in front of my computer screen seeing this rainbow of people discussing this book called Black Girls Must Die Exhausted and relating to this perspective and this person, because at the end of the day, it has it's truly a human story and it's given through the perspective of a particular lens of a protagonist, Tabitha Walker, a black woman who we don't hear from often and we don't hear from enough, but who has something really important to show us and teach us and in a relatable way. I mean, you know, it's definitely a human, human story. So in those groups, again, over 60 book clubs and I did a map, which I'll I'll link to that map so you can see it's it's literally around the world. I've been trying to log every book club because it's just it's astonishing. And I just want everybody that's part of this community to know how big the community is and how how expansive the reach is. But we shared so much in those conversations. It was it was beautiful. And we shared laughter. We shared tears, we shared advice, health tips. We talked about reproductive health. We talked about self-care. We talked about workplace dynamics and trying to make it in a corporate environment and being too much and not enough all at the same time. We we asked and answered really deep and and probing questions. And I participated. And I was it was such a humbling experience to be in such a intimate space with people who, you know, some of who have known each other for years. There were family book clubs that I visited with. It was it was just so beautiful. And I'm hoping to bring that same energy and spirit into this this podcast. I mean, we talked about race, we talked about gender and friendship and self-care and happiness. What does that even mean? How do we get there? We celebrated life together, and we also claimed our visions for what we want in life to be and how we were going to participate in making that happen. That's community. That's being in conversation. And I hope that we can bring this energy into this podcast that we'll be doing basically together. So please, absolutely send me your your voice notes and your questions. I want to know what you want to talk about, what you want to hear about. I want to know what the books have meant to you. I want to hear about your experiences. I want to know what is going on. I just, I want to chat. What's up? Let me know.

Jayne Allen:

And I always say that at its core, the entire Black Girls Must Die Exhausted series, the whole trilogy, All three books. It's a human story of a woman finding her voice, a black woman. And that's against all odds and circumstances, and in particular, her circumstances. And so I joke, but I kind of meant it seriously when I say it takes three books and a thousand pages for that to happen authentically for this character, for who? For her to find her voice, given who she is. And when we first meet her, especially and in some way, some way, regardless of race or gender, of all the labels that society would tell us, apply and make us different from one another, Tabby Walker, the protagonist of this series, is some part of all of us. And I write, I needed to write. I'm an empowered woman, or basically a woman who becomes empowered because she, Tabby didn't start out that way. And, you know, she was very much, very much at the beginning. She was a kind of pick me type of person. But throughout the course of the books, she does get stronger, she gets stronger, and she does so in a way that, again, is authentic. That was so important to me. So by the end, you see her standing on her own two feet. And part of that standing on her own two feet. I felt like it was necessary to see her do it with the guy and without the guy. And I mean Capital T, Capital G, the guy, the Mr. Big, the Mr., Mrs., whomever, that that person, that partner, that ideal partner that we all ideal that we idealize thinking, oh, if just this, if just this relationship, if just this person, then everything is going to work out for me just fine. But I didn't want that to be her everything, even though she thought that was going to be her, everything, because she needed to find out that she could also be her everything. And society doesn't want to tell us that. So that's something that we have to tell ourselves. That's something that we have to see reflected in art and literature and and in so many other places. And I wanted that affirmation for me and for the people that came to these books. So it's not that a relationship isn't in the cards for her. It very much is. And you read about that and you see how it evolves. But she's not going to be defined by that relationship. And I feel like I can say that as a writer. I think you can expect that from me, from my protagonists and people in my story, that they're just not stories, that they're just not going to be defined by romantic relationships. Life is about so much more, even though that's a part of it. And I just want to explore those uncovered spaces and places. You know, who we are? Who who do we show up as when we show up for a relationship, but also when we look in the mirror? And I and I want that to be an important part of of what I'm offering as an author. So. Tabby standing on her own two feet. It needs to feel real and be real. And you need to know, I need to know, we need to know she's solid. The reader gets to know that she's on solid ground. She's standing solidly on her own two feet. And that, to me, was really particularly important, because what I realized about this genre in this space, and a lot of times with novels like this that are so character driven, people are reading to know, to basically make sure to find out that the character that they're reading about, that's that's shepherding them on this journey is going to be okay. But with my books, a lot of times my reader is reading to find out if she herself is going to be okay. Because Tabby is teaching something, showing them something about about life and a journey and relating to their own journey. And so it's important to see Tabby be okay, because I want my readers to close that book, whatever the book is, whichever one of the books and when they're asking themselves that question, am I going to be okay, that the answer for them is resoundingly yes. Yes, you are going to be okay.

Jayne Allen:

And so between the book club meetings and book festivals, bookstore events, television interviews, author events and social media posts, and I literally spent the last five years of my life in conversation with people around the world. And I have to tell you, it has shown me a world that I feel in spite of everything that's going on, a world that I feel incredibly hopeful about. And the purpose of this podcast is to share that world with you and to bring you into the conversation.

Jayne Allen:

So with that, I am very excited to tell you what you can expect from the weekly episodes. I'm calling it Weekly. Don't hold me to that. Make sure you're subscribed. Make sure you're on my email list. I will let you know when the episodes come out. Right now, I think I can commit to weekly, but there's a lot going on. But I'm super excited about this. So yes, I'm saying weekly. So here's what you can expect from the weekly, in parentheses, episodes of In Conversation with me Jayne Allen. Okay, So first you can expect conversations with authors, other authors, authors. I've met, my author friends. That's been one of the greatest perks of being an author and book rec's also. So I now am somewhat established and part of that is that I am sent and often have access to books that are coming out, diverse titles, and I just love being able to help shepherd those books into the world, help them find the audiences that are going to enjoy those books and those authors. And I love having conversations with other authors. Some of the authors that I've been in conversation with, book events, they are some of my best friends now. We're super close, so we have crazy conversations. If you think that we put crazy stuff in the pages of our books, you should hear what we talk about just over drinks or over a meal. So I want to bring that same energy to this podcast and share some books with you. Also, that if you're looking for something to read after one of my books, or if you're just, you know, looking for something similar, you want to know what I'm inspired by or what I happen to like, I'm happy to share that with you. So, you can expect that in some of the episodes. You can expect conversations with my friends and family who are willing to show up on the podcast and tell stories maybe about me, maybe funny stories. I know some of the funniest people because I think I just love to laugh. And so I think I just attract people who are funny and who also like to laugh. And so I want to bring those people. They're just people where, you know, you just sit down and, you know, you're going to have a crazy conversation if you're in a bar or you're at a restaurant together or even just somewhere out in public. It's like you're those people that people are watching, like, whatever they're having, I'll have that. So I want to share those people and those conversations with you. I can't wait for you to meet some of my friends and family. And you can also expect conversations from behind the scenes of my books, behind the scenes of the television show and other of my projects, my upcoming projects, projects in development. I want you to meet the village that it takes to do all of this stuff. It really it really takes a village. And a lot of times it's me kind of accompanying the work here, but it's reflective of so many people and I cannot wait to share these people with you and this process with you. And of course, you can always ask your questions. So I'd love to share what you want to know and give you insight into that. This journey and all of all of what it takes and all the people that that make this a reality. And you can also expect experts, conversations with experts in the field that are foundational to some of the topics that come up in the conversations with the Black Girls series. So with conversations with readers, often I found that we have topics that come up over and over again, like reproductive health, like self-care, like race, diversity, culture, black culture, cultural representation, allyship, and so all of these kind of challenging topics, important topics I have because of those conversations it inspires me to go and do some more research and kind of find what experts have to say. Because when I'm participating in conversations, I do want to be informed and I do want to be a constructive and helpful participant. So, in the course of that, I've met and identified a whole bunch of people who I will be inviting to be in conversation on these topics. They're passionate about sharing information, sharing knowledge, sharing their expertise. And so I think that's important to bolster these topics that are covered in the fiction books that I write with real life extension so that you really can get more of a benefit out of it because it seems to be something people want to talk about and know about. And then lastly, you can expect solo episodes kind of like this one that might be a little crazy little funny, true stories that have inspired my books. Believe me, the truth in many instances is definitely stranger than fiction, I will tell you that now. The stories that I'm developing for new books, for television, for movies, and maybe just true stories that have led to important life events. Just crazy, funny stuff, y'all that is entertaining. I will be likely changing the names to protect the guilty. And maybe the innocent. But I think there's more guilty than innocent parties in my crazier stories. I mean, I don't know how I can disguise myself and my own participation, but, we'll just see how that all goes. But the solo episodes should be they'll be something like this, maybe, but a little bit, maybe a little bit more out there.

Jayne Allen:

So with that said, five, five facts that you should know about me. If we're going to go on this journey together and you'll allow me to host this podcast for you. The first is that I used to do stand up comedy, so I do have a sense of humor that has been honed. It's quirky. And I, I think if you read my books, you kind of you through some of the characters, you get a sense of that. And I wanted, I would definitely have to say that one day, it is on my vision board. It is one of my dreams that I will be able to do a standup set of 5 minutes. When I was doing stand up. I was always afraid to do the five minute set on stage, like in a, you know, super real deal comedy club. I've done showcases that were kind of organized and controlled environments, but I never went into the wild and did a five minute set. So that is in the cards. You guys hold me to it. I'm going in one day to a five minute set on stage that the people have paid to to come to. So not just like an open mic, but that that is something that has that has eluded me to date. Something else, another fun fact. I used to work for Prince the Artist Prince, and he was a mentor to me. He taught me so much about what it means to be an artist, to be to be in ownership of your work and your artistry. And I spent so many years unpacking those lessons. And the crazy thing, when I worked for him, I was still very much a lawyer and had, you know, moved into entrepreneurship and marketing. And I had no idea that I was going to write not even one of the Black Girls books. I did not have the idea when I worked for him for Black Girls Must Die Exhausted. And if you had told me at that time, you're going to be an artist, I would have looked at you like, an artist at what? And and he used to ask me all the time, What do you want to do? Do you want to do music? And I always looked at him like, What do you mean what do I want to do? You hired me to do ,you know this? And it was business affairs, business development, some management. So, but, he was such an engaged and active mentor during the time that I worked for him. And I just will always be so grateful for those lessons that I got from him. So, yes, that's that's another maybe lesser known fact. Number three, another fact is that I launched, developed and launched a product, a product on QVC. I was on QVC with the product, its skincare. And I guess coupled with that is that I'm actually a licensed esthetician. I'm licensed in the state of New York. I'm a licensed esthetician. So if you have questions about skin care, you actually can ask me. I am all about good skin care. And will definitely always recommend Vitamin C. Ok, vitamin C serum. Vitamin C is an ingredient. I am all about the I'm on vitamin C brigade, but if you have questions about skin care, ask want to ask me product recommendations? I will tell you the real. Another fun fact, writing is my dream. I did not realize that even though I was writing, I just found a book that I did when I was a kid. It's like a bound book. I have to take a picture and show it to you. But it's a bound book and it's it's pages that were typewritten, folded in half, sewn together, and then the cover is cardboard, wrapped in wallpaper scraps. And then the title is handwritten in my little child scribble on the front. The title is handwritten. And then I just I remember being so excited that I was I had my name and I had a book that was a physical representation of my story and my work. And so I realized after the fact that it was more than just a project. It was something I just kept doing. But my original dream, when I used to tell people what I wanted to do, I always said, I want to be Oprah. So I think I've always wanted to facilitate community and host conversation. So thank you for letting me live my dream out a little bit with you. And the last thing is, I speak three languages. I speak English. Je parle français. I speak French. Y yo hablo espanol tambien. I speak Spanish, and I also speak a Detroit black vernacular. So whaddup doe? If you're from the D and you know what I'm talking about.

Jayne Allen:

So I've felt so blessed to to leave every conversation that I've had with with readers and authors and other people feeling so inspired and and turned up, just turned all the way up energetically vibrationally and otherwise. And there's just so much brilliance and insight that I've gained that I just want I want to bring this to you. I want to share this with you. This is why we're in conversation and this is what you can expect from me. So just I have so much to share with you beyond just the long form writing that I do. And I'm going through a little bit of a transition now, and I'm transitioning from just being an author to being a television producer, to being more of a content producer, different types of content. And and it's it's been a it's been a crazy journey in the past five years of shepherding this this project, this book series. I'm going to do another episode. I'll tell you the whole journey, the whole publishing journey. It's just I think it's one that you might want to hear. I think it's important, one, to share, especially if you're looking to put some improbable thing into the world and you're going to need to get past no. That's I feel like that's been a theme of learning how to get past no, of learning how to believe in the unfolding of a thing and to have a faith that shows you that you can't do it on your own. But it's worth every step, every moment of the journey. So I am looking forward to continuing this conversation with you. Please definitely go to https://www.SpeakPipe.com/Convo "speak pipe" "dot" "com" backslash "convo" drop me your your voice note your questions, your comments. I'd love to hear your thoughts and your your feelings, your experience with the book series and otherwise you can message me on Instagram like and follow or follow this this, subscribe to this podcast. I think that's what you're supposed to tell. I'm recording this before I actually know this, but I think the right word is subscribe. You can find me on Instagram at @JayneAllen writes and my website is JayneAllen.com where you can sign up for my mailing list so you don't miss an episode, not a single one. And I will leave the link, all the links in the show notes. I can't wait to to be connected with you and to be in conversation again on the next episode. Talk to you soon.

Show artwork for In Conversation...with Jayne Allen

About the Podcast

In Conversation...with Jayne Allen
Contemporary Topics and Irresistible Conversation with the author of the bestselling "Black Girls..." book series.
In Conversation with Jayne Allen is a weekly contemporary issues podcast hosted by Jayne Allen, the author of the bestselling "Black Girls..." novel series, comprised of the books titled "Black Girls Must Die Exhausted," "Black Girls Must Be Magic," and "Black Girls Must Have It All." Episodes will cover popular topics commonly discussed in the book series' diverse Global community of over 100,000 readers, including: contemporary womanhood, black culture, workplace dynamics, hair care and beauty standards, race and society, black maternal health, reproductive health and family options, mental health and emotional intelligence, modern relationships, marriage and dating, navigating the world of book publishing, art and creative careers and much more.

Podcast episodes will be a combination of solo episodes hosted by Jayne, conversations with topical experts and Jayne’s author friends, along with special guests and plenty of surprises.

Subscribe now because you won’t want to miss a single episode of this podcast that, just like the "Black Girls..." books series, will have everyone talking.

About your host

Profile picture for Jayne Allen

Jayne Allen

Jayne Allen is the author of the much-acclaimed BLACK GIRLS novel series—BLACK GIRLS MUST DIE EXHAUSTED, BLACK GIRLS MUST BE MAGIC, and the forthcoming BLACK GIRLS MUST HAVE IT ALL, published by HarperPerennial/HarperCollins in the US. Her books have sold over 100,000 copies worldwide across formats and her first novel was translated into Portuguese, specifically for release in Brazil. In 2022, the BLACK GIRLS trilogy was optioned by AGC Studios and is currently in development as a television series.

Jayne has been reviewed by The New York Times, featured on Good Morning America, and has appeared in USA Today, BuzzFeed, Essence, Shondaland, Ms. Magazine, Detroit’s HOUR Magazine, Kirkus Magazine and many more national and local media platforms as well as on numerous podcasts.

A graduate of Duke University Pratt School of Engineering and Harvard Law School, Jayne spent a decade as an entertainment attorney and another decade following as an entrepreneur and marketing executive, serving as a founder and/or founding executive management for five companies.

She is passionately committed to the cause of increasing diverse representation in the publishing industry and currently serves on the Diversity Committee of the Author's Guild Council. She is also an active speaker, consultant, and educator on the topics of writing, elimination of bias, personal development and marketing/branding.

Jayne founded Book Genius in 2018 to share her book marketing and publishing industry expertise with other authors and aspiring authors in high-impact, quality educational formats with best-in-class content.