Interview with Joanna Walden, Author of The Inside Hustle
21 Apr 2020
What can you tell us about your new release, The Inside Hustle?
In the Inside Hustle, I take readers to places most would never go to and into experiences some would only dream of. In doing so, I am brutally honest about my own inner workings, and this serves two purposes. It helps readers better understand my goals and motivations, and I hope also helps them shortcut their own long journey to inner truth. This is a travel adventure like no other which takes you out of the bounds of normalcy, into the madness of reality, and then smack bang into a new perspective. Truth is absolutely stranger than fiction.
What or who inspired you to become an author?
It was perhaps always a background dream which I never thought could be a reality, until I did The Camino and shared my stories via email to friends and family. They were relishing my emails so much, I started getting comments like, “This is hilarious, I’ve been reading them out to all my work colleagues at lunchtime, you need to write a book,” so eventually, I did.
What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?
I haven’t read much in recent years as I find it really hard to read others’ work while writing, and only 5 best books ever is a tough call! The books that have left a lasting impression however are The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton which fuelled my imagination; To Kill A Mockingbird which gave me my first proper ‘literary’ experience; The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield helped me escape my teenage years; Memoirs Of A Geisha by Arthur Golden captivated me while traveling in my twenties; and The Life and Teachings of the Master Of The Far East series by Baird T Spalding totally expanded my mind to what might be possible and gave more purpose to my adventures.
Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?
It would have to be Shirley MacLaine given she inspired me to do the Camino in the first place, and that first adventure set me on this path which ultimately resulted in The Inside Hustle.
What’s your favorite thing about writing?
I love being able to take people on a journey and really bring them an inside view of an experience they might never have otherwise. I go to places some would only dream of, and do things others might never dare, so if I can not only immerse people in those experiences but share what I learned doing it, I feel fulfilled. Truth is stranger than fiction, as they say. I am never short of inspiration from the madness that is real life.
What is a typical day like for you?
I start my working day rather early, with a cup of tea as I work with people from all around the world, I have to cater to a range of different time zones. My business is holistic brand strategy and personal transformation and right now, as you can imagine, it’s keeping me very busy as people have more time on their hands and are starting to question what is really important in life. I bring all the lessons and experiences I learned as documented in my book and use it as a foundation to work with each client to bring them back to their true self, and focus on their own personal vision. I have a really fluid approach with no two days being the same. Right now, with my book launch and the media and promotional interviews happening, I have to find time to center, connect and nourish myself throughout the day with meditation, visualisation, a green juice, a nature walk or an interesting podcast. I love to cook, so creating something delicious is permanently on the agenda.
What scene in The Inside Hustle was your favorite to write?
I write in the moment and then go back to my notes to rewrite it all together so reliving some adventures are easier than others. The Camino will always hold a special place in my heart as it was my first proper adventure and so rich in characters, landscapes and experiences that it almost leapt off the page when I wrote it. It seems such a crazy idea to follow little yellow arrows and scallop shells over 900 kilometres (550 miles) across Spain with no map and I find my blind naivety at the time somewhat charming.
Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?
Where your attention goes your energy flows. Make it count.
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