Happy Internet Geek Tuesday! Digital Sisterhood Book Is Coming!!!!!

9781491706398_COVER_FQA.inddHappy Internet Geek Tuesday!

Today, I am sharing an excerpt from an author interview I did for my new book, Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online (available for purchase on  Amazon.com). See below.

If you are in Washington, D.C. on October 19, please plan to attend my author talk and book reading from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery, 1632 U Street, NW (three blocks from the U Street/Cardozo Green Line Metro Station). Click here to register for the event. See you on October 19th!

One of the photos featured in the book - Photo Credit: Leigh Mosley - www.leighmosley.com
One of the photos featured in the book – Photo Credit: Leigh Mosley – http://www.leighmosley.com

Author Interview

Q: In your writing, you tell stories. How did you become a storyteller?

AKML: I grew up around women who loved to tell stories about their lives. My grandmother, great aunt, and mother shared photo albums, scrapbooks, clothing, jewelry, and memorabilia from events they attended to illustrate their stories. Their stories were told so often I memorized them. Eventually, they were embedded into the tapestry of my life. In high school, college, and law school, I proudly wore their vintage clothing and jewelry with my outfits and told stories about the items to my friends. I still wear these items and share stories. Wearing their things reminds me of who I am and where I come from. It connects me to them at all times.

Q: This book is your second memoir. Who are your favorite memoirists?

AKML: Dr. Maya Angelou is the first memoirist I read in junior high school. I love how Dr. Angelou tells her life stories in a series of books. I adore how Alice Walker and Ntozake Shange have used poetry to tell their personal stories. My friend and activist/artist/scholar Tim’m West’s poetical memoir gave me freedom to write my first memoir. I also enjoy reading memoirs written by feminist scholar and cultural critic bell hooks, artist Faith Ringgold, and yoga teacher Cyndi Lee.

Q: What prompted you to write this book?

AKML: In 2009, a publisher (that was on my dream list of publishers) contacted me to explore the possibility of entering into a book contract about how the Internet has impacted women’s creativity. Thrilled and excited, I entered into a round of discussions with the publisher. She introduced me to two writing mentors who helped me flush out my ideas for a book outline. I shared the Sisterhood the Blog book outline with her and launched a blog, Facebook group, and Twitter account to begin writing the book. A few weeks later, the publisher lost interest. I tried several times to follow up, but did not receive a response. Devastated is the best word to describe how I felt.

My writing mentors encouraged me to write and self-publish the book. So I dived deep into my new blog and distributed its content on my social media sites. A few months later, I added a podcast to the mix. Through my blog, podcast, and social media sites, I was able to interview and profile a diverse group of women in social media and technology. When I attended local and national conferences, events, and meet ups, I used my video camera and audio podcast app to record my interviews. These efforts expanded my understanding of the roles women play in the digital space.

My focus for the book changed after I attended the BlogHer annual conference’s closing keynote, “How to Use Your Voice, Your Platform and Your Power,” featuring PBS anchor Alison Stewart, White House Project founder Marie Wilson, author and activist Gloria Feldt, and journalist and environmentalist P. Simran Sethi, in 2010. Listening to these women’s stories convinced me to write a memoir about my online journey and how women have influenced, informed, and inspired my digital experiences.

That same year, I changed the title of the book, blog, podcast, and social media to Digital Sisterhood after I conducted a series of interviews with women bloggers about their relationships with women in social media at the Blogalicious Weekend Conference.

Q: Who did you write this book for?

AKML: I wrote the book for women between the ages of 18 to 76 who spend time in the digital space blogging, building community, chatting, coding, creating webisodes and videos, crowdfunding, developing mobile apps, engaging in commerce, giving back by supporting social good campaigns, hosting online events, liking on Facebook, mentoring, pinning on Pinterest, podcasting, posting  photos on Flickr and Instagram, reading blogs, publishing books, running businesses, serving as social media leaders, sharing information, teaching, tweeting 140 characters or less on Twitter, watching videos, and visiting web sites. I also wrote the book for women and girls who need greater access to technology and training.

Q: What do you want readers to gain from this book?

AKML: I want my readers to take what they find useful in the book and use it in a positive way. I hope my women readers are inspired to explore, celebrate, share, and publish their own stories about being online and the Digital Sisterhood connections they have made with other women. I hope they will publish their stories on blogs and in books. I want more women to write and publish books about their online lives, businesses, social good campaigns, and thought leadership.

Q: Did you use any research data to identify your niche audience?

AKML: I used BlogHer’s Social Media Matters Study which reported that 87 million women between the ages of 18 to 76 were online in 2011. The BlogHer study also reported that 69 million women used social media weekly, 80 million women used social media monthly, and 55 million women read blogs monthly. When I read this data, I realized these women have created a powerful digital footprint as communicators, connectors, community builders, tech creators, early adopters, and influencers.

Q: Tell us about your journey in embracing the Internet. How did your digital footprint begin?

AKML: My digital footprint began when I logged onto the LexisNexis research service as a first-year law student at Howard University School of Law in August 1986. It marked the beginning of my Internet geek path. My Internet experiences have been greatly influenced by the social connections women have made online and offline. Through them, I have witnessed the growth and expansion of women’s presence and power on the World Wide Web. Women are making digital herstory with blogs, books, businesses, careers, coding and software development projects, conferences, events, Facebook, Flickr, Foursquare, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, live streaming, meet up groups, mobile apps, online communities, online magazines, organizations, Pinterest, podcasts, Twitter, videos, webinars, web sites, and webisodes.

Q: What are your favorite social media tools?

AKML: That’s a hard one. I love so many. Right now, my favorites are all visual: Animoto, Flickr, Google+ Hangout, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube.

Ananda’s June 12th book reading at Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library

My June 12th book reading at Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library in DC was a lot of fun. I discussed my new book That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetic Memoir of Self-Discovery (November 2009 – Amazon.com) and debut novel Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One (August 2007 – Amazon.com). The audience was fantastic. They had some great comments and questions! Click here to see my Flickr photos from the book reading: http://www.flickr.com/photos/anandaleeke/sets/72157624260508400.

My stylist Sharon Malachi a/k/a Butterfly LP recorded a video of me after the event. It gives highlights from my Summer in the City weekend adventures. See below.

Many thanks to the Washingtonia Division staff of Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library staff for helping me organize a great event!

PS: I made an infomercial about my Summer in the City events the night before my book reading and posted it on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.  Check it out.  Hope you will join me at some of the events.  My next book reading is July 10 from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm at Flow Yoga Center (click on the link to register for the event at Flow)  in DC. Click here to learn more:  http://anandaleekejulybookreading.eventbrite.com.

Check out Ananda’s May, June & July Events – Yoga Classes, Book Readings, Social Media Workshops, Radio Interviews & Creativity Coaching Sessions

1) Start National Women’s Health Week by participating in Ananda’s kind and gentle yoga class on May 9 at 11:00 am EST in Malcolm X Park in DC.  Click on the link for more information: http://yoga.meetup.com/584.

2) Take Ananda’s online yoga class on May 10 at 7:00 am EST to honor National Women’s Check Up Day. Click on the link to watch the class: http://stickam.com/anandaleeke.

3) Participate in Ananda’s FREE four-part social media workshop series  on Ananda Leeke Live! UStream.tv on the dates below:  http://www.ustream.tv/channel/ananda-leeke-live.

  • May 15 at 8:00 am EST – What is social media?
  • May 16 at 8:00 am EST – How to develop a social media plan
  • May 22 at 8:00 am EST – How Ananda uses social media as an author, artist, coach & yoga teacher
  • May 23 at 8:00 am EST – Ananda’s social media lessons learned since 2005

4) Watch Ananda’s kg yoga life practices class on Mom TV on May 19 at 8:00 pm EST. Click on the link to see the show: http://www.momtv.com/kgyogalife.html.

5) Tune into Sisterhood the Blog Radio on May 24 at 8:00 pm EST for the launch of the Women in Social Media series (May – December 2010).  The first show will feature Ananda’s interview with Lynne D. Johnson,  Senior Vice President, Social Media for the Advertising Research Foundation.  Click here to listen to show:  http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/42015 .  Parts of the Women in Social Media radio interviews will be included in Ananda’s next book Sisterhood, the Blog: Soundbytes from the 21st Century Women’s Online Revolution (December 2011).

6) Join Ananda for a creativity coaching session on how to identify your inner critic on May 25 from 9:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. EST on Ananda Leeke Live! UStream.tv. The session will include exercises from Ananda’s new book That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetic Memoir of Self-Discovery.

1) Celebrate DC Digital Capital Week with Ananda by taking her yoga and stress relief class for computers users on June 12 at 10:00 am in Malcolm X-Meridian Hill Park in DC.  The class will be taught in front of the reflecting pool and waterfall located near the entrance facing 16th Street and Florida Avenue, NW. U Street/Cardozo subway station is located near the Park.

2) Attend Ananda’s book reading for her new book That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetic Memoir of Self-Discovery on June 12 from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, Washingtoniana Division, 901 G Street, NW, Washington, DC (located at Metro Center subway station).

3) Register for the Blogging While Brown conference in DC (click here to register) and take Ananda’s yoga class for social media users on June 19 from 8:15 am to 8:30 am at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mount Vernon Place Northwest, Washington, DC (located at Mt Vernon/Convention Center subway station).

4) Watch Ananda’s kg yoga life practices class on Mom TV on June 16 at 8:00 pm EST.  Click on the link to watch the show: http://www.momtv.com/kgyogalife.html.

1) Spend an afternoon with Ananda at a book reading for her new book That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetic Memoir on July 10 from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm at Flow Yoga Center (Shakti Studio Room), 1450 P Street, NW, Washington, DC (located several blocks from Dupont Circle subway station).

2) Watch Ananda’s kg yoga life practices class on Mom TV on July 21 at 8:00 pm EST. Click on the link to watch the show: http://www.momtv.com/kgyogalife.html.

Join Ananda for her DC Book Reading on 3/14, Online Creativity Coaching Session for Women on 3/25, and Yoga in Malcolm X Park on 3/28

Dear All,

Mark your calendars for the following events:


  • A free creative coaching session on March 25 from 9:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. EST that explores the nine blocks to women’s creativity. I will use creative coaching exercises in my new book That Which Awaken’s Me to guide the session. http://www.ustream.tv/channel/ananda-leeke-live


  • A free kind and gentle yoga Meetup on March 28 from 11:30 a.m. to 12 noon at Malcolm X-Meridian Hill Park in DC. The class will be dedicated to National Women’s History Month, National Women and Girls HIV/AID Day, and National Nutrition Month.  http://yoga.meetup.com/584.

Hope to see you at these events!

Peace, Creativity, Compassion, and Gratitude,