Today we’d like to introduce you to Leana Delle.
Leana, before we jump into specific questions about your work, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
In 2007, one of my best friends, Jenesse Aurandt, died of breast cancer. Six months before I lost her, she changed my life forever.
“You’re a writer,” she said, with an expression that screamed EPIPHANY!
I told her she was crazy.
“No, you are,” she insisted, “and you have to promise me you’ll write a book someday.”
Maybe it was the way I told a story; maybe it was a message divinely delivered. I’ll never know, but I kept that promise, and six years later, I released my first novel, CONTROL SWITCH, that would go on to become an Amazon bestseller.
Jenesse’s influence didn’t stop there. When someone you care about is dying, you push the envelope. Well, I did, anyway, talking to my friend about all conceivable topics and digging deep on really tough questions. The richness and openness in our conversations became like oxygen, fueling accelerated growth for me and emotional healing for her. It’s something that I missed terribly after she passed, and something that I wanted – no, needed – to have back in my life. With some experience in podcasting, I decided to launch a show that would give listeners, and myself, 20 to 30-minute windows into the lives of extraordinary women who are brave enough to connect.
February 21st will mark the one year anniversary of my podcast, Girlfriend We Need To Talk!, and I look forward to another season of networking with girlfriends from around the globe. The show focuses on conversations with outstanding women, but they are us and we are them. They simply mirror all of our yearnings and all of our capabilities. And they’re insightfully funny.
I never take for granted that this path would have gone unexplored had Jenesse not said those words to me. And it’s certainly not lost on me that I’m loving every step of the way. With every book, every speech, and every interview I’m blessed enough to deliver, she’s right by my side.
There’s a valuable lesson in all of this that I like to share: If you see something in someone else, some level of potential, whether it’s the way they’ve done something or a message you receive from who-knows-where, say it out loud. You just never know how many lives could be positively affected in that one special moment.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Nothing worth doing is without its struggles. Like all of us, I have days when I get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work it takes to keep all of the balls I’m juggling in the air. I struggle with the discipline I need to finally finish my second novel, and I struggle with balancing the demands of my show along with work and relationship responsibilities. The key for me is to be surrounded by people who understand my vision and are supportive. If they aren’t in your corner, move to another room.
We’d love to hear more about your work.
The main focus of my business is women’s empowerment. I write about real women with real struggles in my novels, and my podcast shines a light on the amazing women in our communities. Each of us has a story, and each one is worth hearing. The more women connect, the more unstoppable we become.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My mother, who passed away in 2016, didn’t always understand my direction, but she always believed in my ability to get where I wanted to go. I’ll carry her support with me always. And now my partner, John, has swept in to pick up the torch. He’s a godsend.
When it comes to mentors, my friend Jenesse topped them all, but I have got to say that almost every woman I’ve interviewed on my podcast has served as a mentor in some way. I learn so much about myself through glimpses into their journeys. We have such commonality in the experiences of being women that their stories resonate with me on an almost visceral level.
Telethia Hurley Photography