When I first met Jada Lewis in the Fall of 2017, we were both in different phases of our lives. She was a sophomore standout basketball player at Georgia State University, and I was in my first year covering the team. I was having a conversation with the play-by-play announcer Sam Crenshaw, who’s first words to me were: “That’s Jada Lewis, she’s always the first one in the gym, and the last one to leave.” Through the following two years of covering the team, I found that to be true. One day after a game, I had a brief conversation with Jada, and she told me then that she had a passion for writing.
From Athlete to Author: Jada Lewis
We spoke with the athlete turned author about her first release "Pretty Is Me."
ONE37pm: This is a full circle moment! I remember meeting you in 2017, and now here we are almost five years later and you’ve got a book out! I think in order to be a writer, you also have to be a reader. Have you always loved reading and writing?
Jada: Yes! I was that kid that went outside a little bit, but I was most in my element when I was reading books. I read all of the Junie B. Jones books, and before that I was reading all of the children’s books. My mom had to take me to the library weekly because I just kept going through books. I would put all of my puppets on the floor and pretend to read to them, not even realizing that I was expanding my vocabulary. It wound up eventually translating to writing over the years. I was a reader first, and that probably did inspire my writing identity.
ONE37pm: We see former athletes go on to work in athletics, but we never really see “athlete to author.” Can you tell us more about that?
Jada: The roles have reversed as I’ve gotten older. When I was younger I read a lot, and as I got older I started to write. I would always tell myself that I can create my own stories. Even as an athlete I always knew I wanted to be a writer. I didn’t realize I had a gift until college when I had to write papers. A lot of students dread writing papers, but I loved it. Anytime I was given a paper, I would light up. I could write a paper in a day. Those instances showed me I had a gift, and I think God called me to write books. That’s how I got into writing.
ONE37pm: What all goes into the process of publishing a book?
Jada: I didn’t know much about publishing, but I am a very determined person. If I want to do something I’m gonna find out how to, even if I don’t have the knowledge. With technology nowadays, if you don’t accomplish something, it’s on you. I just went onto Google and searched the process of writing and publishing your first book. With this one, I self-published and edited through Amazon, but in the future with my memoir I will hire a publisher.
ONE37pm: What are you reading right now?
Jada: I love memoirs and people’s stories. I’m actually reading Michelle Obama’s Becoming. I’m fascinated with how people made it to where they are.
You can continue to keep up with Jada and all of her latest projects on Instagram.