By Sarrah Peters/News Editor
Friends and Gadsden residents Carla Wynn Hall and Jennifer McCormick Williams decided to follow their dream of writing, and accomplished their dreams by supporting fellow women through social media.
Hall and Williams met under strange circumstances. Williams was meeting a person to buy an iPhone that was listed online. She asked Hall if she was the seller. She was not, but she did have an iPhone that she could sell. The two talked and struck up a friendship.
Williams had mentioned her desire to write a book of short stories based on her experiences as a bartender. Hall had no experience in publishing, but decided to self-publish Williams book Beyond the Barstool.
It was a successful venture, and the two of them soon decided to do another book of short stories. They both had used social media to help themselves through tough times. Williams had come from abuse and had turned social media into a cheerleading section to support other women going through the same thing. Hall had felt emotionally paralyzed in 2010 and turned to social media for help and support.
Through their individual efforts the friends created a thriving support network for women surviving abuse, illness and other traumatic life experiences. Women’s Empowered Network now has over 25,000 members. The group has members worldwide. Williams also has a podcast every Thursday morning at 7 a.m. on Blog Talk Radio/Beyond the Barstool.
For the new book of short stories, Empowered Women of Social Media, they decided to utilize the network. Women from as far away as Australia contributed stories about personal struggles. Nearly every state has contributed a story. Some stories focus on disease.
One story discusses how the author cared for her friend with liver cancer. Three authors discussed their fights with breast cancer. Other stories focused on the issue of domestic abuse.
“We all have a story within us,” said Williams.
In all 420 pages of Empowered Women of Social Media are stories of survival, empowerment and encouragement.
“We have a book that is so much more than a book,” added Hall.
The book was an e-book success, and became a Kindle Bestseller. They reached number one in the biography category and number two in the self-help/motivational category. All of it was accomplished through social media, a tool the two friends encourage others to utilize.
“Social media is not going anywhere. If you are going to use it, use it to empower yourself,” said Hall.
The book is available on Amazon. The paperback version will be available Nov. 5 on Amazon.