Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Interview with Jamillah Lamb, co-author 'Perfect Combination: Seven Key Ingredients to Happily Living & Loving Together'

David and Jamillah Lamb are the creative and dynamic couple that founded Between The Lines Productions, Inc. to fulfill their co-mission: to spread inspiration, joy, and love through the power of theater and other media. They are also co-authors of the acclaimed Perfect Combination: Seven Key Ingredients to Happily Living & Loving Together.

As they’ve taken each step of their unique journey, they’ve become a trusted source for answering the questions like: What is Love? What is Romance? What is Marriage?

They didn’t wake up one day, and ‘poof’, they were instant relationship gurus. That might be how it happens in romance novels and romance movies, but that’s not the story of their romance. Their expertise grew out of everyday living and a desire to teach each other the lessons of love, the joys and trials of marriage, and the beauty of a romance. They are dedicated to giving other couples an honest, no-holds barred look at their struggles, their hurts, their triumphs, and their love.

His Story:

David was born in Queens, NY and raised in public housing in Astoria, Queens. He attended Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and New York University School of Law. The successful playwright of the hit off-Broadway play Platanos Y Collard Greens, David has found the love of his life in Jamillah.

Despite knowing he had found the right person, David struggled to lower his guard and put aside his tendency to be suspicious of women. Before Jamillah, David would often find himself breaking up with girlfriends rather than risk being hurt by rejection. Recognizing he had found a “kind heart and sweet spirit” in Jamillah, he made the decision “to grow up and grow into feeling what love felt like.” As the relationship has deepened, he’s learned other lessons. He now smiles at his typically male (let’s be honest!) expectation that Jamillah be able to read his mind.

The ability of love and romance to conquer hurts and overcome hardships is a theme that runs through David’s books and plays. He loves being a business, marriage, and parenting partner with Jamillah.

Her Story:

Jamillah grew up in Chicago in the same neighborhood as First Lady Michelle Obama. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Wesleyan University and then a Masters degree in Public Policy from Harvard University. A former Vice-President at Citibank, Jamillah uses her education and experience in the daily operations of their business.

Just like David, Jamillah had baggage of her own to overcome. Raised in a strict environment with high expectations, she struggled to lighten up. She put men she met before David “through the ringer,” worrying that allowing someone to care for her meant being less independent. As she learned to overcome her fears and become more trusting, she came up against other challenges. Becoming a family with the birth of their daughter Kaira was not a straight path. The journey to this incredible blessing was filled with adversity and pain, but also the support of David.

Jamillah made one of her most important life decisions in 2005. At that time, Jamillah was a VP at Citibank, while also helping get David’s first play off the ground. The play had been going well for a couple of years, but it was still a big leap of faith when she made the decision to leave a comfortable corporate job to work on their business full-time. Through ups and downs, and the typical financial worries of growing a business, Jamillah has never regretted her decision. The choice has allowed them to be together day in and day out doing creative, passionate work together

For More Information
About the Book:

Title: Perfect Combination: Seven Key Ingredients to Happily Living & Loving Together
Author: Jamillah & David Lamb
Publisher: Between the Lines Productions
Pages: 182
Genre: Relationships/Dating/Romance/Self-Help

Jamillah and David Lamb are the dynamic couple behind the successful off-Broadway play, Platanos Y Collard Greens, which has enjoyed more than 10 years running. For years, they have worked side by side, 24/7, to create and build their business. And, not only have they not killed each other, their love has grown stronger. Now Jamillah and David share their recipe for romantic success.

This insightful relationship guidebook is part love manual and part diary as the couple explores important and intimate topics. Speaking from both of their voices--separately and collectively.

Perfect Combination: Seven Key Ingredients to Happily Living & Loving Together is not a book of relationship theory – it’s a practical guide that provides the recipe anyone, man or woman, single, engaged or married, can use for love. Jamillah & David tell their story with a sometimes painful, sometimes hilarious, honesty. It is the warm, true-to-life style combined with road-tested advice that makes this book on love and relationships so unique and so valuable.

For More Information

  • Perfect Combination: Seven Key Ingredients to Happily Living & Loving Together is available at Amazon.
  • Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Thank you for this interview!  I’d like to know more about you as a person first.  What do you do when you’re not writing?

Jamillah: We run a theater-company together that produces plays Off-Broadway. In fact it was when our audiences discovered that we were not only married but that we worked together 24-7 without killing each other :) that they demanded to know our secrets and that's what inspired us to write our story and share what we've learned.

When did you start writing?

Jamillah: David has been writing since the he read his short stories to his classmates in the sixth-grade.

As a published author, what would you say was the most pivotal point of your writing life?

Jamillah: The decision not to wait on a publisher but to self-publish. Also the decision to self-produce plays.

If you could go anywhere in the world to start writing your next book, where would that be and why?

Jamillah: Somewhere where we could relax, that has wide open spaces so that you can rest your eyes and clear your head, let the world go and let your imagination take over.  For us also it would have to be some place kid friendly. So we think Nassau in the Bahamas, it would allow Jamillah to fulfill her beach needs and allow our daughter to play at Disney's Atlantis in the Bahamas but still be quiet enough for us to clear our heads and relax.

If you had 4 hours of extra time today, what would you do?

Jamillah: Read comics, listen to music, meditate, do yoga, learn to play the trumpet, learn to swim, speak to family and friends, play with our daughter. Go on impromptu dates!

Where would you like to set a story that you haven’t done yet?

Jamillah: London. It's a great setting to tell a mystery or a fantastical story.

Back to your present book, Perfect Combination: Seven Key Ingredients To Happily Living and Loving Together , how did you publish it?

Jamillah: Because we'd had success self-producing our play when we decided to write Perfect Combination: Seven Key Ingredients To Happily Living & Loving Together we decided to stick to the model of doing things ourselves and self-published through our company.

In writing your book, did you travel anywhere for research?

Jamillah: We incorporated travel that we had already undertaken into the book. Travel to Senegal, to Chincoteague Island in Virginia and to Disney World!

Why was writing your book so important to you?

Jamillah: Writing Perfect Combination: Seven Key Ingredients To Happily Living & Loving Together was important to us because we personally know so many people and especially audience members who have shared with us their struggles to find a happy, healthy, fulfilling relationship, and we wanted people to know that we weren't just lucky (which we are) but that we had to work on some things about ourselves individually and as a couple to develop a recipe for happiness, and we wanted to share what we'd learned with others because one of things that brings us joy is seeing others find love.

Where do you get your best ideas and why do you think that is?

Jamillah: From paying attention to the world around us. CNN is a treasure-trove. From reading others books and also from thinking about ideas we would like to write about and then letting our minds meditate over time on the best characters to tell the story through. So for David, he’ll start with an idea, meditate on the characters and read how others have attempted to accomplish similar stories. And Jamillah is not only my business partner, but my muse, and we bounce ideas off of each other.

Any final words?

Jamillah: Discover new things. Be adventurous. 

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