This is an interview done with author & creator of The Female Main Character Sydney Bolen, read her story below! If you, or anyone you know, would like to be highlighted in The Zillennial Zine, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM us on Instagram!
Tell us your story! Where did you begin and how did you reach the caliber you’re currently at?
Writing, social media, and all of the things that I do now were never part of the original plan that I had for myself. For as long as I was seriously thinking about a career, I wanted to work in film, specifically production. When I was in college, I had a few internships that I loved, one with an Indie production company and one at The Late Late Show with James Corden. Nothing about either job clued me into the fact that, down the road, I would want something different. I had a great time in both places. But, once I graduated, I quickly realized being a Production Assistant was not something I had the patience for. It was way too much standing around waiting to be needed, so I pivoted into the live event space and ended up at Live Nation. I stayed there for 6 and a half years and likely would still be there today if it weren’t for the pandemic. Since I was working in concerts, for me, lockdown meant there wasn’t much to do work-wise. I was lucky enough to be in customer service, so there was still a job that needed to be filled and an inbox to be monitored, but I still had a lot of time on my hands. I ended up writing a novel and loved it. Because of my experience working with talent, a friend helped me get into celebrity interviews. At the moment, writing is all I do. I decided back in March to bet on myself by quitting my corporate job and moving to London for six months. I’m three months in now, about to self-publish the book I wrote, still chatting with talent and growing my own platform, The FMC. It’s been a slow and steady process, but it currently feels like I’m right where I should be.
What makes you love what you do? Would you call it your passion?
I don’t know if I would call it my passion. I do like stories. I always have. If you think about it, being an interviewer is as much a work in story as being an author is. When I’m chatting with someone, I’m asking for pieces of their story instead of coming up with my own. I really enjoy it. But I don’t know if that is my purpose. I suppose that is something I’ll figure out down the road.
What are some accomplishments or milestones you’ve reached lately?
That’s a hard question because I try my best not to focus on the numbers of things. I can get really into my own head about statistics like follower count or views. My goal is to create content that I am proud of and that other people enjoy, regardless of how many. Obviously, it would be nice to be “viral,” but I can’t let that be the end all be all. I am really proud of the fact that I made the decision to self-publish and have followed through on it. It hasn’t been the smoothest road, but I’m in the final stretch. The FMC has started to get a little bit of regular traction, so that’s nice. I also live in London now, as I said, which is something I always said I would do.
Tell us about The FMC!
The Female Main Character started as a personal blog–hence the name as I am the FMC of my life. I wanted to have a way I could occasionally post about my time in London in more detail than social media would allow. The more I mulled over the idea, the bigger and bigger it got until what I actually launched was a full website. It’s a place where I can not only showcase my various ideas but also use the platform to talk with people that I have a genuine interest in. I speak to a lot of authors, which is always lovely. I also love profiling growing creatives and small business owners. I think a lot of the time, people who are doing really cool things and making an impact on the world in small but necessary ways don’t always get the chance to be recognized for that, so I like to use The FMC to give those people a chance to shine.
Do you have any advice for someone who is starting their own small business?
If you stop loving it, figure out why and do what you have to do to get back where you started mentally. You likely started this business to make money doing something you enjoy, so try to keep that at the center of everything. Don’t get wrapped up in the metrics of “what sells best” or “getting a higher profit margin.” The FMC is currently just something I do as a hobby. As it grows, I may transition it into an income source, but I’ll always have the original material to guide me as I make those decisions.
What would you like our readers to know about you and your website?
What would I like them to know? Let me think. The FMC is a growing platform. As it gets bigger, I will need occasional assistance with pieces, so if you think it’s a space and a voice you would like to create content for, don’t hesitate to reach out. I can’t promise anything, but I will get back to you. It just may take me a few days. I also love suggestions, so if there is anyone you think should be a great Honored Guest or shine in our Spotlight or an up-and-coming artist that it would make sense for us to profile, let me know!
Anything else you would like to add?
My debut novel, The Ones That Write Themselves, comes out November 28th and is available for preorder on Amazon, Google, Apple and Kobo. If you like contemporary romcoms, travel romances or books with playlists, it may be a story to add to your TBR. There’s plenty of promotional material on my Instagram and TikTok. (Sometimes I feel like it’s too much. Lol)