When Lily Hansen moved to Nashville from Chicago, she only knew a few people. She reached out to them and interviewed them about her new city. The last question she asked each of them was, “Whom should I talk to next?” Four years later she is author of a hot selling local book, Word of Mouth: Nashville Conversations, that includes profiles of 65 people from Music City. She also hosts a monthly interview podcast of a wide range of Nashville citizens. Her book is available at 18 local venues, soon including the Nashville airport, and inspired an art show at Vanderbilt. “I am floored by what happened from one passion project. People are so generous.” Lily may have been fortunate in timing her project with Nashville’s surging growth, but this journalist and marketing whiz also worked very hard to make her project relevant and exciting.
Lily recently moved into a studio at Ryman Artist Lofts just outside of downtown. She applied, got on the waiting list, and kept calling until, when a place opened up, she was ready to jump on it and move within a week. “I am a manifestor. I believe what you think can become a reality.”
Lily has been involved in Arts / Music / Entertainment journalism since college. The 29-year-old freelancer recognizes that success is a combination of tenacity, quality writing, and good luck. “I arrived in Nashville and got a cover story interview with Carrie Underwood within a month.” When she began working on her book freelancing kept pulling her away from her primary interest. “My mother knows me best. She said, stop doing other things and follow your heart.” These days, Lily is writing, promoting, and interviewing, but they do not tear her in different directions. “I can do multiple things when they are in the same vein. Right now, all my efforts related to Word of Mouth feed on each other.”
How will we live tomorrow?
“The whole thing I’m trying to do is to be transparent. I was raised by a mom who told me life is up and down, and it’s all good. I want to spread a 180-degree view of the world. Everything is put through this filter to look good. I want us to be more about real life.
“Tomorrow, I want to be authentic.”