Written by Diane Helentjaris and Kaitlin Hill | Photos by Tony Gibson
On September 16, 2023, book lovers and Sheila Johnson fans poured into Salamander Resort & Spa’s ballroom for the launch and book signing of Johnson’s new book, “Walk Through Fire: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Triumph.” The conversation with WUSA 9’s Lesli Foster elicited laughter, cheers, and moments of gratitude from the crowd in an atmosphere that could best be described as electric.
Following the book signing, Middleburg Life shares Johnson’s reflections on the book and the event in an exclusive Q&A with Diane Helentjaris.
ML: Why a memoir and why now?
SJ: It’s been a long journey and I finally realized that it’s the right time to tell my story.
ML: Did writing “Walk Through Fire” create new life or career insights for you?
SJ: It helped me to answer questions I have not truly faced. I would share with others to never give up your passion.
ML: As a path-forging entrepreneur and philanthropist, you’ve received awards and accolades — most recently named a 2023 Loudoun Laureate. What role in your legacy do you anticipate for “Walk Through Fire” to play?
SJ: For people to know my background and how I got to where I am today. I learned to take risks and took advantage of second chances.
ML: What do you hope people will take away after reading “Walk Through Fire”?
SJ: To be inspired to follow your passion. And when faced with adversity, don’t let it deter you from achieving your goals.
ML: Following the September 16 book signing will you have any more events? A book tour?
SJ: First, I am so grateful to everyone that attended. The energy in the room was so positive. It carried me through the entire fireside chat with Lesli Foster. Yes, I will do a book tour.
Salamander Middleburg will have more events in store, having kicked off their author series in June with New York Times bestselling author Luke Russert. So stay tuned! ML
Published in the October 2023 issue of Middleburg Life.