My First Article Appeared in AAA Southern Traveler! And… I’m One of This Month’s ESSENCE Featured Contributors! I’m Giddy With EXCITEMENT!

AAA Collage

ESSENCE Sept Collage

Greetings Beautiful Family and Friends!

How are you? I trust that you are having a great day! I am giddy with excitement! Finally, I can unveil my latest publication! I am the newest contributor to AAA Southern Traveler magazine!   My first article is entitled: “This Road Trip’s in the Bag”!  This is AWESOME on so many levels!  It has always been a dream of mine to write on a regular basis for mainstream publications.  This one is one of the greatest! Of course, you are familiar with the AAA brand! (You know… the best club in the world!) If you have a AAA Auto Club card, you have entrée into EVERYTHING!  Well now… AAA has a group of publications that reach 36 million readers globally! And… AAA Southern Traveler is one of them!

I received my first assignment more than a year ago!  It has been all that I could do to keep this quiet and under wraps for a year!  But… I’ve been giving little hints along the way.  I’ve covered four cities on assignment for the publication over the last 12 months!  This article, in the Sept/Oct issue, covers the super cool Unclaimed Baggage Center in Scottsboro, Alabama.  I really had a blast! Without giving too much away, the other cities involved the following: (1) having a front row seat at Ragtrade Atlanta Fashion Week!  (2) Tony and I watching Atlanta Falcons play The New Orleans Saints (rivals) from the press box! (3) Staying at the Beautiful Bohemian in Birmingham and seeing things like the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum.  I had to email Dan Cathy over at Chick-fil-A to tell him that they’re raving fans. (4) Spending a few quiet days near Ole Miss in Oxford, MS as I rekindled my love for books at the famed Square Books store!

None of this could have happened without the kindness and consideration of my new editor Debbie! Debbie, you are such a pleasure to work with! Thanks so much for all of your help!  You are so thoughtful and think of everything! You even cheer me on when you see my social media posts! You are simply the BEST! I look forward to working with this exceptional international brand in the years to come!!!

The news just gets BETTER! Wow! Have you seen the Sept issue of ESSENCE?!!! Guess who’s one of the featured contributors?!!! My pic is alongside the INCREDIBLE Andre Leon Talley no less! I’m walking on Cloud 9! Special thanks to my BEAUTIFUL editor Charreah as well as the editorial team for selecting me for such an honor! You are simply THE BEST! BTW, Charreah has written an EXCEPTIONAL book called Boss Bride: The Powerful Woman’s Playbook for Love and Success! Please head to her website to see all of the details! —

I was indeed blessed as I interviewed Emily David and Bernada Nicole Baker (my AKA sorority sister) for my article entitled “Hope After Harvey”. The resilience of the spirit is AMAZING! These beautiful ladies shared inspirational stories regarding life after Hurricane Harvey in Houston that will genuinely touch your hearts. With supermodel Naomi Campbell on the cover, please feel free to pick up the issue from any newsstand near you! Feel free to click on this link to subscribe to ESSENCE! You’ll get access to the digital edition and… you’ll get a FREE gift too! —  — My hair, makeup, and photo shoot were courtesy of Stephanie Janelle Bryant of DonJanelle Hair Salon and Jan Taylor Cosmetics! Click on this link to reach her:

I’m feeling rather nostalgic (and pleasantly so) about now! So, can you please indulge me? I could not be where I am today without God placing so many special editors and individuals in my life! I am so grateful and thankful to Him for His many blessings! I began my professional writing career in 1995.

I wrote for a wonderful man by the name of Mr. David Smith. Mr. Smith was the publisher of The Atlanta Bulletin newspaper.  I reached out to every publication in the city in order to write.  That was to no avail.  Although, I had an undergrad degree in journalism, I had no experience. He shared that he doesn’t pay.  But I could write for him, get experience, and go on to get paid opportunities! And that certainly happened!… Two years later!!! LOL!!!

I earned my first $50 for an article by writing for my dear friend, the AMAZING Jennifer French Parker, publisher of CrossRoadsNews! In addition to being an editor, she was a mentor! She taught me how to shape my thoughts properly while condensing my words into the appropriate word count. I was able to go on to write for several wonderful local publications.

Soon, I had the opportunity to write for my first national publication! And that is Upscale magazine! Before I mention editors, I just want to thank Bernard and Sheila Bronner of the LEGENDARY, WELL RESPECTED, MUCH ADMIRED Bronner Family! Bernard and Sheila, thank you so much for your kindness and consideration of others.  I often tell others that there are two great families that I admire!  That is… The Cathy Family of Chick-fil-A and The Bronner Family of Bronner Brothers Products! Both families have been blessed with wealth.  At the same time, all members of these families are humble, caring and kind.  Chick-fil-A shares that it is important to them to treat everyone with honor, dignity and respect.  Although the Bronners’ don’t say that, that is how they treat everyone! After 20 years, thank you for continuing to allow me to be a part of the Upscale family! —

To my dear friends, Nigel, editorial director and Mikie, production director. You are SIMPLY THE BEST! OMG! Oh My Goodness! You are my two big brothers from other mothers! Thanks for always being  there for me in not just my writing for Upscale, but my Leslie’s Lane projects as well! Every time I call on you, you are there for me! Special thanks to my lovely editors (past and present) including Kimberly, Sheryl and Nina!

I soon began writing for INTERNATIONAL publications Black Enterprise magazine and ESSENCE magazine! – – Thanks so much to Tanisha, Monique, Tamara, Lynya, and Charreah! You classy ladies are PHENOMENAL!  You have always been so kind, supportive and friendly! I appreciate that! And… thanks so much for making me a featured contributor for the second time in my ESSENCE career! I cannot thank you enough! –

I am SUPER EXCITED about my latest writing opportunities! I am a contributor to The Ashro Blog! I have written three articles so far! The blog is the digital publication for the Ashro website. Ashro is a global brand that is the premier site for African American women’s clothing! It is an honor and pleasure working with Andrea, Brenda, and Simone! You are more than AWESOME! – – I also write for Upscale Living magazine. It is a SPECTACULAR luxury, lifestyle publication! Stay tuned for two special EXCLUSIVES that will be published by my new lovely editor Alina! I’m keeping them under wraps for right now too!  But… I’ve been giving hints along the way over the past few months.  –

Of course, thank you so much to my family!  To my WONDERFUL hubby Tony, daughter Antasha, son Jay, Mother Lizzie, sisters Sissie and Natalie, niece/assistant LeTonya, BFF Lisa, godson Bryson and countless others!  I just don’t know what I would do without you!  Thanks for encouraging me and counseling me! Special thanks to my pastor Dr. Lee, first lady Yolanda, and friends Lady Anne, Liz, Donna, Stephanie, Janet, Brenda, Annita, and countless others! Thanks Valerie and Mackenzie Morgan of On Common Ground News for publishing my articles and writing pieces on my books and other projects! You are so very supportive of all that I do!   I thank God for you all!

So, ladies and gentlemen, I’ve got so many irons in the fire and projects in the works! Please feel free to follow me @LesliesLane on all of my social media. I’ll be doing a lot more writing!  It is my prayer that I can inspire, empower, and educate others through my writing. Thanks for taking the time to read my open letter to editors and individuals that have positively impacted my life!  May God continue to richly bless each of you as He keeps you in perfect peace.


Leslie E. Royal

Leslie E. Royal is an author, international freelance writer, product review expert, social media influencer, and global travel journalist. Her articles have appeared in numerous publications including: ESSENCE, Black Enterprise,, AAA Southern Traveler, Upscale, Upscale Living, The Ashro Blog, and She is the creator of the Leslie’s Lane consumer information blog and author of two books: How to Write and Self-Publish Your Book for FREE with Amazon’s CreateSpace (Amazon $9.95) and Leslie’s Lane The Book! Your One Stop Internet Resource Guide to Links for Jobs, Inspiration, Discounts, FREE Stuff, Scholarships, Travel and More! (Amazon $14.95). Follow her on social media @LesliesLane.


About Leslie's Lane

Leslie E. Royal is an author, international freelance journalist, product review expert, social media influencer, global travel writer, speaker, media consultant and strategist. Her articles have appeared in numerous publications including: AAA Southern Traveler, ESSENCE,, Upscale, Upscale Living, The Ashro Blog,, Black Enterprise,, The Travel Bags with Annita Blog, and The Wall Street Journal. She is creator of the Leslie’s Lane consumer information brand and has penned two books: How to Write and Self-Publish Your Book for FREE with Amazon’s CreateSpace (Amazon $9.95) and Leslie’s Lane The Book! Your One Stop Internet Resource Guide to Links for Jobs, Inspiration, Discounts, FREE Stuff, Scholarships, Travel and More! (Amazon $14.95). Just click on this link to order the books: Follow her on social media at @LesliesLane.
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