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Monday, October 20, 2014

Book Club Spotlight: Building Relationships Around Books

Book clubs keep authors in business.
Book clubs keep authors motivated.

And without book clubs, many of your favorite authors may have quit a long time ago. So, let's hear it for the book clubs!

This month, I want to highlight a club that started on Facebook, but has branched out with off line events for readers and one of the most active pages on the world wide web!





Building Relationships Around Books or BRAB is the brain child of Sharon Blount, who joins me today to talk about the club and, of course, books!

Sharon Blount, founder and president of BRAB, with author Keith Thomas Walker in Atlanta at the book club's reader's retreat. 

Why did you decide to start BRAB?


I was reading so many books and I did not have anyone I could talk to about it. At one point time, I did have a physical book club but it did not work out with me. Being a new mom at the time, meeting up became difficult. Years later, I still wanted a place where i could talk about book characters they are like family members without getting the side eye (lol ). I did some research about online book clubs and took the leap of faith and started Building Relationships Around Books in 2009 I am very proud to still be around.

When I was thinking about book club names, I asked myself what I wanted out of the book club. I wanted friendships that was built around books, that was actually the name I had.  I sat on it for a while and it just did not feel right. I was stuck for two weeks thinking, then one day I had the light bulb moment. How do you obtain a friendship you build on it, and BAM, there goes the name Building Relationships Around Books.


 What has been the biggest surprise for you about running your online book club?


The biggest surprise in running online book club is the amount of work it takes to run it property. I could have a book club where you don't have anyone talking just posting, but I knew I wanted more for BRAB than that. What's the point in having a book club if your not talking about your favorite books and characters.  Another thing I found surprising is the  sisterhood that comes along with running a book club. Every morning I look forward to chatting with the members. I met some wonderful women in the group that I now call sisters, my admins Ms. Prissy Parker and Denise Stokes, they help me run the group.  We are truly Building Relationships Around Books.


 Who was the first author that BRAB hosted?


Keith Thomas Walker was the first author BRAB hosted. I remember being so nervous talking to him I spelled his name wrong  even though I was looking right at it LOL. He was a sport about it gave me tips on running a group. Very proud to to say he's still a member of the group and a friend.

You just recently hosted a book club event in Atlanta, tell the readers about it and the next BRAB event.


Our recent event "A Readers Retreat A Southern Affair", was simply amazing we all had fun readers and authors.
Our actives ranged from character based baby shower where we threw a baby shower for our favorite fictional characters.  Yeah I know it sounds strange but everyone had a blast.  It was so much fun with games also with the donations of baby items we were able to help three different organizations for families in need. 
We had an author's Q& A with book signing and Award nomination party.  It was a weekend nobody would soon forget. Next year we are going to Las Vegas so you know it's going to be an event you don't want to miss!


What are the rules to joining your book club?


The rules to join BRAB are have a Facebook account. You have to love to read and talk about books. Most important of all BRAB is DRAMA FREE book club. Oh yeah be prepared to spend money we are all addicted to one clicking lol..



Want your book club highlighted? 
Email me at cherisfhodges@gmail.com

2 comments:

D'nice said...

Great interview ladies!!

Deborah Mello said...

Great interview! Sharon Blount and BRAB are family and I think I can speak for all authors when I say how much we appreciate all that they do for us!