Hello everyone! Please join me in welcoming Sharon Blount the President of Building Relationships Around Books on Facebook!
Hey Sharon, so glad you can come on here. Let me start off by saying I love your group. It’s straightforward, drama free and very informative. And in this day and age on social media, it’s so nice to see a group like this. The members are friendly and welcoming too.
First, thank you for inviting me here today, it’s an honor. I’m excited to answer any questions you may have for me. I’m happy to hear you enjoy being a part of the group. It’s the best compliment for me to hear. Nobody wants to come into a group with drama and craziness, and I believe you have to be straightforward; otherwise it’s room for misinterpretation and it’s not something I want.
Where did you get the idea for the group?
I was reading so many books and I did not have anyone I could talk to about them. At one point in time, I did have a physical book club but it did not work out for me. Being a new mom at the time, meeting up became difficult. Years later, I still wanted a place where I could talk about books. Characters are like family members, without getting the side eye (lol ). I did some research about online book clubs and took a leap of faith and started Building Relationships Around books in 2009. I am very proud to still be around.
The name of the group, I like it. How did you come up with it?
When I was thinking about book club names, I asked myself what I wanted out of the book club. I wanted friendships that were 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, and then one day I had the light bulb moment. How to obtain a friendship you build on? And BAM, there goes the name: Building Relationships Around Books.
I noticed how organized B.R.A.B. is. You have days set aside for special events, member shout outs and books. PLUS, you post other tidbits throughout the day. How do you do it and can you give us an example as to how you came up with these ideas?
Yes we are very organized, that was something we wanted big time. I and MsPrissy, she was the only other admin at the time, sat and brain stormed on ideas. The main one was authors promotion days. We are a book club not just a place you drop off and advertise. To control things that we set up, we have rules. Nobody wants to come into a group where there’s out of control drama. We added more activities along the way, with the help of my other Admin Denise Stokes. We can’t function without it being organized, it makes things run smoothly. We love interaction in the group, we have to keep readers coming back also; let members know about events. Awareness: we want to keep our family members well informed
We are family in the group, and one thing family does, they make you feel special on your Birthday. That Idea came from me. One day a member felt down on her birthday. I felt that nobody should feel like that on their cake day, and I gave her a shout out. She was so happy and overwhelmed with emotions she called me and told me, I was the only person who cared enough to do that for her. Ever since then I have done birthdays, you never know what can make someone’s day.
Are you a writer yourself or a reader?
I am avid reader first; it’s nothing like reading a good book to take you on your next adventure. I am currently working on two projects, but with all these great books coming out it’s been hard to finish, but I will.
Do you have any aspirations in becoming an author?
Yes I do. I have always wanted to write my own books. I just want to make sure I am doing it correctly and not put something out there because self publishing makes it easier.
What are the qualifications, if any, in becoming a member of B.R.A.B.?
You have to love to read; you can’t join a book club and not love to read. Come in with a positive attitude, because I don’t do drama, and be prepared to be embrace by other members. We are a family in B.R.A.B., and most importantly, know that your reading list will grow by leaps and bounds. LOL
I notice you focus a lot of romance books written by African Americans. Are other genres welcomed?
Our main focus is AA romance. But as you know there are many forms of romance, and being true readers, we welcome all genres. I know I don’t personally read romance all the time. Many of our readers come in and tell us about different books by AA authors and NON AA authors
What books are you interested in personally? What’s your favorite genre?
I am romance junkie, it’s so inspiring to me that at the end of the story they work on their issues, and come out stronger, and love harder. Love does conquer all.
Do you have anything special happening over at B.R.A.B. at this moment that you would like to share?
Yes we have some exciting things happening very soon. We have our Readers Retreat Southern Affair coming in October 10th through 11th 2014, in Atlanta. I am so happy about this event, it’s going to be so much fun, and I get to meet some of my favorite authors like, Rochelle Alers, Maureen Smith, Kr Bankston, Keith Thomas Walker, Keith Kareem Williams, AlTonya Washington, M.j. Kane ,Delaney Diamond, Angie Daniels, Sienna Mynx, Deborah Mello, Iris Bolling, and Nikkea Smithers.
This is an event you don’t want to miss. For more information hop on over to Readers Retreats Southern Affair
We will be announcing our Nominations for the Reading Warrior’s Awards. The Winners will be announced on October 26th in the group. We have a big event, all the members come out and have fun.
Any final words, anything you would like our audience to know about you or B.R.A.B. in general?
We, our group of women and men, have truly bonded starting with books. And now we are a family, who share, offers love, support and of course, good recommendations for books to read. I am so proud of B.R.A.B, to see my dreams of having a book club has went beyond my expectations. To something that I am proud I took the time to do; the rewards from it are endless. Thank you so much for having me today; it’s been fun going down memory lane.
I also want to shout out my admins of the group. Msprissy Parker, Denise Stokes, Karen Berry, Kathy Brooks, Debra Harris, Lillian Douglas, Qiana Williams. Thank you Ladies for all that you do.