Black History Month: The Business of Black Books #1

Welcome to the first annual Black History Month Hop hosted by Reflections of a Bookaholic and Mocha Girls Read.

This event kicks off the month-long Black History Hop, which will focus on giving black authors, books, and those who support them a month in the spotlight.

Weekly Topics for the Black History Month Hop
1st – 7th Black History Month Giveaway Hop (Enter Here)
2nd – 4th Around Town
    5th – 11th The Business of Black Books
   12th – 18th  Black Love
    19th – 25th  Black Books
26th – 29th  The Best of…
This week we are going to talk about the Business of Black Books.  Basically, the authors and their experiences along with publishers, illustrators, booksellers, book bloggers and everyone involved in getting black authors to their readers.  Today we are welcoming an amazing Mocha Girl to our site who is an accomplished writer helping other black authors get to readers.  Give a big Mocha Girls Read welcome to …

Carleen Brice

Carleen Brice writes nonfiction and fiction. Her most recent books are the novels Orange Mint and Honey, which was made into a Lifetime television movie called “Sins of the Mother,” and Children of the Waters. She’s currently at work on a novel called Every Good Wish. Places you can find her online:  White Readers Meet Black Authors, WriterUnboxed, Girlfriends Book Club, Twitter and Facebook.
Welcome Carleen to Mocha Girls Read.
We are thrilled to have you here and thank you for taking time to do this interview.
MGR:  Tell us, why did you start your blog?
CB:  I started my blog to call attention to the fact that many great books by black authors were flying under the radar because of the notion that the market for books by black authors is limited to black readers.
MGR:  How long have you been blogging?
CB:  Three years for this blog. I started blogging just about myself on my Pajama Gardener blog in 2006.
MGR:  3 years!  Wow.  How much time do you spend blogging?
CB:  Not nearly enough! Lately, not even really an hour a week. I do upload links to my blog’s Facebook page and I tweet and retweet about books a lot though—those activities easily go over a few hours a week.
MGR:  What are some things you have learned since you started blogging?
CB:  I’ve learned a lot about online media and contributing to a community. Online media gets a bum rap from people who don’t participate or don’t get it. I’ve found great support and encouragement from people I’ve never met, and I really appreciate it.
MGR:  I have to agree with that too.  Your blog is called “White Readers Meet Black Authors“, where did you get the name from?
CB:  Came to me in a flash when the idea for the blog came.
MGR:  Just curious, what are you reading now?
CB:  I’m reading The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo because somehow I’m able to read a book written by someone who doesn’t look like me about people who don’t look like me. It’s magic! Yes, I’m being snarky.
MGR:  LOL!  Who are some of your favorite authors?
CB:  I was just thinking about Bebe Moore Campbell the other day. I still feel her loss. I recently read Gathering of Waters by Bernice McFadden (which I loved) and was reminded again what an amazing book Your Blues Ain’t Like Mine is.
MGR:  Finish this sentence Carleen…If I had to do this all over again, I ….
CB: If I had to do this all over again, I would.
MGR:  What are some of the joys and pains of blogging?
CB:  I’m not able to keep up with it. I’ve been busy lately on my own stuff and haven’t been blogging as much. I feel bad about that, but I also feel I’ve kind of said everything I have to say on the subject. Now it’s just a matter of pointing out when new books arrive on the scene.
MGR:  So Carleen, can you tell the readers…what is the big deal about blogging about books anyways?
CB:  Book bloggers are the new curators. They are the ones that lots of people are turning to for recommendations so it is a big deal. It’s also amazing to me as an author that so many readers care enough about books to start a blog about them.
MGR:  It February, officially Black History Month in the US.  What does Black History Month mean to you?
CB:  This is really too big a question for me to answer here. I have a love/hate relationship to BHM. It’s one time of year when the spotlight gets shined on all things Negro, and I’m glad for the spotlight, but what about the rest of the year? Good books and films keep getting released. There’s still plenty of people doing heroic things we need to know about. So…love/hate.
MGR:  What do you do for fun?
CB:  Read, watch movies, garden.
MGR:  And what’s your guilty pleasure?
CB:  The Real Housewives. (Atlanta, Beverly Hills and New York). I wish I could quit them, but….
MGR:  What is your favorite line from a book?
CB:  My most recent favorite is the opening to We The Animals b Justin Torres: “We wanted more. We knocked the butt ends of our forks against the table, tapped our spoons against our empty bowls; we were hungry. We wanted more volume, more riots. We turned up the knob on the TV until our ears ached with the shouts of angry men. We wanted more music on the radio; we wanted beats; we wanted rock. We wanted muscles on our skinny arms. We had bird bones, hollow and light, and we wanted more density, more weight. We were six snatching hands, six stomping feet; we were brothers, boys, three little kings locked in a feud for more.”
MGR:  Tell us what are 2 things on your bucket list?
CB:  I don’t have a bucket list. I haven’t traveled outside the country very much and I want to do that, but we’ll see. I feel like as a writer, I’ve made the choice to try to live this artist life and, for me, that may not include being able to afford international travel. If it doesn’t I’m okay with that. I’m doing what I want to do every day!
MGR:  Thank you so much Carleen for stopping by our blog.  Would you like to give a Shout Out!?
CB:  Thank you to all the readers who tweet, Facebook, Tumbler and blog about books!

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Just another girl who loves to read and then read some more and wants to meet others like me.
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