I got to sit down with Kay Blake, one of the founders of Bookish Brown Girls, to hear all about this awesome reading and writing programs!
When did you realize or decide you wanted to do Bookish Brown Girls?
My oldest daughter asked me about books with black girls. And while YA has more available now than when I was a kid, there is still so much we can have across all genres. I thought it was perfect to make a place where we can celebrate WOC who wrote books regardless of genre. I also wanted to provide support and encouragement.
What has been your best experience with it so far?
The Instagram page has been great. I gained a lot of followers even from authors I am big fans. The podcast seems to go well too. I have gotten so wonderful emails and messages from people. I am appreciative of it all.
What sort of challenges have you faced starting Bookish Brown Girls?
The big one for me was trying to decide how I wanted to go about doing this. The social media channels, deciding if I wanted to include it in my events. Doing the podcast even though I’m not a big fan of talking. I don’t really like the sound of my voice.
Have you learned anything really cool or interesting while setting up Bookish Brown Girls?
Mostly, that for the most part, the writing community is a gem. They can be very supportive at times. If I didn’t have the support from other people, I don’t know if this could have even been a thing. I am also learning about grant writing which has been interesting. Fingers crossed I get to make Bookish Brown Girls more national and make it a nonprofit.
What advice would you give to new writers or anyone looking at Bookish Brown Girls for insight?
I would say I have posts that are there for encouragement. I RT things for WOC on my twitter. I have a website with WOC and their genres listed and other resources. It is my hope that I can add more to the website. Of course, if I am missing something, message me and let me know. I am all ears.
What project are you currently working on?
I am trying to get a quarterly book box going. It has been a bit stressful but fun and I hope to have a prototype box before the end of 2019.
What’s next for you?
For Bookish Brown Girls season 2 of The Bookish Brown Girls Podcast. I also really want to make this into a non-profit organization or have a bookstore that carries nothing by books written by WOC.
Kay is an award-winning author who writes contemporary romance and interracial romance. She also dabbles in young adult. She is also the creator of Bookish Brown Girls, a platform dedicated to promoting books written by women of color. She is from arguably the greatest city in the world. (New York). She is a sarcastic sweetheart who prefers snuggling at home with a good book. Kay is a mom of 3 cubs and a wife. Kay indulges in strawberry cheesecake, horror movies, Harry Potter, The Walking Dead, wrestling and of course a happily ever after.