Interview: Cristina Brandao on Book Club at facebook

Join Book Club at facebook, 8,300+ members strong.

Could you begin by telling us a little about yourself?

Well, let’s see, I’m 24 years old, and I live just north of Toronto (Canada). I am a student, but I work as well, which leaves a lot of room to read and not a lot of time for much else.

How do you come to fall in love with books?

I used to love reading when I was younger. I used to read so much that everywhere I went I had a book with me. I owned every single Baby-sitter’s Club, Baby-sitter’s Little Sister and Fear Street Saga that there was. (Actually I still have the Fear Street Sagas.)

But back then, if people found out you liked to read they made fun of you or other such childish nonsense. So I stopped reading.

Then last year there was all this hype around a certain quartet of novels, and I was convinced that nothing out there was that good. So to prove everyone wrong I went and read them and instead of me showing them that they were wrong, it turned out that I was actually impressed with what I read.

I now continue to read any and all books that look good (yes, I judge a book by its cover), which seems to have a tendency to be paranormal in nature. It is through these books that I am able to find characters I can relate to. Characters that have the same or similar ups and downs and know about love, loss and happiness. That is what keeps me in love with books. They are my friends, my escape.

When and why did you start Book Club?

I started Book Club in the beginning of June 2009 because I kept reading all these great books, and I was completely frustrated on account of the fact that none of my friends read and I had no one to talk to about them.

What is its mission?

Book Club doesn’t really have a mission, but its goal is to bring book readers together to discuss the books they are reading.

What are its activities?

Activities? Like what Book Club does?

Book Club brings avid book readers together to discuss the books they are reading as well as to help promote new releases. The Photo Albums have images of book covers of suggestions I’ve made to the people who are avid users of my page. All of the books I’ve read have my own persona description under them.

The Discussion Board is filled different topics of different books people are reading that they’d like to discuss while the main wall has posts of what people are currently reading which make up the Top Ten (posted weekly).

There are notes that have authors’ official websites and twitter accounts so that fans may follow their work and the Events tab is filled with different book releases. You can also find some of the best of 2009 in the Notes tab.

Who are its members?

The members of Book Club consist of users of facebook who read books.

Why is facebook a good fit for the group?

Facebook is not the greatest fit for my original idea of an online book club, but it works. If was more computer savvy, I would try to create a site for it in my original image.

How can authors work with/support the group?

Authors can work with/ support Book Club by “becoming a fan” or “liking” my Book Club page as well as letting me know when their next novel will be released, any tour dates, and any new information regarding their work. I try to keep up with it, but sometimes I can’t be efficient enough.

What else do you do in book world?

I realized a few months ago that I’d like to get into book promotions and maybe eventually publishing, but I have a long way to go before I publish anything. I am, however, quite efficient at promotions.

I usually do not support promotions if they are done with the authors’ publishing company or whoever it is, but I have done contests and giveaways with any author who is interested. All they have to do is contact me, and we’ll work something out.

I also have a monthly newsletter that has: Book Club’s Book of the Month, new book releases, appearances, the Free Book of the Month, with upcoming Bookworm of the Month and Guess Review.

Do you imagine yourself as still a part of the wider conversation of books in five years? Ten? If so, in what way?

Of course I do! I would love to create a place where one half of the location is a bookstore and the other half is a place where you can read your books, talk about them and come to well organized events and signings.

I’d love to be able to host and organize a yearly event/gala/convention/book fair here in Toronto where loads of authors would be able to converse and get to know their fans.

I have high hopes and big dreams that all have books in them.

What are a couple of your favorite recent reads and why?

I don’t really have any favorite recent reads, but here is a few on my up-and-coming-to-read list:

Hearts at Stake
by Alyxandra Harvey

Georgina Kincaid Series by Richelle Mead

Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Women of the Otherwold
Series by Kelley Armstrong

Is there anything you’d like to add?

I just want to say thanks to all the people who “became a fan” or who “likes” Book Club. Without you I wouldn’t have the confidence to do what I do.

Also a big/huge/enormous thank you to all the authors who have supported me from the beginning, and who continue to support me, specifically Nancy Holder with much thanks to Cynthia Leitich Smith. I appreciate everything you do. Thanks so much!

Authors can contact me any time if they need anything.