The 2014 Black Authors & Readers Rock Weekend was held on October 17-18, 2014, in Bowie, MD. Registrants for Friday’s events were given swag bags courtesy of yours truly.
Friday’s program commenced with a Book Club meeting featuring author Naleighna Kai, and her bestselling novel, Open Door Marriage.
The meeting was followed by the Literary Movers & Shakers panel discussion with authors Nanette Buchanan, Electa Rome Parks, Earl Sewell, Frances Frost, KL Brady and Shelley Ellis. J’son M. Lee, Author and President of Sweet Georgia Press, served as moderator.
Broadcast Journalist and Author, Harold T. Fisher, moderated the second panel of the night, Literary Trailblazers, which featured authors Rochelle Alers, Nina Foxx, Donna Hill, Kimberla Lawson Roby & Pat G’Orge Walker.
The event resumed on Saturday morning with two additional panels. How to Replace the Book Store in Your Life was moderated by author Earl Sewell, with panelists Edwina Putney, Ramunda Young, KR Raye and Martha Ruff.
Sharon Lucas, founder of The Reading Divas Book Club, moderated the second panel—an intimate discussion with the 2014 NAACP Image Award Winner for Outstanding Literary Fiction, Pamela Samuels Young.
We were then treated to the How Can Readers Become Influencers panel discussion moderated by Pamela Samuels Young. This panel included Linda A. Duggins, Nina Foxx, Austin S. Camacho and Donna Hill.
Author and keynote speaker, Kimberla Lawson Roby, took the floor following lunch, and blessed us with a moving speech on how her literary career began. Through her own faith, the love and support of her husband, Will, and a perseverance and tenacity to succeed, Lawson Roby has become a New York Times Bestselling author who has sold more than two million copies of her works. She has graced numerous bestseller lists, received countless awards and accolades, and will release her twenty-first title, A Christmas Prayer, on October 28, 2014.
Kimberla Lawson Roby brought the room to tears when she relayed a touching moment about the emptiness she still feels since losing her mother. She went on to say her publicist, Linda A. Duggins, calls her upcoming release, A Christmas Prayer, Lawson Roby’s love letter to her mother.
The 2014 Black Authors & Readers Rock Weekend showcased some of the best in African American fiction. In addition to those named above, the author and vendor lineup included Renee Flagler, J. Alex Blane, Sylvia Brown-Roberts, Joyce Marie Frazier, Elsie Hillman-Gordon, David L., LaQuette, Deliah Lawrence, Amina McWhirter, Cerece Rennie Murphy, B. Swangin Webster, Mahogany Books, Taylor’s Calendars and Simply Said Reading Accessories.
I hope to attend future events. I wish to extend a huge thank you to the ladies of The Reading Divas Book Club. I think I speak for many when I say I walked away impressed, informed, and inspired.