Thursday, August 13, 2015

Patricia Johnson-Harris presents the 6th Annual African American Authors Expo in Timonium, MD on Aug. 15. Please read her guest blog post.

Are you a book lover? The 6th Annual African American Authors Expo will be held at the Radisson North Baltimore Hotel this weekend. The address of the venue is 2004 Greenspring Drive in Timonium, MD. Patricia Johnson-Harris stopped by the blog to explain what she does and why. I hope that you enjoy her five minute interview at The Nook.



Behind the scenes with Patricia Johnson-Harris

RAABN: What you do?
PJH: I  am the founder and visionary for the African American Authors Expo and Multi-Cultural Book Festival.
RAABN: What is your mission?
PJH: Our mission is to create a platform that exposes local  and independent authors of all nationalities to the general public, and have dedicate ourselves to helping authors connect with national and local book clubs, organizations and readers abroad.

RAABN: How did you get started with the African American Authors Expo?
PJH: I was working with my husband, Roger Harris, producing jazz concerts and my first contacts with independent authors were as vendors at the various jazz events.  That’s where my vision through pray came to fruition.  

RAABN: Why did you do it and when? 
PJH: I began to talk with the authors when they would vend at our events. I discovered the struggles they faced in publishing, editing, printing, and getting recognition. It heavied my heart and something needed to be done to help these authors, but I had no experience with authors or publishing, so I did the one thing I  knew at the time, to do and that was pray. I prayed for months and was finally given an answer to have an event that highlight and showcase local authors. Why do we have to always pick up a book by a national author, when we have so many talented authors right here In our own back yard? This platform to support authors at the time was for our local authors, but it has grown so much for authors all over. My very first expo was in August of 2009 in Columbia, Maryland. Today, we are still going strong.

RAABN: Do you have a favorite book genre?
PJH: I do. Romance. It's nothing like reading a good love story because you also get a little bit of suspense in romance novels. 

RAABN: How many authors will be at the expo? Are they all local? Are they traditionally and self published? 
PJH: At the 6th Annual African American Authors Expo, we will have about 50 exhibiting authors from all over the states like New Jersey, New York, Cleveland Ohio, North Carolina, Atlanta and Pennsylvania. Yes, we will have just as many authors who were published through a traditional publishing company as self-published authors at this year’s expo.

RAABN: Tell me a little about the event and activities that will be held.
PJH: The event is a great networking opportunity for authors, aspiring authors and entrepreneurs. We are hosting 7 workshops for the author and business-minded individual.  You can attend a workshop on how to start your writing project, to branding your book or business, so there is a workshop  designed for almost everyone.  We have author speaking panel, a book club panel for anyone wanting to learn how to have a successful book club, and a publishing panel. We also host the Youth Writers challenge. We support our youth who have a desire to write. All of the participants get school supplies to prepare them for the upcoming year.  There are games and actives for children. The expo is a free, family fun event.

RAABN: Why should book clubs and readers attend this?
PJH:  I encourage books clubs to attend the expo so that they get the opportunity to meet our independent authors, and the authors get to connect with clubs who enjoy reading. This is the place where we bring the clubs and authors face-to-face and make connections.

RAABN: What is one thing people don't know about you?
PJH:  Let’s see. One, I love roller skating. I get on the floor and just skate away. It’s a great way to exercise, but it also allows me to leave everything at the door and just have fun.  I also love to sit at home with a bowl of popcorn in the middle of me and my husband, Roger and watch Law & Order SVU. I love that show.
Please visit for more information. Grab your bookish friends in the DMV and attend this event!

Have you read my recent interview with Victoria Christopher Murray? She will be there, too. Click here.