Bookish Interview:Fantastic Flying Book Club Tours

Bookish Interview, Interview

Meet FFBC Tours.

FFBC Tours Social Media Links:
TUABFC Social Media Links:

 

The Interview.

Hi Patricia! 

Thanks for joining us today. Tell us a little about yourself and FFBC.

  • Profession: Regulatory Affairs
  • Country: Spain & United Kingdom

Patri is the owner and blogger of The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club (TUABFC) and co-owner of the Fantastic Flying Book Club Tours (The FFBC Tours.

She loves books so much that on 2013 she had to open a website and blog about books (of course!) and in 2014 she started the free-of-charge (we get paid in book-form) PR services, The FFBC tours.

Loves romances, dancing and shopping (even though her bank account doesn’t like that). Funny, friendly and loud, at times, always looking to engage more and more in the blogging community.

 

“Our love of books is what drives us to help the authors and publishers behind those amazing stories.” When did your love of books start? What was the first book that really left a lasting impression?

Gosh, now I know how authors feel when I ask this question! It is quite difficult to answer this. My mom taught me how to read at a very young age (at 5 years old) and since then books where my friends. I was the weird kid at school that teachers literally banned bringing books to school because I would spend my playground time reading. Something about not socializing enough… Don’t know what they were thinking really!

I think that the first book I read in Spanish that left a massive impression was “Memorias de Idhun by Laura XXX”, in Italian “Tre Metri Sopra il Celo by Federico Moccia” and in English I think it has to be The Lux series, Harry Potter and Abbi Glines’ books.

 

How did you come up with the name “Fantastic Flying Book Club”? Had your tour company originally been an online book club?

After we decided we wanted to do a bit more than just blogging, I saw this short movie called “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ad3CMri3hOs) and the story touched me so much and I felt so identified that I wanted to honour that short film. I think people who love books the way we love them is Mr. Morris and we all live surrounded by books and stories we will take with us when we leave this world.

The FFBC Tours, or The Fantastic Flying Book Club Tours, started organising some extra publicity on the book INK by Amanda Sun. It was basically Anasheh from A Reading Nurse, who’s now “retired” from the FFBC tours, and myself hosting several promotional posts (interviews, extra materials from the book, reviews, etc.) that we created with the author for a week. We thought it was amazing and we wanted to expand that to a larger audience, so we decided to email people asking them if they would be interested in working with us as our team. Since 2014 we have perfected our services and tried to make them user-friendly for bloggers and authors and we have tried to re-invent ourselves to keep up with the game (e.g. Bookstagram).

 

What is your favorite thing about being a book blogger? Favorite thing about running a tour company?

The books and the people. Before starting book blogging, I felt a bit lonely. I could not talk to my friend about the latest book I was reading, because back in the day books got translated at a slower pace so I was reading English books, but my friends did not. So after I finished a mind-blowing book, all the hype, all the “what-did-just-happened”, got deflated because I could not share my thoughts with anyone. That changed drastically when I started blogging. All of a sudden, I was doing that but with an online audience and online friends. Plus, sometimes I got books before they got released! How cool is that?

Now, my favourite thing of running the tours is having an open conversation with authors, bloggers, publishers and literary agents. I love hearing how happy people are for participating on our tours and getting the feeling we are a (small) important part of the blogging community.

 

On average, how many tours do you schedule for a year? How does this number differ from when you first started?

I have never counted the amount of tours we do per year as silly as it sounds! I know that for this 2020 I have planned 75 tours from January until August, and I have some pending requests. Then there would be Michelle and Jana’s tours for the year, too.

Since 2015, this has changed drastically. I think we started with maybe 5 tours per month (approx.) whereas now between us 3 we can easily reach 20 tours a month.

 

When approached with an inquiry about scheduling a tour, how long does the process take to get everything finalized?

I like to start the tour organisation 3 months in advance. We always schedule our tours around the book release date (either the week prior to the release or the week after), so I ask authors and publishers to start early to allow the author time to write any promotional posts they might want to do and for bloggers to have time to read without having to stress about time. Also, this leaves some extra time for errors or unexpected problems.

 

How did you go about creating your brand; tagline?

The FFBC Tours started with me and Anasheh from A Reading Nurse wanting to help authors a bit more. I remember chatting with Amanda Sun and seeing how scary it would be not having enough outreach, so your book can at least be seen. It is a shame that there might be book jewels hiding on Goodreads and our libraries/book stores, that we are completely unaware of because they didn’t get “talked about”.

That’s when 1 year into blogging, I decided to create the FFBC Tours. I would mainly focus on the site design, banners and reaching out to authors and publishers and Anasheh would make sure my Spanglish sounded more English and a bit more formal. With time, the FFBC tours had expanded so much that I could not cope with all the work and Anasheh was a bit MIA due to her work, that’s when I asked the blogging community if they wanted to be part of the FFBC Tours. That’s when the lovely and amazing Michelle became one of the co-owners of the FFBC tours while Anasheh stepped down. I can’t tell you how happy I was to have Michelle. She’s a sweetheart and she helped me so much. I completely disappeared on her at some time while pursuing my research project for my MSc and she took charge of the FFBC Tours like champion! Due to the workload increasing rapidly and my absence during this time, we decided to bring a 3rd co-owner into the picture, and that’s when the lovely Jana came in. She’s also amazing and has been a great addition into the team. I don’t know where the tours would have ended if I didn’t have these 2 amazing bookish ladies with me. From time to time, we skype to align some changes and to catch up with any news, but we are constantly texting each other, too! Which is super nice.

As for the tagline, it all came from Mr. Morris Lessmore’s video. Watch it and let me know what you think! It really made me cry and woke all these fuzzy feelings… honestly, just watch it.

 

Real life vs. Tour Organizer: What is your daily routine like?

To be honest, my daily routine is stressful. I work for a quite famous British multinational consumer goods company whose brands you more than likely have in your household. I have a very flexible office hours which helps with my 1h and 30 min commute from my house to the office and I can work from home some days. I get home around 6pm (UK time) and then off to the gym, since I am trying to stay healthy (new goal for 2020 as cliché as it sounds!). When I get back home I cook some food for my partner and I while watching some TV and then off to bed to start all over in the morning.

When I don’t go to the gym, I use the evening to do some tours work and I read on my breaks at work and listen to audiobooks when I drive. I have lots of time to spare then!

I barely have time for blogging or to re-design my site like I have been wanting to do for 3 years now, but I am hoping this will change in the future!

 

Is there anything else you’d like to share with the readers today?

We want to invite any blogger reading Rae’s interview to join the FFBC Tours and we want to ask everyone to only request books they want to read. I know we all tend to be bookhoarders, but it is really difficult for us when a blogger doesn’t post on their assigned date.

We want the FFBC Tours to be like a family. I want bloggers know we have their backs and that we will keep “fighting” to get them the best titles we can. I like to think we are quite understanding, and I want to build both a rapport and a friendship with our FFBC Team members and help them as much as we can.

We are really thankful for everyone working with us, including authors, publishers and literary agents, but specially bloggers, because without their constant hard work and creativity we wouldn’t be where we are today.

Also, sorry to all our FFBC Team members for sending you emails at random times at night. I am based in the UK whereas Michelle and Jana are based in the US. For any urgent matters, always tweet us or contact us on IG, if we do not reply asap to your emails.

Guest Post: “New Year’s Resolution: To Read More Books!” By Tiffany Skylark

Guest Post

Meet Tiffany Skylark.

Tiffany
Born in Traverse City, Michigan, Tiffany grew up with a love for language. She has enjoyed writing stories and poetry from a young age. Her love for language compelled her to study Spanish in high school and to travel to Madrid, Spain for her first year of college at Saint Louis University Madrid Campus. She then moved to Oregon, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Spanish Language and Culture with a minor in Cultural Anthropology from Southern Oregon University in 2008. She now lives, works and writes back in her hometown of Traverse City.

Check out the Epic Fantasy Series ‘The Roquiel Saga’ on Amazon!

Social Media Links:

Twitter – @tiffanyskylarkauthor

Guest Post

New Year’s Resolution: To Read More Books!

2020 is right around the corner and that has many of us think about New Year’s resolutions. Recently on Instagram, I saw a post by a lady that has read more than 150 novels in in 2019. First of all, I was in awe, like seriously impressed by this number. I’m not even going to mention how many books I read in 2019 because it’s pathetic but I know that I can do better. Then I realized that if I looked up some tips on how to get this done, I would do even better. So if like me you want to read more books next year, here are some suggestions.
The first good suggestion I found was to get a library card if you don’t have one already. This one might seem pretty obvious, but there are plenty of people out there that don’t have a library card. The quiet environment in libraries offers the perfect spot away from the busy world to escape into a book. You might see a book that is being displayed on top of the shelves that catches your eye. One thing you might not know is that lot of libraries these days now give you access to a digital library of audio books that you can download for free. So if your wallet is still devoid of a library card, you know what to do.
Let’s talk social media. Most of spend more time than we’d care to admit with mindless scrolling. That’s time that we could be reading! I recently found a feature on Instagram that other social media sites probably have as well. While in Instagram, if you go to your profile, then tap the three lines in the top right corner, then tap ‘Your Activity’, at the bottom you will see ‘Set Daily Reminder’. This allows you to set a time limit for yourself, say 30 minutes a day. When you’ve reached your 30 minutes on the app, a reminder will pop up to remind you to get the heck off social media (and get reading).
This next suggestion goes along with the last. And that is just to prioritize reading. If you’re a list maker like me, you could jot down reading on your daily list of things to do so you don’t forget. You could also set a goal of a certain amount of time a read per day, or you could say I’ll read one chapter per day.
The next way to read more in the New Year is to keep an enormous ‘TBR’ pile. TBR meaning ‘to-be-read’. C.G. at paperfury.com gives a lot of reasons why it’s good and helpful to have a TBR pile. She says that it keeps us motivated (and helps us live longer) to have something to strive for. Looking at the pile of books reminds us that there are tons of amazing worlds and characters out there to discover. She also mentions that collecting books is a healthy habit to have, they make you look like a learned scholar, they are a good conversation starter and buying books supports the authors to keep being creative and practicing their craft.
The last suggestion I have is to find ways to stay accountable. One of the ways you could stop yourself from slacking is to join a book club, the other is to follow the hashtag #readingchallenge on Instagram. You can check out the individual posts and see all the different reading challenges that are out there and choose a few to join.
I hope these tips will help you hit the books in 2020!

Blog Tour: The Library of Lost Things

Blog Tour, Misc.

The Library of Lost Things

By Laura Taylor Namey
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Release date: October 8th 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Books about Books

Synopsis:
From the moment she first learned to read, literary genius Darcy Wells has spent most of her time living in the worlds of her books. There, she can avoid the crushing reality of her mother’s hoarding and pretend her life is simply ordinary. But when a new property manager becomes more active in the upkeep of their apartment complex, the only home Darcy has ever known outside of her books suddenly hangs in the balance.
While Darcy is struggling to survive beneath the weight of her mother’s compulsive shopping, Asher Fleet, a former teen pilot with an unexpectedly shattered future, walks into the bookstore where she works…and straight into her heart. For the first time in her life, Darcy can’t seem to find the right words. Fairy tales are one thing, but real love makes her want to hide inside her carefully constructed ink-and-paper bomb shelter.
Still, after spending her whole life keeping people out, something about Asher makes Darcy want to open up. But securing her own happily-ever-after will mean she’ll need to stop hiding and start living her own truth—even if it’s messy.
Book Links:  photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg
Official Book Playlist
THE LIBRARY OF LOST THINGS official Spotify Playlist: 
About the Author
Laura is a Cuban-American Californian who can be found haunting her favorite coffee shops, drooling over leather jackets, and wishing she was in London or Paris. She lives in San Diego with her husband and two superstar children.
This former teacher writes young adult novels about quirky teens learning to navigate life and love. Her debut, THE LIBRARY OF LOST THINGS will be published 10/08/19 from Inkyard Press/HarperCollins. Her #ownvoices sophomore project, A CUBAN GIRL’S GUIDE TO SWEATERS AND STARS is coming fall 2020 from Atheneum Simon and Schuster.
Social Media Links:
Giveaway Details Below:
Prize: Win a copy of THE LIBRARY OF LOST THINGS by Laura Taylor Namey
(INT)
Starts: 8th October 2019
Ends: 22nd October 2019
Click here to enter!
Blog Tour Schedule Here.
Bookstagram Schedule Here.
Tour Organized By:
FFBC tours logo

Meet Marie Marquardt and her project #ReadForChange

Author Interview

Meet Marie Marquardt.

I am an author of young adult novels, a college professor, and an immigration advocate.

How are these all connected? After many years as a researcher, service provider, and – most importantly – friend with immigrants to Georgia, I felt frustrated. I often spoke to groups about our broken immigration system and the need for immigration reform. And I realized something: people begin to care when they meet and get to know someone who is living inside this broken system. It’s been my great honor to have such relationships over decades.

So, I began writing fictional (but very real) stories based on my experiences. My novels bring readers into intimate contact with messy, complicated, political situations. I believe that, through story, we can connect to other people in a deep, meaningful way – which can be a powerful tool against the hate, fear, and misunderstanding that plague our society.

And now, the formal bits: I am a Scholar-in-Residence at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology. In addition to DREAM THINGS TRUE, THE RADIUS OF US, and FLIGHT SEASON (available 2/20/18) I have co-authored two non-fiction books and written several articles on immigration. I have been interviewed about immigration on National Public Radio, Public Radio International, Voice of America, NBC, and BBC America, among other media outlets. I am honored to be the chair of El Refugio, a Georgia non-profit that serves detained immigrants and their families.

I live in Decatur, Georgia with my spouse, four children, a dog, and a bearded dragon.

For more information, visit:

www.mariemarquardt.com

Twitter: @MarieFMarquardt

Facebook: @mariemarquardtauthor

Instagram: @marie_marquardt

Onto the interview!

2018 has just begun and #ReadForChange is in the works. What is the one thing you hope this project achieves as the year continues and later ends?My goal for the project is simple: to celebrate great stories that bring readers into intimate contact with issues that matter now. I hope #ReadForChange will encourage people who love these stories to dig in deep, explore the social issues that animated authors to write them, and then get to work (stay at work!) building a better world.

How can the book community, such as bloggers and bookstagrammers, get involved with and support #ReadForChange?

Thanks for asking! I’d love for bloggers and bookstagrammers to spread the word about the monthly feature and giveaway through their networks. I’m also hoping booklovers will pick up the hashtag to talk about other great books – fiction and non-fiction – that tackle the social issue at the heart of each month’s feature.  There are so many great novels out there. The hardest parts of this plan sticking to only one a month! I really hope that the monthly feature will be a conversation starter, not a one-time event.

Tell us about the story behind the creation of Read For Change and the birth of the hashtag.

Here’s my super-honest answer:  YA authors are expected be out there on social media, and I get that.  But I have trouble engaging authentically, in a way that feels natural to me. One day, I was brainstorming with a couple of other authors, and we were talking about who we want to be in that space.  It hit me that I want to be part of a community of authors, bloggers, and readers who feel deeply and think deeply about what needs to change in our society. And, voila! #ReadForChange! I was so thrilled when the wonderful people at Teen Librarian Toolbox steeped in to partner with me. They’ve really motivated me!

Did a specific event or circumstance ultimately help you make the final decision to tackle this inspiring project?

My first novel came out in September 2015. It was inspired by a couple of decades of work and friendship with undocumented immigrants in the South, and by my heart’s enormous desire to promote fair and just immigration reform. I felt some pushback – shouldn’t I be writing fiction for fiction’s sake? This baffled me. I’ll never forget one of my first events as a YA author, when a fellow panelist dismissed “issue books” as somehow inauthentic, not worthy, not real literature. What books, I wondered, are NOT issue books? But I kept my mouth shut.

When my second novel came out — just days before the inauguration of our current president – I decided to never apologize for what motivates me to write: a deep desire to see change in the world. I also decided to seek other authors who share that same burning desire, and promote their stories as a way to build community and work together for a better world.

Why do you feel authors are now writing novels that speak to the heart of today’s issues and problems vs. a few years ago when those stories may not have been readily accepted? What changed in the writing trend?

So much has changed since November 2016. I think many of us – including many in the publishing industry – have woken up and realized that we need to use our voices (We need to make use of everything we have!) to draw attention to injustice and to seek a more just and inclusive society.  Novels have always been a part of that project, because they are uniquely capable of building empathy and shared understanding. What’s changed is our willingness to openly claim that right and responsibility as authors, agents, publishers, and booksellers.

I can’t tell you how thrilled I was when, for 2017 YallWest, I was asked to be on a panel called “Writing the Resistance”. Sitting at that table, between fabulous writers who are committed to justice, and talking about how the desire for change motivates us, I felt like I had come home. I hope #ReadForChange will open this ‘home’ to many more people!

Is there anything you’d like to share with the readers today about the upcoming #ReadForChange launch?

Tomorrow’s the day! You can find it on Teen Librarian Toolbox, or — if you want the first issue to come directly to your e-mail inbox — you can sign up for the newsletter here.

Thank you Marie for sharing #ReadForChange with us!

Marie’s book, Flight Season, is coming out 2/20! Check out her website for more details!