Priscilla C. Johnson, aka ‘Cilla, is the founder of Cilla’s Book Maniacs. Cilla developed a love of reading and books during childhood where she would spend hours in the library waiting for her brothers and her mother while they were practicing sports.
Having friended the owners of a local AA Book store in 1999, Cilla began working there part-time just to be close to the books. It was at this time that she began building relationships with her favorite author, scheduling book events and books signings. Cilla joined Beverly Jenkins Yahoo Group where she developed friendships with the women and they began traveling together to various book events. In 2015, Cilla began PCJ Consultant Group, LLC where she helps aspiring authors achieve their dreams of getting published, organize and build street teams, and introducing authors to new readers and book clubs.
BPM: What is the name of your reading group?
Cilla’s Book Maniacs official began in 2010 although we have been around for several years. A portion of the group that is not on social media and they are in a Yahoo Group called Readers Who Enjoy Black Romance. Priscilla is the lead person since she knows how to keep everyone in line and up-to-date on what is going on in most literary circles.
BPM: Tell us about your members. How would you describe the personality of your group as a whole?
We are comprised of readers and authors from states all across the county. Our ages range from 25-70. We also have a few males in the group.
BPM: What is the purpose for your organization? Is there something that makes your group different?
Our main purpose is to simply share our love of books, encourage and support each other and have fun. We travel together to various conferences, particularly the Romance Slam Jam Conference, where we have been named 2015 and 2016 Spirit Book Club of the Year.
BPM: What genre/types of books do you prefer to read as a group?
Since we are an on-line club our taste in books range from romance, historical romance, erotica, paranormal, Christian, and interracial. Generally if someone reads a good book, we will post the title and author. We also support the authors in the group.
BPM: Do you like to find new authors and interact online?
We find new authors at events and conferences. When we find or come across someone we think everyone will enjoy, we simple post the author and book in the group or we will post the review.
Social media has introduced us to a lot of authors we would not ordinarily chose to read. Current Author favorites: Keith Thomas Walker, Eva J Brock, Beverly Jenkins, Brenda Jackson, All of our Club Authors (they know who they are )
BPM: Do you have any words of wisdom for other readers who might want to start a book club?
Find a group of people that you like and enjoy to be with or have similar interest. Keep everything fun – leave the personal stuff outside. Remember – every book is not for everybody and its ok to not like a book.
BPM: What has the main focus become over the years?
The Maniacs has primarily been a private social group. Now that were have won two book clubs awards, we are beginning to branch out and try new things.
Photo: Group at the 2016 Romance Slam Jam Conference