Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Reading with Robin is coming back! The extraordinary Robin Kall talks about author interviews, radio. breakfasts, teas, more--and has a book giveaway!

 How can you not adore someone who loves and promotes books and authors as much as Robin Kall does? (And who also is the warmest, funniest lunch date on the planet?) Robin is Rhode Island’s own book maven. From author interviews to events with best-selling authors, Robin shares her love of books wherever and whenever possible. You can connect with Robin on Facebook.com/readingwithrobin and follow her on Twitter@robinkall, online at http://www.readingwithrobin.com is updated constantly with all new author interviews and bookish information. Watch for news of the return of Reading With Robin radio – coming in January.

And the first three people who go to her site and sign up for her newsletter can nab a galley of Sally S. Hepworth's The Secrets of Midwives, which Robin loves.

I'm thrilled to host Robin here. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Robin.

How exciting that you are returning to radio with your show!  Can you tell us what's going to the same and what might be different?

I am so excited to be bringing Reading With Robin back to radio! What will remain the same is my passion for the books that I love and having the ability to share those with my listeners. I love giveaways and I'll be doing even more of those thanks to the generosity of the wonderful publishers I've been working with all of these  years. The show will still be broken up into chapters. That works well so why mess with it? I will have on debut novelists, beloved favorites and topical books depending on what's going on in the news or in my world. A few things that will be different will be the wonderful sponsors who have signed on to support this show. Too soon to share those now but you'll be hearing a lot about these wonderful people who are as enthusiastic about reading as I am!

I will be adding in a new feature -The Reading With Robin Book of the Month. Not sure that it will be called exactly that, but I will be highlighting one very special book each  month and will invite my listeners to participate by reading it as well and then participating in an on-air book club at the end of the month with the author also on the show. I am open to inviting local book clubs into the studio to get the whole on-air experience. So as not to have any spoilers for the real in depth look at a book I have something set up that will be invite only so those who have read and really want to get into the book will be able to do so. 

One of the additions to the show that I'm really excited about is going to be called "5 Minutes With Your Favorite Author." I'll give authors a chance to come on and talk up their favorite books and give a plug for theirs as well. The author community is so generous about championing others' books so I'd like the listeners to see for themselves what a supportive community it is. I have more but i should leave a few surprises…

You are one of the people who do more for books and authors than just about anyone I know and you are beloved by the book community.  Tell us how you started out, how you built this community--and why such a thing is so important.

Thank you, Caroline. Coming from someone who is most beloved in this community that means so much to me. What a wild story really. I started off in radio as a caller to a local show here in Rhode Island. Talk radio is addictive and as someone with an incredibly addictive personality, I was hooked. I was hooked even more as I started calling in, then becoming friendly with the host (15 years later and we are still best of friends) from there I would go into the studio for special segments and soon enough did a few fill-in hours by myself. Just thinking of those shows gives me chills. I remember thinking "What in the world am I doing here? In this studio. Alone. With all of these buttons on the control board. Oy.” I realized that I would really love to host my own show and knew immediately that the topic would be books/authors/reading -I pitched the idea, got a wonderful sponsor to agree to a show that i had no idea what it would really sound like and Reading With Robin had its first show in November of 2002. 

From that first show I met the nicest people both on-air and at the many events I would host. People who are still in touch today -some who have moved from Rhode Island, but were able to keep on listening through the magic of online streaming. It's really amazing when I stop to think of it. Kindred book-spirits. Wonderful people who attend events, always ask to help out and love being around all of the wonders the book world holds.

Reading will always be important no matter how it is we're reading. I am an old-fashioned reader and perhaps that will change one day but I just don't see it. In the years since I started the show much has changed with the e-readers, book store changes, etc., but what remains is the storyteller and the listener/reader. I like to connect readers and writers. It's a known fact that children who spend a great deal of time reading do better in school and it all starts from there. I enjoy going into the schools during reading week or whenever I am asked. The radio show has given me a platform so that I'm able to spread the message around and make it a lot of fun.

Robin, Susan Jane Gilman, John Searles, Dani Shapiro

You also have an amazing column called Well-Read, which will run every other Saturday, which will give exposure to your favorite books.  So what do you look for in a book?

What matters to you in a book? 

So happy that the column will work so well in conjunction the show. There's only so much I can cover in an hour a week so the column will enhance the show and visa versa (however you spell that) when I sit down with a book, I want to be entertained. Learning a little something is a bonus but mostly I want to get wrapped up in a story so much so that I don't even know what time it is or if Ari (my dog) needs to be walked. I enjoy a book with a sense of humor, not necessarily a funny book but one that's got a clever element or characters who see the world in an amusing way. If that makes any sense. Of course it matters that it's well written and what doesn't matter to me is that it's a book that everyone seems to be reading. I like to bring attention to books that others might not know about. I especially love a fabulous debut novel. That's one of my favorite things to share with my audience.

How do you do all that do?

Timing. I started the show when my children were young (ish) and I managed to do a lot with reading with robin often with their involvement.  Now that they are out of school, working and doing their own thing, i have more time to do mine.  

What's obsessing you now (besides these exciting events) and why?

Right now I'm obsessed with the movie,  The Interview. I want to know when how and if Sony is going to be releasing it. 

What question didn't I ask that I should have?

You asked such great questions so nothing that you should have for sure.  Here are some i love to be asked :  Are you interested in writing a book?  Short answer is yes! Isn't everyone?  I have an idea that I am pursuing so fingers crossed! 

How do you manage social media with your reading and prep for the show? 

I do my best but it's an issue. I am a social person so having the ability to tweet out a message, answer a few, check for Facebook messages and running into funny videos and the like -it's a bit distracting. I am working on prioritizing. I have a feeling I'll be working on that for a while. 

Will you be hosting Reading with Robin events outside of Rhode Island?

Yes! Last summer I had the pleasure of hosting the Grand Central Station writers in NYC and on Long Island and I would love to do more of that. With the radio show available on I heart radio and the web site traffic I am meeting more and more readers from all over so when there are enough readers to support an event, I'll be happy to tour around. One of the great things about having so many incredible author friends is that when I decide to host an event in another state-I'll just see who is around and plan a party!

What do you have coming up in 2015 in Rhode Island ?

In case anyone's travel plans will be taking them to Rhode Island or points north please keep these in mind:  January 31st -Tea with Jane Green to celebrate Saving Grace
May 5th -Sarah Mccoy is kicking of her tour of the mapmaker's children here in Rhode Island and I'm hosting her in conjunction with Brown University

May 16th- I am hosting the May breakfast for Reading Across Rhode Island's celebration of Derek Miller's Norwegian by Night. This is the 5th year in a row that I'm hosting this Rhode Island tradition of an event and I've been involved with the reading across Rhode island project since its inception in 2002.  Summer events are in the works and some very exciting ones coming up but I can't share yet!

Wednesday, Oct 7th is my annual An Evening With Authors which raises money and awareness for breast cancer awareness month. I do have this year's authors all set but not sure I should share yet. Hint -they're really great!!

And hopefully the fall will bring with it the release of Adriana Trigiani's long awaited movie release of Big Stone Gap! She has promised a big red carpet Rhode Island extravaganza so I'll be ready to plan that as soon as I get the word. I'm on 'stand-by!'

1 comment:

Unknown said...

So excited that Reading with Robin is BACK! I try never to miss Robin's events and the opportunities she provides to get readers face-to-face with authors!
Thanks, Robin! And thanks for posting, Caroline!