I have watched Qiana for almost a year now, and I love the work she is doing. She not only has the hottest online and in-person book club today, but she also advocates to raise money to help struggling mothers, and the elderly. She is currently working on purchasing bottled water for those affected by the recent water crisis in Flint, Michigan. She is an amazing lady. It is with pleasure to introduce to you, Qiana Drennen.
1) Were you born and raised in Ohio?
Yes, I born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. I actually still live in the house I grew up in. My parents purchased it when I was four years old.
2) What was your childhood like?
Wonderful. I come from a two parent home with loving parents. My father owned his own business and my mother was a stay at home mom. My parents were not only parents to me and my six siblings, but to anyone else that we brought around. It was nothing for me to come home to see one of my (or my siblings) friends at my house eating or just hanging out.
3) When did you begin reading?
I began reading when I was in the fourth grade. My school librarian, Mrs. Hunt put the book in my hand after my teacher read it to the class.
4) Do you remember the first book you ever read? If so, what was it?
Not only do I remember the first book, but I still own a copy and read it every year. Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor.
5) Who are some of your favorite authors and why?
My all-time favorite will always be the late great Jackie Collins. No one can tell a story like her. Her writing was raw, gritty and in your face. I’m getting teary eyed just thinking about how great she was and why her passing is such a huge loss to the entire literary world.
Fabiola Joseph is another. Some people may think that I’m being bias because she’s not only an author but a dear friend of mine. But even before we became friends I would tell everyone that she’s the most versatile writer in the game. Nothing is never the same with her. Everything she writes is completely different. And now that she’s signed to a major, the world will get to see what I already knew.
6) What are some of your all-time favorite books?
Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry is my all-time favorite, and Chances by Jackie Collins
7) When did you begin DRMRAB? What propelled you to start it?
DRMRAB actually started in 2013. But I didn’t really put any effort into it. It had became just a place to drop links. However, in December 2014, Fabiola convinced me to revamp the website and put more into. And I did. It was some of the best advice I’ve gotten. I’m so thankful for her pushing me to do it because it has been a huge success.
8) What is your vision for DRMRAB?
I would love for DRMRAB to go global. It’s not only a Facebook club, I also have in-person chapters here in Columbus, DMV, and New York City. So I know it’s possible.
9) What do you believe sets your book club apart from any other?
Honestly, I think it’s the members . Our members are RAW, they will not sugar coat anything. Also, I think it’s the fact that we actually discuss books. Most book clubs don’t anymore. We host at least six book discussions a month, sometimes more.
Last, but not least, my admins. Tyresha Tyler and Jocelyn Boffman have been there with me from day one. I will forever be grateful to those two ladies. Also, my other admins Tonya Woodfolk, who I handpicked when I decided to revamp and is a big part of the way the group has turned around. Lenika Winfield and Kia who just came on board just a couple of months ago, but their presence has already made a difference. Fabiola Joseph also. She helps me so much behind the scenes, and I really appreciate her.
10) Lastly, with the amount of books you’ve read, do you see yourself penning a book any time soon?
Ha ha ha. I’m asked this a lot. I’ve started writing a novel maybe three years ago, but it’s not in my heart to write. I see myself more as a behind the scenes type of person. Or maybe even a Oprah style talk show that caters to Afro American authors.
BIO: Qiana Drennen was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. She is the mother of six children and one granddaughter. She holds a business degree, and a certification in Chemical Dependency.
Qiana collects paperback books and is a proud owner of over 700 paperback books. Her favorite quote is from Mark Twain, “An open mind leaves a chance for someone to drop a worthwhile thought in it.”
When she is not reading, you can find her traveling from city to city attending different book events all over the country.
In 2013, she broke away from one book club and with the help of others, formed ‘Don’t Read Me, Read A Book!‘ (the reading room). In 2015, Ms. Drennen turned the Facebook club into in-person chapters which meets on a monthly basis. In the future, she would like to have her own talk show that caters to authors, and travel to do interviews with them.