Author Omar Tyree will host Saturday’s Charlotte Book Chat event. (Photo by Stephen Hudgins.)

There’s probably a saying somewhere about not mixing money and relationships, but Nepherterra Estrada, is not hearing it. This Saturday, March 23 at the Barnes and Noble Carolina Place, her company, Pride Public Relations, is doing just that with its first annual Charlotte Book Chat. The event, hosted by New York Times best-selling, Charlotte-based author Omar Tyree, will feature four local authors who’ve written books on a variety of divergent topics.

“I think we have an interesting mix of authors,” said Estrada. “We have several that [have written] books that focus on financial literacy and financial wellness, and then we also have authors who write romantic novels and romantic fiction. … We’ve got you covered — from finances to romance and relationships.”

Estrada, who worked as a reporter before moving over to PR, says the idea for the book chat came about while trying to come up with a plan to market one of her clients: author and financial adviser, Glen Wright. “I like to think that I’m a writer at heart and … I realized this year that I have a lot of writers in my network,” she said. “So in some ways, it was almost inevitable for this to come together.”

In looking for opportunities for Wright, Estrada contacted Barnes and Noble’s corporate headquarters and a conversation ensued over highlighting local authors.

Three other authors will join Wright at the event, including romance novelist Cheris Hodges, motivational speaker and writer Kenston Griffin, and author and financial adviser Brian Willis. Estrada says the book chat was pretty much a “done deal” when she pulled Tyree in after meeting him at the CIAA, where she approached him to host the event. “Most of the authors, I know personally,” she says, “and Omar Tyree was kind of the missing piece to pull it all together.”

Saturday’s chat will begin with a discussion moderated by Tyree, allowing each author to talk about his/her work; following the discussion will be a Q&A session with the audience. “A lot of times we find that the folk in the audience have better questions than we could ever come up with,” says Estrada. “So we want to make sure that we open up the door for that opportunity and that interaction to take place with the audience.”

Estrada says working with Barnes and Noble to launch the book chat has been a great partnership, and she’s hoping this weekend’s event will be the first of many in the Charlotte area.

“We really want to encourage the community to come out and support our local authors,” she says. “We have so many great writers right here in our own backyard, and sometimes I don’t think we do a great job of celebrating them as much as we should.”

The Charlotte Book Chat will be held on Saturday, March 23 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Barnes and Noble, Carolina Place Mall, 11025 Carolina Place Parkway. 704-544-9985.

This article is part of the Charlotte Arts Journalism Alliance, a consortium of local media dedicated to writing about the arts.

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