Q&A with Tracy Fenton ~ “Queen” of THE Book Club on Facebook

Some of you may already be a member of a secret Book club on Facebook —THE Book Club — if not, here is your chance to learn a little bit about the lady behind this club and find out how you can join!

A big thanks to Tracy-with no E- Fenton for joining me here on CrimeBookJunkie to talk a little about a book club which has grown quite quickly — having only been around for just over 12 months!  I would bow for her majesty, Queen Fenton, but (a) no one would see me so it might look at bit funny to my dog and (b) I reserve any bowing for Cally Taylor only at this moment in my blogging life-span! (If you follow my blog or Facebook page, you will know what I mean…..

TBC n FB11760438_10153566008121495_1388644511_o

1.Hi Tracy!  Thanks so  much for joining me here on my blog.  Can you tell me how did TBC come about?

For 3 years I was a very active member of another book club on Facebook which had thousands of members.  I was posting my recommendations on a daily basis. During this time I made some “facebook” friends with about 20 of the members and we were always messaging each other with recommendations.  After a while the group became, in my opinion, too big with over 12,000 members and not enough admin so it fell victim to bullying, advertising, spamming and general nastiness from some keyboard warriors.  One evening the majority of the posts on that group were about kittens and crochet needles and on a private chat with a member I said I should set up my own group for elite readers only… she said go on I dare you….. so I did and within 1 week we had over 400 members.

2. What, if anything, frustrates you about TBC?

Self-promoting (subliminal or shameless plugs) and when people spell my name wrong.  No E in Tracy!  (Uh…yeah…I remember being slapped for this ..once…only once! #MyBad) 

3. What do you love the most about TBC?

It’s become so much more than a group of book lovers – it’s now an international family.  I love the warmth and support the members give each other.  I love the passion of the readers when they have read a book recommended by TBC and I particularly love the moment a reader gets over excited because the author of that book has commented on their post.

4. You and the rest of the admin crew do a brilliant job–how did you come to choose the admin team?  Did they ask or did you approach them?  What drew you to them?

Sumaira Wilson, Helen Boyce and I were Facebook friends from the other bookclub for a couple of years and they were the first 2 people I asked to help me because I value their opinions and trust them both and know they are as passionate about books as I am.  When the club reached 3000 members I thought it would be a good idea to ask others if they wanted to help with the admin so I posted something on the group and was overwhelmed by the response.  I choose Sharon Bairden, Carol Ellis and Teresa Nikolic because they all added something special to the group in their own individual ways. It’s very important to me that the members feel that the group is “theirs” and their opinions and ideas and suggestions are always valued.

5. Tell us something about Tracy Fenton that we may not know.

I was so shy in my youth that I wouldn’t walk into a shop on my own or sit in a restaurant by myself!

6. Where the hell do you find time for TBC — are you one of the undead?!

I am fortunate enough that I work from home running my business with my husband which allows me time to spend on TBC.

7. How do your family feel about TBC and the time you put in?

They are fed up and bored by it all.  However they are also very proud of what I’ve achieved.

8. Who the frig is Charlie Fenton?

Charlie runs the membership side of TBC so if you want to join the group you need to send him a friend request.  He doesn’t bite (unless you ask nicely!) He also is our voice of reason and when we have to post an official admin announcement he does it on our behalf.

(I suspect Tracy has multiple personalities and Charlie is one of them…though she is still not saying! I tried!) 

9. Describe yourself in 5 words


10. What was your absolute favourite book of 2015 and why?

Can’t narrow it down – sorry !  I have a top 10 – but I can’t possibly reduce it to 1.  There are too many fantastic books out there.

Tracy Top 10

11. Would you ever consider writing a book yourself?  If yes, what genre?

No.  I don’t have the patience or imagination.

12. When you started TBC did you ever think it would be so successful? Why do you think it has become so successful?

No, not in a million years.  I didn’t think I would get 50 members to start so to have over 4000 in a year is incredible.  I think our success is down to diligent admin and the fact that all the members are personally recommended by other members which eliminates the trolls and bullies.

13. Funniest TBC moment

Too many to mention and if I even tried to explain the In My Pants game, the threesome between John Marrs and Amanda Prowse, David Beckham’s watch or making anagrams out of members names resulting in Minge Soap I would probably be committed to a secure facility.

14. How can people join TBC? 

Send Charlie a friend request:

So there you have it folks!  A little bit about Tracy Fenton and THE Book Club on Facebook.  I have been a member from the early days thanks to Casey Kelleher adding me!  You need a sense of humour, a keen interest in books and a good knowledge of spelling Tracy….hope to see any newbies there soon! 




13 Replies to “Q&A with Tracy Fenton ~ “Queen” of THE Book Club on Facebook”

  1. Great Q & A, delighted to be a member of TBC and s very big thank you to lovely Karen Bench Vanderput for inviting me in.

  2. Fabulous. Well done. Really great blog and great to get to know our leader in a little more detail. She has changed my reading life beyond recognition and I am grateful and honoured to be part of this wonderful family. Thanks Tracy and all who sails with you!

  3. TBC has been a huge life changer for me. I’ve met many friends who I can’t wait to meet in “real life”. But also gave me the opportunity to meet my writing partner in crime and complete my own book! TBC rocks!

  4. Brilliant Q&A…..TBC has a lot to answer and most is in a good way! I’ve met some fantastic friends and been recommended some brilliant books. So a HUGE thank you to Tracy and to Lord Mark Edwards and Dame Louise Voss for posting an invitation to join…..my life has changed!!