The Reading Culture Welcomes Brandy Colbert

author Brandy Colbert
Masthead Waves

Going down internet rabbit holes and discovering everything there is to know about random subjects is a relaxing way to spend an evening, according to Brandy Colbert. This passion for research is part of the secret sauce that helps her build such deep and believable characters in her fiction work. In her nonfiction writing, Brandy’s ability to bring humanity to the real “characters” in the story is what brings history to life.


Brandy is known for works such as "Little & Lion," which won the Stonewall Book Award, "The Only Black Girls in Town," and "Pointe." Meanwhile, her nonfiction book about the Tulsa Race Massacre, "Black Birds in the Sky," won the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award. 


Brandy is a true acolyte of the writing craft. She spent her youth creating stories of her own and occasionally borrowing and reinterpreting tales from TV. After studying journalism in college, she spent the early stages of her career contributing to niche magazines, where she honed her research prowess. Today, Brandy brings all those skills together to write gripping, detail-oriented, character-driven fiction and nonfiction stories. 


For her reading challenge, Powerful Nonfiction, Brandy challenges us to read a list of nonfiction books that she says will “open minds, challenge assumptions, and highlight the power of historical truth.” 

This week’s featured librarian is Cindy Philbeck, teacher-librarian at Wando High School in Charleston County, South Carolina. She shares a moving story about a student discovering Sabaa Tahir's “All My Rage” on our visit.


Listen to the full episode, “Rabbit Holes: Brandy Colbert on Deep Research and Deep Characters,”  on Apple, Spotify, Podbean, Amazon Music, or wherever you get your podcasts. Like what you hear? Please leave a 5-star review, subscribe, and share with someone who will enjoy it!


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