Q: How did you end up at THP and how long have you been a publicist?
A: Just over two years; I started the day after the Super Bowl. I’m originally from a small town in Iowa and got my degree in journalism and mass communications from the University of Iowa. After graduating, I took an internship at a publishing house in New York City and shortly after that got my job at THP. I’ve always loved being around books, and because the journalism field was evolving faster than I could really keep up, I decided I wanted to explore the publishing world. I accepted the job before having even visited Charleston, South Carolina, but haven’t regretted it since. I love it here!
A: I like working in publicity because I get to work with all the other departments in the office, as well as with authors, booksellers and the media. You really are everywhere—and a liaison between many different facets of the publishing process—so you have to be good at multitasking and have a pretty good memory. Luckily, the publicity team has a lot of creative control, and we’re allowed to explore new ways to meet our goals. I like working with the focus-driven sales team but also the more conceptual editorial team. It’s a great middle ground. I’ve written for newspapers and magazines in the past, so I like working on media campaigns as well. The authors are great because you get to learn about the history they’ve recorded and meet some really interesting people.
Q: What’s a memory that stands out for you at THP?
A: I remember working on my first book and scheduling my first author event. It was exciting to me, although I acted like I’d done it hundreds of times in the past. It’s fun to know you’ve contributed to getting a book out into the public and discussed when otherwise it wouldn’t have been. Going to GLIBA (Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association) was really fun this year as well. It was in Detroit, and we have some great Detroit authors who showed us around their city. So I got to see Detroit in a way that few people do, and I really appreciate that.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: I’m really excited to be working on a West Coast book, The 1975 Portland Timbers. The Timbers are Portland’s soccer team, and one of the most popular teams in the MLS. People are crazy about them! We already have a book launch at Powell’s and some of the ’75 players are going to sign books along with the author. I just wish I could be there, too!
Q: What’s the best part about Charleston?
A: I suppose it isn’t a coincidence that a history publishing company is located in one of the country’s most historic cities. I love the history here, we’re near the beach, and the food scene is one of the best in the country. I live near our office and love this part of town. It’s so close to downtown, but not as busy. It’s definitely more local and laid-back. Charleston is starting to get recognition as one of the best places to live in the county—and even world—but it’s a double-edged sword. I want everyone to know how great it is but at the same time keep it a secret so prices don’t skyrocket. Can’t have it all, I suppose.
Q: What’s coming in 2012?
A: A bunch of books! We plan to publish more than ever and hopefully continue the upward swing. I want to continue to get great publicity for THP books and put them in the hands of new readers. We’ll also be working in territories that are new to us, so I’m excited to explore those opportunities.