Meet the Press: Emily Crowe, Marketing Intern

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Name: Emily Crowe
Position: Marketing Intern
Hometown: Frankfort, Kentucky
Alma mater(s); major(s), minor(s): Georgetown College; B.A. in History, Business administration minor (May 2019)

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Tell us a little bit about your position at the press.

As an intern I do whatever they tell me to do! So far this summer my duties have ranged from writing catalog copy and press releases to running UPK’s social media accounts for a week.

What’s one of your favorite UPK titles and why?

Creeker by Linda Scott DeRosier. I read it in my Kentucky History class at Georgetown College, which was taught by Dr. James C. Klotter, another UPK author. I’ve always enjoyed memoirs and biographies, as well as books about Kentucky, so reading about a woman growing up in Appalachia was really interesting to me. This was the first history class that I took in college and I liked it so much that I decided to get my degree in History.

If someone was visiting Kentucky for the first time and you were their tour guide, where would you take them? Any specific restaurants, landmarks, etc.?

Bourbon ‘n Toulouse for chicken étouffée and an Ale 8 would definitely be at the top of the list. The Kentucky History Center in Frankfort holds a special place in my heart because I volunteered there all through high school. Lake Cumberland or the Land Between the Lakes would be ideal for a long weekend. 

What’s your favorite word?

Meander is probably my favorite word. It feels like such a relaxing, casual word and I think it should be used more in conversations.

Do you have a favorite font? If so, what is it?

Not to copy Jackie, but I really like Candara because it’s so simple and sleek.

Candara

Did you always know you wanted to work in publishing? When you were a kid, did you want to do something different as an adult?

The book industry has always been a big part of my life because my mom was the manager of the Kentucky Book Fair for fourteen years. My ultimate goal is to work in museum education, but this internship has been a great experience and it’s been a lot of fun learning about marketing.  When I was a kid, I thought, and my family agreed, that I should be a lawyer because I never gave up on an argument.

What’s something most people don’t know about you? What’s a random factoid about yourself?

All my friends and family know this (and are probably sick of hearing about it), but some people might be surprised to learn that I lived in Oxford, England from January to June of this year. I was studying History at Regent’s Park College, Oxford. The best thing about my time there was the fact that I lived 30 seconds away from the Eagle and Child, the pub that J.R.R. Tolkein and C.S. Lewis visited every day for nearly thirty years.

If you could bring any fictional character to life, who would you choose?

Shawn and Gus from Psych. Their humor and friendship is something the world could use a little bit more of these days.

What was the last book you read? Would you recommend it?

Pride and Prejudice is the last book that I read. After years of my best friend insisting that I read it, I finally took her advice and I wish I had taken it sooner! Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorite books now and I would definitely recommend it. The characters are incredibly well-written and relatable, despite being written over 200 years ago. It’s the perfect book to read when you want to slow down and focus on someone else’s (fictional) problems for a little while!

Any hidden talents?

I can sing/rap all the way through Hamilton perfectly and from memory.

Name three things you can’t live without.

Ale 8, my dog, Maxx, and Parks and Recreation.

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Meet the Press: Jackie Wilson, Marketing Assistant

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Name: Jackie Wilson
Position
: Marketing Assistant
Hometown
: Paris, KY

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Tell us a little bit about your position at the press.

I collaborate with the sales and marketing director to promote our books. I write and edit promotional copy for the seasonal catalogs and book jacket covers; contact various writers, professors, and professionals to solicit advance quotes for our publications; represent the press at various exhibits, fairs, and shows; and help manage the press’s social media platforms to promote new releases, events, and features.

What’s one of your favorite UPK titles and why?

It’s very hard to narrow down, but The Birds of Opulence is just an exquisite piece of fiction.

What’s your favorite word?

My favorite saying is “no worries.”

Do you have a favorite font? If so, what is it?

My favorite fonts vary, depending on the day and my mood, but Candara tends to be my go-to font.Candara

Did you always know you wanted to work in publishing? When you were a kid, did you want to do something different as an adult?

Initially I wanted to be a marriage counselor as a kid (go figure), but have always had a love for writing. After reading When and Where I Enter as a teen and becoming a staff writer for my high school newspaper, I aspired to be the managing editor of Essence. I’ve worked with a number of publications: The Charlotte Observer, Army Times Publishing, USA Today, and the Lexington Herald Leader. I’ve also closed-captioned television shows, and worked as a traffic manager with WDKY-Fox 56, but this is my first venture into book publishing.

What’s something most people don’t know about you? What’s a random factoid about yourself?

To commemorate my 50th birthday this year, I plan to get my first tattoo.

What was the last book you read? Would you recommend it? Why or why not?

The last non-UPK book I read was Difficult Women by Roxane Gay. I’m currently reading her book, Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body. She is a fearless beast of a writer—I love her work!

What’s your favorite song to sing at karaoke and why?

Surprisingly I’ve never done karaoke but if presented with the opportunity, I would probably choose a song by Journey.

Name three things you can’t live without.

A never-ending flow of iced tea (half-sweetened / half-unsweetened), lip gloss, and hugs and kisses from my kids, Shelby (13) and William Avery (11).

If you could have dinner with any three people—dead or alive, famous or not—who would it be and why?

My late grandparents (Mary Adair Woods and Rodney T. Woods, Sr.), Oprah Winfrey, and Idris Elba, because…well, have you seen Idris Elba?!

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Meet the Press: Natalie O’Neal, Acquisitions Assistant

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Name: Natalie O’Neal
Position: Acquisitions Assistant
Hometown: Hot Springs, AR

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Tell us a little bit about your position at the press.

I assist Anne Dean Dotson and Melissa Hammer in acquisitions by securing peer reviewers for potential projects and working with authors during the submission process.

What’s one of your favorite UPK titles and why?

Bourbon Desserts by Lynn Marie Hulsman (for obvious reasons).

If someone was visiting Kentucky for the first time and you were their tour guide, where would you take them? Any specific restaurants, landmarks, etc.?

Well since I just moved here in January, I’m probably not the best person to answer this question. Some of my favorite activities so far have been hiking around the Red River Gorge and Raven Run and tasting the local fare. Who knew Kentucky had such good BBQ? I took my most recent visitor to West Sixth Brewing and then out to eat at County Club (a favorite in the acquisitions department). We also visited Woodford Distillery which was a big hit!

What’s your favorite word?

Ineffable

Do you have a favorite font? If so, what is it?

Georgia: A layout designer at the newspaper I used to work at told me it was the “most elegant font for paper,” and I have never thought otherwise.Georgia

Did you always know you wanted to work in publishing? When you were a kid, did you want to do something different as an adult?

Ha! I wanted to be a National Geographic photo journalist when I was a kid. Also, a hot air balloonist and marine biologist (until I job shadowed someone at the local fish hatchery). But my real passion has always been for books. I lucked out and found my way into publishing during grad school.

What’s something most people don’t know about you? What’s a random factoid about yourself?

I’ve interviewed Colin Mochrie from Whose Line Is It Anyway? and Buddy Valastro from Cake Boss.

If you could bring any fictional character to life, who would you choose?

Can I bring an author to life? Because I would bring Jane Austen back to life. If not, I’ll settle for Elizabeth Bennet.

What was the last book you read? Would you recommend it? Why or why not?

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado. Yes—this book resonated and echoed deep within me. I have never seen aspects of womanhood so artfully and heart-brokenly articulated.

What’s your favorite song to sing at karaoke and why?

Only the best song ever written—Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’.

If you could try out any job for a day, what would you like to try?

Mary Berry or Paul Hollywood’s job on The Great British Baking Show. Tasting breads and sweet treats for a living? Sign me up!

Meet the Press: Hayward Wilkirson, Book Designer

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Name: Hayward Wilkirson
Position: Book Designer
Home state: Kentucky
Alma mater(s), area(s) of study: International Center of Photography, New York, Documentary Photography; University of Kentucky, Economics; Transylvania University, Political Science

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Tell us a little bit about your position at the press.

This is a semi-new position at the press. We have had a full-time designer on staff before, but it has been years. Basically, my job is to design the covers for all of the books that we publish. Pressure, much!?

 

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Sir Barton, 1955. Courtesy of the National Museum of Racing

What’s one of your favorite UPK titles and why?

 

I think it will be Sir Barton and the Making of the Triple Crown, as long as the powers that be go with my favorite of the three cover concepts that I just submitted. Just kidding.

 

 

If someone was visiting Kentucky for the first time and you were their tour guide, where would you take them? Any specific restaurants, landmarks, etc.?

Shaker Village for the architecture, Mammoth Cave for the wonder, the UK Art Museum for the art, and the rooftop patio at Dudley’s Restaurant for the drinks.

What’s your favorite word?

Nice cover. Oh wait, that’s two words.

Do you have a favorite font? If so, what is it?

Do you have a favorite child?

Did you always know you wanted to work in publishing? When you were a kid, did you want to do something different as an adult?

I’ve been interested in art and design for many years, but when I was a kid I wanted to be an astronomer.

If you could bring any fictional character to life, who would you choose?

Why ruin the illusion?

What was the last book you read? Would you recommend it? Why or why not?

My mom is 98, so we try to get large-print books for her, which I sometimes pick up and read. The last book I read was one of her large-print Patricia Cornwell novels, and no, I would not recommend it.

Any hidden talents?

Hiding my talents.

If you could try out any job for a day, what would you like to try?

Sailboat captain.

Hayward

University of Kentucky Basketball Great Frank Ramsey Dies at 86

 

Frank Ramsey, a Kentucky men’s basketball national champion, All-American, and UK Athletics Hall of Famer, died yesterday. He would have turned 87 on Friday.

Ramsey was a key contributor on Kentucky’s 1951 national championship team and one of the stars of the 1954 team that went a perfect 25-0 but declined an invitation to the NCAA Tournament.

In Wildcat Memories: Inside Stories from Kentucky Basketball Greats by Doug Brunk, Ramsey discussed his upbringing and his experience with playing for Adolph Rupp. In honor of this basketball great, here is an excerpt:


I was born in the little town of Corydon, Kentucky, which had a population of about 300. Joseph Chandler—the father of Albert Benjamin (“Happy”) Chandler, who went on to become Kentucky’s Governor—lived two doors up from us. He was the postmaster and most every day he would push me in a wheelbarrel on his way to the train station to pick up the mail. Once we reached the train station he’d put the mail in the wheelbarrel and I’d walk back home with him. When I was five years old we moved to Madisonville and I’ve lived there ever since.

brunkCover.inddKentucky is unique because it’s a collection of many small towns. Consequently you get to know practically everybody in town. When I was growing up, the population of Madisonville was probably 5,000. At that time, if you misbehaved at school you had to watch out when you got home because the teachers knew you and they knew your family. If you got in trouble at school the teacher would call your family. Because of this we didn’t have any major behavior-related problems in the schools then. The discipline was there.

[. . .] 

During my junior and senior years at Madisonville High School, the UK basketball team had won the NCAA Championship twice. There was no television at the time so we all listened to the games on the radio. Lexington was a four-hour drive from Madisonville. I’d go up there to visit friends of mine I grew up with who were playing football at UK. When Coach Adolph Rupp offered me a scholarship to play basketball there I jumped at it. At that time pro ball wasn’t even in the future thinking of basketball players like me. We went to college to get an education, in addition to playing the sport. At the same time, since UK was a land grant college, every student had to serve two years in the Reserve Officer Training Corp (ROTC). I served with the Army Military Police Corp at an army prison and at Fort Knox.

There were only about 5,000 students at UK when I attended so I didn’t have the sense that I was playing for the entire state. At that time UK was the biggest university in Kentucky and it had the greatest coach in Adolph Rupp. I was playing for the school and for the team. As basketball players we didn’t get any special treatment. We didn’t have luxurious living quarters like the players do now. We lived in the dorm like everybody else and ate in the dining hall like everybody else. We were normal students. One semester our basketball team had better than a B average. A lot of the people I attended classes with went on to become governors, bankers, doctors, lawyers, and politicians, and I’m still friends with them.

[. . .] 

Coach Rupp and Coach Lancaster were hard-drivers but they were fair. As a coach you’ve got to be a hard-driver. Kids expect a certain amount of discipline. If you don’t have discipline on a team, whether it’s basketball, football, baseball, or soccer, you’re not going to win. One thing Coach Rupp had was respect from his players. I don’t think it was fear, but we all wanted to please him and we wanted to win.

[. . .] 

I may have earned a bachelor’s degree in business from UK, but I earned a doctor’s degree athletically. I played baseball and I played basketball for one of the greatest coaches ever. Coach Rupp dealt in fundamentals. He taught you how to play the game of basketball. That afforded me a living in the NBA after I completed my military service, and I later used the business education I received at UK to open a bank. I’m grateful for that.

The Koko and Crane Connection

Hanabiko “Koko,” the gorilla who mastered sign language and taught the world a profound amount about the emotional capacity and cognitive abilities of gorillas, died June 19. The 46-year-old western lowland gorilla passed away in her sleep at the Gorilla Foundation’s preserve in California’s Sana Cruz mountains.

At the preserve Koko met and interacted with a variety of celebrities, including Robin Williams, Fred Rogers, Betty White, and Leonardo DiCaprio. She appeared in many documentaries, on two National Geographic covers, and was also featured in Playboy magazine.

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Robert Crane, son of the late actor Bob Crane (“Hogan’s Heroes”), interviewed Koko in Playboy‘s December 1986 issue. In his book, Crane: Sex, Celebrity, and My Father’s Unsolved Murder, Robert Crane reveals the backstory of how his interview with the beloved gorilla came about. Here is an excerpt:


Like most people who had read Dian Fossey’s courageous and moving memoir, Gorillas in the Mist, the closest I’d ever been to a real gorilla was sitting in a movie theater watching Sigourney Weaver’s inspired performance in the film of Fossey’s life in the Virunga Mountains.  But now I was proposing a sit-down, face-to-face interview with a gorilla for the world leading men’s magazine. How would Hefner react to having an ape, gorilla gorilla graueri, grace the pages of Playboy?  Rezek shockingly gave me the go-ahead. He was clearly taking a chance but a successful roll of the dice could pay off big in terms of publicity for Playboy.

Dr. Penny Patterson was the director of The Gorilla Foundation in Woodside, California, and it sounded like she dropped the phone when I requested an interview with Koko, not for Scientific American, but for the legendary publication with a bunny for a logo.

“Are you serious?” she asked.

“Absolutely,” I answered. “This piece will introduce Koko to a whole new audience—an audience with lots of disposable income for donations to research foundations.”

“You know we’re located in the mountains west of Palo Alto.”

“I do. In fact, I think one of your neighbors is Neil Young,” I said, showing my fondness for research.

“Yes,” said the slightly befuddled Patterson. “How much time would you need?  We’re trying to mate Koko with Michael and it’s not going well, so, I don’t want to bother her for too long.”

“An hour and half, tops,” I said, adding, “Koko will enjoy the challenge of the questions.  We’ll need an original photo of her, but nothing too racy.”

“Let me run this by my partner.”  Dr. Patterson sounded both surprised and intrigued by my proposal. She would discuss the matter with fellow gorilla researcher Dr. Ron Cohn, who, it turned out, also happened to be her mate.

[. . .]

Penny Patterson was Koko’s teacher and interpreter in American Sign Language and that aspect of the study was going quite well. Koko was the most celebrated gorilla in the world because she was the first to use any kind of human language.  The interview would go like this: I would ask a question, and Dr. Patterson, using ASL, would sign it to Koko, who would then ponder the question for a bit, sign an answer back to the doctor who would then translate it for me.

In my introduction to the piece in the magazine I wrote, “Koko, 15 years old and 230 pounds, sat poised and ready in her open-air living area. She looked me in the eye and, using American Sign Language, commanded, ‘Show me your teeth,’ which I respectfully did. She was delighted by the enormous amount of gold and silver in my mouth. Her mate, Michael, 13 and 350 pounds, who shares quarters with her, never looked me in the eye—something to do with the fact that I was a stranger and a male.”  During the questioning, I would occasionally glance at Michael who would instantly look away.  At other times, when I looked away, I could feel Michael’s stare boring a hole in me. I asked Koko about her boyfriend.

“Koko, do you think Michael is cute?”

Koko responded, signing with both hands for emphasis.  “Cute, sweet, good.”

“What’s the difference between boys and girls?” I asked.

“Corn there good,” Koko replied, meaning she gets a corn treat because her floor is clean, whereas Michael doesn’t because his is dirty. She added, “Girl people,” since she thought of herself as a person and Michael as an animal.

[. . .]

“Koko, what do you want for your birthday?”

“Earrings. Cookie.”

My time with Koko flew by.  I asked her about being interviewed.

“What do you say when you’re tired of being asked questions?”

“Gorilla teeth. Finished.”

The interview was over. I thanked Koko for her well thought-out responses and for her time. I looked at Michael once more and he quickly turned away.

koko1Weeks later, Dr. Cohn shot a glamorous Koko against a red background for the interview’s accompanying full-page illustration.  Oh, and for those with a more prurient interest in gorilla hook-ups, Koko and Michael never did successfully get together.  Nonetheless, it was a brilliant day in that mountain community, replete with new smells, serious behavioral researchers, and a delightful ape who used communication skills taught to her by humans, but who thought enough of our kind to give us a glimpse into the mind of a gorilla.

On my flight back to Los Angeles, I smiled with amazement and elation as I recounted having been in such close proximity to such an intelligent and majestic animal.  At the same time it was all a bit melancholy knowing that Koko, as pampered as her world was, would never spend two minutes in her wild, natural habitat.

Meet the Press: Timothy Elam, Information Technology Manager

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Name: Timothy Elam
Position: Information Technology Manager
Hometown: Independence, KY
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Tell us a little bit about your position at the press.

My main functions are managing the database and metadata.

What’s one of your favorite UPK titles and why?

The Quiet Professional by Alan Hoe. It’s very interesting.

If someone was visiting Kentucky for the first time and you were their tour guide, where would you take them? Any specific restaurants, landmarks, etc.?

Bardstown, KY

What’s your favorite word?

Shalom

Do you have a favorite font/type style? If so, what is it?

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Did you always know you wanted to work in publishing? When you were a kid, did you want to do something different as an adult?

Never entered my mind.

What’s something most people don’t know about you? What’s a random factoid about yourself?

I have no secrets.

If you could bring any fictional character to life, who would you choose?

Hank Morgan

What was the last book you read? Would you recommend it?

Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein

If you could have dinner with anyone—dead or alive, famous or not—who would it be and why?

Samuel Clemens. I can relate to his sense of humor.