Category Archives: Meet the Press

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

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.

Meet the Press: Melissa Hammer, Senior Acquisitions Editor

 

meet_the_press_graphic_march2018Name: Melissa Hammer
Position: Senior Acquisitions Editor
Hometown: Wheaton, IL
Alma mater(s); major(s), minor(s): Bradley University; B.A. in English and Spanish, Professional Writing minor
Social media handles: @melbuhtoast on Twitter and Instagram

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

My job at the press is to seek out and contract new books to publish, specifically in the areas of military history, diplomatic history, Asian studies, political science, and public health. Once projects are under contract, I work with authors as they develop their manuscripts prior to submission and answer any questions they have about the publishing process.

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

Who Killed Betty Gail Brown by Robert G. Lawson – it was a story I was unfamiliar with since I am not from the area, but I love a good true crime murder mystery!

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.?

If visiting Lexington specifically, the perfect day would start with donuts and coffee from North Lime Donuts, followed by a morning walk at McConnell Springs Park. Then a stop at the Pepper Distillery District for lunch at Goodfellas and a beer from Ethereal, and maybe ice cream from Crank & Boom. In the afternoon, we would either visit the Arboretum for more walking, or – if it is raining – catch a movie at the Kentucky Theater and then dinner at OBC Kitchen. For a weekend excursion away from Lexington, I’d suggest renting a cabin at Cumberland Falls State Park – it’s BEAUTIFUL!

What’s your favorite word?

Kerfuffle

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

I’ve weirdly always loved the simplicity of Garamondgaramond

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?

When I was a kid I first wanted to be a waitress, then a dolphin trainer/marine biologist, and then I knew I wanted to work with books. It wasn’t until I started doing internships in publishing in college that I knew I wanted to work in book publishing.

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

I have had the pleasure of visiting almost every state in the US – I only have 10 left!

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

I honestly have no idea. Perhaps Professor McGonagall from Harry Potter?

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

Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon. I liked it a lot, but I wouldn’t recommend it if you haven’t read Outlander, or if you don’t enjoy book that are over 700 pages long!

Any hidden talents?

It is more of a hidden talent now than it was in my early life, but I play the violin.

If someone asked you to give them a random piece of advice, what would you say? Do you have a personal motto?

One of my favorite quotes is also my personal motto – and a piece of advice I would give anyone. It is “To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best day and night to make you everybody else, means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting.” —e.e. cummings

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Meet the Press: Katie Cross Gibson, Direct Promotions and Exhibits Manager

Welcome to the first installment of our Meet the Press blog series! To read the series introduction from last week, click on the Meet the Press picture below.

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Name: Katie Cross Gibson
Position: Direct Promotions and Exhibits Manager
Hometown: Science Hill, KY
Alma mater(s); major(s), minor(s): University of Kentucky; B.A. in English, Psychology minor
Social media: @KRC_Gee on Twitter

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Tell us a little bit about what you do at the press.

I handle exhibits. In short, this means that whenever we go to conferences, meetings, and fairs to display or sell books, I register for our booth and ensure that we bring the proper titles and materials (banners, tables, bookends, etc.). On the direct promotions side, I create ads, oversee the production of catalogs, coordinate mailings, and assist with social media and newsletters.

Additionally, I help manage our internship program and the interns’ participation in the Social Media Smackdown competition, and I’ll often lend a hand in carrying out special events. One of my favorite aspects of this position is the variety of it—I always have numerous irons in the fire, and I’m always learning new things.

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

I’d probably have to say 2009’s What Comes Down to Us: 25 Contemporary Kentucky Poets, an anthology edited by Jeff Worley. If you’re not familiar with Kentucky’s poetry scene, this book will introduce you to some of the big names. There are a handful of poems and a short bio for each poet featured, so it gives you a good sense of each person’s style. I actually won my personal copy in a giveaway at a hometown senior send-off before I matriculated to UK!

Did you always know you wanted to work in publishing? When you were a kid, did you dream about having a certain career as an adult?

I spent most of my formative years aspiring to be a teacher. When I was very young, I did have the vaguest idea of the trade publishing industry—I thought it was the hip career path to follow if you lived in a “faraway” place like New York City. One of my closest friends and I fantasized we’d grow up to work on a magazine like American Girl, and we’d make-believe sharing an apartment in NYC and commuting to our office on Vespas.

As a girl living in a small town in southeastern/southcentral Kentucky, working in publishing didn’t seem like it could become my own reality until over a decade later. During my college years, I was fortunate enough that a peer mentor mentioned her own internship at UPK. I wound up interning here twice and gained experience in marketing and acquisitions. I owe a lot to those who took the time to offer their advice and experience, and so part of my own mission is to give back—to help others realize that their dream is attainable and that working in scholarly publishing is a path they can pursue, too.

If you were tasked with being a tour guide to someone who had never visited Kentucky before, where in the state would you take them? Any specific restaurants, landmarks, etc.?

Oh, this is a toughie, so I’ll keep it to Lexington! Perhaps we’d go to POPS Resale, ALL of the local bookstores, the UK Art Museum, Charlie Brown’s, the Carnegie Center for a reading, Coffea for a skillet fudge latte, the KY for KY Fun Mall, Street Scene, and SQecial Media—not necessarily in that order.

What’s your favorite word?

Bless (as in a shortened version of “bless their heart”)

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

Palatino Linotype—it’s like a more sophisticated but easier-going version of Times New Roman.Palatino Linotype

What’s something most people don’t know about you or a random factoid about yourself that you would like to share?

I am a first-generation college graduate from (the outskirts of) Appalachia who writes poetry.

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

I recently finished Becoming Unbecoming by Una, and I’d certainly recommend it. It chronicles Una’s life as an English girl growing up in the ‘70s and ‘80s, and it masterfully weaves the story of the Yorkshire Ripper into what’s happening to Una. I think it adds a lot to the current conversations surrounding sexual harassment, assault, and rape and how they affect (and have been affecting) women, girls, and society. The illustrations can be so quietly moving and complement the story so wonderfully.

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

Because I can’t choose just one, here are a handful of dynamic duos: Sheila and Margaux from How Should a Person Be?, Daria Morgendorffer and Jane Lane from Daria, and Willow Rosenberg and Buffy Summers from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Do you have a personal motto?

I do indeed, and as I am somewhat of a Beatlemaniac, it’s a couple of lines from “Hey Jude” that particularly resonate: “For well you know that it’s a fool / who plays it cool / by making his world / a little colder.”