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Iconic Women of Literature

Monday, March 9th, 2020

In celebration of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, I’ve decided to reflect on some iconic female figures in literature.  Each of these individuals offers her own interpretation of what it is to be a woman and provides us with valuable lessons that we can implement—even if just in little ways—into our everyday lives.

Jo March in Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women

As one of the most popular coming-of-age stories to date, Little Women offers plenty of lessons in love, charity, and compassion.  Jo March, the ‘boy’ of the group, adds a fourth and equally important value to the list: independence.  Despite the expectations of women at the time, Jo happily pursues her career in writing and is in no rush to find a husband.  She decides to transform Plumfield into a private school on her own and is never discouraged from chasing her dreams out of fear of appearing unladylike.  Although Jo ultimately settles down with Professor Bhaer, she does so on her own terms, showing readers that women can maintain their independence no matter where their lives lead them.

Denver in Toni Morrison’s Beloved

While she is not the main character in Toni Morrison’s chilling novel, Denver is nonetheless an important one.  Concerned by her mother’s deteriorating health and mental state, Denver leaves her home after twelve years of confinement to search for help.  With no guidance and minimal education, Denver finds her old teacher, Lady Jones, and is not only able to return home with food and supplies but also find a job for herself.  Denver’s strength is no small feat. She must defy her mother’s previous orders, venture out into the world without aid, and finally admit to Beloved’s malignancy—despite the fact that Denver believes she is her sister’s spirit—in order to save her mother’s life.

Jane Eyre in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre 

Brontë’s Jane Eyre describes the hardships and struggles of the title character, an orphan brought up largely by her cruel aunt and an abusive headmaster.  Jane exhibits admirable bravery throughout the book. From leaving Lowood to become a governess to fleeing Thornfield to returning to profess her undying love for Rochester, Jane constantly follows her instincts, even when she does not have an exact plan.  Known for her iconic line, “I am no bird; and no net ensnares me,” Jane Eyre offers a depiction of personal bravery that all people can emulate.

Maya Angelou in her memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings 

Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings recounts the countless instances of racism, trauma, and horror that Angelou endured throughout her young life.  Despite such innumerable atrocities, Angelou’s memoir is a portrait of her own perseverance. She emerges stronger every step of the way, with a new lesson learned or another harsh reality accepted.  In the end, Angelou depicts herself blossoming as a confident, young mother and a strong, driven woman.

Happy Women’s History Month! Until next time, 

Charlotte Beaurontё

This is a shared blog post for Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press.

“All my heart is yours,” Books

Wednesday, February 5th, 2020
In my opinion, Brooklyn Bridge Park offers one of the prettiest views in the city.

Hello readers!

 I am one of the new interns for Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press for the next few months!  I am very excited to share my thoughts, experiences, and, of course, good reads with you from time to time.  As a lover of classic literature, I’ll be going by the nom-de-plume Charlotte Beaurontё.  Jane Eyre was one of my favorite books from high school and it helped me understand why “the classics” are so everlasting.

Seeing as this is my first blog post, I find it fitting to offer a brief introduction of myself.  For the past four years, I have spent most of my time in New York going to school. I truly believe that New York City is a center of all things, and I love having easy access to so many museums, libraries, parks, and neighborhoods all at once.  While I live in the Bronx, my weekend travels often bring me to SoHo and Greenwich Village to relax in Washington Square Park, do a little window shopping, or scope out my new favorite coffee shop. Speaking of coffee, I would not be here without it.  I am a firm believer that coffee is its own food group, and the quickest way to my heart is a La Colombe latte.

When I’m not in the city, I’m home in New Jersey spending time with my family.  We are avid hockey fans (Let’s go Devils!) and love attending games together. My siblings and I all played different sports growing up, which perhaps explains my minor competitive streak (that or the fact that I’m the middle child). We also have an adorable West Highland terrier, Bella, who is the true favorite child, whether my parents will admit it or not.

While I often feel like I am running from one activity to the next, I love to make time to slow down, light some candles, and curl up with a good book.  I am constantly looking for new places to read and hope to explore some new libraries this semester.  My favorite thing about books is the fact that they allow you to learn about different cultures, lifestyles, time periods, and even worlds that you might not otherwise be able to.  While I’m a sucker for classics, I love the increasing levels of diversity in modern publishing. I hope to see this trend continue and am interested to watch how the industry changes.

Whenever I visit The Strand Bookstore in lower Manhattan, I spent a great deal of my time (and money) in the poetry section.

I can’t wait to explore all facets of publishing at Beaufort this semester and am looking forward to sharing my experiences with you!

Until next time, 

Charlotte Beaurontё

This is a shared blog post for Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press. 

Take a Chance On Me

Thursday, December 12th, 2019

As I’ve started to reflect on my time here at Spencer Hill and Beaufort Books, I’ve been remembering just how quickly the opportunity came to fruition. It had been less than a week since I moved from the middle of Oklahoma to a new apartment in Brooklyn in the hopes of securing my first internship in publishing. My entire family thought I was crazy, and I wouldn’t be surprised to learn they had taken bets on when I would return home. In fact, the thought of working in publishing hadn’t even occurred to me until I was already six months out of college, and it felt like I was racing the metaphorical clock to get entry-level publishing experience before it was “too late.” Though I have since learned that publishing is a very accepting industry that welcomes newcomers of all ages with open arms, I still spent every day scouring BookJobs for any opportunities I may have missed.

I was tending to my battered ego after a string of rejection letters came in (all in one day, to make matters worse) when I noticed a brand new posting for a fall internship at Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill. I applied, and within a week I was sitting on the phone with Karen, discussing Beaufort’s catalogue and the various opportunities I could take advantage of as a potential intern for Spencer Hill Press and Beaufort Books. Karen and Megan took a chance on me, and by the next Tuesday I was sitting in Spencer Hill’s Flatiron District office as their newest intern.

It all still feels like a blur, but I couldn’t imagine a better way to be introduced to the publishing industry. Though I’m incredibly sad to be leaving SHP and its talented team of editors, I take solace in the fact that I gained an invaluable, first-hand look at what it takes to transform a rough manuscript into a polished final book, that I am never more than a quick train ride away, and that there are dozens of Spencer Hill and Beaufort titles that are still to be read.

I hate to say goodbye, but all good things must eventually come to an end. It feels fitting to wrap up with one of the most popular quotes from the character that inspired my pseudonym.

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all. From now on you’ll be traveling the road between who you think you are and who you can be. The key is to allow yourself to make the journey.”

-Meg Cabot, The Princess Diaries

I am forever grateful to you, readers, for joining me on my journey at Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press!

Cheers,

Mia ThermoBEAUlis

This is a shared blog post for Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press. 

This is Farwell

Wednesday, December 11th, 2019

“What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.”

Four months have never passed so quickly. When I started at Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press in September, it felt like I had all the time in the world to soak up the experience of being a publishing intern. How naïve of me. New York City is so fast-paced that 14 weeks seem to go by in mere seconds. Nevertheless, in these 14 weeks, I have gained valuable experience and knowledge working with truly impressive and wonderful people. Taking a book from manuscript to publication is an arduous undertaking, but the people at Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press do it with grace and skill. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to learn from them, and parting ways with them is bittersweet.

Leaving New York City is equally as hard. I have gained so much from this incredible city. The confidence of navigating an often confusing and delayed train system. The determination of pushing through crowds of tourists when you’re late. The list goes on. Being here during the holidays has been a dream too! Christmas has always been my favorite holiday, and being here in the City to see all the lights and decorations has only deepened this sentiment. Of one thing I am certain, I will be leaving a part of my heart in this city when I go, but I know that I will be back soon.

I figured that before I say goodbye, I should probably leave you all with my recommendations of things to do in NYC. Check them out below!

  1. Get free tickets to Late Night with Seth Meyers or another talk show

Sign up for a 1iota account to be put on the waitlist for a plethora of shows and events happening in New York. I went in early December to Late Night with Seth Meyers and saw Saoirse Ronan (Ladybird) and Alex Borstein (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)!

2. Take a walk around Brooklyn Heights/DUMBO

I lived in Brooklyn Heights during my stint in the City, and it was such a great place to be. The neighborhood has tons of restaurants, beautiful brownstones, and is a short walk from the Promenade where you can get million-dollar views of the city skyline. Right next door is DUMBO, another great neighborhood with tons to do and incredible views.

3. Visit Times Square. Just go early

If you want to visit this tourist attraction without the crowds, I recommend going around 9 AM and not during the holidays. I went early in the morning at the beginning of November. No massive crowds. No lines at the Disney store. It was glorious.

4. See a Broadway show

I managed to see TEN shows on Broadway during my four months. I kept the costs minimal by entering the lotteries and joining the rush lines for plays that I wanted to see. My top recommendation is Jagged Little Pill. Alanis Morisette’s iconic album inspired the musical. It was a marvelous and emotional ride.

5. Leave the City

Although I love New York, there are so many amazing places that are just a short train ride away! I went to Connecticut to visit friends and enjoyed the change in pace from New York. Mystic, CT, is a quaint little town on the coast that is a perfect place to escape from the hustle and bustle of the City. There are also beautiful places in upstate New York that are close by.

Well, dear readers, the time has come. Goodbyes are so bittersweet, but I am excited about what’s next for me. Thank you for joining me on this journey. I hope all of you have a joyous holiday season and a blessed 2020! Love hard, read often!

With gratitude,

Captain Beaumerica

This is a shared post with Beaufort Books.

A Book-Filled Weekend

Tuesday, October 1st, 2019
The Brooklyn Book Festival 2019

Cheers, readers! I’m Beaufort and Spencer Hill’s second intern for Fall 2019. For the remainder of the semester, I will be going by the alias Mia ThermoBEAUlis in honor of my all-time favorite author, Meg Cabot, and her most popular character to date. Growing up, Meg Cabot’s colorful, creative, and always slightly disheveled protagonists strongly resonated with me, and the fact that every Meg Cabot book I own has been read to the point of near destruction serves as proof.

It’s crazy to think I’m already approaching my 2-month mark since starting my internship with Beaufort and Spencer Hill. Fortunately, there have been plenty of exciting projects to keep me busy, which is why I’m just now getting to my introductory blog post. 

While I’ve been an avid reader my entire life, I’m considerably new to the publishing world. With the exceptions of the Harry Potter series and a few classics by Roald Dahl, it always felt like I was the only book lover among my friends growing up. It wasn’t until I stepped into my first screenwriting class my freshman year of college that I knew what it was like to be among other eager storytellers.

Moving to New York feels like freshman year all over again. It’s been equally thrilling and terrifying to be surrounded by people who live and breathe books. I finally feel at home, but every day I’m in the Beaufort office brings new challenges and reminds me just how little I knew about the publishing industry before starting the internship.

A look inside the used bookstore

I love that each day in the Beaufort office brings opportunities to learn something new about the publishing industry, and that indoctrination continued with a few book-related occurrences two weekends ago. On Friday, while in Philadelphia, I got lost on my way to dinner and wound up at an inconspicuous used bookstore. The storefront was unmarked and from the front room, it appeared to consist of just five bookshelves stuffed with old CD’s and dusty self-help titles. I was about to ask the store owner if he had any fiction books when I saw a small entryway that opened up to another tiny room that was packed with books. Each secret room led to another, with each room getting progressively bigger and home to more obscure titles, stacked wherever the owner could find space.

At the very back of the store was one bookshelf filled with antique books. For just $10, I grabbed three different antique books, each published in the 1920s. While any bookstore is great in my book (yes, pun intended), the challenge of searching through piles of pre-loved stories makes bookstores like the one in Philadelphia a rarity that should be preserved.

On that Sunday, I stopped by the Brooklyn Book Festival. If you’ve been before, you know how palpable the energy is among the authors, publishers, and festival attendees. Whether it was a Big 5 publisher, an indie from a small town in Minnesota, or a local bookstore from Brooklyn, each table was swarming with authors, publishers, booksellers, and devoted readers, all looking to discuss the transformations the publishing industry is undergoing and the new books about to hit the market. I even had the opportunity to stop by and say hello to some of the publishing professionals I’ve heard about while working at Beaufort. Going into the festival I had no idea what to expect, so to say I was pleasantly surprised is an understatement.

If anything, this weekend reinforced my love for books and my desire to work in publishing. I can’t wait to see what the next few months with Beaufort and Spencer Hill bring!

Until next time,

Amelia Mignonette ThermoBEAUlis Renaldi, Princess of Genovia Intern at Beaufort Books.

This is a shared blog post for Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press. 

Welcome to New York!

Friday, September 6th, 2019
Manhattan skyline, August 2019

Hello fellow book lovers!

I am the newest intern here at Beaufort Books & Spencer Hill Press! Over the next four months, you’ll be seeing periodic updates on the blog about my latest bookish adventures and NYC experiences. For this brief time as a blogger, I’ll be going full James Bond and using the alias of Captain Beaumerica (I am a Marvel fiend and cannot be stopped). I am so thrilled to share my thoughts, musings, and lessons learned with you all!

I think it is only appropriate that this first post serves as an introduction to myself. Below you’ll find a list of a few of my favorite things.

Favorite Book:

One thing to know about me? I will never lie to you. I have so many favorite books. I’m not a parent, but I imagine that choosing your favorite book is not unlike trying to choose your favorite child. For the sake of time and your sanity, I won’t list all my favorites, but here is my default:

Divergent by Veronica Roth – This book isn’t a groundbreaking novel with an ultra-diverse cast, nor is it an underrated gem that everyone will love, but as a lost middle schooler this book was exactly what I needed to read. It brought me comfort and guidance during that complicated time of adolescence. It was an influential book that shaped the rest of my school experience. I could talk for hours about the first book in this series and the injustice of the film adaptation, but instead I will just encourage you to read it for yourself. Come share in the heartache.

Favorite Movie:

This probably won’t come as a surprise, but I have several favorite movies… Here’s a few:

The Way Way Back – A coming-of-age story starring Steve Carrell and Toni Collette. This film is so heartwarming and emotional. It will always hold a special place in my heart.

The Truman Show – I love Jim Carey. He did a phenomenal job in this movie, but honestly, when does he not?

The Entire Marvel Cinematic Universe – Captain Marvel. Black Panther. Iron Man. Too many to name. I love them all with the passion of a thousand Suns.

Favorite Place:
In May of 2019, I spent two weeks in Southern Oregon and Northern California. They are easily my favorite places in the World. If I could hole up in the California Redwoods to write for the rest of my life, I absolutely would. These massive trees brought tears to my eyes and made me emotional in a way that I never thought trees could. I consider it a travesty that the Redwoods are not on the official Wonders of the World list.

Favorite Thing About NYC (so far):

The subway. I consider myself I great driver, but I highly dislike it. Not having to drive everyday is a blessing that I never want to lose. Also, the bookstores. So. Many. Bookstores.  

That’s it for now! I hope you enjoyed learning a bit about me! I am so excited to be a part of the Beaufort team and interact with you via Beaufort social media. Check back soon for more updates!

Your Favorite Hero,

Captain Beaumerica

This is a shared blog post for Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press.

Always Wandering, Never Lost

Thursday, August 1st, 2019

Hello Readers!

This summer has been a whirlwind of exciting things, both at work and outside of it. One of my favorite things about New York City is that there’s always something new to explore. I spent every weekend hopping from park to thrift shop to ice cream place and I definitely haven’t been everywhere! Maybe it’s only because I’m here for the summer, but I feel like I could stay for years and still discover new and interesting places every week. Even simple things like walking up 6th avenue instead of 5th on the way to work change the experience of a day so much. Not to say that a one-block difference is as far afield as I went this summer—quite the opposite. I went all the way up to the Cloisters and down to Coney Island, exploring pretty much every bookstore I passed along the way. As much as I loved the things I planned (the Coney Island Cyclone holds up to the hype!), some of my favorite things happened purely by chance, like stumbling across a street fair or seeing the same adorable dog on the subway and later on Governor’s Island. From conceptual ice cream bars to hole-in-the-wall record stores, I never knew what to expect when I set out wandering.

In much the same way, I never knew quite what to expect when I came into the Beaufort & Spencer Hill office—and I’m just as happy about that! From visiting printers to proofreading manuscripts to hunting down addresses for reviewers, it’s been a busy summer, and I’ve enjoyed it all. I came in thinking I wanted to go into publishing, but now I know I do. I like the everyday chaos of working at a small publisher, from first submissions, corrections, and cover design, to ARC buzz, the excitement of pub date, and royalty statements. This might be a bit obvious, but it really does give me an appreciation for how many little projects go into the making of every book on my shelf. And I’ve not only gotten to see how things work, I’ve gotten to do many of them. I came up with keywords to help our titles be found in search. I’ve helped out with submissions. I finally learned how to use Instagram and Twitter! I’ve learned a lot this summer and I’m genuinely excited to explore the industry further.

When I go back to school in a couple of weeks, I know I’ll miss a lot about New York (like the many excellent restaurants on my block), but hopefully I’ll be back one day. And until then, I can always read about it in one of many fantastic books.

Sea you sometime,

Beauseidon

This is a shared blog post for Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press.

Random Things or Summertime Sadness!

Thursday, July 11th, 2019

A year and a half ago, a few days before Christmas, my father died. It was awful. It is awful. I struggle with that loss. Maybe this isn’t the greatest way to start this post? Oh, well! Onward. In my book One of the Guys, Toni Valentine’s father has died and she too struggles with it. It sucks.

Death tends to force reflection and lesson-learning, so here are a few observations about grief and death and horrible stuff like that:

  1. Happy moments feel sad. Yep. This is a thing. As my kids grow, I often think, “Man, my dad’s missing this.” There I am, in the middle of a July 4th celebration, sun bright, sprinkler on, laughter all around me, feeling sad. Gross, right? It’s okay though. The sadness mixes with the happy stuff; it doesn’t overwrite it. Eventually I think we all get to a point where sadness tries to slither into everything because we’ve lost something, tinting moments with her blue shade, and we learn to accept her presence and even say, “Fine. Come on in, Sadness. It’s a beautiful day today. Have a seat. Be quiet. I want to hear the laughter.”
  2. No one knows what to say…that’s okay. Yeah, we don’t know what to say. It’s weird, right? Shouldn’t we have that figured out by now? Death isn’t, like, new. What do you say to someone when they’ve experienced huge and awful loss? The reason we don’t know what to say or do is because there’s nothing we can say or do that will make it better. We’ve got to sit in the pain. Personally, I felt like acknowledgement was enough. Like, don’t pretend it didn’t happen, don’t avoid it, don’t pretend everything’s fine. Don’t act like someone should get it over it, no matter how much time has passed. I mean, it would be cool if there was a magic spell to make it feel better. One word, one flick of the wand, something. There isn’t. Acknowledgement is the best thing — for me. It could be different for someone else, but I like a simple, “I see your pain. I’m sorry.”
  3. My dad will miss my next book. I’ve been working on a new book for some time now and when I’m finished (I think I can, I think I can) he’s going to miss it. This sucks. I hate it.
  4. Life goes on, but nothing remains the same, including you. Death changes the living, you know. Sigh.

There you go, folks! A super duper happy-go-lucky post for the summer! I think it’s important to remember that even during these bright summer days, don’t feel ashamed if you have Sadness inviting herself over, for whatever reason, as long as she doesn’t overwrite all the good stuff…because the good stuff, it’s still there, bobbing to the surface, always.

If you want to read more, please check out
https://www.spencerhillpress.com/lisa-aldin/ .

Welcome to NYC, BookExpo Style

Tuesday, June 18th, 2019

Hello!

I’m Beaufort’s newest intern here to report back that, yes, BookExpo is exactly as cool as our previous post promises!

I’ve never been part of the publishing world before, but I had heard tell of a magical event where all the industry people came together to network and best of all—talk about books! I was very excited when Beaufort asked if I’d like to go to this paradise, so of course I said yes.

And BookExpo and BookCon did not disappoint! I hit the ground running on this internship, starting my first day by helping set up the booth. For the next three days I helped out there, meeting authors and helping with signings, and of course, exploring this mecca of the book world.

The Javits Center was full of larger-than-life posters of books and authors. It was like they were movie stars—some of whom I got to meet in real life! Just sharing a room with people whose books I’ve admired since I was little is enough to make my nerdy heart swoon, let alone all of the other fantastic things going on.

It was really interesting to see all the different people who came to BookExpo—not just publishers, but librarians, booksellers, and educators as well. I saw a few people from around where I live and said hello. It was nice to see a little bit of home in the big city.

But of course, for a young hopeful such as myself, it was great to see the variety of publishers there. From the big four to small presses, academics to picture books, a wide range of organizations came to BookExpo. Everyone was excited to show off the projects they’d been working on and even standing in line, attendees would talk about the exciting things they’d done or were planning to do during the convention.

BookExpo was a really great way to kick off my internship because not only did I get to be dazzled by all of the cool things happening in the industry, I also got to know the Beaufort & Spencer Hill teams better than I would have just starting behind the desk.

Signing off for now,
Beauseidon

P.S. These are some of the cool tote bags I got while I was there!

This is a shared blog post for Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press.

Random Things or Why Authors Love Librarians!

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019

L.B. Simmons goes to TLA YART

I was so excited when Spencer Hill told me I was asked to attend the Texas Library Association’s Young Adult Roundtable in April for the second year in a row!

Prior to the event, all the authors are assigned a table number. We lined up as a group and made our way to the room, and when the doors opened, hoots and hollers and applause from the librarians echoed all around us.

And that’s when the real fun started.

Imagine sitting at a round table filled with 6 or 7 librarians, each of them waiting to hear about your work.  It would seem to be a nerve-wracking experience, but it’s quite the opposite.

As with my previous experience, the energy from the librarians at this event was incredibly positive and contagious, which allowed me to discuss my upcoming release, We, the Wildflowers with ease. I prefaced my discussion by stating that though it deals with some pretty heavy topics, We, the Wildflowers is a relatable journey of four friends, meant to inspire teens and give them a sense of hope in a world so often filled with ignorance and hate. I went on to describe the story in detail, doing my best to leave out spoilers. I was spurred on by the nods of agreement and satisfied smiles received with each new layer of the story revealed.

Once I was through, it was the other author’s turn to discuss her book, which was really interesting as it was a young adult fantasy, which I love to read. When she was finished, it was the librarians’ turn to ask us questions, which they did until the announcement was made that our time was up and instructing us to move to the next table. Then the process would start over all over again.

It was such a surreal experience seeing the anticipation in their eyes and the eager grins on their faces as we walked to our assigned tables. Typically, the authors are assigned in pairs, so as I took my seat and introduced myself, another author did the same opposite me. 

I was completely overwhelmed by the response received for the We, the Wildflowers storyline. And to be honest, I was touched by the fact that their interest in this book stemmed from the fact that it would positively impact teens. They seemed very vested in the opportunity to get books on their shelves that wouldn’t only motivate reading, but possibly change lives while doing it.

Bottom line, they CARE about their readers and they show it by stocking their shelves with impactful reading material. I was utterly floored by their personal connection to teens as we discussed current issues that affect them and ways that We, the Wildflowers confronted them unapologetically. 

The event is one of my favorites for that reason. I think the importance of librarians is often overlooked, especially when it comes to teen readers. They are responsible for supplying today’s youth with thought provoking, impactful books that will help mold them into the adults they will soon become. That’s a lot of responsibility when it comes down to it, and librarians do so without complaint, and all too often, without recognition.

It’s my utmost honor to share my books with these wonderful individuals. So, thank you, Texas Library Association, for giving me the opportunity to meet so many amazing librarians. The Young Adult Roundtable is such a wonderful event and I am honored to have been a part of it again this year.

Thank you for spending time with me on this blog post!

Visit my website https://www.lbsimmons.com/ or go to my author page at Spencer Hill Press https://www.spencerhillpress.com/l-b-simmons/

Bookish Dream Come True!

Friday, May 17th, 2019

Hello Readers!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but I wanted to share some exciting news. As most of you may know, BookExpo and BookCon are coming up soon, and I’ll be attending both for the very first time! Now this is exciting for several reasons, but for those of you who aren’t familiar with either, I’ll elaborate.

BookExpo is the publishing industry’s leading trade event. Publishers, booksellers, librarians, and tastemakers all gather to find out what’s new and happening with authors, the latest titles, distribution channels, and new technologies and trends. It’s a great space to network and make connections within the industry, keep up to date with the comings and goings of the publishing world, and if you have a business, it’s a great event to attend because you can learn how to give it an edge.

Equally exciting will be Unbound, the adjacent show and new exhibit floor dedicated to unique non-book items to help businesses grow: “aka” the goodies show. Let’s face it, though we love books, we also like the toys and trinkets that bookshops sell to accompany and enrich our book reading experience. I’ll have to bring a tote bag!Running concurrently to BooxExpo will be the New York Rights Fair, which is the international adult and children’s content and licensing marketplace. This is where rights professionals, publishers, acquisitions editors, agents, scouts, film producers, and other attendees do business, discuss rights sales and the distribution of content across all formats.

As an intern at a publishing house, I am extremely excited to see up close what happens at these trade shows because A) they’re not really open to the general public, unless you’re in the books business and B) they form the biggest and most important U.S. publishing event of the year.[

Between author panels and talks, and sessions meant to educate on the publishing business, book swag, and networking, this three-day-event is sure to be thrilling for book fanatics like me!

If you’re never been and can go, it’s an event you won’t want to miss. Be sure to stop by our booth and say hi!

BookExpo will take place May 29-31, 2019 at the Javits Center in NYC.

Wednesday, May 29: 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Thursday, May 30: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Friday, May 31: 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Just as BookExpo closes on Friday, BookCon opens on Saturday. Now BookCon is an entirely different atmosphere. But what is it? In their own words, “BookCon is the event where storytelling and pop culture collide.” One of my friends described it as “Comic Con for book nerds,” and I couldn’t agree more.

So, while BookExpo runs more on the business side of books, BookCon is tailored for all the readers and book fans out there. Open to the public, and targeting all ages, eager bibliophiles like me will have the opportunity to meet & greet authors, attend workshops and panels, and get all our favorite books autographed.

I’ve been living in NYC for almost three years, but this will be my first time attending (finally!).  For two years I have stared in awe (and felt very jealous…) of my friends’ hauls after attending. Though I will sadly be leaving this wonderful city in August, and I probably don’t need to add any more books to my packing list, I am anticipating eagerly all the fantastic reads I will leave the event with.

So, if you’re planning to attend, BookExpo (which I am hoping you are), you seriously CANNOT pass up on BookCon!

Sadly, weekend tickets are sold out, but you can still purchase tickets onsite & online. Adult tix go between $30-$45 depending on the day, and Kid tix (aged 6-12) are priced at $10 for either day.

BookCon will take place June 1-2, 2019 at the Javits Center in NYC.

Saturday, June 1: 10:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Sunday, June 2: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

I cannot wait for this fun-packed week to arrive! For more information on either event, please click on the links below.

www.bookexpoamerica.com

www.bookcon

Til’ next time, readers!

-Sir Arthur Conan Beauyle

This is a shared blog post for Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press.

A Story of Discovery

Tuesday, April 16th, 2019

Hello readers! This post is bittersweet, as it’s the last one I’ll write for Beaufort and as Phoebe Beauffay. One of the most important things I’ve been able to do during my time in NYC and at Beaufort is make discoveries: about myself, the publishing industry, a new city. I was hoping this experience would be a good way for me to reach out of my comfort zone and that I’d learn a lot from it. I’m glad to say it was a success. Before my farewell, I wanted to share a bit about what my time here has taught me. I firmly believe we should always be looking for opportunities to discover and grow. We’re all stories in progress with never-ending opportunities to learn, and I’m especially grateful for my chapter set here in NYC.

On one of my last days, I was able to sit down with Megan and Karen and talk about things I wanted to learn more about and ask plenty of questions. It was a highlight of my internship because I had the opportunity to sit down with my supervisors and ask real questions about what it’s like to work in their industry. We discussed how they got into publishing, acquiring books, working with authors, foreign deals, and contracts. One of my biggest takeaways was that small publishing companies really can do it all (or at least have a big role in it all)! My brief internship alone has given me the opportunity to wear many hats, and I’ve loved it. What’s a good story without variety?

Some of our topics were publishing specific, and others could apply to any industry. We talked about important interview tips: send a thank you note post-interview, ask questions, be sure to ask what the interviewer likes about his or her job, and find out what the company is like. I hadn’t really thought to ask about company culture in an interview, and now it’s something I’ll never forget. After all, characters and setting are critical to any story.

I learned that publishing is a field I might really want to pursue further as a career. This internship was the first step in finding out if this field is the one for me. I may not have made an absolute decision on my future career, but I came away with a lot of knowledge and the desire to learn even more. The more chapters we read, the more we know about the story, and life experiences work the same way: the more we have, the more we discover. It’s always sad to close a chapter, but there are always more to be read. And when those chapters close, there are entirely new books. I’m so grateful for the pages filled by Beaufort and Spencer Hill.

One last happy reading and best wishes to you all,

Phoebe Beauffay

This is a shared blog post for Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press.

NYC: A Story-Lover’s Dream

Friday, March 8th, 2019

As an English major, I truly love stories in all of their forms. This includes books (obviously), movies and television, plays and musicals, and even museums and concerts. All works of art tell a story in one way or another, and NYC is full of art. In other words, NYC is a story-lover’s dream. I hope in sharing my recent artistic outings, it might inspire readers to get out and experience some stories of your own (in any and all forms)!

Seeing a story unfold in front of you in the form of a Broadway musical is magical. I’ve only seen two shows during my time here, but they’ve made me want to see them all. Anastasia was my first ever show. Anastasia has been one of my favorite movies for as long as I can remember, and seeing it so alive and real was spectacular. After the show, I was able to meet most of the amazing cast, including singer Cody Simpson who played Dmitry (a middle school dream come true)! My second show was Mean Girls, and that was another great experience that filled me with memories of watching the movie in middle school with my friends at sleepovers.

The stories behind works of art found in a museum are fascinating to me: the lives of artists, the history of an entire civilization, the meaning of a work of art. I made my first visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art recently and loved every second. From the paintings to the sculptures to the artifacts, I was filled with curiosity and awe. It’s not every day you get to see a Van Gogh painting in person! Additionally, a concert is one of the most fun and lively ways to hear a story. Though I want to get to many more, the only concert I have been to so far was for singer Ryan Beatty that I attended for one of my classes; what an incredible show it was!

In terms of some of the more obvious story forms, I still try to make plenty of time for books and film. Despite the reader’s block I mentioned in my previous post, I was able to get my hands on a copy of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman from my reading list and having been loving it and (slowly but surely!) fighting my reader’s block. I’ve also recently been treating myself during my free time with Gilmore Girls binges and uplifting Netflix originals such as Dumplin’. I’ve found during my time in NYC that you can find a good story almost anywhere you look for one. Try and enjoy some art today if you can!

Until next time,

Phoebe Beauffay

This is a shared blog post for Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press.

RANDOM THINGS OR A WITCHY WRITER?

Thursday, February 7th, 2019

Hi everyone, and thanks to Spencer Hill Press for inviting me to write a post for their Random Things blog! My name is Jennifer Murgia, and I write Young Adult thrillers. My Spencer Hill Press titles are FOREST OF WHISPERS and its sequel, CASTLE OF SIGHS—17th century Bavarian witch thrillers! The duology begins with the tale of Rune, a girl raised in the Black Forest of Germany, who, upon her sixteenth birthday, hears the whispers of her long-dead mother who seeks vengeance on those who burned her at the stake. It’s chock-full of mystery, bloodshed, the plague, imprisonment, and, of course, witchcraft!

Random things you might not know about me:
1. In 2012, I co-founded a teen book festival. YA FEST PA is held annually in Easton, PA at the Palmer Branch of the Easton Area Public Library. Coordinating this spectacular event takes a good 8 months out of the year, and what started off as a small, homegrown book festival has become the only YA book festival in the Lehigh Valley, one of the largest on the east coast, and draws Young Adult authors from around the world! If you’re looking to visit Pennsylvania this coming August, then set aside a few hours to drop in on YA FEST 2019! Our line-up of amazing attendees can be found here: www.yafestpa.com
2. Creative people are notoriously scattered, right? I am. My closets are shameful. But when it comes to keeping track of my life there’s no better place than on paper. I admit, I’m a fanatical planner and list keeper. I must leave dozens of To Do lists around my house and (no lie) keep 2 planners and a calendar up-to-date each day. From family appointments, grocery lists, things to remember, and upcoming book releases (and a festival to plan!) I have to keep track of things! My favorite is the Bullet Keeper.
3. I collect antique jewelry. Most have been passed down in my family, but I love finding new pieces and wondering what secrets they keep!
4. I have one itty bitty tiny tattoo—of an ampersand on my right inner arm. I’ve always wanted a tattoo but firmly believe that if you’re going to be inked, it should mean something. When I first began my publishing journey, I naturally looked forward to what the future held in store for me. I wanted to finish my book. Get it published. See it on a shelf. I wanted a wonderful agent to represent me. I think it’s human nature to always “want more” and to strive for your dreams. That’s when I knew the ampersand (“AND” symbol) fit me in more ways than one. It’s a reminder that there IS more waiting for me. That it’s ok to never be satisfied and to stretch my creative capabilities in search of happiness. There is always a next chapter waiting to be written. I wanted the tattoo in a spot where I would see it every day and it is, facing me, not outward for anyone else. It’s a reminder of who I am and who I want to be.

Thank you, Spencer Hill Press for featuring me on your blog! Visit my website at www.jennifermurgia.com for more info on my books!

New City, New Books

Tuesday, February 5th, 2019

Hello everyone! I’m Beaufort’s newest intern, writing under the pen name Phoebe Beauffay (Friends fans?) A little about me is that I’m an English major who loves stories in all forms and of all genres. I attend university in Nashville, TN, but I’m here for the semester. Not only am I new to Beaufort, but I am entirely new to NYC. Prior to my move here, I had never been. I’m more thrilled to be here than I can say!

I think most people who consider themselves to be avid readers would agree that sometimes we get reader’s block. My own reader’s block has been going on for far too long. I’m ready to pull out my reading list, my bookmarks, sign up for a library card, and get to work. Moving here has given me a spark to read that I haven’t felt in a while. How could it not? I’m surrounded by countless books and fellow book lovers here at Beaufort. I pass a public library to and from Beaufort each time I’m here. Readers are everywhere: on the subway, in coffee shops, in any of NYC’s abundant book stores. I’m planning an entire day to visit The Strand alone (pictured).

My reading list is ever-growing with no end in sight. It also refuses to be limited to one genre; it has a little bit of everything, which is exactly what I am looking for here in NYC. Here are a few of the books I intend to read on the subway and in coffee shops to cure my reader’s block:

Great Food Jobs 2 by Irena Chalmers

A Beaufort title I’m quite excited about! I love food and books. I love learning about the food industry and different careers. It’s full of insight on a world that I’m ready to learn all about.

North of the Tension Line by J.F. Riordan

Another Beaufort title, one that immediately reminded me of home. This story is set in Ephraim, Wisconsin. While I live in NYC and attend college in Nashville, Wisconsin is where I grew up. It’s rare for me to be able to read about home (New Yorkers are a lucky bunch in that department). I love that the story explores small town life.

Becoming by Michelle Obama

I have so much admiration for the former first lady, and I cannot wait to hear her story in her own words. Autobiographies are newer to my list than other genres, but I believe this could be the read to get me going on them.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

This one has been on my list for the last few months, and I’ve heard only good things about it. Stories about slightly awkward protagonists and friendship full of warmth and heart have a special place in mine.

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

This is another one that has been on my list for a while (I blame the reader’s block). Psychological thrillers and mysteries are some of my favorites, and I’m a big fan of Gillian Flynn ever since Gone Girl. Looking forward to finally checking this one off the list.

Happy reading!

Phoebe Beauffay

This is a shared blog post for Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press.

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”

Monday, December 17th, 2018

Greetings Everyone,

It’s Sir Arthur Conan Beauyle.

We’re quickly approaching the end of the year and I find myself looking back regretfully at my reading goals for 2018. I barely made a dent in my ever-growing, never-decreasing, extremely tempting to-be-read pile and I won’t even give you the number because it’s too embarrassing. However, I did accomplish a great deal this year that will help convince myself it’s enough to forgive such a bookish faux pas.

May marked a major milestone in my life: I received my M.F.A. in Creative Writing degree. I say major because my self-doubt is constantly out to get me; when I left home for my undergrad program, and when I fulfilled my lifelong dream of becoming a pastry chef. My self-doubt even got in the way in the middle of moving to New York (literally en-route to the Big Apple on the plane). Yet I continue to surprise myself whenever I achieve something I once thought impossible. But no matter how present that self-doubt is, my persistence has ALWAYS won.

This year marked my second major milestone in the great city of New York. Living here has opened my mind, eyes, and heart to so many different opportunities. It’s impossible not to love it. I started writing my novel again, and this time it has direction. Though my original goal for this year was to complete the first draft by December 31st, I am confident that this work-in-progress will be finished in 2019.

2018 had several internship opportunities for me, and I found myself back at Beaufort Books, working alongside this incredible team! When you find a group of people who are passionate about their work and are eager to teach you everything they know, it’s a breeze getting up in the morning. The Beaufort bibliophiles have inspired me to really tackle my reading goals for next year.

As I’ve done diligently in the past, I’ve begun drafting my hopes and dreams, my desires and wishes for 2019. I try to be realistic when it comes to these resolutions, because most of the time, come March, I have forgotten all about them. Because of my dismal reading habits in 2018, one of my top three wishes is to complete my 2019 reading list (hopefully I will exceed it!). The list isn’t complete, but it does involve a book for each week. Our lovely managing editor Megan has encouraged me with her reading record for 2018, so like her, I will read at least 52 books in the coming 12 months.

“It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year” (thank you, Andy Williams!) and I find it impossible to be sad, or mad, or angry whenever I see those twinkling holiday lights. Who knows what’s in store for 2019, but I know that it’ll be great. And even if there are bad days, I can always turn to my books to escape.

Wishing everyone Happy Holidays and a Prosperous New Year!

Sir Arthur Conan Beauyle

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

This is a shared blog post for Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press.

RANDOM THINGS OR A WRITER & A WARRIOR?

Friday, November 30th, 2018

Hello everyone! My name is Angela J. Townsend. I was born in the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Missoula, Montana. As a child, I grew up listening to stories told by my grandparents, ancient tales and legends of faraway places. My childhood allowed me to be imaginative, to learn the power of words, and to learn that words are living things and how we choose to use them could have a tremendous impact in our world and on others as well.

Sadly, not everything in my past has been an ideal fairy tale. An unexpected tragedy presented an opportunity that changed the course of my life. I started writing when my youngest son was diagnosed with a Retinoblastoma. A cruel form of eye cancer that causes blindness. Writing served as an escape. I wrote to find peace and to find hope for my son, and to create our own adventures far removed from the cold atmosphere of the hospital.

While employed as a paralegal in a busy law firm, my writing career took off. I was able to give away hundreds of signed copies of my novels to the Ronald McDonald houses of America and other organizations for sick children around the globe.

Today, I am a full time filmmaker and a traditionally published, award-winning author. I am fortunate enough to be a member of the Authors Guild and to be represented by the former Vice President of Paramount Pictures, M. Kenneth Suddleson.  Exactly a year ago a movie based on my novel, The Forlorned was released worldwide.

Random things about me:

  • As a young child I spent my young years in a remote fishing village in the wilds of Alaska. That experience shaped my novel, Amarok. The ocean and Alaska will always be a part of me.
  • Friday the 13th has always been my lucky day! I’ve always won money on that day: raffles, contests, and other events.
  • I was born just shy of Halloween—maybe that’s why I love writing spooky themed books so much!
  • After becoming severely allergic to makeup, I developed my own all natural cosmetic line which includes a natural hair dye and soap.
  • Cars terrify me and I’m even more afraid of flying.
  • My favorite food is popcorn which is great because it goes along well with my motion pictures!
  • In 2018 I won a notable trademark lawsuit over my book and movie title, The Forlorned. The case ended up in the US Supreme Court, and winning freed me from years of harassment and “Trademark Trolls.”  I hope that my case will make it easier for other authors who undergo similar legal battles.
  • Last summer I formed Authors Unite Against Bullies. The organization strives to help artists who are being bullied or are victims of frivolous lawsuits.

Thank you for spending time with me!

To read more, visit my website www.angelatownsendbooks.com

 

 

RANDOM THINGS OR AN AUTHOR & AN ILLUSTRATOR?

Thursday, October 18th, 2018

I happily live in the Pacific Northwest. I love the surrounding beauty and climate. I also love the interaction with wonderful authors, illustrators and craftspeople who live here, too.

At some point, about a dozen years ago, I realized what I should have known from the start. I love to write as much as I love to create art.

I began making up stories for my younger brothers and sisters before I could read. I’d pull a book off the shelf, any book, and make up a story. My siblings, not being idiots, suspected the ruse right away—they would keep interrupting with “What if?” and “Why not?” and “Make the talking mouse a dog.”—suggestions.

I am the eldest of ten, which is a wonderful, hectic, love-hate, messy, smelly but beautiful way to grow up. When I became a mother, however, I wisely limited myself to three. I now have four pretty wonderful grandchildren who regularly advise on alternative endings and different characters. Where have I heard that before?

I have three Middle Grade novels published and two YA novels in progress. My MG book, Almost Magic, for Spencer Hill is one of my favorites.

Over my career I’ve written and illustrated five children’s books for Simon & Schuster, a couple of children’s Bible books for David C. Cook, and a handful of other children’s books. I have also worked as an illustrator and page designer for educational publishers including Incentive Publications and World Book, Inc., illustrating over 200 titles for them.

I write and illustrate for fun. Selling books to publishers is also fun. Deadlines are less fun, but all procrastinators (like me) need an inflexible end date even for this blog post!

Thanks for spending time with me. Hope you enjoy my work!

https://kathleenbullock.carbonmade.com/

RANDOM THINGS OR WANDERLUST ANYONE?

Friday, September 14th, 2018

Hi lovelies. I’m Brenda St John Brown, coming to you from my tiny village in North West England. I’m the author of Swimming to Tokyo, and the Castle Calder series, and I thought it would be fitting to focus my random things around one of my absolute favorite things—travel!

I’m one of those people who would rather save for a trip than spend on a sweater, and I’ve been lucky enough to have a few travel-heavy jobs (thank you, frequent flier miles!) and a husband whose job moved us to the UK where cheap flights are cheap (Our first trip abroad when we moved here was to Verona, Italy and our flights were £58 round trip. For all three of us!) and Europe is right on the doorstep. But, I’m rambling. Let’s get random and talk wanderlust!

  1. Swimming to Tokyo was inspired by a real-life adventure! I taught English in Tokyo for almost two years. I have a million stories about my time there, but one of the funniest is about the one time I tried to buy a bra. The saleswoman brought her measuring tape out to the middle of the department store and started shouting my measurements across the floor. Needless to say, that was the first and last time I did THAT.
  2. I hated fish pre-Tokyo—like, absolutely would not choke it down if even it were the only thing available and I was starving. Needless to say, I learned to eat it because there’s really no avoiding sushi in Japan. Now I like most fish, but I’m still wary of sushi.
  3. There’s Domino’s Pizza in Japan and mayonnaise is a standard topping! When you call Domino’s like I did—in very halting Japanese—and don’t know a) that mayo is a standard topping or b) how to request to leave it off, it’s shockingly bad when you find out.
  4. I went to Melbourne, Australia for 3 weeks for work and one weekend my coworker and I rented a car to go see the Twelve Apostles (which are gorgeous). While driving, we hit a kangaroo! Awful, right? We called the police because we weren’t sure what to do and the police officer came and broke its neck so it wouldn’t suffer. Apparently hitting a kangaroo is kind of the equivalent of hitting a deer. I wouldn’t recommend either if you can possibly help it.
  5. Eleven years ago, my husband was asked to move to the UK for a year to 18 months…and here we are. We lived in London for several years and then moved to The North and live in the quintessential English countryside with a pub down the street.
  6. Living in London, the Eurostar is incredibly convenient and the company runs sales where you can go round-trip to Paris for about £40 ($60?) as long as your dates are flexible. Before The Boy was in “proper” school, we took of advantage of this every year and it was pretty fab. I still really really want to write a book set in Paris.
  7. The whole Europe-on-the-doorstep thing means when American friends are coming to Europe, we can sometimes plan to meet them. Italy’s been a firm favorite and Tuscany is as gorgeous as I thought it would be. Also, the wine! My husband—who’s a pretty particular eater due to food allergies—also highly recommends the wild boar. I’ll take his word for it.
  8. Speaking of food, if you’re ever in Hong Kong, the pigeon is really good. Ask for the dish that the chef recommends, but don’t ask what it is until after. I’m 100% positive I enjoyed my pigeon because I didn’t know it was pigeon.
  9. All that traveling and I’m still a nervous flier, which means I’m absolutely NOT falling asleep mid-flight. I might doze for an hour or two, but mostly no. Which is a bit of a bummer when I get home and realize I’ve been awake for over thirty hours, BUT it also means plenty of time for reading. Besides my passport(s), my other must-pack item is my Kindle. Fully stocked, of course.

And that’s me in a nutshell. Thanks for hanging out with me on the Spencer Hill blog today and I’d love to see you over on my website at http://brendastjohnbrown.com.

 

 

It’s All About The Process

Thursday, August 16th, 2018

Hello again readers!

The summer is winding down and so, in turn, is my internship with Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press. My last day will be bittersweet, as I leave behind the excitement of the summer for the hustle bustle of the school year. Nevertheless, I have come to really appreciate change while living in a city as lively as New York and working in a field as dynamic as publishing.

I had the opportunity this summer to read quite a few manuscripts, both fiction and non-fiction, at all different stages of writing. While evaluating manuscripts is only one of many steps in the editorial process, I found that it gave me insight into the publishing world as an industry that is constantly evolving, much like the way in which a manuscript grows into a book. Although most people only see the finished product with every detail in place down to the last period, I have learned that the beauty of publishing is truly all about the process – the process of artistic development, but more notably the process of seeing an idea become something tangible for the author and the readers.

From the acquisition of a manuscript to the publication date, agents, editors, sales teams, and endorsers think (and rethink) critically about an idea with not only the author’s vision in mind, but also the ever-changing market of readers. It doesn’t matter whether the writing is good or bad from the start, because a book will never be perfect in the eyes of every single person who encounters it and will inevitably shift in some way or another (even if it is just a matter of adding a serial comma). When a book moves from one stage to the next – whether it be a contract signed or a proofread cover design – it is one step closer to taking creative shape.

When the publication date finally rolls around, the words and illustrations on the page will remain the same, but the book itself will continue to evolve as the writing style, edits, endorsements, and press releases, impact each reader in a different way. The audience never sees the nitty gritty workings of the publishing process, but they do get to undergo their own process of engaging with the ideas, words, and production of a book, in a way that is significant to them.

A book is never just as it appears with all the different gears working behind it to make it a whole, and you have to embrace the process to understand what the book truly holds.

Happy reading,

Aphra Beauhn

 

This is a shared blog post for Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press.