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Q&A Guest: Katie Smith

Katie Smith, Sales & Marketing Assistant, Charlesbridge Publishing 

Katie’s routine and habits remind us of the power of a walk, friends, family, and books. And don’t miss her fantastic idea of a moving mythological retelling in verse!

Share your favorite part of your job.

I love collaborating with my teammates on newsletter content. Our meetings are always so fun and creative. I started my role with Charlesbridge during the pandemic and have never been to our current office, so brainstorming meetings are such a fun and important way to get to know my coworkers. It’s also so insightful to subscribe to and read newsletters from other publishers and see how everyone celebrates events like Women’s History Month or highlights new titles.

What is your favorite way to spend a day off?

In pandemic times my favorite thing to do on a day of is unplug from my phone. Typically, I will make myself some toaster waffles and eat them in bed. Eventually I will make my way out of bed and if the weather is good I’ll go on a really long run or walk. I’ve finally mastered my mask placement for minimal glasses fogging while running outdoors. I’ll likely treat myself to boba on the way home, and then spend the rest of the day cleaning or playing Stardew Valley. Once things are safer, I’m excited to hop back on the commuter rail and visit Salem, which is my favorite nearby place to visit.

Which is your favorite children’s book/series? Why?

This is such a hard question! But the series that I come back to time and time again when I need a little nostalgia or comfort is The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede. My brother and I both adore this series and have spent so many hours discussing its movie adaptation potential. The first book is Dealing with Dragons, in which Princess Cimorene decides she doesn’t like all the expectations that come with being a princess and runs away to work for a dragon. I love the playful fusion of fairy tales and the way that Wrede questions gender norms in fairytale settings. I’m dying for there to be some sort of epic animated television or movie series based on these books, but will happily wait for them while listening to the full cast audiobooks.

Share one or more ways you found that have helped you deal with the last year.

This last year routine has become more important than ever to me. I like to go on a walk during the time that I would usually be commuting, go on a run or generally get outside during my lunch hour, and then go on another walk or run after work. I feel like I produce better quality work during the days that I keep to a routine like this, instead of the days where I roll out of bed with little time to spare. 

I was used to long-distance relationships since I’m from California and currently live in Boston, so I had some long-distance hangout habits in place that have become even more important. Family and friends have also been essential. I talk on the phone a lot with my mom and brother when I’m out walking or doing chores. My best friend and I frequently pick a movie on Netflix and start it at the same time and text throughout it. I have two pen pals that have helped keep me excited for mail. My friends from UC Davis started a re-occurring zoom catchup during 2020, and it’s been so fun to reconnect even though we’re scattered across the country. This last weekend, we had an Animal Crossing themed murder mystery zoom, which was so much fun. 

Think of three authors you love, if they collaborated what story would they create?

Three authors I love are Madeline Miller, Elizabeth Acevedo, and Elizabeth Lim. If they were to collaborate I think they would create a moving mythological retelling in verse. I don’t have a myth in mind, but the book would be a young adult reclamation of a figure that history has misread.

Check out more Guest Q&A’s in the following months with staff of our member publishers!

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