frenzy online is a team effort of YA loving HarperCollins Canada staff members. Each month we’ll feature a column from a frenzy insider. This week, Marketing Coordinator Jessica Anderson and Marketing & Publicity Coordinator (children’s and YA books) Vikki VanSickle exchange questions:
Jessica’s Questions to Vikki:
1. Describe your job in five words:
Creative. Organizational. Team-oriented. Forward-thinking. Fun.
2. You’re an actual published author!!! A) Can you tell us a bit about your books and how they came to be? And B) does being an author impact the way you see/do your job?
A) Words That Start With B is the result of mixing a whole bunch things I wanted to write about into one story: a boy/girl friendship that DOESN’T end in romance; a girl who lives in a house with a hair salon in the basement; what it’s like to be the best friend of someone who is being bullied; a spunky narrator who sticks to her ideals and is true to herself even when it means trouble. But some stroke of magic, the combination worked!
My second book, Love is a Four-Letter Word, came about because I missed my characters from Words That Start With B. I also wanted to write about the many ways that people experience love and disappointment. Oh, and I got to write about community theatre. I LOVE community theatre!
B) Being an author definitely impacts my job. I have been on the other side and am therefore able to anticipate what my authors are thinking or feeling and (hopefully) this allows me to be extra sensitive to their needs.
3. You have some really amazing clothing. Where are some of your favourite places to shop?
That’s a great compliment, coming from you! (Jess has an awesome collection of dresses that I shamelessly covet). I like all things retro, which is why I spend as much time as possible digging through bins at thrift stores and vintage shops like Flash Forward or Courage My Love in Kensington market. My favourite thing to do is mix a great vintage piece with something new and fun, which is why I can be found scouring the racks at Joe Fresh, Forever 21, and H&M!
4. You’re a prostar when it comes to the wonderful world of children’s books. What is it about them that you love so much that you’ve built your career out of working with them?
There are so many reasons why I love children’s books, but what it boils down to is that I first fell in love with books and reading as a child. I loved hunting for new books, discovering authors, and spending hours lost in the world those authors created. That feeling has stayed with me all my life and I want to be part of creating and fostering that feeling for generations of readers to come.
5. If you could spend the day with any character from any book who would it be and what would you do?
I would either spend a day job-shadowing Professor McGonagall at Hogwarts or visit Gairloch on a hot summer day with Nora from Looking at the Moon (Kit Pearson).
Vikki’s Questions to Jessica
1. Describe your job in five words.
Creative. Meticulous. Detail-oriented. Fun. Subjective.
2. I love your office space so much; it’s the artsy bedroom I never had. What’s your favourite objet d’art in your funky little cube?
Haha, I can’t tell you how many people compare my cube to a bedroom! It all works together (in my opinion anyway) in a hodge podge of posters, stickers, buttons, things I’ve designed, and toys. Lots and lots of toys. I spend a lot of time here, so why not have it be a space I like? I think my favourite piece is my most recent edition—a ceramic lamb I use as a pencil/pen holder that I bought in Ottawa at a midnight garage sale that was shut down by the cops immediately after I made my purchase. I got it just in time!
3. Would you rather spend a day with The Kardashians or Lauren Conrad? Why?
Oh my, such a good question. I’ve always wanted a big family and sisters, so I’m inclined to say the Kardashians. I’m also shy and awful at small talk, so if I was one-on-one with LC I’d probably be uncomfortable, whereas the K-gals could carry the conversation and I could just be along for the fun. But would all of that Kardashian time get to be a bit much? I suspect the answer is yes. So can I spend an hour with the Kardashians and then the rest of the day with Lauren and bring along my pal Alicia? Actually, I want us all to hang out. Alicia too.
4. If you had to live in the fictional dystopian universe from any YA novel, which one would it be and why?
EGAD. Sometimes love really can feel like a disease, but I have a big heart. Big enough to say I’m pretty sure I’d break the rules like Lena in Delirium and live in danger to live a life with love. Love is too good of a feeling to live without it.
5. You are also an etsy superstar. Tell me about your amazing loveylou dolls!
I don’t know about superstar, but thanks! After a project here a couple of years ago in which I made a sock horsie, I made a few as baby gifts for gals in the office. Now I’m selling them on Etsy. I feel like Jillian Jiggs—I love them almost too much to sell them. I give each one bit of a “you’re going to be loved” pep talk before I ship them off to their owners.
Click here to check out Jessica’s creations on etsy!
There you have it- our first two frenzy online staffers. Check back for more behind the scenes glimpses at life at HarperCollins Canada, book reviews, guest posts, top ten lists, and author spotlights. All YA, all the time!
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