How would you describe your job?
I help prepare financial statements and budgets, and do tons of other money-related stuff.
Where are you originally from?
I was born in North Carolina (Fort Bragg army brat), raised in Central Florida (the wonderful world of humidity, hurricanes, and Disney), and transplanted to DC for 11 years (go Nats!) before moving cross-country to keep it weird in PDX.
What did you do before you came to Powell’s?
I took time off from the nonprofit accounting world to focus on writing for children and young adults. I sold four short stories, finished a YA fantasy that garnered two full manuscript requests (but alas didn’t make it to publication), and wrote a middle-grade novel (for which I received the 2016 Oregon Literary Fellowship for Young Readers).
What is the best part of your job?
My coworkers. Powell’s employees are some of the nicest, smartest, most creative individuals.
What is the most interesting part of your job?
As a writer and someone who knows a smidge about the publishing side of the industry, it’s interesting learning about the bookselling side. Who knew selling books could be so complicated?
When you’re not reading, what do you like to do in your free time?
I LOVE to travel. No place exists until I’ve experienced it, whether I’m just hopping in the car and driving out to the Oregon Coast or getting on a plane to Iceland. Best trip so far: driving the Garden Route on the coast of South Africa, where I played with four-month-old lion cubs.
What’s your favorite spot in Portland?
Powell’s Books or outdoors in nature (Forest Park, Rocky Butte, Mt. Tabor… and the list goes on!).
What was the last book you loved?
by Sara Pennypacker, I’ll Give You the Sun
by Jandy Nelson, Illusions
by Richard Bach… wait, just one book?
What makes for a good book in your eyes?
A story that has me so emotionally invested that I can’t put it down but at the same time I don’t want to end.
What’s your biggest literary pet peeve?
Unfinished endings within a series. Of course, the overarching plot will leave unanswered questions, so I’ll continue on to the next book, but each book should stand on its own with a satisfying conclusion.
Walk us through your favorite route when browsing books at Powell’s.
I head straight downstairs to the Rose Room and never leave until forced.
Why do you think bookstores remain so popular in the digital age?
Because people need physical and emotional connection, whether it’s with other booklovers, the physical space, or the books themselves.
What’s your favorite book of all time?
The Story of Ferdinand
by Munro Leaf.