Get to Know a Rep: Deanna
1. What is your favorite genre to read for fun?
Before dedicating myself to the world of kids books I specialized in what I call women’s lit fic. Great book club fodder but forgoing the more commercial stuff. Favorite authors include Kate Atkinson, Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood. I also love me some great sci-fi, but again, I mostly read women writers.
2. What was a job you’ve had that our readers would find surprising?
I’ve been a bookseller since 1989 (I was 19) so I guess I haven’t had a lot of surprising jobs. But it might surprise people to know I was fired from my first bookselling job and that it was a Barnes and Noble text store at the University of Albany. What is less surprising is that I was fired for public swearing. Now I have Facebook for that…
3. What do you like to do when you’re not working?
Besides spending time with my family, the only thing I really do anymore that’s just for me is play violin. I’ve been playing since I was 6 and it has taken on more or less importance in my life depending on where I am. I stopped playing for 8 years when life was crazy with travel, wedding planning and kid-having, and just started up again about 3 years ago. A big shout out to my buyer at University Books, Lauren Mayer, who convinced me we should join an orchestra together and get back into the game. It always helps to have a friend. Currently I’ve really challenged myself by joining an orchestra that is above my skill level so I’ve actually been spending a fair amount of time practicing.
4. Do you have a favorite memory of meeting or working with an author?
Philip Pullman definitely tops my list of favorite author experiences. He was touring for The Subtle Knife and we didn’t pay for author escorts back then so I was driving him around! He was already quite popular at that point, The Golden Compass had been a solid success, but there were still some bumps in the road. I drove him to a Borders in Tacoma and no one showed. He was sick, tired, annoyed. But somehow we managed to forge a connection. I think it was actually over music, when he started talking about his son who’s a violist I chimed in that I played violin. He actually made a few musical suggestions and recently I introduced one of them to my kids: Don Byron’s album Bug Music, a tune called Bounce of the Sugar Plum Fairies that is based on the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies from the Nutcracker. I put it on and me and the kids have a “dance party.” When one of them wants to hear it they ask me to “turn on the Bug Music Dance Party.”
5. What’s your favorite childhood bookstore?
I spent half of my childhood in the Boston area and have vivid memories of getting lost in the stacks of New England Mobile Bookfair. I have heard recently that they are up for sale, I truly hope the store survives!