We are a group of 8 readers and book lovers who are lucky enough to have a dream job: sales reps for Random House Children’s Publishing. We love books and have a combined total of 418 years of reading between us, an average of 38 years each. We read Random House Children’s books, and books for children and adults from many other publishers too.
This blog is intended share our passion and knowledge of books with anyone who will listen (or read, in this case). The views expressed on this blog are our independent thoughts and in no way represent our employer.
We welcome your feedback. Please feel free to post comments, or you can contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s a brief bio about each of us:
Bobbie– I began reading and writing from an early age and my love for books flourished when I read every single Agatha Christie book in the 7th grade, and knew that I had to make a life for myself which involved books. I went to Emerson College where I majored in Creative Writing, Literature and Publishing (all in one degree!) and after graduation and a brief time at other houses, landed a dream job at Random House! My taste for literature has expanded over the years beyond the British whodunit to include absolutely everything: I love both adult and children’s fiction and am particularly fond of literary YA and Middle grade novels, as well as suspense thrillers and crime fiction. I am currently writing a book of my own.
Dandy – I’ve been in publishing for over 20 years, almost 15 of those at Random House. I started out pouring coffee @ Upstart Crow & then made my way over to the kid’s book section. I was hooked immediately & keep waiting till I have to grow up & get a real job. I tend to like historical fiction & YA coming of age stories, but being the mom of 2 young boys (4 & 3) I’m currently reading lots of picture books. Especially ones that have something about volcanos, sharks or Star Wars. If you happen know of any books that have all three let me know-you’ll make a couple of boys VERY happy.
Deanna – I’ve been in the book business for 20 years, as much as it pains me to admit it. I started in text books and then went on to work at indies on both coasts: The Bookhouse of Stuyvesant Plaze in Albany, NY (OK, it’s not really a coast) and Elliott Bay Books in Seattle (where you could smell the ocean until their recent move inland about 1/2 a mile). I went from mass market buyer/literary fiction specialist at Elliott Bay to children’s rep for Random House in 1997, where I’ve been ever since. It was an interesting transition. In 2002 my first child was born and I finally “got” what board books were for. Now I’ve got 20 children (OK, only three, but isn’t it true that there’s a direct relationship between the number of children you have to the likelihood of getting your own reality show?) and I spend a lot of time with various combinations of them draped over me reading books. My tastes run more towards really dark, depressing YA, but I can read the hell out of a Little Critter book when the occasion arises.
Kate – I was destined to spend my life surrounded by books–my parents read to us and with us, and we were always lucky enough to have a great library that we could walk to. I spent so much time at the library I was eventually encouraged to become a volunteer which had me spending many hours shelving books and leading summer vacation story hours. Kudos to our librarian Mrs. Eckert who always let me read anything I wanted and often let me have first crack at the new arrivals.
After college I ended up with two-part time jobs, one in a bakery the other in a bookstore–the bookstore offered a full-time job first (though I do still bake), and after a few years of bookselling I became a publisher’s rep selling grown-up books, and eventually finding my rightful place selling children’s books for Random House.
Nic – Equal Opportunity Reader. Creative Thinker. Nature Enthusiast. Imaginative Cook. Difference Maker. Often Caught Dancing.
Sarah N. – S is for my new roots in the South; A is for my insatiable appetite for good books; R is for my rewarding job as a Random House sales rep; A is for my astounding aptitude for alliteration; H is for my other hobbies: travel, food, family, the outdoors, and dogs (all things I love to read about too); and N is to distinguish myself from the other Sarah!
Sarah – Sarah loves a good picture book having started her own books at the age of 3 by drawing in her parent’s collection of Reader’s Digest Condensed Books.
She transitioned through the late 60’s and early 70’s sporadically attending 3 colleges then traveling to Turkey, Iran, and briefly living in Yugoslavia while “finding” herself. Having found herself in the 1980’s, she graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in English Lit resulting in a job at the Ben Jonson Restaurant involving a serving wench uniform. Her career continued as a media escort specializing in children’s authors on book tour in the SF/Bay Area for over 10 years, 2 years organizing writer’s conferences, 2 more years event coordinating and children’s book buying for an indie store in San Mateo before becoming a book rep. Her literary taste is eclectic and she still loves a good picture book but no longer draws in books.
Tim – Who can complain about a career devoted to reading a boatload full of books of all types and sharing his passion with like-minded persons! That has been my working life these past 30 or so years, first as an independent bookseller in the SF Bay Area and Chicago–and for most of career, as a publisher rep at Random House. When I explain to my friends “I was an adult rep for many years and now I’m a kid’s rep” it sounds to them as if I’ve reverted back to some kind of childhood state. In some sense, I have, but, in fact, I represent kid’s books in the Midwest region–going on 4 years now, and I absolutely love it. I consider my job and the booksellers who sell kid’s books doing valuable work by introducing all sorts of wonderful books to the youngest of readers and helping them develop, we hope, a lifelong love. My passions are widespread, but I tend to gravitate to several genres for the middle-grade or young adult reader: historical, futuristic or dystopian, coming-of-age, social issue-driven and the downright quirky. I am fanatical about quality writing that rings true. Finally, as a dad of 18+ years, I never get tired talking up many of the classics I read to my daughter when she was young – Seuss, Lionni etc. and picture books of all kinds – with exquisite illustrations and the simpler the text the better.