Episode 25: How We Broke Into Publishing!
Grace and Alvina record a live podcast for the Simmons Institute! This is part one of their talk.
Grace and Alvina catch up on each other’s weeks. Grace talks about working on the cover to her prequel novel to Mulan. Alvina talks about an incident in her office that involves “non-essential employees.”
Grace thanks the Michelson Gallery for framing and hanging her art for her gallery show “Make Way for Dumplings.”
They take a trip down memory lane and each share how they both into publishing.
Alvina’s journey includes majoring in mass communications, then moving to Taipei to study Mandarin and stall for time. While there, a friend said to her, “You’re always reading, have you ever considered book publishing?” She moves back to the states, became a bookseller at Barnes & Noble, moves to Boston (and became roommates with Grace!) did internships at Charlesbridge Publishing and the Horn Book Guide, and then lands a job as an editorial assistant at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, which was based in Boston at the time.
Grace’s journey includes attending the Rhode Island School of Design, and originally wanted to create ornate, European-influenced fairy tale art, but then switching her art style when studying in Rome, Italy, where she realized she wants to discover her own voice and vision. She started painting her family, and when she returned to the States started sending out sample postcards to editors and art directors. Her full-time jobs include typing beer menus, working at a bookstore, and working at a gift company designing confetti and T-shirts! She got laid off from that job, and used the severance to go to NYC and visit publishers to show her portfolio. She eventually received a call from an editor about a sample postcard who asked for a story based on the art, which became The Ugly Vegetables, her first published book!
Books mentioned in this episode: