Wednesday, March 5, 2014

New Project Manager

Hello Beardies,

Passion, dedication, and hard work often go unnoticed and under-appreciated in everyday life, but such is not the case on The Bearded Scribe.  Since its inception a little over two years ago, our blog has grown, matured, and its scope and focus widened.  With its ever-growing scope, however, so grows the demands of its dedicated and busy Executive Editor—yep, that's me!

Shortly after its founding, I could no longer ignore the insight and passion of Ms. Elizabeth Norton, one of the blog's biggest fans and heralders, and so I asked her to join the team. Not much longer after that, Beardies, I had to acknowledge Elizabeth's dedication, passion, and hard work by asking her to join the Editorial Staff as my Assistant Editor.  I'm honored that she accepted.

The time has come, yet again, to acknowledge the hard work and passion of another dedicated Contributor, and today I have an exciting announcement—exciting for me, and hopefully for the subject of this post.  After weeks of planning (and still more to come), the Editorial staff has grown.  Our very own Autumn Jones has agreed to take on the title of Project Manager.  She will be working closely with Elizabeth and me, helping to organize the various tours featured on the blog.

I hope you all will join me in thanking and congratulating her! :)

And, in the meantime, you can learn more about our very own Autumn Jones in our quaint-but-insightful interview below.


One-on-One with Project Manager Autumn Jones...

Joshua Mercier: When did your love affair with books begin?
Autumn Jones: My earliest memories involve books and reading so I guess you can say I have always loved books. There are so many photos of me as a small child surrounded with books, someone reading to me, or me curled up with my nose in a book. I’m eternally grateful to my parents and elementary school teachers who encouraged and shared their love of reading with me.

Autumn's Grandmother reading The Big Red Apple to her.
Joshua Mercier: Which Speculative Fiction title was the one that got you hooked to the genre?
Autumn Jones: It’s a toss-up between The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe or A Wrinkle In Time. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is the first book I remember reading multiple times, so if I had to pick one, I guess that’s the winner.

Joshua Mercier: Do you have an absolute favorite speculative book?
Autumn Jones: That’s kind of like asking me which of my children is my favorite. I also have a hard time hammering down a favorite because it seems to be changing all the time. Currently, I’m digging The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer.

Joshua Mercier: An absolute favorite non-speculative title?
Autumn Jones: Again with the favoritism?! Hmmm. Either The Great Gatsby or To Kill A Mockingbird.

Joshua Mercier: A favorite author?
Autumn Jones: John Steinbeck. Jane Austen. Beverly Cleary. Stephen King.

Joshua Mercier: I've met one of the four of the above—as a Maine-iac, can you guess which? LOL!
Anywho... The Bearded Scribe is all about Speculative Fiction, which encompasses several sub-genres. Which sub-genre(s), would you say, are your favorite(s) to read?
Autumn Jones: Dystopian, hands down, is my favorite. I also really enjoy urban, dark and epic fantasy. I especially enjoy those genres when they are in a YA book.

Joshua Mercier: I know you're a television & movie fan, too. What are some of your favorite speculative shows and movies?
Autumn Jones: I’m a huge TV junkie. In my teenaged years I loved The X-Files. I watched Lost from the very beginning all the way to the disappointing ending. I may or may not also have a strange obsession with Twin Peaks and Quantum Leap. As far as movies, I’m borderline ashamed to say, I watch Minority Report on a regular basis.

Joshua Mercier: Nothing wrong with Minority Report. And I, too, am an X-Filephile.  (I should trademark that nickname!)  Besides reading and film, what are some of your other hobbies?
Autumn Jones: I love to cook and enjoy experimenting with new foods and flavors. I’m also pretty crafty. Maybe I should have just said Pinterest is my hobby.

Joshua Mercier: I know you're a voracious reader...I'm curious—are you are writer, too?
Autumn Jones: If you count mommy blogging for a few years and keeping a journal then, yes. Otherwise I’m just a big wanna-be who jots down ideas but never follows through. If I were to be a writer I’d want to write my semi-fictional, autobiography (because one should never let the truth get in the way of a good story). The working title is, How Working for the Government Ruined My Life and Other Happy Tales.

Joshua Mercier: If you could have dinner with three people—dead, alive, or any combination—who would you choose and why?
Autumn Jones: What will be served at this dinner? That would be helpful to know when picking. I will just assume you can pick between beef, chicken or fish, like a classy wedding. Um...Lee Harvey Oswald because I NEED to know if he was the one who killed Kennedy or if there were others involved. Former President Gerald R. Ford because I want to know about the whole Nixon pardon thing and other questionable decisions he made while serving as president. He’s also from my hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan, so maybe we could gossip about that. It would be fun to argue about our political differences, because nothing makes a dinner party more enjoyable than contentious, political arguments. Lastly, Tina Fey, which I don’t think needs any explanation. I love her. We’ll also need someone to lighten up what is kind of a heavy, borderline-boring-to-most party.

Joshua Mercier: Who is your favorite literary hero/heroine? Why?
Autumn Jones: I’m on Team Katniss right now. I dig The Girl on Fire. Yeah, she can be whiney and can’t make up her mind about boys, but I try and be a little forgiving given the whole Hunger Game survival x2 thing. Maybe it’s the brooding revolutionist in me, but I can really relate to Katniss and her rebel rousing ways. She’s fearless, loyal, family-centric, intelligent,0- and a survivor.

Joshua Mercier: Favorite literary villain? Why?
Autumn Jones: Police Inspector Javert from Les MisĂ©rables. Poor, poor Javert. He’s the kind of character I love to hate. He’s obsessed with Jean Valjean and so in love with justice and being right. While being the world’s #1 stalker, he turns a blind eye to all the good Valjean has done and lingers over the bad. Poor Javert just can’t reconcile his own feelings of justice and mercy after Valjean spares him on the barricade. That ultimately leads to Javert ending his own life. To me, Javert is the perfect antagonist around.

Joshua Mercier: It's rather funny you mention Javert.  According to Elizabeth, and referring to the Musical, I sing a mean rendition of his hit, Stars.  But enough of that.  Is there a book or story for which you'd like to re-write the ending? What is it and how would you re-write it?
Autumn Jones: I’m a sucker for a happy ending. I’d re-write most books that have terrible, tragic endings to make them happy, for sure. (I’m looking at you Veronica Roth…cough…cough…Allegiant…cough.)

Joshua Mercier: Do you have anything else you'd like to share with the readers that I have not asked you?
Autumn Jones: Ummm…I don’t think anyone cares about my usual Starbucks order (venti, skinny cinnamon-dolce latte) or the color of my car (blue). I’m pretty sure no one will care that I spontaneously break out into show-tunes either. So, I think we’re good here. Thank you!
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