Monday, June 16, 2008

Introducing. . .Ashley Casteel

Name: Ashley Nuzzi (soon-to-be Casteel)

What is your job title/position at Barbour: Assistant Managing Editor

What are your responsibilities with your assignment: My job mostly entails a lot of reviewing (of proofreading tests, proofreading corrections, typesetting corrections, author corrections, etc). I also send galley copies to proofreaders and authors and retrieve the mail everyday (which is always an adventure :-) ). In mid-July I’ll be in charge of assigning projects to proofreaders too.

Tell us a little bit about when/how you came to work at Barbour: After surviving a series of brutal summer jobs dog-sitting, selling fireworks, painting semi-trucks, and cleaning hotel rooms, I stumbled upon a Writer’s Digest article that made reference to Barbour. Up until that point, I hadn’t realized there was a prominent publishing company in Tuscarawas County, so I jumped at the chance to work here when the opportunity suddenly arose a few weeks before I graduated college. I’ve been working at Barbour for a little over a week now, and my only regret is that I wasn’t able to work here sooner!

What has been the most pleasant surprise in your new job assignment: I definitely love Taco Bell Mondays and Spanish soap opera Thursdays. Everyone here has been so friendly and fun to work with. Even the proofreaders and authors have been really welcoming and open to my arrival. I feel like I’ve been adopted into a big happy family J.

What is your least favorite task among your job responsibilities: I really enjoy everything about my job, but if I had to pick a least-favorite task it would probably have to be reviewing e-proofs. I’m an old-fashioned gal and like seeing all the manual corrections in the margins. Every proofreader has a different style, and that’s fun to pick up on.

Have you had any previous experience in the publishing/writing fields? I gained a lot of experience while I attended Hiram College as an English/Creative Writing major. My junior year, I co-edited a collection of non-fiction essays that was published last December. I also copyedited the student newspaper for three years, and did some online freelance writing on the side. Some of my poems and short stories have been published in a few different literary reviews as well.

What project is consuming your energies this week? Mostly just familiarizing myself with the different processes my job entails. I also received my first in-house assignment for a perpetual calendar last week, so that’s been fun to work on too.

Do you ever find time to read for pleasure? If so, what book/s have you read recently? I love to read just about anything that’s kind of quirky and inventive. My all time favorite author is Jonathan Safran Foer. One of my goals in life is to convince everyone in the world to read Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. (Really, you should read it.) I also really enjoyed The People of Paper by Salvador Plascencia, and I just finished a great biography on Harper Lee. Right now I’m about a third of the way through Water for Elephants by Sarah Gruen, and next on my list is a collection of Odes by Pablo Neruda.

Can you tell us briefly about your family and your life outside of Barbour’s walls? Right now I live at home with my parents, two younger sisters (Gabby and Kathy), and cat (Sylvester), but I’m getting married at the end of June and will be moving into my fiancĂ©’s apartment. Wedding planning has been gradually consuming my life for the past year and a half, but Brett (my awesome fiancĂ©) has been a big help. We’ve been engaged for four years and have been dating for almost eight. Aside from Brett and my job and my family, I also love penguins, cooking, camping, garage sales, and taking lots of photographs.

What church do you attend? I go to West Union Methodist church with Brett and his family. It’s the church Brett grew up in, and I love it because it’s so welcoming and cozy.

Do you have a favorite quote that motivates you these days? Nothing especially motivating, but there’s one quote by Rose Lane Wilder that I like to keep near my writing desk at home: “Writing fiction is an endless and always defeated effort to capture some quality of life without killing it.”


Jennifer Johnson said...

Welcome to Barbour, Ashley! I've been writing for Heartsong Presents for a few years now. I had the opportunity to visit Barbour with my three daughters last year. Everyone does seem to be very encouraging and inviting. I'm sure it's a great place to work.

Enjoy your last few weeks with your parents and sisters. I dread the day when my first leaves the nest. My girls are 16, 14, and 10. I pray you'll have a wonderful wedding! :-D

CherryBlossomMJ said...

*sigh* now that's a job that I would love to have!

I'm sure after the years you are really looking forward to your wedding. I wish you the best of blessings!


Mary Connealy said...

Ashley, I spent one summer painting semi trucks. I did more than that though. I was the odd job girl and I filled in for who ever was on vacation, on the hydraulic machines that were lethal. I also mowed the lawn and painted the employee lunch room.

I had to take the ceiling tiles out and send them to the painting area to be spray painted and then paint the metal grid that held them up. White tiles, black grid, very lovely.
Vera Wang couldn't have come up with anything better.

HOWEVER, when I'd tilt those ceiling tiles to get them lifted out of the grid.......


those dots are a chance for you to brace yourself for the coming horror
there aren't enough dots in the world so I'll go ahead.
DEAD MICE would fall out of the insulation above the tiles and RAIN DOWN ON MY HEAD.

I now have a book which comes very close to fully capturing my horror.
Of Mice and Murder, coming soon from Heartsong PResents Mysteries.

Debby Mayne said...

Welcome, Ashley! Congrats on both the new job and your upcoming wedding! I know how daunting wedding plans can be. My older daughter Alison got married 2-1/2 years ago, and planning for it was a full-time job.

Janet Spaeth said...

Good to meet you, Ashley!

Love the Rose Wilder Lane quote--she was an incredible woman, too!

Lynette Sowell said...

Hey, welcome to Barbour! :) Your description of the office atmosphere made me miss working in a real office. And that's not something I miss very often. At all! Someone needs to 'fess up about what Spanish soap opera Thursdays are.

And congratulations on your upcoming wedding. Enjoy these fun, busy days. :)

Rhonda said...

Welcome Ashley! I'm impressed with your long engagement... you sound like my husband and I. We have been married 25 years this year and I believe we've lasted this long because we knew each other for years before we got married. That and we both love the Lord above all else. I'm praying your wedding is beautiful and long lasting. :D

ashley casteel said...

Hi everyone!
Thank you so much for the warm welcome and kind wedding wishes! (We're having an outdoor ceremony, so please pray for sunshine on the 28th!) It's been great getting to know you all through your comments, and I'm really looking forward to working with many of you in the near future. My plan is to stay at Barbour for as long as they'll have me (hopefully forever:), so I'm thrilled to have such a great bunch of writers and proofers to collaborate with.

Many Blessings!

ashley casteel said...

PS--Mary definitely wins the award for most terrible summer job EVER. I had to paint ceilings at the hotel I worked at too, but I certainly never had to deal with any cascades of mice--eek!!

(Congratulations on your recent FHL finalist nomination too, Mary!)

Mary Connealy said...

Thanks, Ashley. I suppose a job like that prepares you for anything, huh?

Susan Page Davis said...

Welcome, Ashley! You did a great job getting the galleys through to me and Megan, even though my mailbox was full! I can tell you know how to roll with the punches.