We are excited to continue our Meet the Boydell Team series with our newest team member: Christy Beale. Christy has joined us as Assistant Production Editor in our UK office. You can find past Boydell Team interviews here.
What led you to your current role at Boydell & Brewer?
During my time at university I had this vague notion that I might want to work in publishing, without really knowing much about the industry and what several job titles meant. Studying languages, the general consensus among my family and friends was that the ‘obvious’ route to take after graduating would be teaching (and having taught English abroad to Italian teenagers as part of my degree, this was not something I was keen to do again in a hurry!). Books and reading have always been my main passion, and the chance to work on them, particularly with the added bonus of the creative component of typesetting, meant that production massively appealed to me. After a brief stint interning for an independent trade publisher in London, I found the job listing for my role on the IPG and jumped at the opportunity!
What’s the best day you’ve ever had at work?
I think it is still early days to answer this one… I have only been here for a month and am yet to experience the satisfaction of seeing a book that I have worked on arrive in the office fully formed, which I imagine is a great feeling. That being said every day has been wonderful in its own way, being part of a small impassioned team and guiding books through their journey to publication. Nick has also brought in baked goods at least three times since I started, so that’s up there…
Briefly outline a normal working day for you.
A normal day for me starts with checking emails, then could involve anything from preparing manuscripts to send to copyeditors, to typesetting, liaising with editors and authors, sending out proofs, implementing or checking other colleagues’ manuscript corrections, or a combination of all of this.
What’s the view from your desk?
In true pandemic style, the view directly in front of my desk currently is a Perspex screen with the lovely smiling faces of Lizzie, Nick and Emily behind. It has been surreal entering an office environment with vaguely dystopian overtones of protective screens and masks aplenty, but I am very grateful that we have been able to work in-person.
What are you currently reading?
I am currently reading Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters, which was recently longlisted for this year’s Women’s Prize for Fiction. It’s the smartest and most unique debut I’ve read in a long time, interrogating modern motherhood from a trans perspective, and I hope its success will inspire greater trans representation in mainstream publishing.
What’s your beverage of choice?
At work, black coffee. At the weekend, wine.
If you could choose a book for us to publish on ANY subject, what would it be?
Italian cinema – my dissertation broadly explored feminism within contemporary Italian film comedy and a large part of it focused on the subgenre of the cinepanettone (literally: ‘panettone-movie’, which are a set of farcical comedy films released over the Christmas period), for which I found surprisingly little academic commentary! A bit niche, but younger me definitely would’ve appreciated an extra source or two on this topic.
What’s your favourite historical novel, film or play?
Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys, or Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Quartet.
You can choose up to four people from history to join your dinner party: who are they?
A fairly strange lineup, but I’d have to invite Queen Elizabeth I, Shakespeare, James Baldwin and Robin Williams.