Boydell & Brewer is a small company with a big heart. Our different departments work together to ensure that our authors and editors receive the best possible service and we are able to produce high quality publications that we are extremely proud of.
So who are the team behind Boydell & Brewer? We are excited to be able to share with you some insight into the individuals that make up our publishing company. From editorial to pre-press, marketing to customer service, follow our blog in the next few months and get to know the people behind the emails.
First up, let us introduce you to Emily Champion, assistant production editor, pre-press department.
What led you to your current role at Boydell & Brewer?
I think a great deal of luck! I was looking for a job in publishing but was uncertain what role would suit me best or even what the various job titles actually meant. It was only when the role of Pre-Press was explained to me during my interview that I realised it was just what I was looking for.
What’s the absolute best part of your job?
Nothing has yet topped seeing the hard copy of a book that I have worked on arriving in the office. Especially one that has had a particularly arduous journey through Pre-Press. It is a proud moment to look on the final result once all the obstacles have been overcome, the problems solved and the beautiful bundle of words sits there, all neat and enticing within a gorgeous cover.
Briefly outline a normal working day for you.
I usually check what words of wisdom my calendar has to offer me for the day, run through the inbox and update the to-do list and then get cracking! We have regular department meetings to check on the progress of each book alongside fortnightly meetings with editorial and production. Otherwise it is a daily juggle of the various titles I am responsible for, punctuated with tea-drinking and consultations with colleagues.
What’s the best thing on your desk?
I have a handmade leather notebook on my desk in which I record any new discoveries I make or nuggets of knowledge I pick up day to day. Currently recorded are newly-learned terms such as “Urtext” (in music a term referring to the oldest and most respected version, usually a manuscript in the composer’s own hand), wisdom picked up from colleagues (e.g. your second cousin shares your great-grandparents) and fabulous character names that might one day suit a distinguished cat, such as Sir John Pennydub (from Middleton’s The Puritaine Widdow).
What are you currently reading?
I am just finishing The Three Body Problem by Liu Cixin, it is a sci-fi novel in translation and is incredibly physics focussed. I do enjoy science fiction but I must admit to finding the physics and mathematical theories involved in this one pretty difficult to wrap my brain around. That being said… I have now reached the final pages; the Trisolarans are on route to earth and I might just be hooked! Bring on the rest of the trilogy!
What’s your beverage of choice?
Earl grey tea. Or a GnT. Depending on the availability of the gin.
What’s one Boydell book that you’ve worked on?
The first Festschrift that I worked on was Refashioning Medieval and Early Modern Dress: A Tribute to Robin Netherton which is a delightful volume containing almost fifty images, the majority of which are in colour. It took a good deal of preparation but the images frequently brightened my day. I am particularly fond of the entirely black and yellow striped number worn by the slightly embarrassed chap on the front cover. I might suggest that we come dressed as one of our books for World Book Day next year just so I can rock that outfit myself …
What’s your favourite historical novel, film or play?
My goodness, there are so very many to choose from! I am going to have to go with Shakespeare’s Henry IV Part 1. The version in the BBC’s Hollow Crown series is particularly good but I have also seen some spectacular female actors play Henry IV, Prince Hal and Hotspur. Michelle Terry was fantastic in the Globe’s recent Henriad and Phylldia Lloyd’s all-female production at the Donmar was stunning. In fact, I have a signed copy of Harriet Walter’s Brutus and Other Heroines sitting on my bedside table. Since being in an all-female Coriolanus at university I love seeing women interpreting historically male roles, whether the character’s gender is switched or not.