As far back as I can remember, I have loved books. Before starting kindergarten, I learned to read by listening to read-along records on a plastic toy record player. My mother would take my sisters and me to the Bookmobile every week, and sometimes, as a special treat, to the large public library in downtown Reno, Nevada. It has multiple floors around a central atrium and plants everywhere you look, with the faint sound of waterfalls throughout. We would all choose a stack of books, head home, and sit down to read right then. (I still love to do that!)
After excelling in the language arts throughout my school years, in 1991 I earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Oregon State University in Corvallis. During my studies I worked as a Writing Assistant/Peer Tutor at the Writing Center, where I helped fellow students from freshmen to Ph.D. candidates develop their writing. I also interned at Calyx, an independent journal of art and literature, which introduced me to publication production. I soon landed in California and took a couple of copyediting and proofreading courses through the UC Berkeley Extension program, practically memorized the Chicago Manual of Style, and did a bit of freelance work on college textbooks, which led me to an entry level job as a Production Assistant at Brooks/Cole Publishing Company in the Monterey Bay area (now an imprint of Cengage Learning). I loved the production department. After a lifetime of loving books, I was helping to make them—and actually using my English degree!
After a couple of promotions, I became responsible for hiring and managing the various freelancers involved in bookmaking, along with approving designs for book covers and interiors. I found an introductory graphic design night class, hoping it would help me better evaluate the various designs that came across my desk. That class turned into a four-year-long education in the now defunct Graphic Design and Visual Communication program through UC Santa Cruz Extension. Seeing the big visual picture of a project helped me coordinate its parts more efficiently and speak with more authority about the decisions I made.
By 2001, I was a supervisor of the production department and, after passing my portfolio review, had completed my design education. I designed a couple of texts while on staff, but Brooks/Cole closed the Pacific Grove office in 2002, and I went out on my own, armed with great professional relationships and a strong sense of budget, schedule, and how to maneuver approvals through many levels of management!
In the years since I’ve worked for a variety of clients doing all sorts of design work, from logos and posters and menus to direct mail and Facebook banners, some of which you’ll see on this website. My favorite projects are text-heavy: newsletters, information sheets . . . above all, books. I love making sure all the details are in place, whether I am copyediting, proofreading, designing, or typesetting. Over the years I’ve stayed firmly in the “growth mindset” of continuing education, seeking out online and classroom opportunities to learn about web design, e-book creation, social media, and many different software programs. I've studied the art of indexing, completing the prestigious UC Berkeley course in 2017. I'm a paid member of the American Society for Indexing (ASI) and the Publishing Professionals Network (PPN).
I live on the central California coast with my husband, two teenage sons, and a black cat/office assistant named Catalina, and I feel so lucky that I get to see the ocean every day.
I would love to hear about your project and how I might help you with it. Drop me a line!