How long have you been at Algonquin?
Yikes, 14 years now, if you count my first year as an unpaid intern.
What is your favorite part of your job?
Actually, there are two parts–when I succeed at acquiring a manuscript that I love, knowing that we’ll be publishing it. That’s really an exhilarating feeling, especially if I’ve been competing with other houses to get it. And then when we get to the end of the long process of editing and production, and the finished book arrives and I hold it in my hands–it’s real!–and I mail that first copy to the writer. I love that moment too. Say all you want about the convenience of electronic books, but nothing for me matches the feel of a real book with bound pages and a gorgeous jacket.
What book have you read recently that you would recommend to our readers?
Olive Kitteridge. Novels in stories are hard to pull off, I think, but somehow this is absolutely the right form for this book. And Elizabeth Strout writes so sensitively about this woman that even though Olive isn’t always likable, she’s sympathetic. I think that’s a real feat.
And since it’s just out, I have to recommend Lauren Grodstein‘s A Friend of the Family, which I am so excited to publish. I’m so heartened to see all the reviews say what we all knew here, that this is an irresistible book, or as USA Today said, “spot on in its depiction of affection and jealousy among longtime friends.”
What do you like to do when you aren’t at Algonquin?
Figure out ways to keep my cat from mauling all of my furniture. And try to propel my dog Sheila to actually walk forward on a walk. As Wendy Brenner once said, my animals are “complicated.” Also, I like to run long distances or ride my bike long distances–two things that allow me to eat as much as I want to eat. Which is quite a lot.
What is your favorite Thanksgiving food?
Why would I only want one thing? The whole plate, please.
To make sure that our representation of Kathy is well-rounded, here are some other fun facts, straight from her co-workers (who would never lie).
- Kathy is 4’8” and played Bilbo Baggins in her high school play. She also was an extra in all three of the Lord of the Rings movies.
- Kathy is equal parts Greek, Italian, and Finnish.
- Kathy is a great cook. (She brought homemade pimento cheese to share today!)
- Kathy has published many books under the pen name Susan Polis Schultz.
- Kathy has an unusually high tolerance for root beer Dum-Dums.
- Recently, Kathy completed the two-day, 175 mile Bike MS
- Kathy has a white oval sticker on her car that says “26.2”. “Has anyone heard of this country?” Brunson asks. “Is it where fit people vacation?”
- Lastly, in the pie vs. cake debate, Kathy fully supports pie.
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