Today, we are excited to share with you the seventh in our series of posts highlighting members of the Barefoot Books team. Beth Hancock, Publishing Assistant, spends her days editing, project managing, and handling PR in the UK. Beth’s versatile role here at Barefoot Books always keeps her on her toes. Read on to learn more about Beth and her work at Barefoot Books!

What is your most vivid childhood memory?

Most of my childhood was spent in the lovely Cotswolds countryside, so the majority of my memories are of playing with the children next door; building tree-houses and ‘dens’; and being allowed to sledge to school through the fields when it snowed. We had a huge veg plot in our garden and used to grow all sorts of vegetables. One of my favourite pictures of me as a little girl is this one… Yes, that is a real carrot!

What prompted you to join Barefoot Books and how did you get to your current position?

I was a complete book-worm when I was small and I studied English Literature at university, so when an opportunity for an Editorial Intern at Barefoot Books came up in January 2011, I jumped at the chance. Though the internship was initially just for 3 months I fell in love with Barefoot Books and managed to persuade them to keep me! I’ve been here in a variety of roles ever since. After interning I took a permanent position as Editorial Assistant; generally helping out the content development team (those of us that make the books). But my job has evolved and now, as Publishing Assistant, I juggle being an editor and project managing book projects with looking after our UK PR including book reviews, awards and festivals.

How would you describe your role? What does a typical day include?

There isn’t really a ‘typical’ day in my job! Some days are spent doing what the other Barefoot Books editors do: proofing manuscripts, overseeing illustrations for new books, checking the proofs that we receive before the book is printed and generally ensuring our new books are as wonderful as possible. But other days can be totally different – talking to people about plans for literature festival events, collating book reviews (LOTS of posting!) and writing up blurbs for award submissions. When our gorgeous book The Gift was shortlisted for the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2012 I was lucky enough to attend the awards ceremony with the illustrator Rob Ryan – that was a pretty exciting day!

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

This last year I’ve moved into a gorgeous little house with two of my closest friends. We have such a laugh at home that much of my spare time is just spent hanging out there; cooking (one of my favourite things), getting absorbed into TV series and having our friends over for dinner and drinks. Recently though I’ve started swimming, which I love, so I’d say that’s my main hobby. And reading, of course!

What books are at your bedside?

I’m currently reading Miranda Hart’s book Is It Just Me? which is hilariously funny. My best friend and I are massive fans of her TV show (we effortlessly relate to her clumsy and ridiculous life!) so I’m very much enjoying that. On a slightly more literary note, I have just finished listening to Pride and Prejudice on audio CD in my car, which despite having read it a long time ago still continues to be utterly absorbing – a very good way of passing the time on my commute!

If you could pick one theme for Barefoot to turn into a book, what would it be?

That’s a really tricky question… We do such a diverse range of books about all sorts of different and wonderful things that it’s hard to pin something down. I’m fascinated by the Arctic, but we already have the amazing Inuk Quartet books that explore that. I think I’d like to do a picture book/singalong about cowboys – that would be really good fun! We’re also working on a wordless book right now and although I’m someone who loves words so much, I think it’s going to be a new favourite… watch this space!

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