How is your Monday treating you? How about a peek behind the scenes at HMH with this week’s Meet Us Monday staff survey? Get to know Kevin Logan!
1. What do you do here at HMH? Well, my official title is ‘Senior Business Operations Analyst’, but I like to think that I’m the cottage cheese like paste from elementary school that helps hold this place together. I am usually mining and/or coordinating data – I build and run sales reports, create seasonal order forms, oversee our in-house sampling program, and manage all of the division’s bindery shipments. I’m also a liaison between customer service and our sales/marketing department and I get to present the upcoming frontlist books to our Customer Service team in Orlando.
2. What is your favorite HMH book of all time? I’m a huge Paul Theroux fan. In fact, my parents had his books on the family living room bookshelves when I was growing up (and I’ve been at HMH for 23 years now); if I had to pick a favorite it would probably be Hotel Honolulu. Great writing (that’s a given), eccentric and often down on their luck characters, and you get to experience the seedier side of the island paradise….what more can you ask for? I love all of his travel writing, too; especially those books in which he takes us along on his exotic (and not so exotic) train adventures.
3. What is the last non-HMH book that you read? Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco Stork, a fantastic YA novel about a teen with high functioning autism/Asperger’s Syndrome, who goes to work in his father’s law firm for the summer and learns some amazing lessons about life, love, and making life altering moral choices in the so called “real world”. (published by Arthur Levine books - a Scholastic imprint)
4. What’s your favorite at-work diversion? Is this some sort of a trap?
5. Can you share a little anecdote about the office? Wow. From which decade? It’s always fun when well-known authors visit the office. Meeting Stephen King (I was surprised that he went by ‘Steve’) when he was guest editor of the Best American Short Stories was a thrill for me personally, since The Shining was the first real adult title I read at age 14. Plus I loved him in ‘Creepshow’.
Another memory that jumps out at me is meeting famed economist John Kenneth Galbraith, who was actually in the ‘John Kenneth Galbraith conference room’ here in Boston, while signing copies of one of his economics masterpieces. For such a seemingly serious and straight laced economist, he had on one of the wildest neckties that I’ve ever seen. It put even the most extravagant Jerry Garcia ties to shame. And boy was he tall.
6. What was the last book you read that wasn’t set in the U.S.? Happy Isles of Oceania (yep, Paul Theroux) in which he paddles in his kayak around pacific islands like Fiji and Vanuatu (before ‘Survivor’ made it hip to do so).
7. What’s your biggest food guilty pleasure? Well, there are these deep fried oreos that you can get at Lake Compounce amusement park in Bristol, CT.
8. If you could jump into an HMH book…
a. Lord of the Rings – which character would you be? Do I have to be one of the actual fellowship? I think I’d prefer being an extra, sipping a nice mug of ale in the Prancing Pony in Bree, while engaging in some hobbit watching.
b. Curious George – which adventure would you go on? Curious George Takes a Job. I had this book when I was a toddler, and I always wanted to get at that big pot of spaghetti.
c. Best American – which one and why? Travel – so many amazing experiences to be had in those pages.
d. Life of Pi – which animal on the raft would you be? Well, the Bengal tiger survives, right?
e. A cookbook – which one best suits your foodie dreams? Aquavit by Marcus Samuelsson. Even though I’m now a Logan, we were originally Lofgrens from Sweden (name change at Ellis Island), so getting in touch with my Swedish roots appeals to me. The IKEA meatballs are good and all, but the recipes in Aquavit are the real Swedish deal.
f. Peterson Field Guides – which creature would you be? From the Field Guide to the Birds of North America - a Roseate spoonbill, ideally roosting in a mangrove tree somewhere on Sanibel Island.