We thought it would be nice to introduce you to the Algonquin staff and to pull back the curtain on what we do on a daily basis. First up in our series of Staff Spotlights is Brunson Hoole, our distinguished Managing Editor. To start, a brief interview with Brunson himself.
How long have you been working at Algonquin?
Almost eight years.
What is your favorite part of your job?
All of it! It’s all wonderful! (You never know who might be reading.) Although I do love it when the flurry of promotional materials slows down enough to allow for working on the actual books. I especially love copyediting anything over 1,000 pages.
What bands are you in? Is there a Web site?
I play drums and sing backup in two: The Breaks, original alternative rock with something of a 1980s vibe and a very generic name, and See No Weevil. The Breaks have a new record (Hot Diamonds–I know . . . we should think of better names) coming out in October. We thought of renaming the band, but one member had four friends who were real fans, and apparently these people would have been confused by a name change. The Breaks have some space on the ReverbNation Web site (http://www.reverbnation.com/thebreaksofpittsboro). See No Weevil tends toward obscure covers of anything from New Orleans stuff to Western swing, but we have some originals, too. We had a member who wanted to call the band Chappy Hill (we live in Chapel Hill). I said only if we played “I Left My Heart in Sammy Francisco.” Feelings were hurt. (The band-name thing is much trickier than book titles.) The Web site is www.seenoweevil.com; I had nothing to do with it, so it’s kind of neat.
What is your favorite breakfast cereal?
I would never pour milk on Tater Tots.
What superhero power do you wish that you had?
I think you’re supposed to say, “I’m not supposed to tell you,” which implies that you have superpowers, but I’ll be honest and admit that I wish I could type faster with more accuracy.
What is the last book that you read that you would recommend to our readers?
THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS. I hadn’t looked at this book since about sixth grade, but I read it twice this summer. I was so taken with the language and the amazing descriptions–of weather, landscape, emotion–that I read it to my kids after I’d finished it the first time. It really captures feelings of yearning; the book has soul. Plus, it has an intervention scene!
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Somewhere nice. I wouldn’t even mind if I had to cook and clean up.
What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
Just about anything.
And to be sure that we presented a multi-sided introduction to Brunson, here are some more fun facts:
- He is preparing a dissertation on bread, the appropriate size of bread holes, and how to achieve the perfect “crumb.” Wait, that’s William Alexander (see 52 LOAVES). Never mind.
- He is reportedly in about forty-five different active bands, although Brunson himself has only reported two. (Come back next week when we unearth the hidden bands . . . )
- Before Algonquin, he worked as a jerk . . . a soda jerk.
- His car serves as a habitat for field mice and other wild animals. A quick trip to the parking lot yielded no Bambi sightings . . . this time.
- He is the Official Office Spider Catcher (catcher, not killer).
- He is also the premiere “surprise” birthday gathering speakerphone announcer.
- Christina, his next-door office-mate, claims that he likes to whistle.
- She is also envious of his hat collection