Meet a Lerner: Kai Marshall

Meet Kai Marshall, one of our marketing interns!

1. What brings you to Lerner?

I’m in my last semester of undergrad at the University of Minnesota, and I’m majoring in English and GSD (German, Scandinavian, and Dutch). I’ve always been interested in publishing and working with books in general. When I saw a posting for Lerner’s marketing internship in the English major newsletter, I knew I had to apply. Children’s and Young Adult literature are my absolute favorite genres, so I was thrilled with the idea of working with a publisher of K-12 books. As for where I want to end up, I hope I can continue on this track and find a career in the book industry, wherever that takes me.

2. Describe a day in the life of a marketing intern.

Every day starts out with sorting through the emails I have accrued since I left the office. I organize these messages and do any tasks that need my immediate attention. Some of my regular tasks include sending out complimentary copies of books to reviewers, proofing parts of the upcoming catalog, shelving books for our office libraries, and updating social media accounts. I particularly enjoy designing images on Canva for use on social media. Every so often I also have the chance to read one of our upcoming books and write a discussion guide on it, which might be every English major’s dream job. It’s nice to have a variety of projects to work on!

3. What are you reading now?

Let’s see… I usually read a few books at a time, so stick with me here. I’m reading an advance copy of South of Sunshine, a coming-out story set in Tennessee; Sex & Violence by Carrie Mesrobian, one of Lerner’s backlist titles; Among the Saints, a Finnish crime novel (for my Scandinavian crime fiction class); and A Study in Charlotte, a new YA Sherlock Holmes adaptation.

4. What’s your best source for finding new book recommendations?

Speaking as a millennial who basically lives on the internet, I love using social media to find new book recommendations. My favorite site for books is Goodreads, where you can keep track of every book you’ve read ever, organize them on different bookshelves, give them ratings and reviews, and look at what other people are reading as well. I never buy a book anymore without checking its star rating on Goodreads.

5. Top 5 (or so) favorite books. Go!

Why must you ask such difficult questions? Okay, here goes…

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and the late Terry Pratchett, for angels and demons and the most
hilarious book about the apocalypse I’ve ever read.

It’s Kind of a Funny Story by the late Ned Vizzini, for a frank and open discussion of mental illness that is accessible to teens.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, for the sweetest LGBTQ romance I’ve ever read.

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin, for being progressive and exploring gender and sexuality via sci-fi (with genderless aliens!) in 1969.

Matilda by Roald Dahl, for being my favorite childhood book, even though it had me convinced that I could develop telekinesis if I read enough books from the library.

6. Name some of your icons. Who do you admire, living or dead, and why?

Chronologically from childhood to now, my idols have been Steve Irwin (aka the Crocodile Hunter), Jonathan Larson (creator of the musical RENT), Neil Gaiman (prolific and amazingly talented writer), and most recently David Levithan (author of awesome YA books and an editorial director at Scholastic).

Cardiff, Wales

7. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live and why?

If I could afford to live anywhere in the world, I would probably choose Norway. The Scandinavian countries have amazing standards of living, gorgeous landscapes, fascinating languages, and…well, less than stellar weather, but living in Minnesota has prepared me for arctic conditions. I’ve also studied Norwegian in school, so I would have a working knowledge of the language.

That being said, I did study abroad in London last summer, and I really want to go back sometime…

Actually, in this hypothetical situation, how about I have homes in Norway, the US, and the UK? I don’t want to limit myself here.

Thanks for having me!

Thanks, Kai!