LeTourneau University student Brendon Moore interned with us over summer 2018. In addition to learning the seventeenth edition of The Chicago Manual of Style inside and out, he has been busy learning as many aspects of the publishing process as possible in a short amount of time. Read more about his experience below, and read more about LeTourneau University's School of Theology and Vocation here.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hello, my name is Brendon Moore. I am from Rockwall, Texas, and I am entering my third year at LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas. I am working toward receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Scripture and Theology as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Language and Literature. When I am not studying or working, I can be found working on my golf game or teaching and practicing martial arts.
2. How did you develop an interest in publishing?
My interest in publishing began with my mother. During my days in middle school and high school, she was working to be a self-published children’s author. Seeing her passion for her own work and her tenacity to express her ideas, I began to realize that language and literature may not be so boring. Behind the pages of every book is a real person with interesting thoughts about life. Authors have something to say that can be emotionally moving, provide an escape from the mundane, or change the world. Watching my high school English teacher cry while reading Huckleberry Finn or listening to my college professors dissect the psychological, sociological, political, philosophical, or theological implications of a text only confirmed this for me. I enjoy getting to know the minds and hearts of the people behind the text so that I can laugh, cry, and think along with them and help others to do the same. I look at the publishing industry as a great opportunity to do these things.
3. What sort of work have you been doing so far in your internship, and what have you found most interesting? Least interesting?
At the beginning of this internship, I had the opportunity to shadow the process of editing a manuscript. Then I had the chance to edit selected pieces from a forthcoming issue of Southern Methodist University's Southwest Review, one of the oldest literary quarterlies in the country. From there, I had the privilege of editing a short book of poetry. I also experienced the marketing side of the publishing industry by creating a template for a permissions request form and compiling a list of regional bookstores for sales purposes.
Though marketing is a necessary part of the publishing industry, I did not enjoy it as much as editing. I often found myself getting lost in the fun of editing, trying to understand what the poet was saying in order to add proper punctuation and fix spelling errors. Though catching commas and adding periods may seem tedious and boring to some, I got to catch a glimpse of who this author is and appreciate his beautiful writing in the end.
4. Do you think printed books still matter in the digital age? Why or why not?
Electronic books have risen in popularity. Many of my friends are even downloading their school textbooks on tablets. Nevertheless, I believe that printed books will maintain their relevance in the digital age as long as there is a demand for them. My only fear is that Ray Bradbury’s dystopian world in Fahrenheit 451 becomes our future. People should not ignore literature and shy away from the big existential and philosophical questions that they face because everyone finds themselves trying to live in a crazy world in which they did not ask to be born. Who are we? Why are we here? Where did we come from? Where are we going? Voices throughout time have tried to answer these questions, and they should still be heard today. Many of them began as written words on a page. But who is right? Who is wrong? Is there such a thing as truth? Hopefully reading books, pondering life, considering contrasting perspectives, and searching for truth will not become obsolete for the sake of everyone being happy, because no one was happy in Ray Bradbury’s future. Printed books have given much. But even if the medium for sharing ideas changes from printed pages to electronic pages, the processes of reading, thinking, and searching should not be lost. As long as this is upheld, I think publishers will always find a place in the world, because there will still be a demand for reliable material and information.
5. Pizza or Chick-fil-A?
Chick-fil-A is my go-to fast-food restaurant after Chipotle. But nothing beats Papa Murphy’s Take N’ Bake Pizza.