Journey Mathewson

Journey Mathewson joined the team recently as a production editor while wrapping up her studies in publishing and journalism at Belmont University. As a production editor, many authors will be familiar with Journey, having had the pleasure of working with her through the various stages of bringing their books to life. Journey lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and took some time to share some details about her role with Ballast and her time outside of work.

  1. You studied publishing and journalism in school. Those are actually two pretty different fields! What inspired you to study both?

I knew I wanted to work with books (really, I just wanted to get paid to read), but publishing seemed like a good fit, and Belmont was such a beautiful school!

Studying journalism was a little bit more of an impulsive decision and a decision of convenience. While publishing and journalism are different, they handle a lot of the same topics when it comes to working in media and with writing.

  1. You started working with the Ballast team part time before finishing your degree. What ultimately drew you to start your professional career in publishing over journalism?

It was always going to be publishing for me! I love trade writing way more than the style that journalists write in. I think learning about journalism gives me a better understanding of the publishing industry’s relationship with the media, but I’d never want to be a journalist myself.

  1. As a production editor, you work with authors through editing, design, and much more. What would you say is your favorite part of the process?

I don’t know if I can choose just one area! But I love the illustration process for our children’s books. It’s so much fun to help authors bring their stories to life.

  1. Your authors might not know this, but you have the pleasure of working on both Ballast and Blue Balloon Books projects. What do you like about getting to work on such different types of projects?

Both of our imprints produce such amazing books! It’s really refreshing to work with so many different genres—it keeps me on my toes.

  1. What advice can you share with authors about how they approach the design phase of their book projects?

One piece of advice is to lean into what feels right! Sometimes the design phase can feel intimidating if you aren’t familiar with the process, but that’s what our quality control team is here for. We want to help produce the most appealing book. Whether it’s the cover or the interior, we understand that every detail should reflect your book’s vision!

  1. After helping several authors reach their goals of publishing their work, do you see yourself publishing your own book one day?

Oh gosh. Younger me would like to think absolutely, but currently I’m not sure if that’s something I’m really striving for. I love writing short stories, but they might be better off left as drafts.

  1. Getting a book through production is often like fitting together the many pieces of a puzzle. But you like actual puzzles as well! Tell us about your puzzle skills. Is it a relaxing pastime or a finish-it-in-one-sitting type of challenge for you?

It totally is like working through a puzzle! I love puzzling as a pastime, often with a TV show or podcast on in the background. I’ve finished a puzzle in one day before, but I prefer to take my time.

  1. You also like to craft! What is your favorite type of project to work on?

I’ve been really into embroidery recently! And I’m trying to convince my roommate to teach me to crochet, although I’m not the most patient student.

  1. What are your family and friends more likely to expect as a gift from you: books, puzzles, or hand-crafted pieces?

I LOVE to give my loved ones books. It’s the easiest way to get them interested in the books I like to read.

  1. Finally, what do you like to read for enjoyment? What are you currently reading?

I try to read a little bit of everything, but recently I’ve been reading new adult and modern fiction. I just finished Tom Lake by Ann Patchett!

If you have an engaging idea for a children’s book, we want to hear from you.

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