A Book Apart

Meet the Team: Sarah Blackstock

May 30, 2019

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Next up in our Meet the Team series is Sarah Blackstock, our marketing and ops coordinator. She shares a few book recommendations, which rules she breaks while working remotely, and why she stress bakes.

Sarah Blackstock

ABA: What do you do at A Book Apart? What did you do before joining the team?

Sarah Blackstock: I manage the social media accounts, create the weekly newsletters and blog posts, coordinate with the team on launching new books, and handle a few operations tasks, too. I’m part-time at ABA, so I spend the rest of my time as the production coordinator and social media pro for Strong Feelings (Katel’s podcast!), and pick up work as a freelance writer (usually on topics around tech and customer support). Before I went freelance, I worked at Automattic, mostly in supporting the WordPress app and running the Instagram account.

Where do you live and what do you love about your home?

SB: I currently live in Dallas, Texas. I love it because Texans are pretty fantastic, it’s one of the less humid cities in the state, and there’s so much amazing food here. (I struggle when I’m somewhere that doesn’t have good Tex-Mex available.) I also really like that it’s green and sunny out most of the year. Too many days of grey skies in a row or requiring a coat for long seasons really drags me down.

What’s your favorite thing to come home to after a long day outside of the house?

SB: A quiet house and whatever delicious dinner my husband whipped up. I’m very good at getting cozy and we’ve made our house into the best place to make that happen. There is no place I’d rather be.

ABA: When you’re not working, how do you like to spend your time?

SB: I watch or read the news and then I stress bake. I like to try out new cake and cookie varieties, and sometimes I choose a skill I want to develop and practice it a bunch until I master it. I did pie crust and buttermilk biscuits last year.

Cake by Sarah Blackstock

I also really like to brainstorm ways to update my house and make it happen—I’m finishing up a bathroom renovation right now. I love figuring out what changes to make so that the space functions better, and it’s so enjoyable to choose all the little details to create the room I imagine.

And I read. A lot. I read romance novels to relax and escape. (The reliable happily ever after is so nice in the current political landscape.) I tend to always have one fiction and one non-fiction book going.

ABA: What book have you read and loved lately?

SB: I recently read and loved The Other Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn. It’s set in 1780s England and is part of a series featuring smart, fun heroines that I’m very into. I like the bits of history mixed with the fun of the romance. I also just finished Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston. It's about the (Texan!) son of a president falling for a British prince in modern times. It feels really connected to our current political times, but without being as heartbreaking.

On the non-fiction side, I’m loving No Hard Feelings: The Secret Power of Embracing Emotions At Work by Liz Fosslien and Mollie West Duffy. It’s so well done. (Love their Instagram too!)

No Hard Feelings: The Secret Power of Embracing Emotions At Work by Liz Fosslien and Mollie West Duffy

ABA: What traits of yours are you most proud of?

SB: I’m kind, curious, and persistent. And I’m good at standing up for myself.

ABA: How do you make working remotely work for you?

SB: I’m flexible and I keep it comfortable. I don’t have a rule about getting up and getting fully dressed like I’m going out to work and I don’t make myself sit at my desk all day. I work from spots all around my house, depending on how I’m feeling.

I also find that I do better if I make myself pause on work when it’s time to eat lunch. I usually take a break, enjoy some food, and do a little stretching or take a walk around the block to recharge for the rest of the day.

ABA: What tool, object, or ritual could you not live without to get you through a week?

SB: I’ve gotten really into skincare over the past year. Every evening when I take the time to take care of my skin, it makes me feel like the rest of the day is washed away and taken care of, too. The nightly ritual helps me relax into my quiet evening time.

ABA: In moments of self-doubt, how do you recharge and rally to keep going?

SB: I rarely experience much self-doubt these days. That doesn’t mean I think I know everything, but it does mean I trust myself to make it through the struggle. I’m capable and hard-working, so I remind myself of that and keep moving forward. Time spent worrying about failing is time I could’ve spent doing the work. I like to do the work.

Get to know more of the people who make A Book Apart go—check out the rest of our Meet the Team series!