Pam Scheunemann (RHS '73)
Author and longtime Golden Valley resident Pam Scheunemann has written nearly 100 books for young children on everything from early reading and writing to crafts, collecting, and character development. She is now a writer and production manager for Mighty Media in Minneapolis.
Q: Did you always see yourself going into writing, or did you consider other paths?
PAM SCHEUNEMANN: I wanted to write since I was a junior at Robbinsdale High School. I thought I would have my name in print one day.
Q: What was your first foray into writing as a profession? Was there a "big break" moment for you?
PS: It was a more gradual process, really. My friend and I started our own newsletter in the early 1980s. From there I got a job at a magazine and learned the business of design and typesetting. I did also write a few articles and did some photography for the magazine as well. I worked at New Homes Magazine for eight years, then worked for a couple of different publishers for the next five. At that point I switched to Mighty Media, and the need for writing came out of our work with Abdo Publishing, a company that publishes books for the school library market. We started out just doing a few books and it blossomed from there.
Q: And since that time you've authored nearly 100 books, including several educational series for young readers. How does it feel to have that kind of presence in the market for children's books?
PS: It is a nice way to see some of your work in a concrete form. Like most people, many parts of my job do not have a product that you can hold in your hand. It was kind of cool to look in the card catalog at the Boston Public Library and see that they had some of my books!
Q: Tell us about your work at Mighty Media.
PS: In addition to writing, I am the office manager and project coordinator. I work with a staff on book design and production jobs for many different clients.
Q: You are also a founding member of Minnesota Bookbuilders. Tell us about that.
PS: Minnesota Bookbuilders was created in 1992 to promote the exchange of ideas, information and experiences for those in the business of designing, producing and printing books.
Q: Any writing projects currently underway?
PS: Yes, I am working on a series of craft books called Trash to Treasure. The books are how-to books on reusing and upcycling various materials.
PS: That's the term for converting discarded materials into something of value.
Q: What advice would you have for a student considering a career in any aspect of the publishing business?
PS: Just find something you like to do and go for it. You may start out as a receptionist or other similar position, but you just never know where it will lead you!