Sofia joined the INCLUDAS team during June of 2022 as the Summer Marketing Intern. We are so excited to have her with us!
Tell us about yourself.
Within my friend group, I can make a decision. I’m a little proud of it because, while it depends on the situation, there aren’t a lot of people who want to take that front seat. But I’m very decisive. And so when everyone’s like, “Oh no, you’re good, whatever you want to do,” I’m like, “We’re doing this, we’re done. There’s no more talking about it.” Everyone kind of sits there forever thinking about what to do, and so I’m like, “No, no, we’re making a decision now.”
I love adaptations, so finding books that were made into movies, or finding movies that I really love then finding out it was based on a book. I love delving into that world and really seeing the art of adapting a book into a movie or a TV show or a visual medium in general. I really think there’s something to be said about the translation of storytelling between mediums and how the story changes and either is made better or worse.
What makes you proud of yourself, and what are your aspirations?
I’m a rising senior, so I’m proudest of the work I’ve done on my thesis and all of the research and reading that goes into it. My thesis is about film adaptations of classic horror books in different countries. Depending on the intention of the filmmakers, these films can often have a negative connotation of violence against feminine bodies in general, and the thesis is just really looking into that and how the horror genre punishes women.
I would love to write and get a book published one day, and hopefully, get it adapted into a successful movie or a TV show. That’s always been the dream. I would love to work on licensing and adaptations professionally as well. And also, meeting and being friends with Brendan Fraser.
Why are you interested in working in publishing?
I’m interested in working in publishing because I love books for the classic reason: they transport you. I am one of those people that, when I am reading, I can see what’s happening on the page. It’s so weird to me to think that there are people that don’t have that experience when they read. For me, publishing is about bringing those books to the right audiences or to as many audiences as possible, and really uplifting those stories, finding a niche for certain books and certain narratives that haven’t necessarily been given the chance to really be highlighted.
Why is disability diversity in stories important to you?
Disability diversity is important to me because one of my aunts has Down syndrome and was basically given very little opportunity to thrive in a proper environment. What INCLUDAS does — working against stereotypes and creating a space where disability diversity is accepted — is a great step forward. People with disabilities are the biggest minority, and they don’t really get talked about very much within media, or at all. I always wanted to be very cognizant of how I could help my aunt and how I could kind of uplift her. She hasn’t been given that many opportunities, so when I heard about INCLUDAS, I was very, very happy to see the work they were doing. I love that it’s not just children’s books: it’s very all-encompassing, and they give a lot of opportunities to not only disabled authors but also editors, marketers, and every position within a publishing house.
What I’m really excited to see is diversity within language. I think it is really important that books include multiple languages and treat it as normal. There’s a way to write translations [in primarily-English novels] that’s not necessarily too hard for readers to understand for the reader, but I think it is a little complicated for authors to convey that sometimes. A lot of times when Spanish novels are translated into English, they lose some of their meaning because some words don’t directly translate. But overall, it’s important to have a good understanding of that language before you and try to write in it.
What’s the most fulfilling part about being on the INCLUDAS team?
When I was going through the initial interviews, I mentioned how much I was interested in licensing, and the questions of how can we adapt this into a visual? Or how can we create merchandise for this character or this story? Luda has been very vocal about giving me a lot of creative freedom during the internship, and she’s willing to give responsibility to people when they’re passionate about something.
Any advice for those wanting to work in the publishing industry?
I think the greatest piece of advice for publishing specifically that I’ve ever received is to be “professionally annoying.” Obviously, be professional about it and be cognizant of the other person’s boundaries, but be aware that people in publishing are genuinely passionate about what they do. A lot of them are very willing to sit down with you and speak to you about their experience, things you’re interested in, and help you along your career and your journey. I haven’t met one sinister person yet in publishing that hasn’t wanted to help at all. Just be professionally annoying and know what you want.