In honor of our 25th anniversary, we think it might finally be time to introduce you to the people behind this amazing series. We will be posting brief interviews with each of the staff members throughout the month of November.
Today we introduce Thom, better known as BRI T. on our FB page:
Q. How long have you been with the BRI, and what do you do?
A. I joined the BRI in 2002 as a part time newspaper reader and story cutter-outer, the idea being to use news stories to generate ideas for articles. I had a long songwriting history by then, but none as a non-fiction writer. But I liked what I saw at the UJBR and within a few months I was surreptitiously handing in articles to Gordon – just awful articles. After I did this enough times he finally got annoyed and started training me to write proper UJBR articles. Been a writer and editor ever since. And since 2010 I’ve also been the main UJBR blogger.
Q. What is your favorite part about working on Uncle John’s Bathroom Readers?
A. The research. Who knew it could be so much fun? I like doing nature- and science-based stories, and it means I have to read a ton of stuff about the subjects I cover, way too much really, because I want to know the subject well enough that I can then just sit down and, in a relaxed, fun way, tell the reader the story. I did a long article on cancer for Uncle John’s Triumphant 20th Bathroom Reader, for example—what cancer actually is, right down to the nucleus of cancerous cells; the different ways we know of that can make cells go sideways; promising new cures being tested—everything I could get my hands on. It took probably a few months to read and absorb all that stuff before I could do the story. I just love stuff like that. Good for the brain!
Q. Which stall is the best: the first, the middle or the last?
A. The first. I don’t go unless I have to you, y’know?
Q. Complete this sentence: When life gives you lemons ______?
A. Say thank you. Lemons are real nice. And if you’re thirsty…you can always have a beer or two.
• We’ve asked the staff to pick a favorite Uncle John’s article. Thom picked “Gander,” from Uncle John’s AHH-INSPIRING Bathroom Reader (page 370). And here it is. (This was written by the BRI’s Ol’ Jay. You’ll be seeing his bio before too long.) Click on pics to enlarge.