Marissa DeCuir, President
Marissa and her Dad
My dad started a local newspaper when he was in college. So growing up in a newsroom, and eventually going into journalism myself, I’ve always had a love of stories – finding, hearing and sharing them. Transitioning into book publicity was easy because what I loved most about journalism is the same thing I love about books – to learn and experience new things. My dad’s curiosity and care for all things in this world made me the person and reader I am today.
Max Lopez, Publicist
My father is the hardest working person I’ve ever met, and looking back now it seems impossible that he was able to spend as much time with his family as he did. Yet, there he was every single night to tuck us in and read us a story when we requested it. My love of history and reading is a direct result of watching countless History Channel documentaries with him and being gifted a series of early reader biographies (all of which my brother and I read several times through.) His insatiable hunger to learn is something that I have always admired and attempted to emulate. Thanks for everything Dad!
Julie Shoerke, Principal
Julie and her Dad
By the time I was in 5th grade, my father had read to my sisters and me all the classics that were assigned through my senior year of high school. His love of reading inspired all of us and informed who we would become – one sister works at a library, my other sister has worked at a bookstore for years, and I’m a book publicist. From Hornblower to the old English version of Robin Hood; from Edgar Allen Poe to Beowulf (yuck!); from The Brother’s Grimm to Michael Crichton. Hundreds of books. He was an award-winning screenwriter who kept getting kicked upstairs until he ran the film company, but his true love was writing scripts and reading. My best memories are of him reading to us!
Hannah Robertson, Junior Publicist
My dad and I have very different tastes in reading. He tends to go for long non-fiction historical pieces or biographies, and I’m more drawn to anything fictional or fantastical. Even so, my dad always encouraged my love of reading with surprise trips to bookstores or libraries where he would let me roam to my heart’s content. He has always been supportive of my dreams, both literary and otherwise. I am so grateful and thankful for everything he has done for me!
Ellen Whitfield, Publicist
Ellen and her father
Many of my best memories growing up are of my dad reading to me at night. He did all the fun voices for some of my favorite books, including Narnia and Harry Potter. The best one was Bree the horse from The Horse and His Boy, accompanied by a lot of whinnies. And I still love to share book recommendations and swap copies with him today — it makes me so happy when we can chat about mutual love of a book.
Sara Wigal, Senior Manager
Sara with a recent book present with her dad and brother
Like so many other children, bedtime stories were part of the routine at our house! My dad would tuck us in and share “make up stories” as we called them. He didn’t read to us necessarily, but he scoured his (likely tired) mind for imaginative stories we would pick up where they left off every evening. I loved hearing these every night, and would whine and weedle for just a few more plot points. My dad has one of the most creative minds I know and he always encouraged all of us kids to use our own, for which I am so grateful. He encouraged me to read, read, read, and was one of my most patient editors for essays throughout school!
A former award-winning journalist with national exposure, Marissa now oversees the day-to-day operation of the Books Forward author branding and book marketing firm, along with our indie publishing support sister company Books Fluent.
Born and bred in Louisiana, currently living in New Orleans, she has lived and developed a strong base for our company and authors in Chicago and Nashville. Her journalism work has appeared in USA Today, National Geographic and other major publications. She is now interviewed by media on best practices for book marketing.