Bio by me, maddee:
xuni.com started in 1998 when I met a thriller writer at a dinner party. He was in the middle of researching a book (as all writers seem to be), and asked me whether geophysical equipment could define the shape of a body underground. I was a geologist at the time, but being into earthquakes and landslides, I didn't know the answer to the buried body question. Four phone calls and many emails later, I'd found the answer, ended up as a character in his book—and the webmaven of his site. Funny how life can change over a dinner conversation.
Having a background in both graphics and computers (in the art department of a major newspaper) didn't hurt either. I put my name at the bottom of his site and other thriller/mystery writers started calling.... and a few years later I started taking on other kinds of authors as well, opening my design business to authors of literary & historical fiction, romance, young adult & children's literature, non-fiction... in short, any kind of writer. I love to read, and I love design, so I'm not sure I could have found a better calling. As my clients can attest, there's nothing like doing what you love.
Bio by Ryan:
I've been working as a web developer since 2000. ..whoa! I've built sites for national companies, governments, power companies, large and small businesses, non-profits and of course, authors. I've done css, perl, java, flash, sql, xml, asp, php, lsd ;) and everything in between. I love working for xuni, I love characters of all kinds, I love ice cream, cereal and guitars, and I happen to love a good novel to boot.
By me, maddee:
Ryan (aka Wonder Tech Guy) and I can't remember how long we've been working together... but it's something like ten years. And I can say in all good conscience that I couldn't have come this far without him. He's the one who takes care of aggravating server and email issues, as well as doing all the complicated coding. xuni.com sites would not be anywhere near as cool without him. Last, he didn't say this in his own bio, so I'll say it for him: he's an amazing singer and guitar player and his band, Ryan Chrys and the Rough Cuts, totally rocks it!
Bio by Jen:
I have been blogging at Jen's Book Thoughts for nearly six years, which is ultimately what brought me to full-time freelance work in a variety of book-related areas: website work, social media, book reviewing and interviewing. In previous lives I taught high school English, wrote technical manuals and learned programming for an accounting software company, and worked with adult professional development at the National Association of College Stores. Working almost full time with xuni.com is what enabled me to leave the office behind and branch out on my own. Besides my obsession with books and audiobooks, I love animals—especially my chocolate Lab and four rescue cats, crafting, walking, photography, Harry Connick, Jr., and warm weather. Why the stork dropped me in northeast Ohio is still a mystery!
By me, maddee:
Jen (aka Fabulous Assistant) has changed my work life. For the first ten years or so, I did, well, pretty much everything. And now that I have Jen, I can concentrate on design and branding, while she takes care of almost all client edits and updates. And she does all social media stuff (thank god!), plus a million other things including the invoicing (thank god times two!). What else could a Queen Bee ask for?
NOTE: For those poor folks who have not seen Despicable Me and therefore don't know what "real" MINIONS look like, just google "minions" and you'll see! I created my own Ryan and Jen minions above... if I'm breaching any copyrights, please forgive me (but since they have online "minion-makers" and tell people to share them, I think it's acceptable!) :)
Okay, I know you're wondering, so this is what we really look like...