As a child, LuAnn often heard "Get your nose out of that book and go outside and play!" A tenacious bookworm, she studied literature, poetry, and creative writing and earned her B.A. in English from SIUE. While trying to figure out what she wants to be when she grows up, she's had aspirations to pursue a MLS with the dream of being a children's librarian, to continue her studies and earn a MFA in creative writing with the intent to teach and maybe even write a little, and to be an event planner offering her own delectable baked goodies to potential clients and flair for decorating. The problem was that she just couldn't figure out a way to put all that together into one career choice until she was offered the opportunity to buy Afterwords Bookstore. Ta-da! Here was a way to
Lu is the busy mama of three kidlets, two daughters, ages 19 and 12, and a baby boy, 2.5 years. Now that she's found her calling, she spends her free time dreaming about free time. Some of her favorite authors are Toni Morrison, the poetry of E.E. Cummings, children's authors Cynthia Rylant and Mo Willems. Her all time favorite books include Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier, The Road by Cormac McCarthy, Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, and the Little House books. Her guilty pleasures are reading cookbooks and magazines.
Amanda Mohl: Marketing Guru, Program Coordinator, Customer Service
Amanda is a very welcome addition to the Afterwords staff, bringing her contagious enthusiasm for literature, extraordinary customer service skills, and excellent rapport with children. She is the creative force behind the design and implementation of our monthly newsletter and the coordinator of our special events.
Amanda is quite the world traveler, studying in Israel, Indonesia, and China. She earned her Masters of Arts in International Development at the University of Denver and her B.A. in Anthropology and Religion at Butler University in Indianapolis. When not at Afterwords, you are likely to find her at the Glen Carbon Centennial Library where she recently celebrated her one year anniversary as a Library Associate, or biking around the Edwardsville/Glen Carbon area.
Amanda's guilty pleasures include musicals, inspiring her to break out in spontaneous song, Werther's Originals, pouring over adorable animal photographs on the internet, and much to our dismay, an incorrigible case of wanderlust. Some of her favorite books include The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner, Born To Run by Christopher McDougall, Mayada, Daughter of Iraq by Jean Sasson, Unorthodox by Deborah Feldman, and Bonk by Mary Roach.
Kaleigh is an extraordinary writer, artist, photographer, and musician. When not working at Afterwords, you can find her painting, drawing, writing poetry and music, taking photos, or singing her heart out with her band, Invisible Inc.. Kaleigh has an uncanny penchant for coordinating her hair color with her cosmetics.
Some of her all time favorite books include The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, Coraline by Neil Gaiman, The Giver by Lois Lowry, and To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Kaleigh's guilty pleasure is her addiction to tumblr.
Gabby volunteers what little of her free time to Afterwords because she loves us so. She's the artist behind the gorgeous folded book art you see on display throughout the store. When not hanging out with us at Afterwords, Gabby works at Massage Envy as a sales associate and dedicates any and all of her remaining time to her band, Invisible Inc. as guitarist and back-up vocals.
Some of her favorite books include The Hours by Michael Cunningham, the Harry Potter Novels, and most anything by Beatrix Potter and Stephen King. Gabby's guilty pleasure is tattooing, both as an artist and a recipient.
Jordan Kelsey: Customer Service, Storytime Assistant
Jordan is a recent graduate from the Metroeast Montessori School in Granite City. She's a talented writer, artist, actress, dancer, fashionista, lover of all animals, and big sister extraordinaire.
Some of Jordan's favorite authors include Jerry Spinelli, Brandon Mull, Wendy Mass, and Sharon Creech. Her favorite all time books include Go, Dog. Go! by P.D. Eastman, The Van Gogh Cafe by Cynthia Rylant, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. Jordan's guilty pleasures include shopping, texting, and pickles.
You will most likely find Baby Beans organizing the board book shelf or trying out the new Melissa & Doug products. He has a very busy schedule and can only work with us at Afterwords between 10AM and noon Monday-Friday.
His all time favorite book is Hug by Jez Alborough, admittedly because he likes to make monkey sounds. Some other loved authors are Sandra Boynton, and books that feature brightly colored pages full of tractors, trains!, vehicles, or animals. Beans' guilty pleasure is dancing, pop music, Blue's Clues videos, and staying up all hours of the night.
When Truman is not busy basking in a sunny window, you'll find him curled up with a good book or attempting to stow away in an unsuspecting someone's baby stroller or tote bag. Through example, Truman invites Afterwords customers to relax and stay a while, to stretch out with a good book and enjoy good company, namely his. He encourages you to find a comfy seat so he can curl up in your lap and allow you to pet him.
Truman's guilty pleasures include people watching, hiding in cabinets, and napping.