April 2, 2019
Bringing Lauren on to the team in late 2017, represented a leap of faith in Rover-Time’s possibilities. We had a belief that we could grow and with the right people in place, we could see that plan through. But this person couldn’t be just anyone. So when we found all the qualities we dreamed for in Lauren, it was one of my happiest moments to extend an offer to her so we could begin working together.
I’m so happy to feature Lauren this month because many of our readers don’t actually have much in-person time with her. Since she works remotely from her home in Portage Park on the backend of our day-to-day operations, versus in the field with our customer’s pets, many haven’t had the pleasure to meet her. But if you’ve come on as a new client or needed assistance with scheduling or finding a sitter, Lauren’s been your first point of contact. She represents us so well. And delivers it with compassion, professionalism, and a touch of humour.
Thank you Lauren for joining our team. We’re so grateful for your hard work. I’m excited for others to learn a little more about you! Because to know you, is to really love you.
Julia: To start, can you share a brief synopsis of your podcast, Bonnets at Dawn, and how you became such a Brontë vs Austen expert?
Lauren: Austen Vs. Brontë: Bonnets at Dawn is a literary smackdown that compares and contrasts the lives and work of Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters. Now, in our third season, we’re also tackling additional writers like Emily Dickinson, Mary Shelley and Alice Dunbar Nelson.
When my co-host and I started the show we weren’t experts! We were just fangirls. We’ve really been educated via the podcast since we’ve had the opportunity to interview authors, curators and professors that focus on our ladies of choice. We also host online book clubs to study their work, and travel to literary sites. I have, in fact, worked for Rover-Time in Elizabeth Gaskell’s bedroom and the Brontë Parsonage cellar.
Julia: And what type of writing are you also doing on the side?
Lauren: I’ve been writing and editing comics for the past ten years, and I used to work in children’s publishing. These days, I take on a few freelance editing jobs and I’m finishing up a nonfiction book on notable women in comics for McFarland Publishing. I’ve just started another book for a different publisher, which hasn’t been announced, but I think it will surprise no one when I say that it involves women writers like Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters…
Julia: This is what I love most about the folks that make up our team — the stuff they do outside work. I like that the role works for all that obviously juggle. But can you tell me more about what the juggle feels like on a normal day to day? Not many realize that you’re also a mother! What’s it like and why does this role work for you?
Lauren: One of the great things about my role at Rover-Time is that it provides some much needed structure within my day. I start and end with RT and there are a million things that happen in between like diaper changes, podcast edits, discussions with my editor and of course, a dog walk with Watson in the 2pm – 5pm window. The creative juggle is real, but I’m never bored!
Julia: Which fictional character would be the most boring to meet in real life?
Lauren: I wouldn’t invite Holden Caulfield (Catcher In The Rye) to any dinner parties.
Julia: Is there a Rover-Time dog you’re very familiar with that you’re also obsessed with because of his or hers cute photos?
Lauren: Lots! I admit to having a soft spot for cavaliers and cav mixes since my own pup is a cavapoo, so I am always on the lookout for an Indy or Calcifer pic. But I’m also jealous of anyone that gets to walk Big Cal or Ginger! Please note, there are probably 10 other dogs I have forgotten to mention here.
Julia: What do you want people to stop asking you?
Lauren: I wish students would stop sending in their homework to Bonnets at Dawn. I do not have time to fact-check your thesis on Wuthering Heights.
Julia: It has been a long and horrible winter. So tell me, what are you looking forward to most this summer? What’s going to spark Lauren’s joy?
Lauren: Spending every sunny weekend at the Chicago Botanic Gardens.
Julia Rohan founded Rover-Time in January of 2012 and received her formal training at FetchFind Academy, a program for aspiring dog trainers, based in Chicago. Julia lives in Irving Park with her husband Mark. Together they co-parent Archer, their 3-year old son, Lou, their 5-month old, and Chauncey Billups Vanderhoff, an over-confident, territorial, and anxious 8lb. Chihuahua-Terrier mix. All the boys do a decent job of melting her heart hourly.