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Staff Interview–Sarah Mosseller

28 Jan


“Choose your corner, pick away at it carefully, intensely and to the best of your ability and that way you might change the world.”
–Charles Eames

Name: Sarah Mosseller
Age: 21
Class: Senior
Majors:  Journalism, Public Relations and Advertising
Minor:  English
Production Editor
Graphic Design Chair

About Me:
What can I say?  I am currently a senior at Appalachian State University…trying not to drive myself crazy after deciding to be the first triple-major in the communication department at ASU.  I wouldn’t expect anything less than that from me though, afterall I have too many passions to name and an infuriating ability to never be able to make up my mind.

I completed an internship this summer at Tor Books in NYC.  (Yes, I am a dork.)  It was such a great experience, and aside from showing me the dark, inner-workings of a publishing house, it made one thing unquestionably certain for me–I want to go into publishing.  It is the ultimate dream of every book worm.

Growing up I was constantly reading; I was the kid standing in line at Disney world, the happiest freaking place on earth, reading a book because all the fantastic things around me seemed boring compared to what I could see within a book.
Now this all sounds so romantic because I am still in college, with all the highest hopes and ideals for the publishing industry, and the intensity that comes from being untried and eager to prove myself.

This summer also taught me that the publishing industry is not glamorous, it is a job that revolves around the need to make revenue, just like any other business out there.  I guess I just hope that there are people who want to be there for the chance to impact the world through print, and allowing new voices to break onto the scene, rather than just the big green.

I wanted to get involved with The PEEL because it is a great thing to support creativity and expression.  I want to make sure that when someone submits writing or artwork, that they have an interesting, dynamic venue to house their creativity.  I am really looking forward to laying out the magazine and getting it ready for publication.

And now for something completely different…

Likes: dancing in front of the mirror, driving fast on curvy roads, kudzu, chapstick, art, painting, incubus, holding hands, laughing, sprinting, blushing, morning stretching, warm towels out of the dryer, seducing strangers, sharing a moment, pickles, the flash seat, rugby songs, wal-mart, apples, boys, girls, movies, salsa dancing, tag, finding money in winter coats, movies that are poorly dubbed, deciding to walk in the rain, singing in the shower, Xena, bling, sherbert, rope swings, virgin snow, writing, egyptian rat screw, uncontrollable laughter, giving massages, alarm clock techno, bc powder, chuck taylors, being right, feeling butterflies, surprising someone, baby got back, stove-top stuffing, number 2 pencils, Tim the Pixie, midori, monty python, roaring, boys, girls, C-rations, platypuses, midnight rendezvous, lightning bugs, pippi longstocking, flying, incense, cuddling, inside jokes, cutting flips, escapism, the waffle house, lodge, accents, the smell of gasoline or a freshly lit match, aqua thumb and the belly button avenger, the mellow mushroom, martial art movies, oberweis milk, dreams, ron weasley, underwater handstands, renaissance fairs, grilled cheese sandwiches, manhunt, subway, scary movies, roller coasters, taco bell, riding on camels, army surplus stores, fortune cookie messages that make no sense, playing marco polo when you aren’t in the pool, shin guards, rocky horror picture show, the goonies, never have I ever, hotel california. life. love. lollypops.

Staff Interview–Katrina Benton

12 Dec

Katrina Benton, Non-Fiction Committee Head

Katrina Benton, Non-Fiction Committee Chair

Name: Katrina Benton
Age: 21
Class: Senior
Major: English (Professional Writing) and Spanish double-major

What is your role for The PEEL? What are your responsibilities?
I am the non-fiction committee chair; I am in charge of leading and organizing meetings including the critique classes as well as submission vote meetings.

What type of writing/artwork are you looking for in regard to your committee? General guidelines, etc.
I am looking for non-fiction pieces that stimulate the mind and inspire the soul. I enjoy reading essays, historical non-fiction, journal/newspaper/magazine articles that tell real, meaningful stories.

Why did you want to get involved with the literary arts magazine?

Since I am hoping to find a career in publishing, I wanted to dabble in all aspects of publication before I graduated; The PEEL just happened to be at the top of my list because it shows the wide variety of talent ASU contains.

Why do you feel a literary arts magazine is important to student life?
A literary arts magazine represents people from all walks of life who have their own story or perspective on different “hot” topics. It’s important that the general public or other students experience their thoughts and emotion.

How do you feel new media (websites, blogs, streaming video/audio, etc) is affecting student publications? Is it a good thing or a bad thing?
My friends joke about how technologically-illiterate I am, so I have to give an “I don’t know” to this question. I see both sides of the issue and would argue for good and bad.

Were you published in the previous publication? If so, how do you feel this will affect your future endeavors?
I was not, but I served on the poetry committee last year and helped vote on pieces that were put in. I do hope to submit a few pieces this year and perhaps I’ll be published.

What are your career goals? What do you see yourself doing in five years?
I want to be a major force in the publishing field; I love editing and writing—they are my passions in life. I will stop at nothing to achieve success and happiness. I also have to mention my recent engagement to my “match” of five years; we will marry June 20 of next summer after we both graduate from ASU.

How do you think your role in this publication will help you in the future?
I hope that I will peel down into further layers of publishing and learn even more about the technical aspects.

Do you feel your experience at ASU has prepared you for your chosen career?

I do. This past summer I interned at High Country Press and was hired by the end of the summer to be a contributing writer. I write one-two articles and manage all calendars every week for the newspaper; I am one of two managing editors of their Visitor Guide; and I have written one article or so in each issue of the magazine since July. (Check out HCP!!!)

Who is your favorite author/artist? Why?
Hm… tough one. I am a Faulkner fan. I really enjoy Thoreau. Heck, I can’t make up my mind on this one…I’ll read anything!

I was born in Georgetown, SC on May 31, 1987. My father was a minister throughout my childhood; we moved around a lot. But, my family eventually ended up in Monroe, NC outside of Charlotte. Oh, I’m also the oldest of five. And, then I ended up here at ASU. There. That’s my short bio.

Interested in submitting non-fiction pieces to Katrina? Send her everything you’ve got!

To Submit:

1. Compose an e-mail to
2. Type the style of your submission in the subject box (i.e. art, fiction,
poetry, essay, etc.)
3. Type your name and major in the body of the e-mail (also include the medium
of your piece(s) if you are submitting any forms of artwork)
4. Attach your work(s) as PDF files
5. Click send!

Staff Interview–Amy Saltmarsh

4 Nov

Amy Saltmarsh, Editor-in-Chief


Amy Saltmarsh, Editor-in-Chief



“I never know what I think about something until I read what I’ve written on it.”

 – William Faulkner

A short bio:

       Growing up, I never owned more than a single winter coat and a thin toboggan. The sunshine state was, as implied, sunny and warm so I spent my days tromping barefoot around our lakefront yard, fishing for mullet (delicious fried or in dip though traditionally used only for bait), or selling my Barbies and crafts door to door.  At 5, after putting on my first pair of soccer cleats my journey towards athletic stardom began. I was determined to be the next Mia Hamm . . . so much for that.  At 6, my younger sister Ellen was diagnosed with leukemia; the treatment for which required four years of hospitalization and moving back and forth between Florida and South Carolina.  No worries, Ellen has been in remission nearly 10 years now.

      Not much happened between 10 and 18.  Middle school was full of drama, but isn’t it always?  Seventh grade my family moved to Gastonia, NC. One cannot imagine the torment I endured due to the name of my new home.  At 14 I spent my first summer as a volunteer at Camp I Am Special in St. Augustine, FL.  The camp provides one on one care to severely handicapped persons who exude an unconditional love that reminds me of my blessings and draws me back year after year.

      15 – 18 – lots of soccer, softball, volunteer work, and theatre.  I have never been much of an actress, but stage managing suits me well.  To this day I continue to design sets and work in the community theatre.  After high school I meandered to High Point University in pursuit of a degree in technical theatre.  Finding that this was/is not my passion but rather a hobby, I transferred to Appalachian State where I have finally settled on a degree in Sociology and English. 

      The PEEL has been a great and trying endeavor, providing me with a sense of accomplishment unlike any other.  In starting this organization, I never imagined the number of people it would affect, involve. It is a pleasure and an honor to pursue my passion for literature alongside others duly passionate.


Name: Amy Saltmarsh
Age: 20
Class: 2010
Major: Sociology

What is your role for The PEEL?  What are your responsibilities?
AS:  I am the Editor in Chief/founder of The PEEL. My responsibilities are too many to name, but each day presents a new challenge and a full inbox. Most of my time is spent planning, talking to faculty, staff, and students about their visions, ideas, questions, and/or concerns regarding the magazine. In other words, I see myself as the go-to person for The PEEL, all knowing and all telling, just kidding, I am not that arrogant. Anyway, my goal and the reason I started this publication is to provide students with a creative venue for expression. I want Appalachian to be recognized for the incredible literary and artistic talents of its students.

What type of writing/artwork are you looking for in regard to your committee?
AS: We accept multiple forms of writing and artwork including, but not limited to: essays, short stories, creative non-fiction, dramatic monologues, poetry, photography, painting, sculpture, mixed media, drawings, character sketches, translations . . . the list goes on and on.

Why did you want to get involved with the literary arts magazine?
AS:  Appalachian State was the only public university in NC to be without an undergraduate literary arts magazine. Every university should have a literary arts magazine so as to recognize the talents of its students.

Why do you feel a literary arts magazine is important to student life?
AS:  The PEEL allows students of similar interests to come together and work toward a goal/end product – the magazine! Involvement with The PEEL is intended to be both fun and educational, great for resume material!

How do you feel new media (websites, blogs, streaming video/audio, etc) is affecting student publications?  Is it a good thing or a bad thing?
AS:  I feel that wesbites or blogs about student publications such as The PEEL are important, but I feel that there is something to be said about paging through a book/magazine. I would never want to see an electronic version of The PEEL because it would take away from its mystery and excitement. Scrolling down a webpage becomes quite monotonous and requires much less effort than picking up magazine and taking the time to look through it. Too much of the world is technology based and I for one get tired of sitting in front of the computer.

What are your career goals?  What do you see yourself doing in five years?
AS:  Oh dear! I have no idea where I am headed. Perhaps some look down on indecision, but I am trying to embrace it. Life is full of opportunities and surprises; I love too many things and have had too little life experience to know what my future holds. Ideally, whatever my career, I hope to be faced with challenge after challenge. In five years, who knows where I’ll be?! Maybe I will teach grammar? Few love semicolons as much as I do.

How do you think your role in this publication will help you in the future?
AS:  Man these questions! I hope that it will prove to future employers that I am both motivated and capable in a leadership position.

Who is your favorite author/artist?  Why?
AS:  Gary Soto for him poem, “Oranges.” It was the first poem I ever read and spurred my love for language. 

Staff Interview–Jason Buel

23 Oct
This is the first post in a series of staff interviews for The PEEL. This will provide you with a brief glimpse of the driving force behind the literary arts magazine at Appalachian State University. Enjoy!
Jason Buel, Poetry Committee Head

Jason Buel, Poetry Committee Head

Name: Jason W. Buel
Age: 21
Class: Señor
Major: Psychology & English, concentrating in Film Studies

A short bio:

I was born in Sarasota, FL to great triumph and jubilation. It turned out to be for the baby in the incubator next to me, but no matter. Luckily, I don’t remember Reagan.

Then, when I was 5, the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey franchise was founded within an easy drive of my home, so I decided it’d be a good idea to spend the next 16+ years pretending to be a hockey player (it didn’t work out, but don’t tell me that.) I started playing drums at age 6, writing stories at 8, playing guitar at 10, programming games for graphing calculators at 12, and watching far too much television at 14, which happened to be the same year when I moved here to Boone, NC (actually Valle Crucis, but close enough). My front right tooth was broken in half at some point during that time and I have a noticeable fracture line where it was glued back together. Then I came to ASU with the intention of being a music major. You can guess how long that lasted. Most people gain the freshman 15 – I gained the freshman 60.

As of the time I’m writing this, the last band I saw live was The National. The last film I saw was The Year My Parents Went on Vacation directed by a Brazilian fellow whose name is, I kid you not, Cao Hamburger. I suspect his parents were vegetarians with a dark sense of humor. The last thing I read was an interview with Martin Espada from Dr. Bruce Dick’s book A Poet’s Truth. I’m listening to Dylan’s Blood On The Tracks right now because it is the single greatest pop record ever produced. These things are important. Probably.

I love ice cream, Canadian beer, bratwurst, fried chicken, and Mexican food, because I am the picture of perfect health. I also have high blood pressure, but I figure it’ll go away if I just ignore it – most things are like that. I also like writing and recording music, playing with my band (which I think still exists, but not sure about that), watching NASCAR, and really doing anything that requires sitting for long periods of time. I hate working in retail (Kmart, Dollar General, TJ Maxx, who’s next?), standing, dealing with mean people, dealing with people in general since I am extremely awkward, waking up any way other than at my own leisure, and going to sleep earlier than 3ish.

Go Hurricanes!


What is your role for The PEEL? What are your responsibilities?
JB: I am the head of the Poetry Committee. As such, I critique all of the submitted poems and lead committee meetings to discuss the works and decide what is good enough to make it into the magazine.

What type of writing/artwork are you looking for in regard to your committee?
JB: We want anything that improves on the blank page. Any thoughtful, polished works that can be considered poetry of any kind are welcome (traditional forms, free verse, prose poems, constrained forms, found poems, narrative poems, non-western forms, etc.) To maximize your chances of being published, submit only a few examples of your best writing.

Why did you want to get involved with the literary arts magazine?
JB: Quite frankly, it was outrageous that our university lacked such a publication to begin with. It is crucial, especially for an institution of higher learning and especially in the modern age, to support and promote the arts. ASU also happens to be home to many talented writers who deserve to have their works read.

Why do you feel a literary arts magazine is important to student life?
JB: Students deserve to see the quality work that their peers are producing. Our magazine can also help give writers the initiative to produce more new writing as well as revise and polish older works.

How do you feel new media (websites, blogs, streaming video/audio, etc) is affecting student publications? Is it a good thing or a bad thing?
JB: New forms of media are wonderful in and of their own right and also have the benefit of compelling more traditional media to be the best they possibly can be. If I can read about something on a blog the instant it happens and get the facts as well as several individuals’ opinions, why should I read about it the next day in the newspaper? If I can go on youtube and see several different angles of the exact event I want to see just after it’s happened, why watch the evening news? That’s not to say we should abandon traditional media, rather it will be interesting to see how traditional media adapts to the competition from new media and provides answers to such questions.

What are your career goals? What do you see yourself doing in five years?
JB: In five years I will almost certainly still be in school. I’m hoping to get my M.A. and eventually Ph.D. in Film Studies and become a professor one day. This year I’m working as a research assistant to Dr. Kirkpatrick for her book on the poetry of Paula Meehan in the context of rampant development in Ireland. I hope to begin a major research project, as soon as next semester, on audience behavior and the psychology of viewing narrative motion pictures, so I guess it’s a pretty viable career aspiration for me. I hope to take a couple years off along the way and do some humanitarian work in Panama or live on a farm in Quebec or something to that effect.

Do you feel your experience at ASU has prepared you for your chosen career?
It has certainly been a great start.

If you would like to submit poetry to The PEEL, send an email to