Alexis Thomas

Nickname: Lexie. No one really calls me Alexis. I just sign my name that way.

Write Place role: Manager of the Write Place. I handle the project management for many of our business clients, and still do a lot of graphic design. And when Hannah can’t hack it, I do some writing and proofreading.

Family: Married to Jeremy. Two kids. Asher, 4 1/2 and Shae, 7 mo. Seriously, they are the cutest children on the planet.

In your spare time: Do moms have spare time?

On my bookshelf: Lots of historical fiction. It’s hard to convince me to re-watch a movie, but I’ve read Gone With the Wind three times!

Favorite food, drink, or restaurant: Something spicy from any restaurant. The hubby has placed a ban on spicy food at home, so I only get it when we go out!

If you were a type of shoes, you would be: Flip-flops, because they are fun and casual. NOT because I am indecisive.

Sarah Purdy

Write Place role: I am a writer and editor, as well as the coordinator for the Book Place, our book publishing division.

Family: My parents are both from Ankeny, Iowa, which also happens to be where I grew up. I have one sister, who is two years and 364 days older than me.

Pets: I have a Pembroke Welsh corgi named Ally, who happens to be one of my best friends.

In my spare time: I love to read, which I suppose isn’t too surprising! I also like to run, watch a lot of Masterpiece Classic and BBC, and spend time hiking with my family. I have been involved in several community theater productions in Pella.

Favorite food, drink, or restaurant: My favorite restaurant is Noah’s Ark in Downtown Des Moines. I love Italian food, and their spaghetti is delicious!

On my bookshelf: I read a lot of high fantasy and sci-fi, but I also have a passion for 19th century British literature. I have read everything by Jane Austen, and I am currently trying to read all of Charles Dickens.

If I were a type of shoes, I would be: A pair of Chuck Taylors. I love vintage clothes, and you can get them in so many awesome colors!

Michelle Stam

Write Place role: I do all kinds of graphic design jobs for print, email, and web. I love the variety of work I have and I enjoy getting to know the clients. It’s always fun when they stop by and are so excited about what we are doing for them. 

Fun nicknames: Mimi. A friend from college started calling me this my sophomore year and by senior year, that’s the only name she called me!

Family: I grew up as the only girl with 3 brothers…and thoroughly enjoyed it! I got teased a lot, but that’s what made it so much fun. 

My pets: None currently. Growing up, we had two cats: Duchess and Mittens. Duchess was true to her name, thinking she should get everything she wanted. Mittens on the other hand was very laid back and didn’t seem to care about anything in particular, except for food.

In my spare time: I enjoy regularly volunteering for an organization that helps make the seemingly impossible a reality for people with disabilities. I also like to learn new things and do projects, most of which I find on Pinterest! 

If I were a type of shoes, I would be: Comfortable heels. They are classy, but practical. I like to think of myself that way.

I cannot live without: God and my family. They are both such important parts of my life; I cannot imagine living my life without them. 

Michelle Smith

Write Place role: Bookkeeping, payroll, human resources—a little of this and that.

Family: Husband, Steve, and two boys, Justin and Mitchell.

Pets: None … for now!

Favorite food, drink, or restaurant: Pizza and strawberry lemonade.

On your bookshelf: The Missing series by Margaret Peterson Haddix—I am reading it with my older son.

If you were a type of shoes, you would be: Sandals. They are casual and remind me of summer—something we see a little less of in Minnesota.

I cannot live without: My family!

Carol Van Klompenburg

Write Place role: Retired owner, who enjoys watching the great and greater job the staff continues to do.

Family: Married to Marlo. Three adult sons. Three grandchildren. (I’m also counting the one in utero.)

In my spare time: Flower gardening, learning Spanish, volunteering in Nicaragua and being shocked by how little Spanish I have actually mastered.

Favorite food, drink, or restaurant: Favorite food—anything made by someone else. Favorite drink: decaf skinny hazelnut latte. Favorite restaurant at the moment: HuHot Mongolian Grill. Hmmm. There’s a paradox. HuHot required me to do half of the food preparation . . .

On my bookshelf: The obvious answer: a timeless collection of literature compiled as the Bible. Besides that, whatever I am reading at the moment almost always looms largest for me. One of my all-time favorite novels is Gilead by Marilynne Robinson.

If I were a type of shoes, I would be: A horseshoe. People would believe I brought good events with me wherever I went.

I cannot live without: Placing words to paper to heal, to learn, to create, to share.

Hannah Crawford


Write Place role: I’m an on-call book editor for the Write Place.

Family: Two younger brothers, Sam and Alex, Jamie (mom), and Randy (dad).

Pets: One cat, Gordon. He was named after Commissioner James Gordon in Batman. I can’t really explain why, other than The Dark Knight had just come out in theaters when I got him.

In my spare time: I read, of course! I also love visiting my family, listening to music, visiting new cities and places, and finding new places to hike.

Favorite food, drink, or restaurant: O’Neill’s Pizza in Rochester, MN. It’s kind of a legend in my family.

On my bookshelf: My favorite book of all time is Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson, but I also have a pretty good collection of fantasy and sci-fi books.

I cannot live without: Coffee every morning. Thanks, Smokey Row!

Kathie Evenhouse

Write Place role: I guess you would call me “the old hand.” I’ve been a part of the Write Place for over 15 years, but have pulled back to an as-needed status. Just can’t seem to shut this door because I love working with these talented ladies.

Nicknames: I really can’t deny this one; it has its basis in truth: Chatty Kathie

Family: We are grandparents of 9, who all live close by. Heaven on earth.

Pets: I no longer have pets. I have grandchildren.

Favorite food, drink, or restaurant: I’m going to say meatloaf—and it remains on my favorite list because my husband won’t eat it, therefore I rarely get to devour it with the relish it deserves.

If you were a type of shoes, you would be: Something comfortable with arch support and room for bunions.

I cannot live without: I can’t imagine the emptiness of life without God at my center.