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Katy England Katy England
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Katy's year in review

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This is a good job to have if you enjoy talking to people and learning new things. And 2015 was a particularly good year for it. Between names big and small, I met some of the most interesting people who live in or visited Maine.

The Last Unicorn' tour

Being able to see 'The Last Unicorn' on the big screen may have been enough to make the list by itself, but being able to speak with Peter S. Beagle who penned the iconic novel about the titular beast searching for what has become of her kind.

He's someone who has clearly put a lot of thought into his craft, and has a huge following. The theatre was sold out with people who loved both the movie and the book.

The phone interview with Beagle will go down as one of my top geek interviews of all time.

Creating a universe with Sharon Lee and Steve Miller

I was tickled when I had the chance to sit down with Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, two prolific and talented writers who live in Maine for their upcoming five-book series ('Dragon in Exile' is available now).

The husband and wife team enjoy their craft, enjoy talking about their craft and are a wealth of knowledge on the publishing industry as it's evolved with technology. They were generous with their time (and their cats).

A walk on the wild side

This story involved an interview with comedian Krazy Jake and his work on 'Yankee Jungle' with Bob and Julie Miner, who run DEW Haven Animal Park. Bob and Julie went out of their way to make sure we could not only get some incredible shots of the animals, but also get a full behind-the-scenes tour which included being able to pet some lions and tigers and lemurs (oh, my!). I ended up making friends with Natasha, a red deer that is part of their private red deer farm.

They were wonderful to talk to, and the park was amazing.

My mom did ask me some pointed questions about my kissing a bear, but it was for a good cause.

Visions of Ghostbusters' and Hellboy' danced in her head

Being able to talk to Ernie Hudson and Doug Jones (of 'Ghostbusters' and 'Hellboy' fame, respectively) kind of rounds out my childhood in terms of awesome people I got to meet this year. In addition to the wonderful interview, the gentlemen in question were also lovely in person Doug Jones gave me a cookie.

The Bangor Comic and Toy Convention's debut con was epic, with PowerRangers, wrestlers, Billie Dee Williams and more. The 2016 Convention is gearing up to be just as epic.

Becoming prepared with Brewer PD

I've worked with many police departments, and it's always a pleasure to see behind the scenes, but Brewer Police's program to help public and private businesses become prepared in case of an active emergency was one of the highlights for 2016.

Organized by Capt. Chris Martin, this class was part of Brewer's ongoing training regimen that brings high-level trainings to the region, rather than sending officers abroad. This is work that helps make our communities safer.

The universe is underrated

My conversation with Steven Wright is shaping up to be the best interview I've conducted in my professional career. He was funny, of course - no one is surprised by this. He's a genius comedic storyteller; of course he's funny. But what was wonderful about the conversation was his willingness to listen as well as talk. Like many comics, Wright has a philosophy on the minutia of comedy the ability to observe things that others may miss, but he's also open to questions from people who are not experts in the field.

He was an absolute delight to talk to both on the phone and in person after the show. He invited me to do another interview if he's ever in town. No power in the verse could stop me.

Ramsay's Guitars

There are some stories that creep up at you from under the radar. When my boss told me I should talk to Kirk Ramsay about his custom-made guitars that he builds in the basement of Bangor Window Shade & Drapery, I was intrigued. And when I met Ramsay, it quickly became one of the cooler stories I had worked on all year. This had everything to do with Ramsay's laid-back, unpretentious and open personality. Talk about a nice guy doing cool stuff and not being afraid to explain it kindly to a layman - he showed off the workshop and let me play with his dogs.

Ramsay's custom guitars are more about appreciating a craft and hobby than about trying to sell guitars. He truly loves the process of making them and seeing them played more than he does trying to make a buck though he certainly has earned them.

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