After working in the world of words for nearly 40 years and becoming a highly skilled editor — in this case, a contributing magazine editor — it’s rewarding to see my work cited in Wikipedia. My interviews with some of our favorite celebrities are captured in print and online, but I admit to being surprised whenever they appear in “…the largest and most-read reference work in history (Wikipedia).”
My interview with Scotty McCreery, winner of the tenth season of American Idol, was a special treat. I was invited aboard his tour bus in 2013 and enjoyed an hour-long conversation with this handsome, polite, and charming young vocalist.
Working my way to skilled editor status
Aspiring journalists often ask how I got started in the magazine business — and they ask for pointers. I tell them that if they have a fire in their belly and want to write editorial, then they should pitch themselves to a publication. First, they should read specific magazines and get a feel for the tone and aesthetics, and then offer to write an article on spec. If the editor likes their work, chances are they’ll be published and have a foot in the door.
That’s precisely the road I took. A lot of hard work paid off as I honed my skills and learned the trade. Soon my entry intojournalism blossomed into a career and led to another status: award-winning journalist, book editor, and ghostwriter.
So, how did I get the Scotty McCreery assignment? Well, actually, I pitched the idea to my Lifestyles & Homes editor when I learned he was appearing in Katy, Texas (my stomping grounds at the time). I think that’s the key to success in the magazine industry — have a nose for news and don’t be shy to pitch stories! Fortunately, I was given the go-ahead, and then it was a matter of chasing down Scotty’s team, arranging face time, and scheduling a photographer.
By the way, Lifestyles & Homes (Fort Bend Publishing) had a suite of five magazines, and my article appeared in four of them, including Houston Lifestyles and Homes. That’s the citation (#8) in Wikipedia.
Sadly, I don’t have a copy of that particular edition. Fort Bend Publishing closed its doors after a 25-year run, but luckily, the same article ran in Cy-Fair Lifestyles & Homes. So below, I share screenshots of the interview.