For this week’s column it was particularly fun to turn the tables on my pal Diane Clehane since she is the one usually found in the interviewer’s seat. Most of you know her from her weekly must-read column “Lunch at Michael’s” where the who’s who of the entertainment, media & fashion industries divulge their latest initiatives. I’ve had the opportunity to take clients to lunch with her & it is not only such a New York experience but also great people watching.
For those of you who are not familiar with her she is also a best-selling author & journalist who has covered a range of subject that includes celebrities (including the Royal family), fashion, media & entertainment & whose work has appeared in People magazine, The New York Times, Vanity Fair & The New York Post to name a few. These past few years her focus has shifted slightly to include more parenting focused writing. I will never forget when she adopted her adorable daughter, Madeline, & it has been such a thrill to see her embrace motherhood & share it with her audience. No matter how much she enjoys writing about people in the public eye I know that her latest tome in the works, a book about her journey to adopt her daughter from China, will remain what she is most proud of.
- Miriam Driot
Follow Miriam on Twitter @MiriamDriot
1. What do you love most about your job?
I’ve had a lot of wonderful experiences & met so many fascinating people. I’ve covered the Oscars, the Emmys, done one on one interviews with some of the world’s most fascinating people & visited a lot of great places. Working on my five books has been really rewarding. I’ve learned a lot from every experience. I’ve always been very curious about the way in which people live & in my work I’ve had a legitimate excuse to be nosy. It’s a lot of fun!
2. If you did not live in Greenwich, CT where would you live & why?
I’d love to have a fabulous New York City apartment. I love the country & its beauty, but these days I’m really drawn to the excitement & vitality of the city. It makes me feel so energized. There’s no other place like it in the world.
3. When not working what do you enjoy doing?
I love spending time with my family. We take a lot of road trips & love to explore new towns & places to go. This past weekend, we puttered around Litchfield, Connecticut and found this beautiful old inn for lunch. We sat outside in a pretty garden. It was so relaxing. My daughter Madeline is 7 & I’ve had the most incredible time introducing her to New York City & all it has to offer. As a result, Madeline loves the arts, opera & theater. A few months ago I took her to Lincoln Center to hear Jackie Evancho. We had amazing seats & Madeline got all dressed up for her first ‘big girl’ night on the town. When this 11 year-old protege came out on stage, Madeline was completely captivated. Seeing how much she loved the experience gave me a lot of joy. I’m also a big TV fan. Give me a Mad Men or Downton Abbey marathon & I’m in heaven!
4. What is your best memory from childhood?
I have so many. My mother & father both had their own specials rituals with me. My mother would stay up late at night making clothes for my dolls & when I’d wake up in the morning, she’d have them set out in some vignettes that made them come to life for me. I was captivated. My father & I went to the movies together every Sunday afternoon for years. We both loved scary movies. I also loved my yearly birthday trips into Manhattan where my Nana would take me to Bergdorf Goodman & let me pick out something for my birthday. That’s when my love affair with New York City began. In a way you could say my family inspired my career as a fashion-slash-entertainment journalist here in New York
5. What is your favorite holiday destination & why?
We’ve been going to Kennebunkport, Maine in the summer for over ten years now. It’s so beautiful & there’s just this sense of happiness I get from being there. Now it’s Madeline’s favorite place, so I get to experience it in a different way through her eyes & its magical.
6. Book or e-reader? Why & what are you currently reading?
I’m old school. I love a beautiful hardcover book. I read several books at a time. I like to balance great non fiction with something light. At the moment, I’m reading “Argubably” by Christopher Hitchens, a collection of his amazing writings — but I cant carry it around. The book weighs five pounds! I’m also reading “Lady Almina & the Real Downton Abbey”. I picked up “Fifty Shades of Grey” to see what all the fuss was about but I lost interest after the first few chapters. The writing seemed geared more to the Twilight set than to adults, but I certainly admire El James’ success. Her books are a phenomenon.
7. Which social media platform do you use & how did they impact your business?
Even with all its glitches and annoying ‘improvements’, I am a big Facebook fan. I love the sense of community it inspires & I always put everything I write up in hopes of getting people to read my work. I recently became Forbes.com’s new parenting columnist. I put my first blog post up & got a tremendous amount of support from my Facebook friends who shared it & also tweeted about it. Over 12,000 people read the post in less than 48 hours. I also am intrigued by Twitter & am planning to start using that as well.
8. What is a true luxury for you today?
The biggest luxury for me is time to spend as I’d like versus a day filled with ‘musts.’
9. What is your biggest accomplishment to date? Why?
Pre-motherhood, I would have said writing bestsellers & reaching my goal of becoming a professional writer but now I believe it’s raising a happy child who knows she is loved. As a mother, if you don’t do that, nothing else really matters.
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