journalist

All posts tagged journalist

Overnight Success Is Not a Real Thing

Published June 26, 2019 by Maryanne

Monkey AroundIs it business or monkey business? 

During my years as a journalist, people contacted me to publicize themselves. (Or just for a great story in general). It was a dream come true writing about bands (both famous and up and coming). I shared the story many times about how I interviewed The Jonas Brothers before they were a household name.  Those years were an amazing run in my life.

Then I started getting into writing books. And public speaking.

All of a sudden, publicists were coming out of the woodwork wanting to make me a “star.” Five years later, none of them impressed me.

Finding a good manager/publicist is like figuring out who to give your virginity too. It may take a long time. It may not happen at all. But whatever the case, don’t just give money to anyone.

I didn’t settle for love and ended up with a very happy marriage. So, why should I settle for a publicist/manager? In the end, I want it all — including a dream publicist/manager!

My goal in finding one would be:

  1. Someone who doesn’t lead with money. When someone (like the last scam artist) suggested that I create a Go Fund Me page in order to use her $7K per month services, I ripped her. I told her, if I was interested, I’d pay CASH in PAYPAL. And that Go Fund Me pages are to support those in real need, like people with cancer or hurt animals … Not publicists. Her plea of desperation for money was a major red flag. She spoke about money before she spoke about what she could do for me. Our phone consult lasted a mere five minutes while she put me on hold several times to talk to her friends at the restaurant. How can you ask for money when you barely spoke to someone? She didn’t even purchase one of my books, so how could she promote me? SCAM ARTIST ALERT! Another one said he could get me to warm up for Tony Robbins if I paid him $50K. He said Tony Robbins always wants him to be his opening motivational speaker act, but he’s too busy with his own stuff. I researched, and asked around. Nothing told me there was any truth in this man working with Tony Robbins.
  2. Someone who believes in me. Several years ago I exhausted myself interviewing potential managers. During one interview, a retired guy said, “Are you any good?” I ended the interview quickly. Why? Because he didn’t do his homework before the interview. If he read my newsletters and saw that I was consistently working for myself since 2009, he’d KNOW I was good. To me, being at the top and not lasting isn’t a good thing. But being somewhere in the middle and having longevity IS! I interviewed a woman who was putting me down while wanting the job. It reminded me of the “Sex and the City” movie when Carrie Bradshaw is interviewing potential assistants and asks, “So, why do you want this job?” It’s mind-blowing that people would want to work for you, but don’t get you. It makes no sense and is sure to go nowhere fast.
  3. Someone with a great track record. Yes, I know a few people like this. They are so good they don’t have time to work with me — yet! I say YET in high hopes that someday these women/men may have a window of opportunity for me. This could be another pipe dream–kind of like how some women wait for their dream guy to divorce his beautiful wife. But when you have in mind something special, it will manifest. It always does. Just don’t force it.

The thing is, when it comes to publicity, just like anything else that is good, stable, and successful, I say, do not rush your muse. Cherish your precious creative talents like you would your body and soul. Do not give them up to just anybody.

What you have is a GIFT from God and the Universe. Slow and steady is the key. Overnight success is not a real thing.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing, and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: Ten Ways to Become Your Own Hero” will be available October 2019. To pre-order, go here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

 

The Happy Writer!

Published May 20, 2019 by Maryanne

IMG_8614

Putting down an author just because they are not YET a “best-selling” author is a poor man’s mindset. It’s those who do not give up who win. Even if they don’t become best-selling authors, sustainability accounts for something too. Royalty checks, book signing events, and interviews on radio shows all add up. Getting offers to write blogs from all over the world and helping people write books to make their dreams come true is a blessing. It’s super fun earning money while you sleep too!
I’m living the dream and have been earning a living as a writer since 1995! I’ve been in magazines all over the world. I’ve interviewed some of the most incredible people including Henry Winkler, Tommy James, and Peter Murphy. 
I’ve had free meals in restaurants all over New York City. I’ve been on the guest list at countless concerts. And best of all, it doesn’t feel like WORK because I LOVE what I do.
Unstoppable with no plans of retiring! Because if I stop living my dream, I will DIE inside! 
So, when you meet a writer, do not ask them if they are a Best-selling author. A better question is “Are you happy?” And be prepared for an answer that will give you the greatest contact high ever!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing, and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books (which both mention how she was inspired by Freddie Mercury): 

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: Ten Ways to Become Your Own Hero” will be available October 2019. To pre-order, go here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

Be (Extra)Ordinary: Ten Ways to Become Your Own Hero

Published January 9, 2019 by Maryanne

kicam cover

I am ecstatic to reveal the cover, and the landing page of my upcoming book Be (Extra)Ordinary: Ten Ways To Become Your Own Hero, published by KiCam!

Release date is October 2019, and you can order yours today here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is an international author and speaker. She is available for events. For availability and pricing, contact: maryannechristiano@gmail.com 

She is also a professional blogger, book editor and ghost writer. Contact today for rates: maryannechristiano@gmail.com 

Author Versus Journalist

Published December 27, 2017 by Maryanne

sam_3971 - book signing2014, at my very first book signing

If you are reading this, chances are you do not know me as a writer. I’m not a famous writer and probably will never be. Nor will I ever win a Pulitzer Prize. I know my limitations. But I can say, for most of my adult life, writing has been my “day job” and I make a comfortable living as a writer and editor. Yeah, I beat the odds. I get to work in my pajamas.

As I wrote in my first book, “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” it took a long time to earn my bragging rights. Coming from a single parent family, I never had the opportunity to go to college. But I know many people with degrees that don’t follow their dreams as I did! I always wrote here and there — and finally got published. It was sweet extra income while I worked in offices for publishing companies or music businesses. I never took a job I didn’t have extreme passion for.

When I first started writing full time as a journalist, it was because I made my way into the door. I was first hired as a typist at a NYC publication. While there, I told a few editors that I like to write. Then bam! Eventually I was writing about everything — food, theatre, advertorials, features, business, and even sports. I was officially a journalist — in New York City!

I’ll never forget how long it would take me when I first began writing articles. I’d be up until 4 a.m. Then, the more I learned, the faster I got. I take pride in the fact that I could write a 500+ word article, that needs minimal or no editing, in less that an hour.

Back then, seeing an article I wrote hanging up in a restaurant in Chelsea, NYC, was a thrill. Having actresses and rock stars write me letters thanking me for my articles was euphoric. I ate at restaurants for free; got guest-listed more times than I can remember; and received hundreds of gifts and freebies just for acknowledging someone in an article. And this went on for years — now decades.

Writing an article is instant satisfaction. You write. You get published. You get praise. Writing an article is fresh and current. But when you’ve been a journalist for as long as I have, it’s natural to go the next step. No, not author — editor.

As an editor, I started my own home based business and helped dozens of people pen their memoirs and fiction books prior to publication. During this period it dawned on me that I should write a book. I gathered my thoughts together and in three years wrote three books — two self-published and the final was picked up by a traditional publisher.

What came with published books was equally as satisfying as journalism. Anyone who has had a successful book signing knows what it’s like to feel like a star. Anyone who has received a substantial royalty check has that feeling of arrival. Anyone who has had someone they admired endorse their books knows what it’s like to have butterflies in their stomach. And it’s the most surreal thing in the world to wake up in the morning and say to yourself, “I’m an author” and you know your life will never be the same from that moment onward.

But the thing is, writing a book is harder than writing an article. That’s why I didn’t want to write a book to begin with. Work shouldn’t feel like work. There’s a saying, “If you do what you love, you never worked a day in your life.” Writing articles isn’t work for me. It’s a need; a desire. I must write articles, like I must have food and sex and music and love and all the good things life has to offer. Writing a book is like having a slice of pizza. I enjoy it, but it’s not necessary to my being. I’d much rather edit someone else’s book.

Currently I am in the process of writing two more books and will use any excuse not to work on them. Last they’ve been touched was over the summer. And the only time I feel a bit of guilt is when a fan of my books approaches me at a signing and asks when my next book is coming out. It breaks my heart to tell someone, “Probably 2019,” but that is the truth. If that! It could be 2020. Or never.

While I’m writing a book, and really getting into it, I can’t stop talking about it. When you’re in a groove, you’re in a groove. I’ve completed books quickly during afternoons of drinking a few glasses of organic wine. Then comes the hard part. Shopping it around to publishers. Or negotiating with self-publishing companies who prefer you use their packages rather than hire your own copy editors and book designers.

Honestly, the best part is the rejection letters. They do not accept your material, but are encouraging that they are sure you will find the publisher who is a perfect fit.

Then once you find that publisher, who is supposed to be a perfect fit, it’s anything but. Whether you self-publish or are published traditionally, beware of several months of headaches before, during and after the process. Be prepared to be persecuted by clueless betas, to re-do work that editors have fucked up, all the cover “do overs,” marketers who fall short, and those dreaded bad reviews.

Let me pause here for a second to say that a bad review for a journalist is a good thing. It means people are reading your work, which is good for advertising. It’s also humorous when you can share with your co-writers a letter to the editor bitching about you. My biggest laugh was when I wrote an article about tattoo parlors and an irritated reader pondered if I had a tattoo myself. (I have three). Or the times when I wrote about a band and you’d get a member who felt he didn’t get as much coverage as the others and go on an egomaniac rant via email — or even a phone call. (This has happened more than once).

As an author, it’s more personal. It’s your work, not the property of a magazine or a newspaper. You are no longer the reporter. It’s your baby. Like poetry. While a bad review is expected, doesn’t make it easy on you. You have to be able to take it.

I once gave a refund to a client who wanted me to help her write a book. She said, “I don’t want people to judge me.”

I told her, “Then you’re not ready to write a book. Because people will judge you.”

Not only will they judge you on the content of your work — but on the fact that you are an author. Other authors are competitive. Non authors will say things to downplay you. I’ve had an ignorant person ask me, “Do you actually make money off of those books?”

Uh, yes, I do. Especially at book signings or literary clubs. I make a killing.

I also make a killing by touching people’s lives with my books. One of the best compliments I ever received was from a woman who read “On the Guest List.” She liked that when I spoke about being part of the stage show for The Nuns that I had to work and diet to get my body in shape. She wrote me, “You didn’t make it sound like it was easy because it isn’t.”

Sometimes I’ll Google myself and see a glowing review for one of my books and it brings a smile to my face. I just want to hug the stranger who got me!

However, with all the pluses and satisfaction a book brings to my life, I’ll forever be a journalist in my heart. And here’s why:

  • I get to meet more people, especially children. (Nothing is cuter than a little kid jumping up and down screaming, “I’m going to be in the newspaper!” after you interview him/her.
  • The quickness of the truth. It takes about six months to write a book. You are focused on researching, reading it over and over to make sure you’re accurate. In writing an article, the truth is right there for you. You simply write the facts — who, what, where, why, and how.
  • The instant glory. You write, you get published, people are reading!
  • Getting out of the house. While it’s everyone’s dream to work at home in their pajamas — and writing a book will give you that luxury — life is short and it feels good to get out and meet people. As I wrote earlier, there’s free concerts and free meals; but there’s also tree lightings, winter walks, fashion shows … around every corner there is something to write about. And that’s a beautiful thing!
  • Sometimes people do your work for you. No, that doesn’t mean someone is ghost writing my stuff. It means if you get a kick ass interview with someone, the story practically writes itself.

But then again, a book is forever; and years down the road I’ll still be collecting royalty checks and doing book signings for a book that was written years ago. And someone on Amazon or Ebay will be selling my book for much more. Well, that’s book business.

Wishing Everyone a Sweet ’16!

Published January 1, 2016 by Maryanne

SAM_9440Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta and husband, Dennis

Happy 2016! Let’s make it a sweet one!

For the past month or so, I’ve been slacking off on blogging. Why? Because I am living the dream of being a writer. Last August I was hired as managing editor of DiningOut magazine. And just yesterday I was hired to write for a media group that has 17 New Jersey newspapers!

My career in 2015 was amazing. It was spent book editing (I’ve helped two people publish their books, two others copy edit, and am now working on another), public speaking, and publishing my second book “Love Cats” (available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1681020513). Then by mid-August I was officially hired as managing editor of DiningOut, which is part-time so I have all the freedom to pursue my other creative outlets. Though I’m not sure if I’ll be publishing my third book “The Gypsy Smiled” in 2016 or not.

While some authors love to bang out books left and right, I like to do so when I can have the time to enjoy and nurture them. 2016 may or may not be the time. I spent most of my adult life earning a living as a writer and journalist. Writing a book was never on my bucket list. It just happened — twice. And it bothers me that so many people think of being an author as something “better” or more important than journalism. I think just the opposite. I think articles are fabulous because they are timely and current and give you instant satisfaction. Plus, the fact that in writing articles, you interview so many people. Learning about people is such a great experience and makes anyone a better person, as it’s always a better idea to listen than to talk. That’s why journalism (and book editing other people’s work) keeps the ego in check. In this line of work, I’m rarely asked about my life and that is fine. (And probably why I love to share my feelings via blogging when I do have the time to think something out and express it in words!)

So looking forward to much more journalism in 2016, of course after the nice three-day weekend (though writers are so addicted to their craft, they always sneak a little work in)! Write to live and live to write!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is an award-winning journalist. Her first book “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” is available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/162903908X

Running with the Winners

Published June 3, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_5993My Ed Hardy sneakers, not for running!

For several days I’ve been meaning to write a blog about exercise. What better day than National Running Day?! Here’s an article I wrote several years ago on the benefits of running: http://patch.com/new-jersey/verona/running-with-the-winners

Maybe some can be inspired by the article, though I must share I’m not a runner myself. I stopped doing high impact exercising in 2010 after interviewing Oleda Baker who said that jogging, running and jumping could hurt the joints. Read the full article here: https://maryannemistretta.wordpress.com/2013/08/11/oleda-baker-article-i-wrote-for-the-patch-in-2010/

Whether you’re all for running or prefer other types of exercise, the thing is make sure you are exercising with passion and not disgust. If you’re working out and hating it the whole time, you won’t lose any weight. Why? Because stress turns to sugar.

It’s better to exercise when you’re happy about it. Not when you’re in the mind frame of “Oh, I gotta do this.” A clever suggestion is to break up a work-out into two mini work-outs instead of having one long one where you’re watching the clock. I’ve noticed that when I do this and also take breaks where I don’t exercise for a day or two (and do something else like meditating instead) that’s when my metabolism kicks in and I can eat a lot more and stay at my goal weight (and sometimes surprisingly be under my goal weight!)

Over the past weekend I ate a lot of stuff I normally don’t — chips, hummus, and a seafood dish with creamy lobster sauce and long grain rice. Yet the scale was my best friend — every day I was at my goal weight. I mentioned that to my husband and he reminded me, “Because you’re not stressed.”

As a side note, I eat about 80 percent paleo.

SAM_7122Fit over 50!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is an award-winning journalist, author and public speaker. She is available for the presentation “Paleo for Beginners” which includes a healthy dish.

And for seniors, “Here’s to Your Health and the Benefits of Walking.”

For more information, pricing and availability, contact Maryanne at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com

 

 

Don’t Be Stupid When Speaking to The Press

Published June 2, 2015 by Maryanne

fucking stupid

Public Notice: If you’re ever interviewed by a reporter regarding a sensitive subject, DO NOT tell them they can use your real name in an email — and then after the article is published trash the writer for using your real name. That is just plain STUPID! But, yeah, some people are dumb as fuck.

I’m always super sensitive when I interview people, asking “Are you SURE I can use your real name.” and “Are you SURE this is ON THE RECORD?”

I never seek to hurt anyone intentionally and when someone writes in an email “Use my real name, I’d be honored” I’d take that as an “OKAY” to use their real name and it’s not that big a deal.

THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK or suck it up and live with it. Don’t act all “bad-ass” in front of the reporter and then when things are in print (and maybe people start questioning you) you go back and shit all over the reporter (who has covered her bases many times over!)

Have some class, it’s not always the Press who is at fault!