Yeah, I'm A PEOPLE Person

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

I recently started a new writing chapter in my life: I am officially a writer for is the online component of PEOPLE magazine, and the #1 celebrity site on the web, with nearly one billion page views per month. PEOPLE magazine is, well, PEOPLE magazine.

Working for PEOPLE has long been one of those dream jobs to me, as I am celebrity-obsessed, trend-driven brand-boy and fashion-lover. My editor at Random House once joked (only partly) that my memoirs have a "gazillion" more cultural references (read: pages and pages) than all of her authors combined.

It has been a long journey to get to PEOPLE, and there are many to thank (As Gary says, we all need "mentors" at different points in our lives -- those who lead us to new things and deeper understandings -- and I have had many on my journey). The first few weeks of this new endeavor have been more stressful than I imagined: Writing for PEOPLE is a mix of creativity and coding, writing and editing, voice and reportage, deadlines and, well, more deadlines.

I have written about Hugh Jackman and the Royal Baby. I have covered country stars and pop icons. I have penned touching pieces on Talia Castellano, the teen YouTube makeup maven who died much too early of cancer but inspired many.

I consider my writing for PEOPLE to be sort of a 10K in the midst of my marathons. And, it is already making me a better writer. The editors at PEOPLE push for perfection: They want great writing, great editing and great search optimization. I see my longer work with a new eye: It is making my writing tighter and more refined. It is keeping me on top of trends and topics.

Ironically, I have received a great deal of criticism from some of my readers and book fans about this: Why? they ask (although some have screamed this). Are you selling out? Are you done writing books?

The answers to the last two are easy: NO! In fact, work on my first novel is going exceedingly well, and I hope to have a draft to my agent this fall.


Because it's been a dream of mine and because it continues to challenge me, keep me on my toes, connect me to great writers, editors and people. It also builds my platform, which is vital in today's publishing world. And, more than anything, it is writing I enjoy, writing that pushes my adrenaline button, writing that lends itself to my narrative work, writing that makes me a better writer.

Life is an ongoing journey ... One must set goals, I believe, but never put stakes in the ground, otherwise we will never alter our path, go off-road, take risks. I live for risks. Mostly, I live to write. And so my journey continues ... be it memoirs or Miley, novels or Neil Patrick Harris.

To follow my journey at PEOPLE, head to:

Or, my PEOPLE page is:

Now, back to writing ... right now, for PEOPLE, later, my novel.

My advice to you: Follow your dreams! And GO WRITE!