Former magazine editor sheds light on the industry

Pretty In Ink
“Pretty in Ink” is about a whole staff of editors, not just one.
Credit: Allan J. Palmer

Author Lindsey Palmer is well aware that by writing a novel about the magazine industry, she’s going to get her fair share of criticism. But let’s get something out of the way right now: “Pretty in Ink” isn’t “The Devil Wears Prada,” nor is it trying to be. “‘The Devil Wears Prada’ came out in 2003 at the height of magazines,” she tells us. “Everything was luxury. Anything post-2008 is a totally different world.”

What makes Palmer’s book a vastly different read is that it’s set in a post-recession world, something readers can relate to no matter what their jobs are. “Everyone’s had that fear of losing their job,” Palmer says.

At the beginning of the book, the editor-in-chief of the fictional women’s magazine Hers gets the axe, and a new editor is brought in with the hopes of revitalizing the magazine and reversing slumping newsstand sales. The book is written from the perspective of different people on the Hers staff: the new top editor, the lowly intern, the taken-for-granted recipe editor who has been there for 25 years and others. Each has a very different perspective on the management shake-up, and the result is a 360-degree view of what it’s really like to work at a glossy.

And Palmer would know — she’s worked at Self, Glamour and Redbook. “I’ve always had mixed feelings about working in the magazine industry,” she says. “Some days I would come home and think, ‘I love what I do.’ Other days I’d think, ‘Why am I writing about date night for the 15th time?’”

Palmer wrote “Pretty in Ink” while she was still working as a magazine editor, at night and on the weekends. “No one in the book is based off of a real person. It’s more of a mosaic of my own experience,” she says. “I will say that I did experience, at one point, this kind of changing of the guard where an editor was let go and a new one was brought in, like what happens in the book.”

Now, Palmer has left the world of magazines behind and has started a new career as a teacher. “It’s funny, I started teaching this year and it’s so much work! I assign a five-page paper to 150 students and then I have 750 pages to grade. Sometimes I think, when did I write? Oh, I know: the time that I’m grading now.” Sounds like it’s a different devil all together.

Reading dates
New York
March 27, 7:30 p.m.
Greenlight Bookstore
686 Fulton St., 718-246-0200

April 16, 7 p.m.
Trident Bookstore
338 Newbury St., 617-267-8688

April 22, 7 p.m.
Kelly Writers House at the University of Pennsylvania
3805 Locust Walk, 215-746-POEM

Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmLaurence


Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.


Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…


OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…


MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.


Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."


'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.


'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."


TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.


Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.


Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.


Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”


Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.


Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.


Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…


NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.


The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.