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
www.greenlightbookstore.com

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

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

Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmLaurence



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Is #JusticeForAvaLynn a case of bullying?

On Saturday, the hashtag #JusticeForAvaLynn became one of the trending topics on Twitter. Users circulated the above photo of 5-year-old AvaLynn, posted by her mother…

International

Terrorism could spread to US and Europe in…

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah said terrorism would soon spread to Europe and the United States unless it is quickly dealt with in the Middle East,…

National

Ex-Bitcoin official to plead guilty to Silk Road…

Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. charges that he engaged in a scheme to sell over $1 million of…

International

China's army changes tactics to prepare for war…

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China will spur military innovation and called on the army to create a new strategy for "information warfare" as…

Gossip

Joan Rivers on life support: Report

TMZ reports that comedian Joan Rivers has been placed on life support, "completely reliant on machines to stay alive." Rivers has been hospitalized since she…

Movies

What's new on Netflix in September

September has a supernatural theme for Netflix. UFO "documentaries" and the survivalist reality series "Doomsday Preppers" are among the new series coming to the online…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: Lesbians, men most likely…

Lesbians, men most likely to achieve orgasm Location: U.S. Study subjects: 2,850 people Results: Whether you find it shocking or not, a new study reports that…

Wellbeing

VIDEO: Still not wearing sunscreen? You will after…

Sunscreen is possibly the most often repeated - and ignored - piece of skincare advice. But Thomas Leveritt took a different tactic. With a short…

Food

Twitter used to track down sources of food…

When Chicago health officials saw Twitter users complaining about local food poisoning episodes, they reached out on Twitter to those users and often ended up…

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.