What was your first job as a journalist?
In 2000, as a business stringer for The News-Star, a Gannett newspaper in Monroe, La.
Have you ever used a typewriter?
Yes, and I own two working models: a 1930s Underwood and a 1950s blue Quiet de Luxe Royal.
How is social media changing news?
Social media is revolutionizing every aspect of news and corresponding ethics concerning content, creation and consumption.
Who's your favorite fictional journalist?
Dustin Hoffman as Carl Bernstein in "All the President's Men." From newsroom editors: 'What have you done for me today?'
What does it mean to be a journalist?
We write the lines, read between the lines and take responsibility for it all in the bylines.
How do you prefer to be pitched on stories?
On topic, with catchy lede, to email or Twitter DM.
What tools and software do you use to do your job?
I use an iPhone 7 Plus for nearly everything when I'm traveling. My laptop is a stripped down PC,
What's your favorite social network?
Facebook, because of its generally accessibility and emerging features like FB Live from computer, Messenger emojis and enhanced ad insights.
Who do you wish followed you?
Monica Drake, Dan Saltzstein
Why did you become a journalist?
As development director in a halfway house for federal inmates, I heard backstories of human despair and suffering that deserved to be heard.
Did you work for your high school newspaper? If so, what did you do there?
No, I played in the orchestra.
What story are you most proud of writing or working on?
"The Pie Lady," a French Qtr vendor w/ operatic voice who previously made $$$ as a corp exec, and donated profits to local fire fighters.
What advice can you offer to aspiring journalists?
Objectivity is relative to observation and perception, which emerge through the lens of experience and exposure. Be present; stay open.
When's the best time to pitch you?
6-8 a.m. CST, M-F, or 3-5 p.m. CST, weekends.
What's the best pitch you ever got?
Music communicates before lanuage, beneath emotion and beyond consciousness. You're invited to experience the colors of music...
What's the worst pitch you ever got?
"Sex toys least likely to arouse the TSA when packed in your carryon." Extra points for humor and bad grammar, however.
What's your favorite drink?
Coffee, especially single-origin varieties like Sumatra that have spicy, earthy or herbaceous flavor notes.
When you're not at a computer, where are you most likely to be?
Seat 4D on a flight to anywhere in the world.
Aside from your own, what's your favorite publication to read?
The New York Times
What's the most common misperception about your beat?
That travel journalism is a code for dreamy vacations with lots of down time.
Would you like to take the Muck Rack Interview? Create a Muck Rack profile.