Women's Media Group
Connect • Inspire • Rise

New Member Spotlight

Until we can safely network in person, get to know our new members through our Q & A.


Let’s welcome new member Laura Baisas! 



What do you do?


I am in the middle of a career transition. I spent 12 years at NBC News, writing and producing educational videos for the web. My whole department found out we were being shut down the week before the COVID lockdown (March 6th!), which was really tough timing. I stayed on until July to wind the site down. I am now a freelance science writer and a transcriber with Transcript Associates. I am also waiting to hear back from a Master's program that starts in the fall. It's been daunting since this is my first real career transition, but supportive groups like WMG and my family have helped me when it's been scary.  

  

How did you discover WMG?


Kathy Sandler! She reached out to me on LinkedIn and we had a great conversation. She reached me at a time when I really needed it. My lay-off hurt my self-esteem, even though there wasn't anything that I could do about it. Kathy helped me realize that this was just a transition phase and that I still have professional value. It's just on pause and needs some re-setting. It was a small act of kindness that really went a long way. 

  

What are you reading and/or watching right now?


I am loving Braiding Sweetgrass. It's one of the best books I've read in a while. Robin writes the way I hope to one day. Her unique writing style as a scientist and a poet really makes the chapters fly by. I also loved In Five Years. I read it over the summer and I'm re-reading it now. It's a fun twist on the "What if?" literary theme. I also am loving "Dickinson"  on Apple TV+, "WandaVision" on Disney+, and "All Creatures Great and Small" on PBS. They all have the power to distract me so I'm completely immersed in a different world. With pandemic and job stress, I've really been looking for that kind of distraction in the media I consume. 

  

What is your top career goal right now?


Really keep honing my skills as a science writer and learn how to freelance well. I LOVE science but was never encouraged to pursue a career in STEM because I am terrible at math. Science writing is my way of being a scientist without having to solve any equations. I'm a bit scared of the notion of being on my own and not part of a large company, but right now, that seems to be the best thing to do.  

  

What are you looking forward to most post-quarantine?


Hugging my nieces and nephews. My husband and I haven't seen them in person since Christmas 2019, and I miss them so much it hurts. Also, BROADWAY!  

  

How can WMG members connect with you?


I love a nice email! It's like getting a greeting card amidst junk mail and bills. 

Twitter @LorPicardo

Instagram @lpbaisas

Website https://www.laurabaisas.com/


Let’s welcome new member Jen Loja!



What do you do?


I am the President of the Penguin Young Readers Group (a division of Penguin Random House)


How did you discover WMG?


I was asked by a fellow member, and I am so excited to learn more about the WMG and its members!


What are you reading and / or watching now?


It’s Meet the Austins by Madeline L’Engle (I’m a typical only child that loved stories of wonderful families), and right now we are binging “Staged” (it’s ridiculous and silly and just what my husband and I needed. And when our 6 year old is in charge of the clicker it’s all “Bluey” all the time.


What is your top career goal right now?

To find a way to help my group figure out a Future of Work scenario that works for the whole team. I think to manage to pull off some sort of hybrid situation that gives us the best of being in the office but the delight of more time for whatever we care about outside of work will be a very big project but an incredibly important one. I know we can figure this out!


What are you looking forward to most post-quarantine?

Probably the same things many of you are, sitting around a dinner table with friends, travelling to family we haven’t been able to see, and I absolutely cannot wait to hear live music again.


How can WMG members connect with you?
 
Feel free to reach me at: jrhloja@gmail.com or via LinkedIn.


We are pleased to introduce new member Ceneta Lee-Williams to WMG! 




What do you do?


I am a Sales Director at Penguin Random House.


How did you discover WMG?


I was invited to join by Kathy Sandler, who is a colleague.


What are you reading and / or watching now?


My most recent favorite book read is Caste by Isabel Wilkerson. Favorite show is Fargo and a lot of syndicated comedy – Black-ishKing of Queens – to name a few.


What is your top career goal right now?

My career goal is to be able to work remotely and get a better work-life balance in the years before retirement.


What are you looking forward to most post-quarantine?

I look forward to seeing family and friends post quarantine. Other things I enjoy and look forward to doing more of post Covid are yoga, going to concerts, listening to music and, of course, reading.


How can WMG members connect with you?
 
LinkedIn.


We are pleased to introduce new member Sandra Poirier Smith to WMG! 



What do you do?


I'm the President of Smith Publicity. Since 1997, we’ve partnered closely with thousands of authors and publishers from NY Times bestsellers to first-time authors, to promote their books, brands and ideas.


How did you discover WMG?

Kathy Sandler (thank you, Kathy!)


What are you reading and / or watching now?


My favorite series is Outlander by Diana Gabaldon—it’s smart, beautiful writing, has some great history, plus a riveting romantic storyline. I’ve been reading her work for 20+ years. Right now, I just started listening to The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. What I am watching: I'm switching between Handmaid’s Tale (how did I miss this?!) and re-watching from the first season The Real Housewives of New York (no judgement please on my Bravo television  ).


What is your top career goal right now?

Networking with authors and publishing professionals, taking care of our amazing team of book publicists as they’ve been challenged over this past year with a tough media landscape, while often also caring for family members young and old, and continuing to find creative solutions that help our authors/publishers elevate their brands, spark book sales, and attract new business opportunities (clients, fans/followers, speaking engagements, etc.).


What are you looking forward to most post-quarantine?

Eating out (really not cooking/cleaning up for our family of six!), travelling (we had to cancel a trip my husband surprised me with last February to Post Ranch Inn—it looks incredible—any tips in this area most welcomed for when we do get there hopefully later this year), and mostly seeing my 84-year-old dad!


How can WMG members connect with you?
 
Email Sandy@SmithPublicity.comLinkedIn, I am on Twitter, but rarely tweet  .



We are pleased to introduce new member Janet O'Grady to WMG! 






What do you do?


I am a writer, editor, and entrepreneur who co-founded Aspen Magazine with my late husband, and was its Editor in Chief and Creative Director for 25 years. My experience includes running all aspects of a niche media business. I sold the business a couple years ago, and embarked on an extended travel sabbatical, including experimenting with living in NYC—which I love—and as a base for travel, and to do a deep dive of its culture. Recently I’ve returned to writing and have published stories in the NYT Travel; Washington Post TravelVogue; and Architectural Digest. In addition to luxury and adventure travel, I’m knowledgeable and passionate about art; design; food; and the environment. I’m fascinated to push the envelop on notions of wellness, regeneration, longevity, and social justice.


How did you discover WMG?

Call it serendipity, but with the pandemic curtailing travel and my freelance travel writing, which I was just beginning to launch, I was looking for ways to connect in the media world in NYC when I received an email from Kathy Sandler. Pleased to be nominated to a group of such talented professionals. Look forward to meeting members in person too. 


What are you reading and / or watching now?


I’ve read a lot this past year. Just finished Shuggie Bain, a book that totally engrossed me with its insights into a child’s relationship with an addictive parent, as well as its depiction of Glasgow, and poverty, during the 1980s-90s.  Also reading a lot of memoirs. Just finished Suleika Jaouad’s Between Two Kindgoms: A Memoir of a Life Interrupted. With gripping intimacy the story reminds us how life can be turned upside down in a moment with a cancer diagnosis. Her story spoke to me personally as I lost my husband to a similar cancer. The book explores so many powerful ideas, including time and isolation and connection and creativity that also resonated for many during the pandemic. In my stack to start this week: the novels Love Is An Ex-CountryHow Beautiful We Were, and, Joan Didion’s Let Me Tell You What I Mean. Recently watched Biopic The United States vs. Billie Holiday, and just this weekend—didn’t realize how viciously hounded she was by the FBI!—  the riveting I Care A Lot and Nomadland.


What is your top career goal right now?

After time out, followed by the pandemic, I’m feeling fire in my belly—as the expression goes— to create new projects. I’m working on a book—not sure if it will be a memoir about my love affair with my husband and our adventures, or fiction. Taking my first writing workshop in April. I equally love to balance solitary time writing and collaborating with others to create a brand or enterprise; love working with authors. Editing is an art form that I wish was more valued. I have always remembered the words of a mentor: “the better the writer you are, the better the editor you need.” I love everything about books, from chasing a story concept and author to their physicalness to their lives as convenient digital reads on my iPhone. 


What are you looking forward to most post-quarantine?

I love the energy of NYC street life and roaming around with my Sony camera. I miss live jazz like the Blue Note, purchasing last minute discount tickets to theatre, and grabbing a bite in a crowded bar afterwards and striking up a conversation with a stranger. I know the City will reinvent itself. I’m obsessed with traveling again.


How can WMG members connect with you?
 
I am on LinkedIn and on Instagram @janet___ogrady. My email address is JanetOAse@gmail.com. I’m also on Muckrack.



We are pleased to introduce new member Anna Halkidis to WMG! 







What do you do?


I’m currently the features editor at Parents.com.


How did you discover WMG?

Through Kathy Sandler!

What are you reading and / or watching now?


I’m a sucker for motivational books and just finished reading The Buddha and the Badass: The Secret Spiritual Art of Succeeding at Work by Vishen Lakhiani, the co-founder of Mindvalley. I really enjoy reading people’s success stories and all the lessons they learned along the way. As for shows, I’ve been binge-watching Netflix ones, including Virgin River (love it!), and just started Firefly Lane (also really liking it!).


What is your top career goal right now?

I hope to write for more publications that I love and to publish a children’s book I am working on. 


What are you looking forward to most post-quarantine?

I am really looking forward to traveling, going to concerts, and just being around all my relatives and friends again. I also really miss going into the office!


How can WMG members connect with you?
 
You can find me on TwitterLinkedIn, and Instagram, or connect via email annahalkidis@gmail.com.


We are pleased to introduce new member Cheryl Overton to WMG!






What do you do?

I am the Founder and Chief Experience Officer of Cheryl Overton Communications, an integrated marketing communications advisory that helps brands navigate its relationships with stakeholders via the voices, influence and persuasive power of multicultural consumers. We believe brands with vision can help make the world a more inclusive place.

How did you discover WMG?

I was approached by Kathy Sandler and found value in the programs and community WMG offered. 

What are you reading and / or watching now?


It's hard to choose but my favorite book is The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. It's a depiction of racism, Black beauty and the fetishization of western beauty standards. My grandmother gave the book to me while I was in middle school and. before book clubs were 'a thing,' we read it together, delved into the language and themes and processed the emotions it evoked. It was my introduction to Morrison and I've been hooked ever since. This book is also a dear reminder of how my grandmother always respected my mind, honored my personage and supported me to embrace challenging content that would benefit me. I reread the book every fews years and always take something new from it. 
 
I have been watching so many shows recently - my iPhone weekly screen time report is on the increase!  I just finished WandaVision (Disney+) and though I'm not a Marvel disciple I loved the series - a fantasy with heart featuring a bevy of strong women. It's also a meditation on grief that is defly handled - kudos to that writer's room! I'm also watching Queen Sugar (OWN) - it is probably the most beautifully shot show on TV right now - and actor Kofi Siriboe is eye candy extraordinaire! My TV 'comfort food' these days are Seinfeld and The King of Queens repeats - one is always on around my bedtime. I enjoy the familiar jokes and fictional look at NYC when times were gentler pre-COVID.  

What is your top career goal right now?

To scale my business -- adding more clients, more employees and more partners to collaborate with and do this important work of making campaigns more diverse and inclusive. 

What are you looking forward to most post-quarantine?

Travel! I am an avid traveler normally and miss seeing the world. 

How can WMG members connect with you?
 
Instagram

Facebook


Welcome Nina Lorez Collins to WMG!






What do you do?


I founded and run a social platform and website for women over 40 called The Woolfer.


How did you discover WMG?


I’ve been familiar with WMG for years because I've worked in book publishing for 18 years (I was a scout, then a literary agent) but never joined. Then someone invited me and I said yes! 


What is your favorite book and the show that you're watching now?


Favorite author is probably Alice Munro and I’m loving Call My Agent on Netflix now.


What is your top career goal right now?


We’re trying to either sell the Woolfer or merge with someone larger. We’ve received an offer and a few interesting possibilities, but the right thing has not quite gelled yet.


What are you looking forward to most post-quarantine?


Travel. 


How can WMG members connect with you?


I’m easy to find — nina@thewoolfer.com/ Nina Lorez Collins on FB and Instagram.


Welcome Susan Jaramillo to WMG!






What do you do?


I’m an artist and a storyteller and I create character-based meaningful stories for kids that help teach them 21st-century skills. My stories come to life through books, animated content & apps where kids can learn and play. I’m also the creator of Canticos™ and Skeletitos™  – and the co-creator of Tiny Travelers™. I do all of this at a company I cofounded in 2016 called Encantos. Encantos is an award-winning edtech company that believes kids learn best through play; we use story-teaching to make 21st-century learning fun via digital and physical subscriptions.


How did you discover WMG?


LinkedIn.


What is your favorite book and the show that you're watching now?


100 de Soledad. Love it because it's the story of my family – my father’s Venezuelan family and my mother's Ecuadorian family. All of the madness, all of the crazy things taken for granted. I know those characters well.


I just finished The Morning Show (loved - though not sure about the ending.) I love how they addressed gender dynamics in the workplace – How the men don’t see it as a big deal, how the women succeeding enable it casually – and how devastating it can be. I wish it hadn’t ended so abruptly. I’d love to see it go further and help us model out how we could change things the way The West Wing did for politics.


What is your top career goal right now?


Build Build Build. I feel like I’m in the zone with what Encantos is doing. We are also now at a place where we can help other talented creators tell their stories. We’re out to disrupt the old way of telling stories. #BreakTheWheel


What are you looking forward to most post-quarantine?


Travel. Anywhere.


How can WMG members connect with you?


You can follow me at @sujaramillo (Twitter & IG) and our brands at @Canticosworld @GoTinyTravelers @Skeletitos


Welcome Irina Soriano to WMG!






What do you do?


I am the Head of Enablement at a SaaS company called Seismic. I am based in NYC. Outside of my work, I am an author waiting to publish my first book in March and I spend a lot of time educating on the lack of gender equality in the workplace through my social media presence.


How did you discover WMG?


I was introduced to WMG through my editor Candi Cross.

 

What is your favorite book and show that you're watching now?


My favorite book is Radical Candor. Being a female leader it has taught me a lot about the balance of managerial courage, honesty, and pushing my people to be their best while making sure they know I deeply care about them and their development.

 

The show I am currently re-watching is Breaking Bad. My husband got me hooked on this show years ago when we were living in Singapore and we decided to watch it again to fill some of our weekend quarantine boredom.

 

What is your top career goal right now?


Get to the C-Suite.

 

What are you looking forward to most post-quarantine?


Go to bars and restaurants in NYC, and hang out with all my friends and family again.

 

How can WMG members connect with you?


LinkedIn

Instagram

Facebook


Welcome Nicole Op Den Bosch to WMG!





What do you do?


I am the Director of Operations for Audible Originals and I keep the trains running on time so that great audio content can reach our customers. Outside of Audible, I am the Founder and Head Coach of Sun Seed Sessions, a coaching practice dedicated to helping women with personal and professional challenges.


How did you discover WMG?


My colleague told me about it and thought I would be a great fit!


What is your favorite book and show that you're watching now?


My favorite book is Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut. I appreciate characters that do not sit in either a 'good' or 'bad' space, characters that may or may not be the villain. Currently, I am obsessing over The Crown and very caught up in royal fever.


What is your top career goal right now?


My top career goal right now is expanding my coaching practice and helping overworked, overlooked and overwhelmed women. 


What are you looking forward to most post quarantine?


Hosting my family in my new home and being able to greet them with a hug!


How can WMG members connect with you?


You can keep up with my adventures on Instagram @sunseedsessions and also on LinkedIn.


Welcome Lisa Skriloff to WMG! 






What do you do?

I am the founder (1994) and president of Multicultural Marketing Resources, Inc (Multicultural.com,) publisher of Multicultural Marketing News (MMRNews) and The Source Book of Multicultural Experts and a consultant and writer on diversity, marketing and travel.  

As a consultant I provide marketing support and public relations services to corporations as well as ad agencies and other communications firms involved in marketing to Hispanics, African Americans, Asian Americans, people with disabilities, LGBTQ consumers and women- and minority- business owners. And I help connect journalists to diverse sources.

At the same time, I have continued my freelance travel writing for trade and consumer travel publications and for my blog/newsletter Multicultural Travel News.

As a ballroom dance enthusiast I blog about where to go dancing around the world at Dance Travel News (dancetravelnews.com.) With Jodie Gould I co-authored an early book about internet dating, Men Are From Cyberspace: The Single Woman’s Guide to Finding Love Online published by St. Martin’s Press in December 1997.

How did you discover WMG?

As an editor I am on the receiving end of press releases and I decided to join the organization when I learned about it from this one: "Women’s Media Group Establishes Scholarship for Young Women Interested in Publishing Careers Who Attend the NYU School of Professional Studies Center for Publishing - Summer Publishing Institute." By the way, I also taught a course at NYU SPS for 11 years which I had proposed: “Marketing to the New Majority: How to Reach the Multicultural Consumer."

What's your favorite book and show that you're watching now?

I'm a big fan of the authors Lorrie Moore, Deborah Tannen and Patricia Highsmith, having read all their books. I’m currently re-reading Highsmith’s Deep Water in anticipation of the forthcoming movie starring  Ben Affleck and ‎Ana de Armas. On Netflix, inspired by Borgen we visited Copenhagen last year and I seek out any show taking place in Spain where I lived for two years. Good thing we watched “Trapped” an Icelandic TV crime drama series, after we had already been to Iceland.

What's your top career goal right now?

With my upgraded and redesigned website launching in January, which will allow companies to post their own profile and news, I hope to have more free time away from the computer for consulting, writing and, one day, travel.

What are you looking forward to most post quarantine?

Going to the movies, Broadway shows, restaurants and trips to Las Vegas, Madrid, and a European river cruise.

How can WMG members connect with you?

I welcome connections!

lisa@multicultural.com

Twitter 

LinkedIn

Instagram 


Welcome Jennifer Maguire to WMG!







What do you do?

I bring to media the stories and news from great brands, personalities, entertainment, and nonprofits. 

How did you discover WMG?

I discovered WMG through my dear friend, mentor, and collaborator Bridget Marmion, a publishing and thought leader event guru.

What's your favorite book and show that you're watching now?

At the moment, I’m reading City of Angles by former Los Angeles Times editor William Loving. It follows a reporter’s epiphany following a series of events that leave him jobless and homeless . . . with a bit of sex thrown in! Quarantine doubled my screen time, so in my free time, I’ve turned to podcasts as respite. My favorite is The Positive Mind Radio Show which I find very soothing and empowering. 

What's your top career goal right now?

My career goal is to keep working, growing, and mentoring in my field.  

What are you looking forward to most post quarantine?

I’m most looking forward to getting a massage post quarantine.

How can WMG members connect with you?

LinkedIn or Twitter


Welcome Elizabeth Shaw to WMG!







What do you do?


I’m the Editor in Chief of HealthCentral, a consumer health site dedicated to informing, supporting, and empowering people with chronic illness.


How did you discover WMG?


Chandra Turner!


What is your favorite book and show that you're watching now?


I’m currently obsessed with Peaky Blinders. The writing. The sets. Cillian Murphy! Favorite book is harder…so many…but one of my top reads of the last couple of years is A Gentleman in Moscow.


What is your top career goal right now?


I made the switch from print magazines to digital just over a year ago, so I consider myself still deep in a learning phase. My goal is simply to become as skilled in digital content strategy as I was in print.


What are you looking forward to most post quarantine?


Having drinks in a packed bar with every single one of my friends at the same time. And dancing. Dancing will be key.


How can WMG members connect with you?


I’m on Insta @elizanneshaw and HC’s Insta is @healthcentraldotcom 



Welcome Brett Rachlin to WMG!





What do you do? 

I am an accomplished advertising and marketing professional with over 20 years work experience on the agency, client and publishing side of the marketing, advertising and promotions industry. I know how to grow a business in the digital space and beyond. I understand advertising, sales reps, print production, the creative process, project management, editorial needs, and meeting deadlines. I am able to take ideas and go back to the teams to execute them and bring them to fruition. I think the best way to describe who I am in the workspace and at home is by my values. I live my life by my sense of integrity; I am hard working, pragmatic, ambitious, traditional, and responsible. I get things done, and can delegate and execute like a pro. I have a business brain and use it not only at work but also in my home life. A calendar is my best friend. I like to be organized and be on top of what needs to get done. When I start a project, I am in it for the long haul. I know anything worth having take times, perseverance and hard work. I look forward to bringing my background and expertise to the table.

How did you discover WMG?

Julie Blattberg and I worked together at Harper Collins. She reached out when I posted that I was laid off at the end of March and nominated me to be a part of the group. I am so happy she did and I am super excited to meet other strong woman in the media world.

What is your favorite book and show that you're watching now?

I have been re-reading books since we have been home, I re-read Beach Music by Pat Conroy and Summer Sisters by Judy Blume. And I just pulled out Catcher in the Rye and Lord of the Flies to re-read. As for shows, my husband and I started Ozark and we are obsessed!!

What is your top career goal right now?

I am looking for my next opportunity in the media world. 

What are you looking forward to most post quarantine?

I am looking forward to what ever the new normal is for us. 

How can WMG members connect with you?

You can find me at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brettcrachlin/

Welcome Quressa Robinson to WMG! 





What do you do?

I am a literary agent at Nelson Literary Agency  

How did you discover WMG? 

I heard about it a few years ago when I was working as an Assistant Editor. I was looking to make my next career move and was looking for professional organizations that might provide support. 

What is your favorite book and show that you're watching now? 

I just binged Julie and the Phantoms. And I can't help but watch the How to Train Your Dragon trilogy every once in a while. In terms of reading, I'll have to say this year has been pretty busy for me so I haven't had much of a chance to read outside of work. And when it comes to favorites, that Kindle folder has over 100 titles, so I don't have just one. I suppose some are A Discovery of WitchesThe Night CircusUprooted, any paranormal/urban fantasy romance from Nalini Singh, and The Kiss Quotient

What is your top career goal right now?

I really enjoy working with authors, especially marginalized authors. It feels like such a great accomplishment to get my client's books into readers' hands--particularly readers who feel like they are seeing their experiences reflected for the first time. I'd love to do more of that ten-fold as well as continue to mentor pub professionals of color and help them stick it out in such a tough industry. It was just announced that I am one of the 40 PW Star Watch honorees this year. Hopefully, this means I'm closer to achieving my goals than I realized. 

What are you looking forward to most post quarantine? 

I suppose just the freedom of going out on a whim, stopping for a drink, or hanging at a cafe. I've been working at home since 2016 so going out for meetings and social engagements were the only time I left the house. It will be nice to do that again. 

How can WMG members connect with you?

https://twitter.com/qnrisawesome

Welcome Dinah Dunn to WMG!





What do you do?

I am a partner in Indelible Editions, a book producer that specializes in illustrated nonfiction. When I left Hachette, I joined forces with the design team of RHDNYC, whom I’ve always admired. Now we make beautiful books together!

How did you discover WMG?

Julie Blattberg gave an interesting talk at the APBA, so I reached out to her about potentially working together. She was kind enough to nominate me for WMG. 

What are you reading and watching right now?

One of the small bright sides of quarantine is that I’ve read a ton of terrific fiction, including Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson, News of the World by Paulette Jiles, The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel, and Weather by Jenny Offill. 

On television, I get my weekly dose of frustrating knowledge from John Oliver’sLast Week Tonight and have been rewatching Parks and Recreation for a guaranteed laugh when I need it.

What is your top career goal right now?

While I spent most of my career championing books in house that I wanted to acquire, it’s a different set of skills to approach publishers with projects and negotiate deals. I’m learning every day and look forward to feeling as confident about pitching as I do about editing.

What are you looking forward to most post quarantine?

I’m close with my family and, although we have group Zooms and chats, I can’t wait to get together and give them all a hug.

How can WMG members connect with you?

I can be reached through LinkedIn and the Indelible Editions website.


Welcome Liza Andrews to WMG! 




What do you do?

I am a multimedia professional. As I photographer, I do fine art, luxury portraits, fashion and advertising. I teach workshops and webinars on my two signature methods, "How to Become Photogenic" and "How To Enhance Professional Presence". As a writer, in the past five years, I have been writing and curating articles about career and lifestyle for the Portuguese-speaking online magazine Arte & Manhas da Mulher. I wrote two young-adult novels commissioned by a Portuguese school; and I am currently writing the self-help book You Beyond The Mirror, sharing the creation of my methods, discussing case studies all over the globe and my twenty years of experience using photography, video cameras and audio recordings to help people improve their personal and professional lives. 

How did you discover WMG?

I photographed author Susan MacKenty Brady, who was featured in the January ’19 event, “Conquer Your Inner Critic, Stop Making Excuses” with pro development legend, Sally Hegelsen. I was highly impressed with the content, format and location of this discussion. As a guest at other events, I loved the level of interaction and supportive energy among members

Your favorite book and the show that you're watching now?

I'm always reading and writing, and I have favorites in different genres. Since I work with "Reinvention", I'm delighted when (accidentally or not) I find books about the subject. One of my favorites is "Tipping the Velvet" by Sarah Waters. This story is sometimes simplistically labeled "a love story" or a "lesbian story", when it's actually about a woman in the controlling atmosphere of the 1890's, who has the rare opportunity of experiencing multiple roles until she discovers her true self. Regarding TV shows, I'm currently enamored by Netflix's "Unorthodox", about a woman's attempt to escape a Hasidic Jewish community in Brooklyn. Riveting. I love the writing, directing, and the way they chose to tell the story, alternating current action with chunks of the past, which are not mere flashbacks, but a journey into habits, expectations, and rituals of a community that not everyone is familiar with. Brilliant acting that reminded me of Elizabeth Moss in The Handmaid's Tale; and a young character so emotionally relatable (even if you never faced any of her challenges) you can't stop rooting for her.

What is your top career goal right now?

Boost my network of other creative professionals in New York City to collaborate on projects and share resources.  

What are you looking forward to most post quarantine?

Personally, I miss hanging out with friends, attending cultural events, and going to the theater. I also love cooking and hosting parties. I can't wait to have guests over for brunch or the Intellectual Wine Studios my spouse and I normally do every month. Professionally, I'm counting the days to return to studio work, photographing clients, teaching workshops in person (instead of only online), and exploring gorgeous locations outdoors with my production team, to create my next fine art collection.


How can WMG members connect with you?


My fellow members can contact me directly by email liza@picturecure.com, and I'll be glad to connect on LinkedIn

For Workshops and Webinars: http://www.picturecure.com/

For Fine art, Portraits, Fashion and Advertising: http://www.lizaandrews.




Welcome Nevin Mays to WMG!





What do you do?

I'm currently a freelance children's book editor. I work mostly with new authors who hope to get an agent and a traditional publishing deal; with indie authors who are self-publishing; and occasionally do copyediting and proofreading for traditional publishers.  

How did you discover WMG?

Kathy Sandler suggested I check it out, and if Kathy recommends it, I take her word for it! I was privileged to have worked with her and learned from her at Scholastic Book Clubs on their e-reading app. 

What's your favorite book and a show that you're watching now?

Despite the orange of the cover, which was a turnoff for me from my vantage point at the cash register of the bookstore I was working for at the time, Where's Halmoni?, by Julie J. Kim, is so creative and beautiful! You can just read it straight through and you'll have had a fun reading experience. But if you pay careful attention to the endpapers, you'll have a deeper experience. If you fill in the Korean words and the Korean folklore from the backmatter the story springs to life. It's a rainy-Saturday, long afternoon, lap read and re-read.

As for TV, I've just started the last season of Schitt's Creek. I avoided it because of the name, but once I started it was hard to turn it off and go to bed. The characters are terrible and loving and real and over-the-top all at once and I spend every episode thinking I just want everything to work out okay for everyone.

What's your top career goal right now?

I moved back to NYC in February with a goal of working in-house again, this time as an acquisitions editor. I previously acquired children's audiobook rights for Listening Library. Now I want to combine my freelance experiences of working directly with authors with my market knowledge from my previous years in-house and at a bookstore to support authors' and publishers' businesses. 

What are you looking forward to most post quarantine?

Being able to shop for furniture and home decorations. I don't want to order sight unseen, but I need a dining table. We didn't finish furnishing our place before NYC went into lockdown. We eat dinner on TV trays. Watching Schitt's Creek.

WMG members can connect with Nevin via LinkedIn or via her website.




Welcome Elisa Ung to WMG!





What do you do?

I’m a book collaborator and ghostwriter who specializes in stories of food, mental health, and self-improvement. I have a background as a restaurant critic and news reporter. 

How did you discover WMG?

I took a ghostwriting intensive last fall with Michelle Burford, a book collaborator whose work I admire. Michelle recommended that I join WMG, and another awesome ghostwriter colleague, Kathy Huck, was kind enough to nominate me. 

What's your favorite book and a show that you're watching now?

“The Diary of Anne Frank” has been my favorite book since elementary school and boy, does it resonate today.

My 10-year-old son and I just finished watching “Home Before Dark” on Apple TV +. What a great quarantine watch: it follows a 9-year-old reporter as she tries to solve a 30-year-old mystery. The show requires some suspension of disbelief, for sure, but I’m impressed by how much it gets right about being a journalist and being a curious child. 

What's your top career goal right now?

I’d like to co-author more books for major publishers. I just finished a three-author memoir with recipes about a Vietnamese refugee and her American host, and their lifelong friendship and acclaimed restaurant (scheduled for a spring 2021 release by Chronicle Books). I am also working on a prescriptive mental health project with a psychiatrist. 

What are you looking forward to most post quarantine?

Live theater! I try to see as many Broadway and off-Broadway shows as possible. Stephen Sondheim’s virtual birthday celebration helped tide me over, and I can’t wait for the “Hamilton” movie in July.

 

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