Anne T. Donahue

Interviewed by Raven Nyman

A quick scroll through Anne T. Donahue’s Twitter feed might leave aspiring writers feeling overwhelmed. After all, she’s written for MTV, Cosmopolitan, the Guardian, the Globe and Mail, Refinery29, Sportsnet, Nylon, and Paper Magazine, just to name a few. Her publication credits are remarkable, and the diversity of her subject matter? Impressive. Originally from Cambridge, Ontario, Anne is a writer who admits to knowing way too much about The Great British Bake Off and holding a unique affection for Leonardo DiCaprio—see the hilarious Leo memes that accompany each of her newsletters. Her first book, Nobody Cares, will be published by ECW in September 2018. You can find her on Twitter @AnneTDonahue.

Her work seems to be everywhere, and Anne succeeds in maintaining an active social media presence while also completing a degree, freelancing regularly, and writing a weekly newsletter for her followers. Despite her full schedule, I was able to get in touch with Anne to find out just how she does it all.

Was writing always the career path you had in mind?

Not at all. I went to Conestoga College for journalism, but dropped out when I was nineteen. Then I worked in a hardware store, at American Eagle, and at a bank. At the same time I was re-doing high school courses and aiming for a kinesiology degree which I planned to use as a pre-med. Then I failed math, so that dream died. Finally, I applied to Wilfrid Laurier for Communications/History and dropped out after a year once I started freelance writing. But even then, even when I was doing almost exclusively music journalism, I thought I’d end up writing TV or doing comedy or doing some semblance of what Tina Fey was doing at the time. I didn’t think I’d be writing the way I was now. I thought I’d eventually make my way into TV full time or movies or something. I remember thinking there’s no way I wanted to be a “freelance writer.” Now, I don’t think I could handle working full-time in an office.

[Read more…]

Advertisements

Douglas Coupland

Interviewed by Jackson Weaver

Douglas Coupland is the author of over thirty books of fiction, non-fiction, film and teleplays, as well as a world-renowned visual artist with instillations displayed throughout Canada and abroad, including a major survey of his work at the Vancouver Art Gallery everywhere is anywhere is anything is everything. His breakout novel, Generation X, popularized the term that has since come to describe every person born between the early 60s and late 70s and, since then, has had a career spanning over 30 years of continuous publication and critically acclaimed work. He has been described variously as “iconoclast,” “exegete,” and “genius.” We talked about his past, an artist’s struggle, and never taking vacations.

You’ve written for almost thirty years in fiction and non-fiction, create and showcase visual art around the globe, and have a fan base that spans generations; that’s not a bad CV at all. That said, was there ever a time you were afraid an artistic life wouldn’t work out, or didn’t seem to be working out in the moment?

Not to be disingenuous but every single day. I have been, if nothing else, self-employed for 29 years, and the thought of not being free always keeps me on red alert. Having said that, there are moments like the past year-ish where I can’t imagine writing fiction. It will return — it always does — but what I write will be different from anything else I’ve ever written. Every book is different from every other book; I have no genre.

[Read more…]

Andrea Canning

DATELINE NBC -- Season: 24 -- Pictured: Andrea Canning -- (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)

DATELINE NBC — Season: 24 — Pictured: Andrea Canning — (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)

Interviewed by Stephanie Hungerford

Andrea Canning is a correspondent for NBC’s Dateline and contributes to all NBC News platforms. She has reported on major crime stories, high profile trials and breaking news, including the Boston Marathon Bombing, Hurricane Sandy, the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and the terrorist attack at Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Since arriving at Dateline, she has also reported hour-long documentaries on campus sexual assault and adoption fraud.

Prior to joining NBC News in 2012, Canning served as an ABC News correspondent for eight years where she covered the White House, Congress, the Supreme Court and the Iraq War, reporting on everything from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and the Casey Anthony case, to her 2011 headline-making interview with actor Charlie Sheen. Long before that, Canning was a reporter and evening news anchor for CKVR Television in Barrie, Ontario. A graduate of the University of Western Ontario, she also studied radio and television arts at Ryerson in Toronto. Canning is married to Lt. Col. Tony Bancroft, a former F-18 fighter pilot with the U.S. Marine Corps. They have five young daughters. She is on Twitter @CanningAndrea.

I reached out to her because she is an inspiration to me, not only as a writer, but also as a working mother in the highly competitive television industry. Canning’s dedication to her work and family is more than just admirable. When I met with her in New York a few years back, she walked me through her daily schedule. I’ll never forget it. The hours were grueling. She was up at the crack of dawn, sometimes earlier, and back at the studio late into the evening. Every minute was accounted for, including making sure she had dinner with her daughters, regardless of whether or not she had to go back to the studio to burn the midnight oil. Hard working and determined, Canning’s real gift is her way with words. Her investigations are thorough yet empathetic; kind yet inquisitive. The way she unravels a story is so intuitive that she’s able to guide the viewer on an effortless journey. If that isn’t the mark of a great storyteller, I don’t know what is.

You’ve had a very successful career as a correspondent working for major American networks. How did you land your first job?

There was no internet, so I paid for this service called Medialine that cost about 10 dollars a month. It listed local news job openings across the country on its telephone hotline. I sent out my VHS resume reels to 60 stations. I got two calls. One from Nebraska and one from Mississippi.  Nebraska passed. Mississippi gave me a pop quiz on the phone. I passed and was hired as their morning anchor. I had made a very amateur reel that thankfully made enough of an impression. Times have changed!
[Read more…]