Posts in category Interviews


InterviewsJournalism

Mike Sager on His Esquire Profile ‘Ugly’

“Someone once said I would have found something loveable about Hitler. And to that I say, well, Eva Braun must have loved him, right?” —Mike Sager

National Magazine Award winner Mike Sager (2011, “The Man Who Never Was,” Esquire) profiled an ugly dude in Hollywood for the latest issue of Esquire. That sounds kind of mean until you read the piece, which turns out kind of beautiful. The level of intimacy he gets to with such a character is just astounding. It’s a must-read for journalists both accomplished and aspiring. Probably a must-read-thrice, just to appreciate how much Sager learned about this guy.

“Ugly” by Mike Sager – Esquire, May 2012

As you’ll see below, it took a heck of an effort, but in true Sager form, the man pulls it off remarkably. It’s not a pretty story or a feel-good story, but it’s a true story, and more and more these days I’ve come to appreciate the simple power of truth in a world gone mad with spin. 

So without further rambles, ladies, gentlemen, and others, I give you Mike Sager. 

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InterviewsJournalism

Michael Weinreb on Writing Rhythm and More

“I’ve always been kind of obsessed with rhythm in writing, which is odd, because in real life I have absolutely no rhythm at all.” For some reason fantastic writers keep agreeing to answer all these questions I ask them. What I mean, in case you’re new here, is that I keep emailing writers asking them questions, and they keep answering, and we’re all just way too lucky for it. What tremendously nice people, right? You …

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InterviewsJournalism

Patrick Hruby on Humor in Journalism and More

“You have to know your subject. You can’t truly make fun of something or someone unless you know them well enough to write a serious piece.” Everyone, let’s give Patrick Hruby a warm welcome to the blog. I’ve read him for years. Dude’s good. He’s been anthologized in the Best American Sportswriting series four different years. The first piece of his that I ever read was about a murdered cricket coach. It was excellent. Based …

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InterviewsJournalism

Chris Ballard on his Sports Illustrated Story “Man In Full” And Much More

It’s a good day here at The Blog. No, not because of Valentine’s Day, which Katie and I totally loserishly do not celebrate, as is explained in my previous post. Not even because it’s Tuesday. I actually kind of like Mondays. Well, most Mondays. Some Mondays are just ugly. But most are actually pretty okay. Mostly though, it’s a good day because today Sports Illustrated senior writer Chris Ballard joins us to talk more writing …

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InterviewsJournalism

Chris Jones of Esquire on His Zanesville Zoo Massacre Story ‘Animals,’ ‘The Most Dramatic Story Of The Year’

Maybe it’s because I just had a Red Bull, but I’m way too excited right now. Esquire‘s Chris Jones stopped by the blog to give us an unreal behind-the-scenes look at his story “Animals,” which comes out in the March 2012 issue of Esquire. It takes you inside last year’s unbelievable Zanesville Zoo massacre, when Terry Thompson released more than 50 of his wild, exotic animals before killing himself. The story, billed by Esquire as …

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InterviewsJournalism

Sports Illustrated’s Thomas Lake on Pop Herring, Making It In Journalism, and More

Today I am totally stoked to bring you this interview with Thomas Lake. Lake is a senior writer at Sports Illustrated. He is 31 years old. He wrote a good story in a recent issue of Sports Illustrated. (“Did This Man Really Cut Michael Jordan?“) Only by “good” I mean “phenomenal” and other such over-the-top adjectives. I asked him some questions about it over email. Which was great, because it let Lake do what Lake …

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InterviewsJournalism

SI’s Tommy Tomlinson On His Harvey Updyke Story “Something Went Very Wrong At Toomer’s Corner”

Writer Tommy Tomlinson took way more time than he should have to answer the way too many questions I asked him about his recent story in Sports Illustrated about Harvey Updyke, the Alabama fan who poisoned the iconic oaks at Auburn’s Toomer’s Corner. Interview Overview I broke down the interview—and all of its 2,000-word entirety—as follows: The Happening — How he got the story, which was a freelance assignment and his first for Sports Illustrated, and why he chose …

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