Move over, “The Devil Wears Prada.”
A Park Slope teacher and former magazine editor has written a novel exposing the world of the women’s magazine industry.
“The idea was that I wanted have this 360-degree view of a magazine’s masthead and the types of people who are on the staff of a women’s magazine,” said author Lindsey Palmer. “I like to think of this as a loving satire of the world of women’s magazines.”
“Pretty in Ink,” which will be released on March 25, is centered around the fictional publication “Hers,” which brings in an abrasive new editor-in-chief in the hopes of assuaging flagging sales in the new media landscape.
It boasts a cast of characters including a photo editor who is sleeping with her boss, a new-wave web editor, an intern, and a recipe creator — all of which are somewhat based on Palmer’s time in the magazine world.
“Whether or not I was taking physical notes, I was certainly taking mental notes throughout my time in the industry,” Palmer said. “Whether consciously or actively, I had been thinking this would be a great world and place to explore.”
Now a 12th grade English and creative writing teacher at the Manhattan public school New Explorations into Science, Technology and Math (or NEST+m), Palmer previously worked as a features editor at Redbook — which primarily targets married women — traveling to the Democratic and Republican national conventions and sifting through pictures of attractive men for the magazine’s annual “Hottest Husbands” contest. She also worked at Self and Glamour magazines.
“I had such a schizophrenic attitude about the places I worked,” Palmer said. “There were moments that I was in love with it and then there were the exact opposite kinds of moments.”
In the late 2000s, mass layoffs and budget cuts became all-too common for print publications, and Palmer — who said she had wanted to move on, anyway — realized she could craft a pretty entertaining book based on the changing nature of the industry.
“It depended on the day, but people were more fearful and more and more interested in what we can do to promote the brand, the brand, brand,” Palmer said. “A drama is born out of that kind of situation.”
Despite her expose, Palmer has apparently not burned bridges with her former co-workers — she will be reading from “Pretty in Ink” at Greenlight on March 27, alongside her former boss Jeannie Kim, executive deputy director at Health magazine.
“Pretty in Ink” at Greenlight Bookstore [686 Fulton St. at S. Portland Avenue in Fort Greene, (718) 246–0200]. March 27 at 7:30 pm. Free.