A 20 year veteran freelance journalist and writer, Albert Lanier has contributed to a host of newspapers and magazines during his career. His work has been featured in publications in Hawaii, California and Washington with pieces printed in HONOLULU WEEKLY, PACIFIC BUSINESS NEWS, HAWAII MAGAZINE, EDIBLE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS, ASIANWEEK and more recently METRO HNL. In addition to print work, Lanier has also worked online having written film reviews for AINT IT COOL NEWS and pieces for MODERN LUXURY HAWAII’s website as well as writing a couple of article for WHERE’s GUEST INFORMANT guide to Maui. Lanier can be reached on Facebook, Twitter (twitter.com@criticinc) and Google Plus.
1. Can you tell us a bit about yourself? To be frank, I don’t like talking about myself much. Its a professional thing-my job is to get other people to open up and talk not to do so myself. I will just say I m originally from Hawaii. I attended the University of Hawaii-West Oahu where I got my Bachelors degree over 20 years ago. I returned to their new multimillion dollar campus last year to speak to a couple of classes-one of which was a journalism class. Oddly enough there wasn’t a journalism class at UH-West Oahu when I was a student there. I have lived and worked as a writer in Seattle and LA in addition to Honolulu. I like Star Wars, Star Trek and Doctor Who but I initially thought Fifty Shades of Gray was a hair product for men.LOL. I hope that helps.
2. Can you share some of the content you write / have written? I have written probably hundreds of articles over the years. I mostly remember interviews at this point. I interviewed film critic Roger Ebert over the years when he came to Hawaii to cover the Hawaii Film Festival. I have talked to Pat Sajak and Vanna White when their show Wheel of Fortune came to town a number of years. I even spoke to director Kevin Smith of CLERKS fame.
3. What is your favorite story / assignment you covered, and why? I m always wary of that question. Like I mentioned I have written dozens if not hundreds of articles. I don’t have an absolute favorite but a number of article I really like. One of them is a piece I wrote for a column I had years ago in a small newspaper called EAST HONOLULU Newspaper-I think they also changed their name to HONOLULU NEWS at one point when I was writing for them. The column essay was called “Much Ado About Nothing” and it was about the end of the then mega hit show SEINFELD. That’s just one of a few articles I really liked writing and even reading during my career.
4. What has been your highlight of a career in journalism?Probably going back to my alma mater to speak to the journalism class there. I also did one of my seminars on writing called “The Basics” to a creative writing class at UH-West Oahu when I visited on the same day.
5. Any tips for inspiring journalists / writers? In podcast and radio show interviews, I tell anyone who wants to be a writer let alone a freelance journalist to take 3-6 months to do research into markets, publications, subject matter etc. Read writing magazines and books and watch videos. Get as much information as you can so you will be ready to work.
6. Any advice in respect of meeting deadlines? Get organized and be disciplined.
7. Are there any journalists / writers you admire? If so, why? Roger Ebert-who I got to meet and talk to. His writing style was excellent and he was one of America’s great film critics. Two other influences are Gay Talese and Tom Wolfe, two of the greatest magazine writers I have ever read. Finally, Hunter S Thompson-the most brutally honest and one of the most talented journalists we have had in America.
8. Do you prefer to follow media news online, or in newspaper format? Please share your reasons. I prefer to read a newspaper when I can pick one up due to old habits but I have no problem following news online.
9. Would you like to share an excerpt of your writing? You can take a look ay latest article “My Old Job” at MetroHNL.com or My Old Job – Metro.
10. Lastly, can you share the best piece of advice you have ever received (whether it’s in respect of life or career.) Its the advice I give myself as a writer: Always take the money. No matter what.