A Day In The Life Of An RT Intern

Lizzie Poteet, one of RT's two summer interns, reflects on her first major assignment: An RT exclusive author interview with Heather Graham.

It was my second day of work in the big, bad New York City and I was a little overwhelmed. After all, New York is a long way from my home in the suburbs of Nashville -- far geographically, culturally and mentally. I’m confused by the subway system, the New York City streets and I still can’t get a handle on the difference between uptown and downtown. Thankfully, I had somehow managed to find the RT BOOK REVIEWS office in Brooklyn with a minimum of confusion and wrong turns and now faced my second day of my first internship.

No pressure, it’s just an internship at My Dream Job.

This summer I was working at my go-to magazine for book reviews and publishing industry news. I would be working with my favorite genres of books, written by my favorite authors at my favorite magazine. Let’s just say, I was feeling the heat.

Despite my nerves, my second day started well. Then Faygie, the executive editor, said six seemly inconsequential words. Separately, the words are nothing to write home about -- much less call my mother in a tizzy of excitement –- but together, they were something magical. “Why don’t you interview Heather Graham?”

If my life were a Saturday morning cartoon, my eyes would have been popping out of my head. My jaw? On the floor. My feet? Off the ground. I mean did Faygie, my boss, really say interview and Heather Graham in the same sentence? I was shocked. I was stuttering. I was thrilled. Drawing on my inner strength and professionalism, I managed a calm, cool, collected, and oh-so businesslike, “OHMYGODTHATWOULDBEGREAT!” [Translation: Why yes, Faygie, I would love to interview one of my all time favorite authors ever.]

I eventually recovered some of my cool and continued my day in a haze of excitement. But then I realized that I had a major problem. What was I suppose to ask the person whose books helped spark my interest in a whole GENRE? I must have sat at my computer for an hour before I could think of anything more than “OMG, Heather Graham, OMG.” However once I got started, the questions flew from my fingertips. I used my enthusiasm (okay, Heather-Graham-Fandom) to come up with all the questions I had as I read her books. I had always wondered while reading those stories whether she believes in ghosts -- after a few of her books I was almost halfway convinced she was a psychic herself -- and I took this interview as an opportunity to ask that and more.

Like my first week at RT, despite my nervousness the interview worked out really well. Heather Graham had lots of interesting answers. I was really surprised to learn the childhood threat her family used to keep Graham and her sister in line involved banshees. And Graham shared details about her past works, her present series and what readers can expect from her next novel.

So here ends my saga of My Interview With Heather Graham. With a start to the summer like this, may my poor heart survive the rest of my RT BOOK REVIEWS internship. Real life does not happen like this. Or at least, I didn’t think it did … But if interning at My Dream Job kills me, what a way to go!

-Lizzie Poteet