Interview with author Joanna Lee Doster: Unafraid to push the limits
I am the author of, When Jonathan Cried for Me, a story of...
DALLAS, May 8, 2012 — Joanna Lee Doster is the author of the recently published book Maximum Speed: Pushing the Limit. Her previously published work includes Celebrity Bedroom Retreats and a series of nationally syndicated celebrity profiles of legendary sports figures.
Doster has held executive positions in cable television, communications, and the entertainment industry.
Carter: Before the entertainment industry, you used to be a teacher. How did you transition into the entertainment industry and writing?
Joanna Doster: My passion for the industry started with my upbringing. My dad’s massive library in his home, which housed over ten thousand books, had just as many biographies of movie stars as there were history books. I guess my brother and I had it in our DNA because we naturally become infatuated with movies and television.
Dad always took us to see the latest blockbuster movies and he loved his favorite television shows. Under his tutelage, I learned to figure out whodunit before the end of the show.
I guess it all rubbed off on us. My brother went to college and studied filmmaking and even directed a few movies but also wrote books. One of his books was turned into a made-for-TV movie.
I had a very serious childhood disease when I was 18 months. This not only gave me the bulldog mentality to overcome obstacles, but also a huge passion for special needs. I graduated from NYU at twenty years old with a Masters in Special Education for Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
So there I was twenty years old, teaching special needs children.
I did this for ten years; it was challenging and fulfilling, but eventually the tug for me to do creative things became too powerful to ignore. I began exploring my other interests or passions. I have always loved the arts, antiques, and interior designing. Returning to school, I got my interior design degree.
I ended up working for Arts & Entertainment and the Learning Channel, and then I moved to New York to work for a producer. During this time I had a dream; when famous people are creating and dreaming what do their environments look like? I always had this fascination as a kid when we would visit relatives, and they would take your coats and put them in the bedroom; I was awe struck. This is their inner sanctum. This is a true psychological snap shot of what people are like. People’s bedrooms really reflect their personalities. I woke up and thought, oh my God, I’ve got to write a book about this!
Carter: What was that process like, in composing the Celebrity Bedrooms book? Did you face any obstacles?
JD: I started by calling celebrity agents and that was a dead end. So I did some sleuthing and I would contact their interior decorators.
The first call I made was to Ron Wilson who did Cher’s.
Paige Rense publisher of architectural digest found out about my book and told all the decorators that she would freeze them out of Architectural Digest because she owned the pictures of celebrity homes from the designers, and that if they were to appear in my book she would black ball them from the publication.
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