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Friday, 4 May 2012

The price of fame

I had a chat on the phone with a features writer for a magazine last night. He was asking about my frugal and simple money saving lifestyle. He had already rung the day before, to ask if he could ring for a chat. Then he rang when I was making my dinner, so he said he would ring back in an hour. He didn't so I went out. Then he rang me on the mobile while I was out and I said I would be home in 15 minutes. And at last he got me when I was back on the computer. I can only take indepth phone calls while I am sitting at my desk, just in case I have to look something up while I am talking, my memory aint so good :o)

Anyway, we chatted, or I answered his questions to the best of my ability. Some of the questions I wasn't happy about, they didn't seem relevent to the subject matter, but that's journalists for you, always looking for a diferent angle. I have been caught out before so I am on my guard now. He asked for a photograph so I said I would send some by email.

Now I have received an email from the photograph desk of the magazine, saying they have asked a photographer to contact me to fix up a time for him to come and take a few shots, portrait type were mentioned. And they want me to dig out a couple of old photographs as well. Do you know, I can't be bothered with it so I have sent this reply.

Hi thingywotsit

I'm sorry but I am pulling out of this. I didn't mind talking to blah-de-blah on the phone, but there was no mention of a photographer coming here to take my photograph. I offered to email a photo, that's all. Also I haven't time to search out old photo's for you, they aren't in any particular order and it will take a while to find the ones you ask for. I don't know why you have to dig around in my past life, I was told the article is about my frugal and simple lifestyle, which I am happy to talk about.

This has happened to me before when a magazine has shown an interest in my story. What starts out to be a simple tell us your story request, becomes a complicated task which goes on and on. More questions, the photographs aren't right can you send us some more. Then it gets written up as an embarrassing misrepresentation of the facts. One magazine even had the audacity to super impose my head onto a body posed by a model.

Sorry, you will have to find someone else.

The price of fame, eh! It's a hard life, ha ha. 


  1. You tell them! If they can't act professionally, then you should just leave them to it.


  2. ditto above - good for you ! who do they think they are ?

  3. Well done, if it had been one of those CHAT type magazines, you know the ones that people are always telling about their horrible experiences etc, then the story would have been blown out of all proportions and incorrect too. Heee Heee!

  4. Actually, it sounded to me as if they were more interested than before or that the pictures were not suitable. I cannot see that coming to take a photo is a bad thing. The simple and frugal magazines in the US have pictures that were taken by a professional that visited and took photos they wanted, like maybe with the garden or bike. The women and men who are featured are always treated nicely in the articles and photographed respectfully.

    Just because a magazine did something one way is no sign the next magazine will do it the same. Maybe the former magazines did not have a budget that allowed sending a photographer. You seem open about your past life all the time. Maybe they are wanting to know the path you took to your frugal stance now. After all, unless they are prying into bedroom angles, you presumably have nothing to hide. They can read your blog and see you have had boyfriends, lovers, and men friends.

    The frugal type magazines are not at all intrusive from what I have seen. If you are dealing with a known mag, I cannot understand what they asked that threw up so many red flags for you.

    That is insulting to have your head superimposed onto a model's body! You could have made major problems for the magazine. But, you cannot know that another magazine will do the same. Sometimes, you can have an agreement that you have to see the copy first.

    There is something missing from your angle. I am not saying you are lying or in any way trying to deceive us or the magazine. It's just that it all seems so annoying to you. I respect that. I really do. I just cannot figure out what it is that is so annoying.

    If this is a gossip type magazine, I do understand your position. If you ever get your pictures in any semblance of order, let me know how it is

  5. Glad you told them to get stuffed. Cheeky beggers. If it doesn't seem right - go with your gut. But WOW to having reporters ring you for your story! Debs x

  6. You should always go with your gut instinct, if it felt wrong in any way you did well to pull out now.

    If they ARE all honest and above board by stopping things now you have at least saved them the cost of sending out a photographer.

    Good decision.

    Sue xx

  7. Nice one Ilona - I love your style!

  8. Yes Sue, my gut instinct tells me no. It is a gossipy magazine. I should have know better than to agree to talk to them, but they caught me off guard, they were in a rush, wanting to get all the material together in a couple of days ready to go to publication. I can't think quickly like that, I need notice to mull things over. Well I have done now, and I have changed my mind.

    These types of magazines are very good at not giving you the whole picture in the beginning. They come up with an idea, which seems straightforward at first, then they pick bits out of other areas of your life, and before you know it the original concept is lost. Very manipulative. But that's their job, they have deadlines, and magazines to sell.

    When I write something on this blog I have time to compose it. I can gather my thoughts together, rejig it untill it looks right. I can leave it in draft form for a few days, then play with it again, and hit publish when I am happy with it. Sometimes I write crap and dump stuff, and it never gets published. With a magazine article crap gets published all the time because the magazine has a duty to it's advertisers to bump up sales, and crap sells.

    PP, the red flags were there. I may have spoken on here about some aspects of my past, but that was in my own words and in my own time, non of which I regret saying. Some of the questions asked were quite honestly, silly. They have their own agenda and it is often not in line with the main topic of the story.

    The only way I can get my true story across, is to write it myself, and I'm too darned lazy, ha ha.

  9. Why didn`t you just refer them to your blog?
    There is everything here that they could possibly be interested in. But, I guess they could take that as an invitation to distort the story in any way they liked. So, good on you for telling them to stuff it.

  10. When I lost my animal sanctuary a few years ago, it was featured in the local paper simply because I was looking for loving homes for all my animals and I needed as much exposure as I could get. They sent a reporter and photographer, but I made sure it was done in a dignified manner for myself and my animals, however, if they'd have had their way it would have come across as a bit silly, not very important story like the 'and finally' items on the evening news. You have to make sure you are in charge, as you say, they are only interested in selling papers, not your feelings.

  11. I think your gut instincts were right Ilona, and they would have just exaggerated the bits they wanted and left out the normal stuff if you know what I mean. Keep on blogging and talking to Burnsy, the real you not what some trashy magazine would do to you!

  12. Hello Ilona,
    I've been lurking for a while but just wanted to stop by and say a big hello. I love your posts and have been reading them for a few weeks now. You are an incredible person, so optimistic, cheerful and positive. I love reading about your adventures! You are a true inspiration. I might not comment too often as life is busy. I work full time and strive to be self sufficient but I'll continue to follow you if I may.x

  13. Hi, I've been reading your blog for awhile now also. I love it! And as far as the magazine problem, if you felt like something wasn't right, then you were smart to stop the whole thing right there. In today's world, it's so hard to trust people in the media. Do you think they had time to show you the article before it was published? It sounded like they were doing a last minute thing and had no time for edits. Who knows what they would have said about you and your lifestyle? Just wanted to say I love all of your frugal hints and love to see all your bargains you get while food shopping. It's amazing the prices you get. I live in the US and never see such sales here.

  14. Hi Ilona You just have to think for who's benefit are you doing this interview for. At the end of the day you have to do what's right for you and if it doesn't suit someone else well that's just the way it is !! Kind regards Jean

  15. Well done Ilona, you really are 'the dogs danglies' (yet another version of that complement). Magazines thrive on sensationalism, and thats not what you are about so I feel sure they would twist your story in some way to suit them. I am glad you didnt agree to it.

  16. Good for you! Love your reply especially the words you are using, my english isn´t that good, but I think I got the message loud and clear. :)

  17. Well done Ilona, I applaud you for being sensitive and intelligent enough to tell them to get lost. We know how it could have sounded don't we?

  18. Way to go Ilona! I love the letter, serves them right.


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