Interview with a Pro: Linda Albert

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Linda Albert is a Sunday Life Editor at The Daily Times, the local newspaper at Maryville, Tennessee. Maryville is her hometown so The Daily Times has been apart of her life for years. As a child, she read front to back every time.

“I’ve always been an avid reader and enjoyed writing just for fun,” Albert said, “I can’t remember a time when The Daily Times was not part of my family’s life.”

Albert went to University of Tennessee and majored in General Business. However, once her daughter was born in 1981, she became a stay-at-home wife and mother for 17 years. Her kids were in high school, and she wanted to do something for some extra income.

“I began by applying as a freelance columnist in 1997 and was accepted in that role, to my great surprise,” Albert said. “I had never written for publication before and didn’t think I had a chance of being selected, but after several additional submissions and an interview with the executive editor, I became a weekly columnist, writing a personal column on whatever came to mind.”

As time went on, the executive editor began giving Albert more freelance assignments, so she began to write feature stories. In 2000, a full-time position opened for a feature writer. She asked if it was something she could do, and the next thing she knows, she’s on staff.

“I knew very little about computers, had not been employed outside the home since my daughter was born in 1981, and my education and background were in business,” Albert said, “All I can say is, God had his hands in the whole process, preparing the place He wanted me to be. The timing was providential, too. My husband and I divorced in 2001, so I needed a source of income.”

But being a journalist has its ups and downs.

“My favorite part of being a journalist is meeting new people,” Albert said, “Everyone’s story is so interesting, and I learn something new every single day. Some of my dearest friends now are people I met through the course of doing interview. But, of course, there’s a downside to it. Let’s put it this way: Some folks are not nearly as pleasant as others.”

On top of that, Albert has co-authored three books on local history through Arcadia Publishing Company. The books are entitled “Blount County,” “Friendsville” and “Maryville.” In addition, she has helped several friends with their books.

When Albert’s not co-authoring books or writing articles, she’s having fun doing her hobbies.

“I enjoy photography, especially nature photography,” Albert said, “ Living in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains and being so close to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, I am always blessed with photo opportunities. I take ‘a few’ pictures of my three grandchildren, too! My other hobbies include reading novels, scrapbooking, working on genealogy, doing historical research and collecting historical photos.”

Just like us all, Albert has ambitions. Currently she has a goal of finishing her first fictional novel, a paranormal historical fiction, by the end of this year and perhaps try her hand at children’s books. She has also been approached by several people about editing their books and is currently editing two.

And to anyone who has the dream of becoming of a journalist, Albert has some inspiring words.

“Be someone the public can trust,” Albert said, “Be fair. Treat others as you would want to be treated. When you make a mistake, and you will make a mistake, own up to it and fix it. Grow a thick skin in regard to criticism, critique and the editing of your work. You’ll need it. Trust me.”

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