Amanda Hess is a writer in Los Angeles.
She is in the middle.
I never take my subjects to a restaurant for lunch. It’s one of the worst things a journalist can do. Stay on their turf. Interview them in their world. If they say, ‘Now I’ve got to go and pick up my kids from day care and go to the grocery store,’ you say, ‘Great. I can write while we’re on the bus.’ I’m not just hearing their stories, I’m watching them live. I find my truth in the dialectic between what they say and how they live.