Rita Zekas is an entertainment/lifestyle/fashion/decor writer. She originated the paparazzi page/gossip column Star Gazing for the Toronto Star and stalked bold face for decades, before returning to her former love — shopping — doing retail detail in her Store Gazing column in the Toronto Star. She can be found in better stores everywhere — usually in the shoe department.
 
Twitter:  @TorontoStar
Did you always want to be in the media? If not, what other careers were on the horizon?
I was going to be a best-selling novelist, writing from a cliffside white-washed cottage in some random sunny port in Greece.

Where would you like to be five years from now?
Reading in an oversized chair overlooking the olive groves in a mountain-top villa on the Tuscan/Umbrian border in Italy.

Any advice for people getting started in your industry?
Be prepared to work with little remuneration and even less sleep. Deadlines, baby.

What are your favourite media outlets, not including your own?
I listen to CBC Radio and NPR when I can get it. I read the New York Times online and in print on Thursdays and Sundays — those two days for the Style Sections.

Best interview you’ve ever had? Worst?
Best is Betsey Johnson, who has such a great persona, she could have enticed me to turn cartwheels on the catwalk with her.

Worst is Ivana Trump, who spent most of the time screaming invectives at her minions over the phone.

Best advice you’ve ever been given?
Don’t Google yourself.

What rule(s) do you live your life by?
Do your research and never spear the easy targets.

What’s the most important tip you can give PR pros?
Don’t double dip. If you have snared an interview with a media outlet, don’t book another one with a different writer. It wastes everybody’s time.

Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear about #wins.
Working with PR pros like Pru Emery, who was the doyenne of PR people and her successor, who I would have to say is Deb Goldblatt. They just grease the interview process so it’s in and out and no one gets hurt. Or bored.

I hate? 

Rudeness.

I love?
Shoes.

Reading?
Autobiographies. Everyone, even Einstein inevitably was dissuaded from following their basic instincts. And I read everything by David Sedaris, a comedic genius.

Best place on earth?
Italy.

Dinner guest?
I don’t cook; I reheat.

Hero?
Cancer survivors.

Favourite app?
I don’t app.

Pool or ocean?
Ocean.

Voicemail or email?
Email.