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Journalist as Author: Angelica Malin, Unattached: Essays on Singlehood

Angelica Malin

Versatility is a key skill in journalism nowadays and there aren’t many journalists who are more versatile than Angelica Malin – founder and Editor-in-Chief of About Time Magazine, host of the TheyStartedIt podcast, moderator and keynote speaker, business consultant and now two-time bestselling author.

Despite juggling these many roles, Angelica found time to chat to us about her latest book Unattached: Essays on Singlehood as well as giving advice on launching a lifestyle website and her future writing plans.

Can you introduce your book in a couple of sentences?

Unattached: Essays on Singlehood is the book every single woman needs in her life. It’s a collection of personal essays that shed a positive light on the single experience – transforming it from depressing to uplifting, and showing that being single doesn’t need to carry a stigma.

Could you tell us about how you came to write Unattached?

I was inspired to create it after my own painful break-up just before lockdown – finding myself newly single again in my 30s was unexpected, and I felt there wasn’t much out there that spoke to that experience, of finding yourself again after years of being in a committed relationship, and finding strength, power and joy in being single as a woman. I think the best projects come out of your own need – I really needed the book, and nothing like it existed, so I had to go about and create it for myself.

This is your second book, after She Made It which came out last year, how different was the writing process for this one?

It was a totally different experience! I wrote She Made It during the first lockdown, it was a very solitary process as it was a business book based off my own learning, being self-employed for over ten years. Unattached was a lot more of a collaborative project – I worked closely with the team at Square Peg to carefully select the contributors (we wanted to make sure there was a broad range of voices, ages, backgrounds and experiences represented in the book) and then I worked 1:1 with each writer to shape their essay and theme. It was great fun and even the process felt like its own mini revolution.

Are you working on another book, or do you have other projects under way?

I’ve just finished my third non-fiction book The PR Bootcamp, which will be out in November 2022 with Little Brown. It’s a publicity guide for entrepreneurs, freelancers, experts and coaches – a DIY guide that demystifies working with the media and getting publicity, based on my ten years of experience working as a journalist on the other side. Beyond that, I’m moving onto fiction next, which is a whole different experience (and challenge!) and hopefully you’ll see some fiction from me in the near future.

What books are you reading right now, or about to pick up?

I always have both fiction and nonfiction on the go. At the moment, I’m reading Love Marriage by Monica Ali, which I’m loving. I just finished Lessons in Chemistry which I think is the one of the smartest, more pacy books I’ve ever read. On the nonfiction side, I love self-help and personal development books – at the moment I’m reading Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before? By Dr Julie Smith, which is fantastic.

About Time, which you founded in 2014, has now been going for eight years. Why do you think the website has been such a success and what advice would you give to anyone thinking of launching a lifestyle website?

Honestly, I think you just need to keep it simple. Our ethos and vision hasn’t really changed since the start – to help people spend their time more valuably (inspired by a Zadie Smith quote ‘Time is how you spend your time’ from On Beauty). And keep it consistent – we update the site every day and that’s really important. If you’re thinking about starting a lifestyle website, my advice would be to focus on the visuals first – that’s really important in the lifestyle world – and remember it takes time to build an audience and following, so stick at it.

Are there any other examples of your everyday journalism that you’re especially proud of or would just like to share?

I used to be quite scared of writing about my personal life, but in recent years I’ve really embraced a different side of journalism and shared more of my personal learnings, failures and worries. Instead of feeling exposed by being so vulnerable, I’ve actually felt empowered because many people get in touch sharing similar stories and worries, and thank me for being honest, which has encouraged me to share more openly. There’s power in our vulnerability as Brene Brown says, and if anything, it’s given my pain purpose. The things I’ve experienced I can use to help show others that it’s okay and we’re all just learning and growing together.

If I’m a PR professional with a story or another opportunity for you, how should I get in touch?

Email! Always. With a succinct subject line. Please don’t call me, it freaks me out. And only WhatsApp in an emergency (is there ever really an emergency in lifestyle journalism?).

Find out more about Angelica Malin and her work at her website

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