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Freelance Journalist Focus: Deborah King

Today Deborah King walks us through her career as a freelance journalist; writing features on the outdoors, wildlife, and countryside walks…

About your journalism:

Tell us more about your newly published work…
As well as writing outdoor and wildlife features I compile walking guides and I’m currently proof reading my latest guide to walks in Suffolk. I like variety and I think my range of work echoes that.

Where are we likely to see your work?
You can see my recent feature on the National Forest in the Spring edition of Country Walking, a piece on cricket bat willow in Essex Life magazine and one about fossil hunting in the Sunday Telegraph.

As for books, my recently published Pathfinder walking guides are: Essex, Surrey and London’s Parks and Countryside. You can buy them on Amazon or even order them from your local library.

What’s the most memorable work you’ve done?
I was on a press trip to Meru, Kenya about 10 years ago and we stayed at a new lodge called Elsa’s Kopje which was built into the same rock where Elsa the lion cub was released in Born Free. Virginia McKenna, who starred in the film, and Dr Richard Leakey, the conservationist who lives in Nairobi, were also on the trip. I went on to interview Virginia a few more times after that. It was a memorable and lucrative trip.

What feature would you love the chance to do?
I’d really like to explore the battlefield area near Rorke’s Drift in South Africa. The history is fascinating, the lodges look amazing and to cap it all, as insects love me, it’s malaria-free.

About you and PRs:

Where do you source ideas or articles?
Magazines, newswires, press releases, websites; anything really.

How can PRs be useful to you?
By sending me information relevant to my work, without attachments, initially.

Do you find press conferences, trips, parties and other events useful?
They can be a good opportunity to mingle with editors and make useful contacts.

About you:

How would you pay the bills if you weren’t a journalist?
Perhaps as a tour operator, arranging tailor-made trips to wild and wonderful places. I’d have to inspect them first, obviously.

If we gave you £1000, how would you spend it?
I’d give half to my family and put the rest towards a weekend away where I’d find a place overlooking the coast with plenty of good walks

What books are on your bedside table, magazines in your bag, or blogs on your screen?
Right now it’s The Life of Pi and sections of last Sunday’s newspaper. In my bag is The Artist as I’m an amateur painter.

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