Tuesday tidings: Alan Citron joins BestSelling Reads

BestSelling Reads is thrilled to announce our latest member: journalist, entrepreneur and author Alan Citron. We’ll let him introduce himself.

Hi. I’m Alan Citron.

I spent the first half of my career in journalism, first as a reporter at the Times-Picayune in New Orleans (my hometown), and then as a reporter and editor at The Los Angeles Times. In my last role there, I was the assistant business editor for the paper’s entertainment coverage. I was happy writing and editing and would have continued doing it indefinitely if I hadn’t been bitten by the Internet bug in the mid-1990s, when I got my first look at Netscape and other early sites.

I was convinced that the Internet would revolutionize everything, including journalism, because of its advanced interactivity and immediacy, but there wasn’t much interest in it among my bosses at The Times. Serendipitously, the CEO of Ticketmaster called around that time and offered me a communications job. I told him that I wasn’t interest in communications, but that I would help him with it if he allowed me to also work on launching an online ticketing unit.

New Orleansland by Alan Citron cover

Ticketmaster Online was an instant success, largely because it allowed fans to buy tickets without standing in line or calling into a busy phone room. When Barry Diller bought Ticketmaster, I became his digital chief. Subsequent to that, I was the founding general manager of TMZ, the entertainment lead for Yahoo Entertainment and the president of Buzz Media. TMZ was the wildest of all the rides. The staff’s early reporting on Mel Gibson and other celebrities behaving badly turned the site into a media sensation, and that’s an exhilarating ride to take.

I loved working in the digital space and applying journalism skills to digital content, but I never stopped writing. For a while, I scratched the itch as a columnist for an Internet magazine and by doing the occasional op-ed piece. I had always wanted to write a novel, but I never had the right idea until I literally dreamed the plot for “New Orleansland,” about an entertainment company that tries to turn New Orleans into an adult theme park in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

New Orleansland was published in 2015, on the tenth anniversary of the devastating storm. Since then, I’ve written two other books featuring Tookie Doucet, the book’s protagonist. “Fair’s Fair” and “The Beer Reveries” are prequals that are still in need of a final polish and editing.

My fourth novel, The Last Best Saturday Night, is a fictionalized account of my youth. After self-publishing New Orleansland, I was determined to find an agent or publisher who would validate my next book, and Touchpoint Press came to the rescue. They’re scheduled to publish it and a book about my COVID-19 odyssey, When Every Day Was Every Day, this year.

As an author, I’m drawn to stories about the people and places I know, whether its fiction or non-fiction. I also like work that weaves dark humor into serious circumstances. Two of my early influences, Kurt Vonnegut and Jerzy Kosinski, were masters of that style of writing.

My wife, Abbie, and I live in Los Angeles with our terrier mixes, Millie and Otis. Our grown sons, Sam and Collin, are getting married this year. In addition to writing and walking, I spend a lot of time cooking and thinking about cooking. That’s probably the New Orleanian in me.   

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