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Meet Genie Davis of DiversionsLA.com and Liza Boo Productions Inc. in Redondo Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Genie Davis.

Genie, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’ve been a professional writer since college, and have taken that through many different incarnations. I began with my own production company, writing/directing/producing documentaries, commercials, and corporate media; wrote for film and television – 17 spec features optioned, one produced; as a television writer. I’ve worked on ABC, Disney, HGTV, and TLC series; turned to novels – I believe 9 of 12 are still in print, both conventionally and indie published – I consider myself both a mystery/thriller writer, literary writer, and romance writer; and have worked as a journalist, covering everything from local news to the arts, travel, film, music, and theater. My own publication DiversionsLA.com came about because one of the arts ezines I wrote for went out of business and I had stories that were never published, that area artists were expecting to see in print. So, I started my own online publication. Our slug line is “art film food fun travel” and that pretty much sums it up. I try to do fairly in-depth interviews or cover interesting/unusual/fresh subjects. I would say that the breakdown in terms of subject matter skews toward art first, and travel second, but any given month has a wide range of stories.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I have always been the support of my family and with two children – now grown and now, one awesome little grandchild – taking care of my family was very important to me. It’s always been a challenge to balance family and finances with creative work.

Please tell us about DiversionsLA.com and Liza Boo Productions Inc.
DiversionsLA.com fits a certain niche, which is knowledgeable, LA-based, small, hip arts publications. There are a number of other fine online publications that cover the arts; what makes Diversions unique is the fact that while it has an extremely strong art focus (gallery openings, studio visits, art talks) it also very strongly covers a range of interesting, unique restaurants, travel destinations, and theater/film. It really serves as a one-stop-shop for anything in the arts, travel, and dining sectors. Just as examples, we cover the Mammoth Lakes Film Festival and Dances with Film Fest on a daily basis annually; we try to attend many gallery and museum openings weekly, and make sure our coverage is of fresh exhibits (I write for a variety of other arts publications and I don’t want to step on my own toes) and artists. I love the art scene in LA more than any other subject: there is so much incredible talent, and it is truly a gift to meet and support artists.

Recently, we did stories on the international focus at DTLA collective Durden and Ray, covered the innovative AI work of artist Daniel Leighton, and wrote a couple of long pieces on the out-there Bombay Beach Biennale. With dining, if a restaurant isn’t new to the LA scene, then it is usually venerable, has a veg-friendly menu, or is just a personal favorite. And with travel, I like to put together complete itineraries: food, hotels, attractions to a given area. I’m always looking for that kind of information when I travel, so that’s how I tend to write travel reviews. We did a big piece on Ajo, Arizona, a rebirthing-itself town in the far southern part of the state, including where to stay, history, national monument, dining, and their mural fest.

Finally, what makes us the most unique is that this is both a professional and personal endeavor: 90% of the stories on DiversionsLA are written by me; photographic credits vary but are primarily either mine or that of my partner, Jack Burke.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My mom taking me to the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., and in particular, to an indoor garden space with a fountain, flowers, and Greco-Roman statuary — which is a bit of a tie with wading out to a sandbar in the warm summer sea of Ocean City, Md.

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