Once upon a time, children’s book author Heather Hartt-Sussman was a reporter for The Hollywood Reporter, as well as a host on E! Entertainment. Although she’s interviewed stars like Jim Carrey and Bette Midler for a plethora of different TV and print outlets, these days she loves spending her time in the real land of make-believe that’s far away from Hollywood: writing stories for kids. So what does she do when she’s not dreaming up worlds for the little ones? We talked to author Heather Hartt-Sussman about her favourite Toronto haunts, her favourite things and her designer obsessions of the moment.
Tell us a bit about yourself. What should people know?
I’ve always considered myself a wordsmith. I love words and it has always fascinated me that a mere 26 letters set in different permutations and combinations could yield volumes and volumes of literature. So my job, as a children’s author, in my opinion, is to combine those 26 letters as I am inspired. The result thus far is five children’s books with Tundra, a division of Random House (two of which were nominated for Blue Spruce Awards and one of which was nominated for a Shining Willow). My professional life in word crafting started when I became an advertising copywriter in Montreal. I then moved to Los Angeles to become an editor and reporter for The Hollywood Reporter. After that, I hosted a series on E! Entertainment Television. I’ve interviewed many Hollywood celebrities, like Jim Carrey, Nicholas Cage and Bette Midler to name a few, and appeared as a correspondent and contributor on Extra, Inside Edition, Geraldo, Canada AM, and on CNN. Later, I became host of TV Guide Television. I now live in Toronto (via Los Angeles where I lived for 15 sunny years), and continue to put letters together in ways I hope will satisfy my young readers.
Finish this sentence: I love Toronto because…
…it’s a great place to come home to.
What are three things you simply cannot live without?
My sons Scotty and Jack, and of course, my iPhone!
What’s your favourite restaurant and why?
I love The County General for brunch on Queen West (great croque madame and creative cocktails); Caffé Doria in the Summerhill area for lunch (if it’s nice you can sit outside, small and unpretentious); Terroni (Price Street) for family dinner (great food and atmosphere, something for everybody, and you can also eat outdoors on their new rooftop patio).
What’s your favourite drink/cocktail and where do you go to get it?
I love a Moscow Mule (Vodka, ginger beer, lime and sometimes bitters). The Drake has a good one!
Who’s your favourite designer/brand and why do you sport their fashions?
I’m big into CELINE right now. Clean lines, elegant. And I also love Opening Ceremony. You can buy online or better yet, check out their ridiculously well-curated shops in Los Angeles and Soho.