Darren Hartley

Darren Hartley Journalist Graphic Designer (Journalist, Graphic Designer)

My career as a writer started in 4th grade. Our school publication called "The Inkwell" printed a poem I wrote about a slice of Gaby's pizza; arguably the best pizza in Queens, NY. The crisp but chewy crust. The homemade red marinara sauce with a hint of garlic, oregano, and sweet basil. The smooth, stretchy strands of mozzarella. My first food blog, maybe? My passion for writing lies in my ability to use descriptive imagery to be fully present in a moment. To evoke the senses, stimulate the mind and transport the reader into that space with me because that moment matters.

With over 15 years of sales experience in Tourism and Hospitality, my training as a writer earlier on in life was what helped me become so successful. Every single person I have sent on vacation had a story. Every sales and service vacation agent I have trained was coached on how to identify and describe that story to find the best vacation for their customer. "Put their toes...in the sand" was my mantra.

I have written everything from new artist features in Billboard Magazine to All-Inclusive Resort Specialty Training for the timeshare exchange company RCI. From art reviews in the Chelsea Clinton news on shacks in the rural south to Q&A interviews for Pattern Magazine in Indianapolis. But no matter how many times I see my name in a byline, I'm still chasing that feeling of elation when a wide-eyed 9-year-old Black kid from Queens - with glasses too big for his face - saw his name in print for the first time. And made everyone reading it wanting a slice. Working with hospitality clients gives me the satisfaction of knowing each and every reader - regardless of distance or difference - will be right there in that moment together.