Nancy Nall Derringer
Derringer started out thinking that prescription-drug addiction and suburban heroin use were separate stories, only to quickly find they’re one (page 90). Users begin abusing doctor-prescribed painkillers and move on to cheap, plentiful heroin, often in neighborhoods where no one would expect to find it. “As I was reporting this, I heard from a Facebook friend who was dropping hints that she was having some personal difficulty. It turned out her son, a 19-year-old heroin addict, had robbed a bank. They live in an upscale suburb in Ohio.”
When Wolff, a metro Detroit freelancer, spotted research findings that mammograms might be used for early detection of heart disease (page 45), she was skeptical. “One research study is never conclusive, so I was cautious about doing a story,” she says. “But as I read earlier research and talked to heart and imaging experts (pro and con), I thought this is something more women should know about.” Writing about alcoholism (page 100), its telltale signs, and its effects on the body, was different. “We know what it does, but I realize readers may turn the page on a piece that’s a downer,” Wolff says. “My goal was to write informative stories that are also interesting.”
O’Rourke’s debut work for Hour Detroit accompanies this issue’s feature on an unsolved murder (page 104). “I loved the mystery and grittiness of the article,” the Connecticut-based illustrator says. “I had just finished a children’s book that was chock-full of cutesy, sweet little characters. It was refreshing to do something that was a total contrast.” A graduate of Hartford Art School, O’Rourke has done work for The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Travel & Leisure, and, most recently, illustrations for Lisa Loeb’s Silly Sing-Along: The Disappointing Pancake and Other Zany Songs, the first of two books for Sterling Publishing.
Zeff, a first-time contributor to Hour Detroit, is president of Joe Zeff Design, a multidisciplinary studio in Montclair, N.J. Even though he works in New Jersey, Zeff is no stranger to metro Detroit. In the ’90s, he was a page designer for the Detroit Free Press and resided in West Bloomfield Township. This month, he was responsible for the cover design, “using computer-generated illustrations to create imagery that conveys information,” says Zeff, also the former graphics director for Time magazine. “Each digital pill is hand-positioned in order to convey a randomness that is actually quite intentional,” he says.