Maria Elena Fernandez is a former senior entertainment reporter for Newsweek/The Daily Beast. She previously covered television and nightlife for the Los Angeles Times and spent many years on the crime beat, writing for The Washington Post and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. She also worked at the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, where she covered the AIDS epidemic. Her children’s book, The Secret of Fern Island, was published in 1996 under a pseudonym so that she wouldn’t be stalked by screaming children.