(Web Editor's Note: The pace of the the magazine has been too quick for our web staff to keep up with. Until our upcoming web-redesign, you'll find the 'back-of-the-book' articles under Lifestyle Trends.)
With the new year comes a supercool new section in the magazine. In July 2004, we introduced a new look and an updated section in the front of the magazine (called ­UpFront) that focuses on lots of interesting travel, lifestyle, gadget, and business information. While discussing our plans, we talked about including a complementary section in the back of the magazine that would focus on entertainment.

Everyone was pretty excited about this idea, but no one was as excited as James Ricks, our publisher, if only because he’s really into movies and music, and he thought it would be a great addition that our readers (that’s you) would enjoy.

Luckily, James is a patient man. Every time we got together to talk about the magazine, he’d ask me for an update on “that new section in the back.” And every time he asked, I’d squirm a bit, wrinkle my nose, and tell him it would definitely be in the next quarter or two.

So. Five quarters later, we have a new back-of-the-book section, fittingly called DownLow, to share with you. Of course, if not for one of our newer employees, associate editor Zac Crain, I’d probably still be squirming.

Zac is a veritable walking catalog of book, music, TV, movie, you name it, knowledge. And he whipped this section together, with the help of some very talented writers, in no time.

J.R. Arebalo, our design director, took those stories and crafted them into a great design that makes the section as interesting to look at as it is to read.

In this issue (and in each issue on the first of the month), we’ll bring you our take on the worlds of music and television. On the 15th of each month, we’ll focus on books and movies. But no matter what the topic, you can be sure it will be something you won’t want to miss.

So turn to page 81 and take a look at our inaugural effort, then send an e-mail to editor@americanwaymag.com and let us know what you think. Your opinions will definitely help us shape the future content.

In fact, since it’s a new year and all, why don’t you each resolve to send us a note about the magazine in general every quarter? You can update us on what you think we’re doing right and/or wrong, what topics you like to read about, and those you’re really not interested in. The more we hear from you, the more we’ll get to know your likes and dislikes. And what better gauge of our audience could we have than that?

As for me, I’m going to resolve to write this column when it’s due instead of when the magazine is almost out the door, to run a half-marathon in February, to avoid proposing new ­sections we can put in the magazine, and to read everything you have to say to us.

Happy New Year to you all. I’m really looking forward to getting to know each of you better over the next 12 months.

Picture of Sheri Burns