I Was Almost On Oprah
I have the type of life about which people often said to me “You ought to write a book and be on Oprah.” Now that Oprah’s ending her show this week, I never will be.
Not that I wanted to be. People went on Oprah because they were famous, because they were selling something or were speaking out for change, or because they had done something courageous. I’m not in any of those categories. I simply married and raised some challenging individuals. I just lived my life, played the hand I was dealt. Nobody died or was redeemed (or resurrected). Nothing miraculous compared to the average Oprah noncelebrity guest – like losing 100 pounds (and getting a car from Oprah).
But early on, I actually had a chance to be on the first Oprah’s Book Club panel. I had a heads up from the author of the first book she chose – The Deep End of the Ocean by Jacquelyn Mitchard, released in 1996. I interviewed Mitchard for a regional parenting magazine just after she received the news of her book being chosen, and she advised me to investigate the new concept.
I wrote to the Oprah show after reading the book, which I could not put down even for Fourth of July fireworks. I must have done a pretty good job of selling it and myself because one evening around suppertime a woman from the Oprah show called to interview me for possibly being on the first book club panel. I proceeded to talk myself out of a place on the panel, pointing out that I, too, was a writer, and I lived in the same town as Mitchard whom I knew slightly from professional functions. So why would they want me? My viewpoint was already skewed toward supporting a local writer making it big.