My first book came out this year—POSED FOR MURDER. Despite all the excitement around my anticipated debut, Oprah did not call me and ask me to come on her show. I did, however, appear on a local TV show in Fairfax. The experience reminded me why I went to film school in the first place. I like to be behind the camera (directing preferably) rather then in the hot seat.
When I first moved to New York, the first thing I did was get a library card at the local branch. The Bushwick branch of the Brooklyn Library had been built years ago, but when they renovated it they had taken out most of the books to make room for computers. Their fiction section was tiny, and I soon read my way through most of it. If Oprah had recommended a book, they bought it. After reading through 10 books from her book club, I began to notice a pattern. They were full of depressed and depressing people who had suffered terrible losses–often a child—and were married to terrible men. They made me… depressed. Of course, I had also just moved to an unairconditioned loft in the summertime, had no job, and had promptly broken my arm upon arrival, so I had a few other things to be depressed about.
Occasionally there was an exception among her selection—a book that was truly interesting and I was really glad to have read (“The Corrections” and “Middlesex” spring to mind). But I knew that I would never be a candidate to appear on her show. When has she ever highlighted a mystery novel? I imagine John Grisham or Elmore Leonard or Dan Brown may have appeared, but no mid-list authors. No Laurie King or Rhys Bowen or Katherine Hall Paige or any of the other many interesting writers I’ve met in the mystery world.
I admire Oprah as a person. She is a savvy business woman, a talented actress, and a smart person who is trying to make a difference. I haven’t watched her show in awhile, but I seem to remember the shows had people on who had to face extraordinary difficulties (a paralyzed woman who becomes a painter), celebrities (her best friend Tom Cruise), and doctors (full of advice on how to improve your sex life). So unless something horrible happens to me or I get divorced and marry a celebrity, or I get a PhD—I think I’m safe from getting a call from Harpo Productions.
But Oprah–if you’re reading this–shoot me an email! Let’s talk.