Oprah? I hardly know yah! by Deb Meredith

posedformurderMy 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.

9 Replies to “Oprah? I hardly know yah! by Deb Meredith”

  1. I like Oprah’s book club! I never thought about her picks being depressing, but maybe that’s just the literary fiction genre as a whole. It’s something to think about, definitely.

  2. I totally agree about Oprah’s old book club selections. They were all serious downers–some of them I was just glad to be done with (I won’t name names, but there were a few that just drove me nuts), although many of them were well written.

    I think Oprah did a tremendous thing for reading and publishing, *dramatic sigh* even if she hasn’t invited us fabulous Debs to bounce on the old sofa with her. Well, you know what I mean.

  3. I think they were the picks from 10 plus years ago that got me so down… But being depressed already by my situation certainly didn’t help!

    I wonder if Oprah knows how entertaining the debs would be if we were invited to be on her show? I guess not!

  4. A whole genre appears to have been generated by Oprah called “Book Club Fiction.”

    Have Lydia experience some heart-rending tragedy in book 4, and have her pick herself up by the bootstraps, kick a man out, find another, raise a child that isn’t hers, solve a mystery (you do still have a publisher’s needs to satisfy) and retire in Northern Italy at a sexy and vibrant 44….all while emoting heavily.

    Then she’ll call.

  5. Hmm… Sounds like a great plot, Christine! And it sounds like it just might work (heh, heh).

    And you’re right, Kris–Eve would definitely dance on the table!

  6. Now, seriously, how fascinating would it be to have ALL the Debs of The Debutante Ball appear together on Oprah? There’s no doubt the viewing audience would be impressed by this legendary and resourceful forum!

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