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Has Oprah called YOU?

  Today was an off day. I was feeling scattered and unproductive. Didn't feel like writing, was unfocused when it came to marketing ... so I spent most of the day doing absolutely nothing online. I sent twitter messages to Ann Curry (because she's one of the few Today Show hosts who is not only on Twitter, but who'll sometimes respond) to complain about the Today Show's story on Michelle Obama's clothes & to ask how the reporters feel about those stories, wrote a review for Page One Review, and sent some emails.

Oh - and I printed work letters for Ian because he was busy and needed help, and I (desperately) needed something to do.

But then!

About two hours ago, I got a call on my cell phone from a number I didn't know. A 773 area code. I answered.

MAN: Hello. I'm looking for Kristen...Teh-set-see?

ME: Tsetsi (pr. TEHT-see). Yes.

MAN: I'm an associate editor at Harpo, and we received a copy of Homefront. [HOLY CRAP THEY STILL HAVE IT! I SENT IT OVER A YEAR AGO!] We're putting together a segment for Oprah's Book Club about authors who have chosen to self-publish and think Homefront might make a good addition to Oprah's Book Club. We'll have several self-published authors participating and would like to know if this is something you'd be interested in, would be able to be here for.

ME: (OHMYGOD!!!!) Sure. Yeah.

MAN: Okay. What you'll need to do, in that case, is just get in touch with the Chief Editor [spells name for me], who'll do a brief interview to determine whether you'll work out as a candidate for the show. You can call anytime between now and Friday. [gives me the phone number]

ME: Okay. Thanks.

[hang up]


I immediately dialed Ian's number, but he didn't answer, so I called my dad.

ME: I just got a call from Harpo Studios! They're doing a segment on self-published authors and they called me to see if I want to be a part of it! [trying to breathe] Me! I mean, wow. I mean, not that it'll actually happen, because I still have to do this interview thing, but it could happen...!

[I'm not a fan of this many exclamation points, but they must be used here to communicate my absolute excitement. What a relevant topic! With so many people self-publishing lately - even Wil Wheaton! - she's totally current and holy hell what timing on my part to have contacted Harpo again yesterday with an email to the Book Club editor!!!]

My dad was excited for me and said he'd let me get off the phone so I could call more people.

I called Ian.

He, too, was excited, and asked if I'd called the Chief Editor yet. I said I hadn't - I'd actually thought about waiting until tomorrow because I was so nervous I didn't want to sound like a gibbering, drooling idiot. "Call him and call me back!" Ian said, so I did. I called.

I heard this:

"Thank you for calling Lincoln Park Zooooo! We are open 356 days a year. Admission is free!"

  I hung up.

I dialed the number that initially called mine, and the voicemail picked up. "Hi, this is so and so, I'm not available but leave a message."

I recognized the name.

I called Ian.

"It was a joke," I said. Clueless.

"Huh?" he said.

"It was just an April Fool's joke." Pause. Ohhhh... "Were you part of it?"


"It was a joke. Was that you? Did you do that?"

(laughing) "Yeah."

Before hanging up and throwing the phone, I said, "That's not cool."

And then, like a truly gullible twit who would actually believe Oprah would not only run a segment on self-published novelists, but who would call me and invite me to be on the show, I cried, as they say, like a baby.

This is not something I'm comfortable admitting. In fact, as much as I gripe about things in this blog, I rarely get personal. But man, did I cryyyyyyyyy.... I ACTUALLY believed it. I was SO DAMN EXCITED. I'd been working toward something like this for four years - who was I to think all that work wouldn't, in some freak way, pay off in such a way? I mean, it has to happen to SOMEONE - why not me?

I emailed Ian (he carries a blackberry) and told him not to come home for a while. "If you're close to home, try to delay it," I wrote.

He called me and I couldn't even talk. In fact, I held the phone away from my face and was flailing my arms in some kind of weirdo display and said to the air, "I just can't talk right now!"

"Okaybye," he said.

In his defense, he did not mean to be cruel. I know him, and I know he meant only to play a joke. To get me just excited enough to say "You ass!" and laugh when I discovered the truth.

He could not have expected me to not be skeptical, and guess something might have been amiss, when on April Fool's Day the name of the Chief Editor at the zoo's number, "Harry Lyons," was spelled out for me.

In my defense, the guy who called pronounced the name "Lee-ons."

6 Comment count
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Oh, that was so mean. I was

Oh, that was so mean. I was so happy for you! Not a fan of practical jokes out here, especially ones like that. Susan

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Oh, the cluless spouses of writers

Until one has actually worked toward publication and the elusive glow of validation for your efforts, you clearly can't understand how much heart and soul can be bound together within the pages of a published book. I hope that man of yours came home with roses, fine wine, and wearing a cup to protect the family gems.


Shana McLean Moore www.caffeinatedponderings.com www.sunnysidecommunications.com

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thoughtfully thoughtless

Amazingly, Ian probably thought he was being thoughtful by noticing what was important to you, but, boy-oh-boy that was a thoughtless prank. I was really excited for you as I was reading your blog. So sorry. Perhaps it is just a harbinger of good things to come. Kind of that "fake it 'til you make it" thing? May next time be for real.

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I gotta say, this would

I gotta say, this would leave me ill-disposed toward my partner for many a long night.

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I was excited *for you* -- and I don't even know you! That joke sucks. I've stopped answering the phone on April 1st...

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Gosh, I read this and

Gosh, I read this and actually believed it! I couldn't believe it when it turned out to be a joke.

Sorry...this was not nice at all! Especially for a spouse/partner to do this. Made me very sad.