Chicago—5:30 am wakeup call. Told to do my own makeup for The Morning News, a live interview in the studio. But when we get there a makeup person goes to work on me and for the next half hour she’s busy with my face. Since I can’t see much in the mirror (I’m near sighted and don’t bother with contacts unless it’s a special event) it’s too late to do anything about it since they’re ready for me on the set before I’m even out of the makeup chair.
The interview goes well, I think. The Satellite Tour gave me a lot of practice and confidence. At the end of the interview, when the host announces my book talk and signing to be held that evening, she turns to me for the name and address of the store. I’m flustered. Isn’t it up on the monitor for her to read? I wing it, not sure I remember correctly either the name of the store or the location.
When I come out and see my reflection I’m horrified. My face is covered with makeup so heavy it looks like orange clay. In the car, the author escort offers me her Jergen’s Lotion so I can try to get the worst of it off before we get to our next interview, a radio show on NPR. But my eyelids sting as I desperately try to remove the glunk that has settled into every crease.
9:30-10 am: Local NPR. I love NPR and listen to it in the shower, while making dinner and anytime we’re in the car. They have a surprise for me at the top of our interview. A tape of 20-somethings now working at the station talk about my books and what they meant to them growing up. It’s a sweet and funny intro.
So I’m really disappointed when we get to the interview. Somehow the host has been given information (or she’s decided herself) that my intention is to write “guide” books, that is, books that guide people in living their lives. I try to explain I write fiction. I tell stories. But she won’t let go of it.
When she says Summer Sisters is set on Cape Cod, I say it’s Martha’s Vineyard. She says, same thing. I say, actually...not. She says, to US it’s the same thing (meaning to those in Chicago). Why are we arguing about this?
She sticks to her script. The interview deteriorates. She says something about how my sons edit my work. Don’t know where this could have come from. I explain, I have one son but he doesn’t edit my work. Then I think, maybe she’s talking about the time Larry and I did a short movie based on Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great. Or maybe she’s talking about Larry’s post production business. Or maybe she means that Randy (whom she assumes is a boy) was my first reader way back when I began to write. Who knows?
When we’re off the air she says she was thoroughly surprised by my answers to her questions. I don’t add I was thoroughly surprised by her questions. This did not go well. Win some, lose some. She did announce my book talk and signing.
On the way out we see John Irving taping an interview in another studio. We wave to one another.
11-11:30 AM: Live Radio. “Kathy and Judy”
Today we’re “Kathy, Judy and Judy”. This is a light-hearted half hour romp with two people who are familiar with my books and at least one of them has read Summer Sisters. What a difference.
We grab a quick bite before the MSNBC interview, postponed from yesterday. But when we get up to the studio we find out I’ve been bumped again. This time a major news story is breaking. A fifteen year old in Oregon has opened fire at school, killing at least one student. As soon as I get back to my hotel room I turn on CNN to find out more about Oregon. I can’t get this kid out of my mind. I have a million questions about his family, his history, how this could have happened. I watch until my next interview.
2:30-3:00 pm - Copley News Service
The reporter is a big fan of Wifey. Wants to talk mainly about it. It’s hard to get to Summer Sisters, but, hey...I’m glad she likes something I wrote.