How I got on ABC TV for a Book Cover Photo Shoot.
Ever since a fellow writer and her husband dressed in
Elizabethan clothing and posed like a book cover to advertise
our conference, and Nora Roberts actually posed for one of her
covers, I yearned to do a book cover too.
Gosh, could costuming, soft lights, (real soft lights) and makeup, (okay, lots and lots of cosmetics) make me book cover material? I knew I could write to the “Help Me” segment of ABC’s national T-V’s Mike and Maty* show and see if a mock cover photo shoot appealed to them. I loved the idea, but would they?
I started having doubts. Maybe it wasn’t such a great idea after all. Do it. They’d think it stupid. Do it! I don’t know. What if---Do it!
All right, already, I’ll do it.
The hook to the opening of the letter? … Can you help a fifty–year-old mother of five and grandmother of seven and a historical, romance author fulfill a fantasy? I’ve always wondered what it would be like to pose for a cover, and the man I’d choose as the hero is you, Mike….
The producers loved the idea. I guess it was because I was fifty and not a twenty-year-old trying to get airtime and that I wanted their star to pose with me. They worked overtime to put together my segment because they wanted it for their Mother’s Day program.
During preparations … hair, makeup, fitting costumes … I was asked more than once, “How did they get you to do this?”
How did they…? Are you kidding me?
The dress I wore was too short so, while I stood there, the costumer pinned on a white ruffle. Plus, I had to stand on a crate because I wasn’t tall enough. I did as told and more.
We ended up shooting a one and a half minute lead in showing how the picture was taken, all ad-libbed, before the actual pirate photo shoot. Two people took it upon themselves to tell me that I did so well in the lead in, they didn’t have to edit a thing. Everyone was pleased. In fact, the producers showcased my books and featured me throughout the show. I was dumbfounded. They treated me like I was the next best thing since epidermals.
Just before we taped my segment in front of a live audience, I was told where to stand then, after being introduced, walk on. I panicked. I was supposed to be sitting in a chair! Not walk on. Celebrities did that. Not me. But, Mike said after all I had done, he wanted me to walk on. If that wasn’t bad enough, Maty led off with an impromptu question. It seemed like eons before I could pull my thoughts together and answer her.
I thought I would die.
I’m happy to report that I didn’t. The show went on, and it was great. Mike joked about looking like Cher in drag when he was in his pirate garb.
At times, from beginning to end, I wished I’d never written that letter. But in the end, I’m glad I followed through with my promptings.
*The View is in the same time slot Mike And Maty had.