Years ago, before there was an AViD Author Series, I remember reading columns by Jacquelyn Mitchard in the Des Moines Register and thinking to myself that she seemed like a woman I would love to have as a friend. Reading her column was sort of like reading a letter from a good friend, always interesting, usually from a view-point to which I could relate. I almost always agreed with her politics, and always admired her ethics and her positive outlook on life.
When Oprah selected Mitchard's book, The Deep End of the Ocean, for the Oprah Book Club, I knew Mitchard was destined for more (well-deserved) fame. So when we started targeting authors to bring to Des Moines for our AViD series, Jacquelyn Mitchard was on my short-list. But in the early days, it wasn't so easy to just call up a publisher and ask for a certain author. In fact, I remember calling up a few publishers and after learning that I was calling from Des Moines, they would reply, "And why would we want to send an author to Des Moines?"
But after a few years of successful events with large, enthusiastic audiences and happy authors who reported back to their publicists how much they enjoyed coming to Des Moines, it got easier to request authors. And eventually we brought Jackie Mitchard to Des Moines! Just as I imagined, it was instantly like meeting an old friend. As you might expect if you read her books, she is bright, kind, and just as warm as her writing.
I got an email from her this week about a new project she is proposing for her own talk show! It's going to be all about re-inventing yourself and believe me, Jackie knows a little something about that. Remember, she wrote her first book right after her husband died of cancer. This past year has been a challenge for her too.
Here's a paragraph from her email:
I've always said, when the going gets tough, take more risks. And this year has been the kind of year I've needed to listen to my own advice. The week after we were approved to adopt two beautiful daughters from Ethiopia, we learned we'd lost everything in a crippling theft by a hometown boy posing as an investment counselor. The guy promised to help some of his thousand victims recover their hard-earned life savings, but he lied to the federal judges. Still, not long after we found that out, our first college graduate put on his cap and gown.
Lots of pearls among the pebbles.
If you are a fan of Jackie's writing, you are sure to enjoy Jacquelyn's Audition: Oh, Jackie! (Reinvent Yourself. Reinvent Your World) - OWN TV .