Friday, May 27, 2011


I don't normally watch much Oprah, but I did tune in to a few of her final shows.

Last week I watched the two-part interview with James Frey, their first meeting since she eviscerated him five years ago for billing A Million Little Pieces as a memoir when large swaths of it were fiction. Ironically, he seems to be doing better than ever now. He told Oprah how he originally billed it as a novel and publishers told him they liked it, but didn't want to publish it unless he called it a memoir. (Although, with him credibility will always be an issue, so who knows if that's true.)

Still, it's an interesting dilemma. I found it fascinating that this interview aired the day I finished the first draft of my novel. I can't say how I would respond if I were in that position, though, based on the content of my novel, I highly doubt any publisher will ever say, "Phil, we like this, but we won't publish it unless you call it a memoir."

One last thing. Oprah has aired a ton of shows over the past 25 years. To me they ran the gamut. Some of them were eye-opening to me, others I found schmaltzy and contrived. But on her last show, Oprah talked about finding your true calling, and how important that is for personal fulfillment.

For that, I can say that she went out with a bang. I can only hope writing is my true calling. 

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