Hours later, my daughter was fine, a mild sprained wrist, lightly bruised her cheek and a sore knee, but fine. We all returned home and reality began to set in. LIVE television awaited me.
“What are you going to wear?” my publicist, who was staying at my house asked. “We need to go over the little details.”
I proudly pulled out my clothing, a mini flowered skirt, turquoise blue shirt, funky sandals, and house-wife-with-an-edge purple glasses.
“Great! How about jewelry?” she asked.
I showed her.
“This won’t work. You need to convey an image. You’re a New York Times author. What else do you have?”
I sighed and ten minutes later, dressed in my clothes for the show, we climbed into the car and headed for Mom’s to borrow from the crown jewel collection. I looked down and what did I see?
“There’s grease on my shirt!” Not just a light color smear, but dark, thick, grease!
“Calm down. Everything happens the way it’s supposed to,” Theresa said. I think I actually laughed in her face. Was I supposed to go on Regis and Kelly with … not grease but what I realized was my six year old’s chocolate ice cream stain on my shirt?!?!?
“At least it isn’t grease,” she said lightly.
We picked jewelry and moved to Plan, or should I say, Shirt B—a pink tank, identical to the blue except for color. I can live with this, I remember thinking. I’ll be calm. No I was hysterical.
AUGUST 6, 2002
THE CARRIAGE AWAITS
The alarm rang at four the next morning, not that I got any sleep. I showered and washed my hair and planed on letting it dry so my hairstylist could fix it later that morning. While drying off, I started laughing hysterically because I was moisturizing places I didn’t know needed moisturizing. Looking back, I wonder why I thought anyone would see my elbows, but they were silky smooth and ready for an appearance on LIVE.
We were picked up by a limo from the studio and driven into the city to my hairdresser then catch a yellow cab to the studio. By the time I walked into ABC, I was in “Carly” mode. As anybody who has been to a conference knows, this would be “Conference” mode. I told myself I was “On” and “Ready”. That worked until I saw my family and friends who’d come to be in the audience for the show. (Because I live in New York State, getting on LIVE was fairly easy for family and friends who had only a half hour trip downtown). At that moment, I was certain I turned from media-trained, consummate professional, author Carly Phillips, into Karen and her bundle of insecurities, going on live television!
AT THE BALL
Cinderella might have been ready for the ball, but the ball wasn’t ready for Cinderella. The security guards didn’t know who Carly Phillips was, and didn’t want to let us inside. It took some maneuvering and foot stamping … but we got in. But once I was inside the infamous “Green Room”, nobody knew I was there and worse, nobody seemed to care! I’d been told that LIVE would do makeup and hair touchups, but it quickly became obvious they wouldn’t notice if I was wearing a facial mask or a brown paper bag. This was a quick, in and out production, so I tried to get my mind set around the idea, while convincing myself that I was going to enjoy it and be fine. And pigs fly. I was scared to death.
Nobody famous shared my breathing space except for my editor, Karen Kosztolnyik and my publicist, until a girl wearing very little clothing walked into the room. I wondered who she was. “She” turned out to be Ryan Star from the television show, American Idol. The men in the audience would be happy, I thought, while the women had Antonio to look forward to.
Over time, the green room grew more crowded, as readers who were selected to be on the round table arrived. The producer finally joined us and handed out last-minute instructions. The ten readers were given pre-written questions on blue cue cards and told to memorize them. I was happy I got to go with my own, wing-it answers rather than be pressured to memorize something I might forget. My publicist asked the producer if I could show my ARC of the next book in the trilogy. The producer turned to me and said quite clearly, “No blatant promo, no websites and do NOT under any circumstances mention the upcoming books in the trilogy.” So much forThe Playboy, The Loner, and the Harlequin single title I’d brought with me, and I shoved the carefully prepared books back into my bag.