Mary Beth had her Oprah day yesterday. She wore a hot pink shirt to the show, and was very pleased to see Oprah wearing a hot pink dress. Hot pink is clearly the hot color for spring.
“I sat in the second row,” said my sister, “and I swear Oprah looked right at me a couple of times. She really connected.”
I think it was the hot pink connection.
Meanwhile, I learned that Oprah no longer (if she ever did) shakes the hands of her audience members. So, aside from the eye contact, there wasn’t a direct connection, and certainly no comment on Mary’s outfit or her jewelry. Further, audience members are required to sign some kind of confidentiality agreement or exploitation waiver, indicating they won’t use Oprah’s name to endorse personal products or services.
This is completely understandable. I mean, if the World Bunco Association can hold supplemental rights to the word “bunco” and attempt to block the use of this word in book titles, I’m quite sure Oprah and her people were wise enough to obtain primary rights to the word “Oprah.”
The back-story on this is about my second novel, It’s Not Your Mother’s Bridge Club. It’s NOT the first name I had for this book. The working title was, The Bellisimo Valley Bunco Squad. I wanted “bunco” in the title because, well, it’s a story about a group of women who play the dice game bunco. But when my publisher sent an endorsement request to the World Bunco Association, he received anything but an endorsement. What he received was a terse, cease and desist order.
Looking for a win-win, we attempted to work with the World Bunco Association, however, when it requested 50% of the revenue from book sales, we ultimately decided to change the title and be done with that. We changed the title and we changed the spelling from bunco (with a c) to bunko (with a k). What’s in a name? It’s still a story about women who play with dice.
Anyway, there will be no “As Seen on Oprah” endorsement for my jewelry, regardless of whether or not Mary Beth gets her beautiful, hot-pink clad mug on TV when the program airs. (May 12, 2009). It’s enough for me to know that Mary made her personal connection with this bigger-than-life celebrity.
On second thought, I wonder if I can change the spelling and use Mary Beth’s original Facebook announcement: “As Seen on Opra?”
Nah. I think that might alert the Chicago Bunco Squad.