Author Jaquelyn Mitchard on How She Pissed Off Oprah

Say you write a novel. Then Oprah Winfrey tells everyone to go buy it, and it sells more than 4 million copies. You sit down to write again. Pressure, much? Just ask Jacquelyn Mitchard, whose first novel, The Deep End of the Ocean, was the inaugural selection for Oprah's Book Club. "It made me mental. I kept thinking that all [my books] had to sell as many copies," Mitchard says. "I just said to myself, You started doing this for fun. You need to do that again."

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The result? Her eighth novel, Still Summer, a gripping adventure about four women stranded on the high seas.

MC: This story is such a departure for you. Why adventure?

MITCHARD:

MC: Did you tough it out on a yacht for research?

MITCHARD:

MC: Also harrowing-raising seven kids.

MITCHARD:

MC: How did your husband's death shape your writing?

MITCHARD:

MC: And then Oprah called . . .

MITCHARD: [laughs] Actually, the first few times she called, I didn't think it was Oprah Winfrey, so I erased the messages. The third time she called, she was angry. She said, "At least you could do me the courtesy of returning my call." We both thought it was really funny afterward.

MC: You're lost at sea, and you can only have three books . . .

MITCHARD:

Click here to purchase Still Summer by Jacquelyn Mitchard.

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