Out of the clear blue, my phone rang and it was John Trevino, the VP GM of KDAF (CW33) in Dallas. (John had worked for me years back at WOAI-TV (NBC) in San Antonio. Since then, John had pole vaulted his career and spent many years as senior management at great TV stations in great TV markets. Currently, he was living the dream in Dallas.)
“Congratulations on the new book! Maybe we can help you out and get you on our midday show,” he said. Within minutes, I was connected to Kinya Cano, Managing Editor of Morning After Show. She set up a date and we worked out all the details for a segment on June 11.
Prior to the segment, I did everything right (so I thought!). My husband Robin had invested in my future and got me a great camera, great lighting and a really good microphone. I had sent copies of my book to KDAF, sent clean, camera ready art files, sent pithy, light-hearted talking points and questions for the host, tested the live video signal, tested the audio, researched the host (Ron Corning), and picked out the perfect camera friendly wardrobe to wear.
Prior to the call, I silenced both my cell phone and the office phone, placed a “do not ring the bell” note on the front door and mentally prepared for my maiden TV voyage. I had also prepared Sammy, our schnoodle. He had been taken out for his early morning walk and we had gone a little further than usual to help tire him out before the call. (You see, Sam has a way of seeking my attention while I work upstairs with his nonstop, loud, guttural growling voice and since the live interview was being done remotely from my home office, I secretly hid a handful of Sam’s favorite treats in a bowl next to my computer screen just in case.)
As I walked through the living room, up the stairs to my office, I was relieved to see Sammy sleeping peacefully on the couch.
I was told that I would be live around 10:45. ( I must admit, I have worked in the TV industry for decades and had been in front of the camera many times, but as the clock ticked slowly toward my ‘go’ time, I started to get a little nervous.) At 10:43, the host of Morning After, Ron Corning came on my computer screen and introduced himself. He was handsome and charming and made me feel like we had been friends for years. He asked me a few questions and said once we were live, he would intro the book and me. The station took a commercial break and then we were live. Ron held up my book, my bright yellow cover was full screen, and he began the interview.
At that precise time, Ed, the elderly neighbor across the street began to mow and edge his front yard. The noise was deafening and loud enough to wake a sleeping dog—my sleeping dog— who began to bark incessantly. Sam hates weed wackers, lawn mowers and anything lawn related. Despite his age related loss of hearing, Sam can still identify working yard equipment from yards away.
To say Sam’s barking was a distraction, was an understatement! Had Sam been upstairs next to me, I could have dissuaded him with dog treats, but Sam was directly below my office downstairs in the open foyer, parked at the front door barking!
Ron Corning handled my barking Sam dog with finesse. Had I had written a standard book on life lessons, Sam might have ruined the entire interview. But, my book is about life lessons as told through the eyes of dogs. The title alone “Surviving In A Dog Eat Dog World” says it all. Sam’s outburst was perfect. In fact, had Sam had thumbs, he would have written the book himself! It’s only fair, Sam got to share in the TV publicity!