I used to be terrified of Howard Stern and when I learned I was going to be a guest on Sirius XM Satellite Radio, I panicked. "You'll be interviewed by one of their top jocks," I was told. Top jocks. The words hung in the air. All I could think of was Howard Stern. Howard Stern. OMG. No!
"Will it be Howard Stern?" Long pause.
"It could be," I was told.
I called a writer pal who had been interviewed by Stern. "Is he as bad as they say?" I gulped. "Worse," my friend replied. "Much worse. He'll eat you for breakfast. And then spit you out."
Doing a bit of "self-talk," as the shrinks like to say, I reminded myself that this was going to be a good thing. I'd be talking about my new series, the Talk Radio Mysteries, that had just come out with Penguin-Random House. I'd be talking particularly about DEAD AIR, book one in the series. It;s all about a Manhattan psychologist who closes up her practice and moves to sunny Florida to be a radio psychologist, like Frasier. And she solves a murder in every book. My agent pitched it as "Frasier Meets Murder She Wrote."
It was all good, right? I figured I could hold my own on live radio, I used to work for a rock radio station in Nashville and had interviewed guests on the local PBS TV station here in the northeast.
Free publicity for my book. What's not to like?
Of course, I hadn't factored Howard Stern into the equation. I knew radio jocks could be tough, raunchy (make that terrifying!) but nothing I hadn't dealt with before. I thought about Howard Stern's former sidekick, Artie Lange, who had left the show. Would Robin Quivers go easy on me? Would there be some female bonding? Hmmm. Maybe not.
I "near worried myself to death" as they say down south. And all for nothing, because in the end, I was a guest on the Wake Up With Taylor show, hosted by Taylor Strecker and her sidekick, comedian Kenny Z. The experience was wonderful, positive and I did 20 minutes of live radio! I had a terrific time! So much angst for nothing.
But back to the teaser at the top of this blog. Why am I no longer terrified of Howard Stern? Because I just learned he is a big-time cat lover and he and his wife Beth devote an incredible amount of time and money to cat rescue. In fact, they've rescued over 600 cats in the past four years. Surprised? I was, too!
Howard Stern a cat lover! Who knew? Maybe I'll meet him someday and tell him how much I admire the work that he and his wife are doing.
And if there's a moral here, remember not to worry yourself to death. Sometimes your worst fears never come true. Did you ever have an experience you were absolutely dreading, and then it all turned out ok? I'd love to hear about it.