O is for OPRAH
I got the letter O in the #ChickLitMay scavenger hunt and w hat I know for sure is that Oprah is the ultimate chicklit heroine.
Chicklit books to me are the stories of women working towards their dreams with a sense of humour. Women grappling with careers, with friends and with romantic entanglements. Chicklit heroines have highs and lows, ups and downs and lots of laughs along the way. They're women with hobbies and passions who are looking for love and meaning in life but they're finding their own way. Does that sounds like Oprah to you?
Oprah did not start her life with a perfect family in a perfect house waiting for Mr Perfect to rescue her. No she did not. She got out there and worked her butt off. That's part of what makes her so successful, she's relatable.
So much of her life is documented because like many a chicklit heroine she's an over-sharer. We all know she moved to Chicago to pursue her dream career in television and that's where she met her BFF's Gayle and Maria Shriver. (We know she went to Maria's house and like many a book character had family-envy.) For all those women in that circle of friends careers and men have risen and fallen but the core of their friendship has kept them strong. We've watched them celebrate each other's milestones and laugh themselves stupid on national television as well.
One of the things I love about chicklit books is that the characters often have their own language and shorthand for how they communicate and Oprah is the queen of that. Aha moments, full circle moments, what I know for sure are all Oprahisms.
We've watched Oprah struggle for years with her weight (just like Bridget Jones with whom there are many Oprah parallels. Bridget had her own language too v. happy or v.anything really is a good example.) We could see Oprah believing if she just hit that goal life would fall in to place only to realize that wasn't the answer.
There's a criticism by some that chicklit can be vapid (shoes and handbags anyone?) but the truth is in the Oprah era and the chicklit era for the first time women have found themselves making their own money and their own decisions about how they spend it. If that means one nice pair of Jimmy Choos or in Oprah's case four houses each with a colour-coded temperature controlled walk-in robe then bring it on. It's okay for women in books and in life to want pretty things and to celebrate their milestones by getting them.
Of course that's not all that the chicklit heroine or Oprah are about. They want to find their bliss. Whether through family, friendship or pursuing a dream. The journey is the fascinating part.
How do I know so much about Oprah's journey? I possibly may have read every O Magazine ever written.
You know something else Oprah loved to do? Give away her favourite things and what do authors love more than anything? Books. So the authors participating in this Scavenger Hunt are giving you the chance to win a Kindle Paperwhite and a $100 Amazon Giftcard to load it up with books.
Want to win a Kindle Paperwhite + a $100 Amazon gift card? Visit each of the 26 stops on the #ChickLitMay A to Z Scavenger Hunt and collect the alphabet word at each stop (A, B, C, D, etc.), then submit the A-Z list of words via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject "A to Z Scavenger Hunt Entry." Entries will be accepted until Sunday, May 22nd at midnight E.D.T. A winner will be chosen on Monday, May 23rd. Good luck!
The next stop on the Scavenger Hunt - the letter P - is here. https://whitneydineen.com/2016/05/15/chick-lit-scavenger-hunt/
If you'd like to start back at the beginning of the Scavenger Hunt (the letter A), go here. http://katieoliver.com/ko/2016/05/chick-lit-a-to-z-scavenger-hunt/
Good luck!! I hope you win big.
My personal connection to Oprah and chicklit
One last thing - my very first novel Mr Right and Other Mongrels features a landscape gardener with an Australian TV show who gets called up to have his own big US Show. I modelled the character on an Australian TV personality called Jamie Durie and the question I asked while writing was "What if Jamie got chosen to be on Oprah?"
And then that ACTUALLY HAPPENED while I was finalising my book. Jamie got called up and was sitting there on the Oprah stage doing designs with cute Nate Berkus.
If you'd like to read the full version you can get Mr Right and Other Mongrels here and it's on sale for #ChickLitMay getBook.at/MrRightandOtherMongrels