Fox & Friends. Number #1 rated morning show on television. I’m not 100% sure of the accurate percentages, but a woman that works for a large publishing house in NYC said less than 1% of authors make it to national TV. Whatever the percentage is, we know it’s pretty amazing.
Leah and I didn’t even have time to truly digest it all before it was in our laps. Everything was happening, and all at once. We’d booked two weekends of events to include Barnes & Noble signings, and were waiting on a firm date from CNN Weekend Express. We were excited and hitting the ground, running.
All the while we were also doing interviews with local media, and floored by the success and interest we were having from the wineries we’d featured—some wanting to buy the book and schedule a signing, others that didn’t have a tasting room—were open to other ideas to partner up in marketing. We’d hit the entrance to a potential gold mine—our tactic of using wine to separate ourselves from the other mommy books, and specific wines to broaden our partnership opportunities, was coming fully to light.
Amidst all the craziness we were experiencing, we didn’t anticipate more good news…but sure enough it came. In her usual calm-cool-and-collected demeanor, our kick-ass publicist Karen wrote:
“Good news ladies, Fox & Friends is interested, but wants to see your local TV segment clips. Which aren’t that good…”
It was the truth. The first time Leah and I both were on TV was terrifying. She did much better than I did, but all the same, we didn’t have national TV worthy clips to share. We each said a prayer, crossed our fingers, and kept after our focused marketing endeavors.
Then…the email came that we’ll never forget. They wanted to book. Fox wanted us! And, Mother’s Day weekend to top it off. Boom. This was huge…as our book was the perfect Mother’s Day gift. It was Leah’s favorite morning show. It was Fox! The entire team was ecstatic for this amazing opportunity.
In the typical manner of which everything seems to happen for us, CNN also wrote. They wanted to book us the Thursday before our Destin signing, which I’d already purchased tickets, hotel, etc for. I changed my flights to Atlanta, and started scrambling to get all my work done for my other career, a commercial insurance agent specializing in construction in the Aspen area. I had several trips planned for book signings and was starting to feel the pressure. How could I get all my clients taken care of before I left? What loose ends was I forgetting? Who was going to help Leah and myself with our kids, their busy schedules/extra-curricular activities? Of course their dads would be around but they have jobs too. Even more stressful? What the hell were we going to wear? We both had to dress in a similar style, with colors that wouldn’t clash. Try coordinating that as a busy mom/woman at the last minute with someone who lives several states away! That left the even more pressing questions, what were we going to say? Who was going to say what? Getting on national TV was exciting and new – it was the fun part. However, actually being on national TV was beyond freaking terrifying.
Somehow, we managed. My friend Amber came with me to Atlanta to help me with CNN, as Leah and her son had come down with a cold and wanted to rest for our other events that weekend. Had I known the feat I was taking on, I would have honestly asked her to come, and she would have without question. I practiced with Amber pretty extensively with the time we’d been given; Karen sent the questions and answers to CNN, and off we went. I had no idea what I was getting myself into…
CNN was an incredible experience, and laid the foundation for what I needed to be spot on for Fox. The producer was nice enough to take the time to call my publicist with some constructive criticism, which I took fully to heart. Unlike CNN, I practiced on note cards for hours, memorizing stories and wines. If I got asked questions that weren’t on our list/we hadn’t prepared for, I had memorized so many different alternatives; I could redirect the question (gangster-like, politician-style) to what I wanted to say. Karen rode us constantly. Whether it was what we were posting on FB (Trina, that makes you look like an amateur, please remove) to what we were wearing (no stripes, no white. Your color should be solid, with maybe a pop of color in jewelry. Not too much around the face), to what we were saying. We were going to be our best in all arenas. She was not going to let us be unprepared. While Leah and I both almost cracked under the pressure, we needed her riding our ass to be our best. A large part of our success should be attributed to her and we are so grateful for that.
We both flew into NYC and met at the airport. There was no time to be excited, or even celebrate. We had a lot to do, and we were going to rock this thing. We had our pre-interview Thursday night with a super cool producer who literally enjoyed the idea of the book and couldn’t stop giving examples from his own life with his wife and kids, and how much he related to our book, even as a dad. We had been so nervous all day…but that interview turned out fun and light. It set the tone for the rest of the trip. It reminded us what we were there for…to tell the world about a book we loved, believed in, were passionate about, and knew they would love just as much.
Fox had a car pick us up early for us to get our hair and makeup done. Leah got her hair done behind Geraldo. I sat near Clay Aiken in the “green room” (which is actually red). We looked amazing, our outfits were on point, and we felt extremely prepared, but still so nervous. Karen got there after battling traffic, and brought all the wines we were featuring and glasses to display for our segment. Fox had flowers for the ends of the tables—it turned out quite spectacular.
After waiting and rehearsing, and anticipating the big moment, we were finally directed to head to film our segment…and I got the very well awaited opportunity of seeing the famous “white couch” in person. I would be afraid to sit on that thing, it was so pristine. We looked around in awe at all the lights, and were then surprised by the reaction from all the hosts:
“You are the wine girls? We love you! What a fun idea!”
“Yes, how fun, what a unique idea!”
“This is the segment we’ve been looking forward to all morning.”
It started to calm us – the energy in the room was laid-back and welcoming. We will never forget how warm and friendly everyone at Fox was.
Ainsley popped over as soon as she had a moment to review the questions. This was huge for us, so we could be prepared on the direction she would be taking us. We reviewed everything briefly, but found ourselves chatting with her about her 6-month-old and motherhood in general. We fell in love with her almost immediately—she’s smart and witty, beautiful – yet almost unaware, and incredibly genuine and caring. She has an energy about her that draws you to her.
It seemed like hours, but in mere minutes the segment started and we felt our nerves start to subside as Ainsley took the lead and we followed in sync. We knew all the answers, even on the extra questions she asked that weren’t on our original list (our segment was unexpectedly extended). We’d been through many, and I mean many, possible questions and answers (thank you Karen!). We knew who would answer what, and never stumbled over one another. We smiled at the camera at the appropriate times, we laughed, and most importantly we talked to each other during the interview like the everyday moms that we were; like the moms in our book. While there were things we both would change (there always will be) and have taken note; we feel incredibly proud.
We both took selfies with Ainsley, and talked to Pete and her for quite a while after the airing ended. They tried out some of the wines, and we chatted about parenting, our books (Ainsley and Pete are both authors as well), and life in general. What a couple of amazing people!
Karen was happy with the segment, which is huge, because Karen’s job is to always make us better for the next time. To critique, analyze, judge, and train. Trust me, she does this and does it well. I was more afraid of not nailing Fox for Karen than for myself. She was counting on us…
Fran, our publisher, called after it aired with a list of some of my most favorite expletives followed by promising; “You knocked it out of the park ladies.”
It was reason to celebrate, and finally relax. We’d worked so hard, we deserved it.
The book hit Amazon’s best seller list in three categories, including Motherhood, within hours of the Fox segment airing. We hit #361 of all books on Amazon (don’t have an exact number, but there’s millions of books on Amazon), which is huge. Of course we were on cloud 9, but only in true Leah and Trina style, we found ourselves asking, what’s next? We sat down and put together a second business plan, and talked about our 3-5 year goals. Leah and I are both high energy, low-detail people so we always make sure we write everything down, and assign one of us the task of getting it done. We’d conquered some big achievements, true…but we couldn’t slow down. How could we ride this momentum for the maximum benefit?
We both realized we hadn’t even truly celebrated the moment, we were already looking for what was next. I asked Leah, “What would it take for us to know that we’d actually made it?” I answered first. “A New York Times Best Seller.” Then I thought about it, and corrected myself. “Wait, no, maybe it’s the wine line. Yes because then we have a brand. Well, wait…”
“Money.” Leah laughed. “Lots of money. Well, maybe it would be a Times Best Seller.”
We both laughed. The funny thing was, neither one of us could pinpoint a true answer.
While we’re not sure what signifies making it in our own eyes, I do know that if we were to look back at day one of starting this adventure, and review what our original goals were….we’d find that we’ve far exceeded those, and by landslides. Our dreams are always big, and they get bigger each day…but prior to becoming published—just getting our book in print was huge. I can’t tell you how many no’s we heard. How many people laughed at us! We kept on trucking…and while maybe we won’t celebrate that just yet…we both know we’re truly thankful for it.
We’re blessed to have an incredible team of people on our side, helping to make us successful. We have each other to champion and support the other, which is imperative. We have a book that is doing quite well. We’re talking to our publisher about the next book via conference call this week. Fran reached out to us regarding an idea she came up with…and it’s brilliant! It revived Leah and I to get back to our roots of passion; the nitty, gritty, writing. We also have a meeting coming up that could signify branching out from just publishing books…stay tuned! Much more coming from Mommoisseurs!
Thank you to everyone who watched the video, commented, shared, and let us know your thoughts. And, thank you to everyone who bought a copy of the book! If you could also help us by leaving an awesome Amazon review, we’d be so very grateful!