I am a CBS News Anchor/Reporter, best-selling author, major-studio screenwriter, internationally award-winning filmmaker, love-and-romance consultant for women’s magazines, frequent media guest, #1 ranked Internet show host, YouTube contributor and blogger. I never planned on doing any of this, but enjoyed it all. I was equally surprised when CBS recruited me. I had no prior experience in that arena, but they studied my work and helped me realize that everything I had done prepared me for the job. I love it.
I wrote The Single Girl’s Guide to Meeting European Men, a nonfiction travel/relationship book that went to #1 within two weeks of publication.
The book was based on my study-abroad experiences as a Vanderbilt student. I had an international major and cheered all four years, so I took my international courses during the summers. Let’s just say the education European men gave me outside the classrooms surpassed what professors taught inside them.
After graduation, I began working as a screenwriter with executives from DreamWorks, Sony and Warner Bros. One of my producers urged me to write my book.
I’m severely dyslexic, so the fact that I write for my living is incredible. When I became a screenwriter, I was so much younger than other writers, that I was frequently mistaken for an assistant. Here’s a video I made poking fun at this predicament. It’s entitled, My So-called ‘Glamorous’ Hollywood Life.
For the release of Meeting European Men, my editor required me to set up an author Facebook page and make videos about it. He wanted me to just look into the camera and talk. The thought of doing that terrified me, and the concept sounded boring. So, I wrote vignettes featuring a ditzy travel host who somehow dispenses valuable tips. I played the lead role, and did everything on the videos myself. To my surprise, they went viral and made best-of lists. Here’s the first one:
After that, I became known as a love-and-romance expert. I don’t consider myself an expert, but that gave me many opportunities to appear in the media and as a consultant for publications like Seventeen and Cosmopolitan.
Eventually, I overcame my stage fright. Viewers started asking me to make videos on a variety of topics and my publisher seconded the motion, so I did. One of them, But I Do, won awards at film festivals around the world. It was based on a letter I received from a girl who read my book and used it to improve her love life.
All of this led to an offer to host a four-hour lifestyle show, Monday through Friday, on VS1. Out of 30 such shows airing around the world, mine became #1.
That success caught the eye of CBS executives. I’m so glad it did.