Saturday, June 23, 2007

One Gig Leads to Another

I just got back in touch with author Eleanor Herman (left), author of SEX WITH THE QUEEN: 900 Years of Vile Kings, Virile Lovers, and Passionate Politics and SEX WITH KINGS: 500 Years of Adultery, Power, Rivalry and Revenge. She caused jaws to drop at the National Press Club a few years back when she showed up for my workshop outfitted in full regalia as 16th-century royal mistress Diane de Poitiers. (For the whole day, we referred to Eleanor, whose family tree includes Eleanor of Aquitaine, as "your majesty.")

I asked Eleanor what she's been up to lately and got this response:
Well I do have some great news. I am the new host of a History Channel show called "Lost Worlds." We filmed a show in Turkey last month about this ancient Roman city called Aphrodisias. I wandered the ruins interviewing archeologists. Next week and the week after I will be doing a Hindenburg episode in the Alps and riding around in a giant zeppelin.
And how did that come about?
It was a freak accident, really. Early May I got an email from Atlantic Productions London, hired by The History Channel to do "Lost Worlds." They were looking for a host with an American accent, and had used a presenter called Tessa somebody, whose radio show I had been on two years ago during the London book tour surrounding the marriage of Charles and Camilla. Tessa loved my book and my personality and recommended me. They wanted to see some TV work I had done and I FedExed them the Henry VIII show on National Geographic. And I really loved being on camera in Turkey, I was so enthusiastic and they said the viewer can get excited along with me.
I watched the Henry VIII show last year, and frankly Eleanor was the best thing in it. No wonder she was tapped for "Lost Worlds."

As soon as Charles & Camilla's engagement was announced, Eleanor got in touch with every journalist who'd recently written about them and/or who'd interviewed her about Sex with Kings, pitching herself as an expert on kings who'd married their mistresses. It worked: she was quoted in newspaper articles across the U.S. and around the world--and her book got a second boost, many months after it was published.

Moral: Be prepared, and ALWAYS put on a good show--you never know where it will lead you. Oh, and make sure there's someone handy to lace up your gown in back; royal dressing requires aid.

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