Katie Couric Found My Blog

Today I’m headed to New York City, for the first time in some twenty years, to be on The Katie Couric Show.  I really can’t believe it, but I am.  And I’m nervous.  And anxious.  And excited.  And curious.  And hopeful.  And realistic that it really isn’t that big of a deal.

You see, the actual “stars” of the Tuesday, February 4, show are the real-life Philomena and Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld, authors of a new book called The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America (2014).  The book will be released on Tuesday, and I’ve been invited, along with another woman, to talk about how we fit that “triple package” and how it has affected our success and our parenting.  At least, that’s what I think we are being invited to talk about.  I really won’t know for sure until I get there!

the triple package coverBut let’s go back to the beginning.  How on earth did all of this happen?  Why me?

Well, Friday morning a producer from Katie’s show called just as I was about the leave the house to drive the kids to school.  She explained who she was and said, “We found your blog post about tiger mothers.”  Yes, that post has certainly gotten me some attention.  Last year, a British magazine interviewed me over the phone about it and even sent a photographer to take pictures of me and my daughters.  I never saw the resulting article, but I assume it is out there somewhere.  Anyway, here’s the post: The Portrait of a Tiger Mother’s Daughter.

I wrote this post in response to Amy Chua’s controversial book about tiger mothering.  I did so before I even had a blog.  I wrote it because I had to respond to get out my feelings about her claims, and I shared it with my neighborhood book club.  Then, through a wonderful second cousin of mine, I was introduced to Michele Kort, editor of Ms. Magazine.  She ended up reading it and talking with me over the phone about improving it.  I tried (not very hard) to get it published, to no avail.  But because Michele had suggested that I start a blog, I did, and eventually posted it, giving up on publication.

Anyway, so that post is how Katie Couric found me.  That first phone call from her producer began with a couple of questions.  “Have you heard about Chua’s new book?”

Yes, I had.  I saw a mention of it on the Today show.  “What did I think of it?”  Well, I dislike stereotyping, but because I hadn’t read it, I really didn’t know what to say.

“Do you fit any of the cultural groups mentioned in the book?”

Yes, I do.  I’m a Mormon, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  And that began a sustained “interview” about me and my parenting and my thoughts on the three traits of the “triple package”: impulse control, insecurity, and superiority.

The producer told me that what I had said sounded promising, and she told me she would call back after a meeting.

Well, the entire day went by, and at 4:30 p.m., I was sure that there was no way they were going to call back.  But I really wanted them to because I thought the opportunity would be amazing.  Who doesn’t want to go to New York City, even if it is only for a day or two?

At 4:45, she called again, this time with another producer on the line.  They interviewed me further, asking questions about my childhood and my background and how other parts of my life fit the “triple package.”  I answered as best as I could, and then they said they would have another meeting and let me know the final answer that night or the next day.

Ten minutes later, the first producer called again and invited me to New York City!

And then, my excitement stopped and the overwhelming anxiety set in.  This was scary!  Could I really pull this off?  Am I going to make a fool of myself on national television?

I still don’t know the answers to those questions, but I do know that I’m getting on a plane today and that I’m going to end up at Katie Couric’s studio tomorrow and after that, we’ll see how it goes.  (I’m hoping that I’ll be able to eat and sleep again!)  I’m pretty sure I’ll end up having about five minutes of actual attention on the show, so that relieves a little bit of the pressure.  And I know that whatever I’m asked to talk about is something that I’m potentially an expert on, since it is about me and my experiences with the “triple package.”  I also know that because I read a lot of books (and I’m currently reading Chua and Rubenfeld’s in preparation for the show; it was over-nighted to me after I was invited) and because I write about books on my blog, I have prepared for discussing a book, especially this one, on national television.

My sisters have been so great and supportive.  They keep telling me how “proud” they are of me.  One of them keeps saying, “Your whole life has prepared you for this.  You are ready.”  She’s right.  If my “triple package,” tiger mother, high-achieving, pageant-interviewing, education-focused, and conference presentation–giving life hasn’t prepared me for this, I don’t know what has.

Wish me luck!

104 thoughts on “Katie Couric Found My Blog

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  1. So so proud of you! You will be great! They could not have chosen a better person to interview for this show. I look forward to hearing about your grand adventure!!

  2. Emily, WOW!! I am so thrilled for you! (And you remember the recent topic in our email conversation…ha ha!) Please do keep us posted on the date of the show and my husband and I will be sure to tune in! I’ll be interested in knowing how all of it works too – the prep, being on camera, etc.! Best of luck!!

            1. I watched it last night! They didn’t give you much time to talk, but I thought you were able to get your point across. Good job! Now you’re famous!

  3. Ahhh that is very cool indeed I am intrigued by this tiger mothering post I will definitely have a read of it! Good luck I think that it’s a great testament to your writing and your personhood that she has invited you on to her show 🙂

      1. Emily, I saw the show this morning. You did great and showed a great balance of the issues. It looked like you would have loved to add a few more thoughts. I look forward to your comments, but wanted to shout out an “atta girl.” All the best, BTG

  4. Oh my gosh–what?? This is amazing! So very excited for you!! I probably won’t be able to watch live because I think her show is on while I’m at work, but please please post a link somewhere! I’ll be thinking about you and praying it goes well!

  5. Holy Mackerel! That’s wonderful, Emily! They’re going to thank their lucky stars they have you, and I hope we’ll be hearing lots from you on camera. 🙂 Congratulations and good luck!

  6. How cool is this!!! I am sure you will do a fantastic job!!! Tell Katie hi for me, she’s my favorite news anchor!! This is such a great oppurtnity for you!! Good Luck and Congrats!!

  7. That’s awesome! You’ll be totally great. I am reading about this book all over the place these past few days, mostly intrigued by how we Mormons fit into her thesis. Sounds interesting!

    1. Yes. I just hope that I can figure out how to talk about being Mormon but also about being just myself. I think we are a diverse group! I think all groups are diverse.

  8. I am so excited for you. You will be amazing. I can’t wait to hear all about it…… And what you think about Katie. 😉

  9. When the Caesars returned from foreign triumphs, a Roman citizen rode in the chariot as they received the cheers of the crowd. “You are only human,” he kept whispering in their ear.

  10. First off, congratulations!!! So excited for you. Your consistency and hard work is paying off big time.
    Second, I have a niece named Laurel Newman Robertson–is this the same person?
    Third, I have never watched the Katie Couric show. Will you post the time and day it will be aired?
    You go, girl!

    1. Thank you, Sylvia! It airs on Tuesday, February 4 (tomorrow), and in our area, it comes on at 3 pm. Times are different depending on time zones. And I don’t think this Laurel is your niece. She’s in my ward and just Laurel Newman.

  11. Congrats! This is very exciting and you should be very proud of yourself! I hope I can find a way to watch it here in Germany. Good luck!!

  12. Oh my goodness!! I’m so very excited for you!! Yours was the first book blog I followed and it is still my favorite. I know that’s only one person’s opinion, but based on the sample size of 1 this is a very well-deserved opportunity and you will be great on the show 🙂

  13. WOW! How cool is that?! I really liked your blog post the first time I read it, and I can certainly understand why it is worthy of being referred to on television. I hope you enjoyed the interview, and I hope this is a springboard to talk about this really timely issue. Congratulations!

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