Here we go…

In The Virgin Cure, the writing life by ami16 Comments

The July Issue of O Magazine featuring The Virgin Cure as one of "The Books of Summer"

So, this happened last week…

The Virgin Cure appeared in the July issue of O Magazine, featured as one of “The Books of Summer.” (page 109 .)

The news came late Friday night when I received a facebook message from my former college roommate/best buddy, Dawn, “Jamie just told me that your book is in O Magazine. Is it true?”

I had no idea if it was true or not, but Jamie, (Dawn’s niece) is one smart cookie, so I had no reason to doubt her. (Of course as soon as the stores were open the next morning, dear hubby was out the door and down the mountain to snap up a copy of the magazine.)

I shared the news via Twitter last Saturday, but as some of you may know, there’s much more to my Oprah story than 140 characters can ever convey. Seeing my book included in Oprah’s magazine was nothing short of having a series of lightbulb/ah-ha/full-circle moments go off like fireworks in my heart.

You see, I’m the girl who appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show before she even dreamed of writing a novel.

“Dear Oprah.”

Way back when I had no idea who or what I wanted to be, when I was far too scared to even think of calling myself a writer, I sat down and wrote an email to Ms. Winfrey. It was a simple note, written to express my gratitude for her work and to let her know how her words had made a difference to me.

In the email, I explained that less than a year before, my life had been turned upside down. A sudden and cruel betrayal had left me emotionally wrecked, and ten days after that, a terrible car accident had put me in the hospital.

In the weeks after the accident, while nursing my wounds and a broken heart, I learned how to do many things:

Navigate my way through Jewel-Osco, the CTA, and my life with a bruised wrecked body, a messed up face and a patch over one eye. (Big sunglasses are a must.)

Be a single mom who understood it was OK to ask those around her for help.

Ask the Universe for forgiveness for not following my bliss. (Fear can really f-up your life if you let it.)

Part of the narrative of my days during that time was the regular appearance, Monday-Friday of Oprah on an old RCA television that sat in the middle of my apartment at 366 W. Cuyler Street, Chicago Illinois. She had a lot of guests on in those days who were all about giving excellent advice. Whenever Oprah, Deepak Chopra, Gary Zukav, Christiane Northrup, or Iyanla said something that caught my attention, I wrote it down on an index card and pinned it to the wall. My “wall of Oprah” saw me through some pretty tough times.

Long story short.

Within 48 hours of my hitting “send” on my email to Ms. Winfrey, I was contacted by a producer from the show. She said that Oprah had appreciated my letter. She asked if I’d consider being on the show.

I said yes.

My memories of my appearance on the show are many but blurry. I remember my friend Dawn coming to Chicago to help me calm my nerves. I remember the faces of the other guests while we took turns telling our stories, sharing the moments that had caused us to make major changes in our lives. I remember Oprah giving each of us a warm hug before we said goodbye.

What I remember the most though, is what came after, on the plane ride home. All these years later, it feels like yesterday. If I close my eyes, I can still see myself pulling a notebook and pen out of my backpack so I could start to write. I’d always turned to pen and paper to make sense of my thoughts, but this time it felt different. I was less afraid, less constrained by the worry that had so often set up shop in my mind.

The cameras, the audience, the lights…none of it really mattered. What mattered was that I’d just told Oprah Winfrey a story, and she’d listened. All because I’d had the courage to write.

Thanks, Oprah!

And Thank You!

A big thanks to friends, family and readers who have been “spotting” The Virgin Cure in O Magazine across the United States and Canada. It’s been a real thrill to see pics of it appear all over Twitter and facebook and to know that you’ve been pointing it out to friends and strangers alike  – in line at the supermarket, at your local library, at your favourite bookstores. Nothing helps a writer’s words travel better, farther, faster, than when her work is shared, reader to reader. I’m forever grateful for your enthusiasm and your support.

The US publication of The Virgin Cure is twelve (omg!) days away, and the Canadian paperback will come out June 26th as well. And, I’m happy to announce that the beautiful UK edition from Orion will be published September 27, 2012. Watch this space in the days to come for more details on all three editions as well as more moments from my journey in writing the novel.

As Oprah would say, “Here we go!”

some of the people, places, and things mentioned in this post: O Magazine,   Oprah Winfrey, the US edition of The Virgin Cure,    The Canadian edition of The Virgin Cure, the    UK edition of The Virgin Cure.


  1. Carol

    My hair tingled when I read this.
    What an inspiring woman you are…

  2. deborah hattie

    OH wow great news for you ,your books are awesome and so happy we can say and she lives in nova scotia, and to be in O magazine must be a thrill im thrilled for you

  3. Gail

    As soon as I saw your note on facebook, I went right out and bought O magazine. So great to see your wonderful book featured in such a special magazine. Loved hearing about your previous encounter with Oprah!
    I also noticed as I read the rest of the magazine, that Rose Cousins, a songstress from PEI/Halifax, was mentioned on Page 30 for her track “All the Stars”. Yeah Nova Scotia! Yeah Oprah!

  4. jennifer white

    Ami: Your story is such an inspiration. I was at your reading in the Al Whittal last fall when your son played the piano and you took a minute to sign a book for my Mom Hilda, 95, in Calgary and my sister Marianne. You had just visited Kensington and compared it to Wolfville and although new here I agreed. I am now convinced with the similarities each has a wonderful history overlaid with the verve of current adventures in motion. Since we me my daughter Tess daSilva has also met you and loved your recommendations for her daughter, a budding song writer and singer. I am touched by your authenticity and excitment about your life and your success. Well done, you are a jewel in our community. Jennifer White

  5. Jeanne Soriano

    So excited that you have a new book. Your story is inspiring! I loved The Birth House and am looking forward to reading your new one. I have shared on facebook and will “share” at Barnes&Noble where I have worked for 13 years!

  6. Melanie Messer

    Wonderful news, Amy. I have no doubt that once your new book starts to sell in the US in the next couple of weeks, that your fans here will be as varied and as many as back home in Canada. I’ve been telling everyone who I know in Boston about The Virgin Cure and the Birth House. Best Wishes with the Book! And you can be sure that I’m going to find O magazine today. 🙂 I truly hope that one of these days I get to hear you at a reading either in Canada or here in the US.

  7. Cat

    wow Amy
    so amazing
    what a story
    what a legacy
    you can be so proud…and know that you are an inspiration for all us “little” writers in the world
    thank you so much for sharing this
    for your words today inspire me to continue to do what I love…pouring myself on to paper through pen

    love and light

    ps and congratulations!!! You truly are a gift writer!

  8. Ami

    Gail, you’re so awesome! I didn’t know Rose was in there too. Thanks so much for sharing that. More reasons to cheer! Hope you’re having a lovely summer so far.

  9. Ami

    Thank you, Jennifer! It was a pleasure meeting you this past November and we’re so glad to know Tess. I’ll be seeing her soon and I’ll have to get the latest on everyone in the family. All the best to you and I hope to bump into you again sooner rather than later.

  10. Ami

    Jeanne, I’m so glad you enjoyed The Birth House. Thanks for spreading the word! My best to you and the B&N crew where you work. Booksellers rock!

  11. Ami

    Hi Melanie! Thanks for always being such a cheerleader for my work. It means the world! Maybe we’ll just have to put our heads together and plan a Boston event. What do you think?

  12. Virginia

    I enjoyed the Birth House so much and so am looking forward to getting Virgin Cure. Thanks for sharing the story about yourself wtih us.

  13. Linda Parent

    You are just so real Ami. Everything you write is such an inspiration. Makes me realize that the good things can’t be that far off. Thank you.

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