New Orleans Author Nearly Blows Oprah Moment

By Neal Comment

chrisrose-lizsalapatas.jpgEver since I ran a story on my other blog,, featuring New Orleans authors TJ Fisher and Joshua Clark, people have been telling me that I should take a look at 1 Dead in Attic, a collection of the columns New Orleans Times-Picayune columnist Chris Rose wrote over the months immediately following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Actually, that’s the second version of the book; Rose self-published a batch of columns that covered September-December 2005, while the new Simon & Schuster edition adds stories from 2006. Liz Salapatas of LS Media sent a picture of her and Rose at an event she helped manage for him at TriBeCa’s Vestry Wines earlier this week, and S&S made sure that we knew about Rose’s misadventures with Oprah Winfrey.

“When I found out that Oprah’s people (a producer) called my people (my editor) to arrange an interview, it dawned on me that I was about to become a made guy, a best-seller, a millionaire, super model arm candy,” Rose jokes in his most recent column. “So I was drafting my letter of resignation to this newspaper when O’s producer said to me: ‘You need to understand —we’re not going to talk about the book.'”

“It turns out, they wanted my expertise, not as a book writer or even a newspaper columnist, but as the city’s most famously depressed resident, by virtue of my 5,000-word account about battling the disease which I published in the newspaper last fall—and which you can read in my book (am I allowed to say that?).”

Well, he went through with the taping anyway—a remote segment taped at his home, so he never even met Oprah—then refused to sign the waiver when they told him he would never be able to write about what it was like to be interviewed for the show. They kept his segment in anyway, and I have no idea if they mentioned his book on the show, but he got it on the website, at least.