“Welcome back listeners, you are listening to the James Jack show and as always, I am your faithful host James Jack,” the DJ smoothly announced. “We are talking today with first time author Samantha Stewart whose first book is well on its way to becoming a national best seller. How does that make you feel Sammi? Can I call you Sammi?”
“If I can call you Jimmy,” Samantha answered.
“Okay, Samantha it is,” he laughed. “What do you think of your book moving up on the list? Just this week it has climbed five spots. That has got to feel pretty good.”
“To put it lightly,” Samantha answered. “This has been a long time coming and something I did not think would happen a year ago. So yes, James, I am loving life right now.”
“I bet you are. For those who are not aware, Samantha wrote a self-help book. Is that right? Is that how you would classify it?”
“I don’t know that I would. I mean, it is called that because of the lack of options. Personally, I call it a self-aware book. But it was written with the intent to help anyone in a similar position that I was in so calling it a self-help does apply.”
“What kind of position were you in a year ago?
“I had probably the worst day of my life. This is actually my second book.”
“You have another?”
“Oh, yes. It was all about finding true love and living your happily ever after with your soul mate. That kind of thing.”
“What happened to it?”
Samantha laughed. “I had a book tour lined up much like the one I’m on now. It was an exciting time. On the very day my book was being released I thought I was going to be proposed to by my boyfriend of two years. I woke up that morning thinking it was the best day of my life.”
“And it wasn’t?”
“No, my boyfriend did not propose. Instead, he broke up with me.”
“Ouch!” James said sincerely.
“Yeah, ouch. But the kicker is I had a friend record it and my dumping went viral. My publisher saw the video and decided the timing of my love book wasn’t appropriate so they canceled the publicity including the tour. Everything canceled. In one day.”
“Yikes! That definitely was not a good day.”
“No, it sent me into a wallowing funk. I was humiliated. I lost my boyfriend. I essentially lost my job. It was not a good time to be me.”
James nodded. “So how did you get from there to here?”
“I had an angel come and visit me.”
“An angel?” he asked incredulously.
“A wingless angel. My cousin came and visited me. She helped me get back on track.”
“You two are close?”
“We are now. She came and visited me when I was at my lowest and helped me build a ladder to get out of my hole.”
He thumbed through the book. “That’s what your book is all about. I read it and was surprised. The premise is that you did or learned a new activity every day for how long? That must have been exhausting.”
“My cousin and I came up with fifty activities and it was not easy. Especially at the beginning. I started small. The very first activity I did was go to a movie by myself.”
“That’s it. I went to a movie theater and sat by myself and watched a movie.”
“Sounds simple enough.”
“That’s the idea.”
“What did you learn by going to see a movie by yourself?”
“Actually, I learned I did not like going to a movie by myself. Which is good to know but the reason why is much more important. A big part of watching a movie for me is to hear the reaction of other people. I like discussing it after and getting other people’s thoughts on it.”
“So, was that a fail for your first activity?”
“Not at all. The whole point was to learn what I liked and part of that process is to be aware of what I don’t like. When I got home that night I added it to my dislike list. I found out by experience that I do not like going to the movie by myself and why. The why is what taught me about me.”
“Interesting way to learn about yourself.”
“Yeah, because I need to know who I am so that I can honestly and truly connect with people. My connections are much more solid now. By nature, I tend to be somewhat of a chameleon. Which isn’t all bad. There is a time and place for it. But if I wanted to be around people I had similar interests with I had to find out what I was interested in.”
“Fair enough. What was your most challenging activity?”
“I traveled to a foreign country by myself. That took every ounce of courage I had,” she smiled. “Which made it the most rewarding.”
“Wow, I don’t think I would even do that. What other activities did you do?”
She smiled. “I don’t want to give any spoiler alerts away,” she winked at him, “but I took a cooking class.”
“And how do you like cooking?”
“I like cooking but I’m not big on eating.”
“No, I have a rather boring palate. I enjoy cooking for other people more than I like cooking for myself.”
“Interesting. Just so you know, you can cook for me anytime you want.”
Samantha laughed. “Deal.”
“Cooking, traveling, going to movies,” he looked through the list. “It also sounds a bit lonely. Did you have to do all the activities on your own?”
“No, not all of them. My cousin actually did quite a few with me because we knew she wouldn’t sway my opinion. And because she is just fun to be around. Visiting her is definitely on my list of likes.”
“You were quite busy. How long did it take?”
“Months. Finding yourself is a process not an event.”
He looked over some notes. “It looks like your social media following is about double what it was before.”
She nodded and smiled. “Which is ironic because it is much less important to me now. But I keep posting to hopefully help anyone out there that I can. That is my goal. If my little story can help anyone then I call it a success.”
He nodded. “Let me ask you, all this came about because of your ex. Is the success of this book the best revenge or what?”
She thought about it. “No, this book has nothing to do with him.”
“You don’t want to thank him for your success? For being your motivating factor?”
“No, I don’t want to sound vindictive but I don’t owe him my success. My success came from me. My talent. My ability. It has nothing to do with him.”
“Sounds like there might be some harsh feelings there.”
She shook her head. “Then I am explaining it wrong. Look, this book is non-fiction not fiction. There is no villain. He is actually a good guy just not good for me. And I wasn’t good for him either. We didn’t fit together. I just didn’t see that at the time.”
“Have you seen him recently? What does he think of your book?”
“I have seen him. We bump into each other occasionally at this bar we used to go to. It is inevitable that we still frequent a few of the same places. I met his new girlfriend. She is a cute girl and I wish him the very best. I am grateful he recognized our incompatibility before me but I don’t owe him my success.” She tapped her finger on the table. “And he probably doesn’t even know about the book which proves why we weren’t good for each other. We definitely did not have similar interests.”
“Okay, there you have it. Before we go to commercial I have to ask is dating on your horizon or are you content to go solo?”
“I wouldn’t mind dating someone. But it would have to be someone I am compatible with. I now have a better picture of what that looks like because I have a better picture of me.”
“So, is there someone at the moment?”
“At the moment, no. And I’m okay with that. I am open to romantic love I just don’t need it like I need air to survive. It would be welcomed but not required.”
He nodded his head. “We are going to take a quick commercial break but I want to thank Samantha Stewart for stopping by.”
“Thank you James.”
“Her new book Samantha’s Days is now available and don’t forget you can check her out on social media. We will be back after this quick break.”
Samantha shook his hand and took off the earphones.
“Great job,” he said as she stood up to leave.
“Thanks, it was fun.”
“Good luck to you,” he said as she left the studio.
She closed the door and leaned against the wall. Instinctively she drew a deep breath.
She couldn’t help smiling a content kind of smile. This was probably the best day of her life…so far.