The Oprah Winfrey Network Calls Paul Collins
On July 25th, 2013 I got the following email:
Hello Mr. Collins,
I’m working on a documentary show that looks into cold cases in Ontario. We are doing preliminary research into the case of Yogi Alfred Narayana Schmielewski. I read your article on Angie’s Diary. We are not sure if we are going ahead with this story and I need to find out more background information. I was hoping you might be able to help.
If you are interested and have some time I’d like to chat. Let me know a number and a good time and I can call you. Your article was very informative.
I did not know what to think. The article about the Yogi is here. It is the power of the online media. Personally, I always felt my infrastructure idea would grab the media.
I returned the email, called the number, and soon we were on the phone.
“I am so and so,” said the producer. Wow, TV Producers are human beings like the rest of us! Who would of thunk it!
The TV Producer told me that my article on Angie’s Diary got his attention.
“Are you like Cold Case Files?” I would ask.
“Yes, we are.”
“You reenact crimes and try solving them?”
“Absolutely,” he chimed back with enthusiasm.
Show business is so glamorous! I promised to pass him contact information for others who knew the victim. He had an excellent endgame for this telephone conversation.
“By the way,” he rattled off with nonchalance, “To Catch a Killer is airing on the OWN Network in March of 2014. We confirm the show idea in August and we are shooting in Toronto in October.”
“What’s OWN Network stand for,” I asked, stupidly.
“Oh,” he started back, “OWN is the Oprah Winfrey Network.”
My jaw hit the ground. I don’t remember saying goodbye. I was star struck and in a daze. Yes, yes, yes I am humbled and honored To Catch a Killer contacted me. Almost immediately, I went through all my personnel effects, looking for information that was available in that era of my life. I found names and numbers that I had squirreled away in an old phone book. I emailed this information to the Producer.
I could just visualize me sitting on Oprah’s couch cupped with a TV glow. Those books I wrote and got published through the online route had the chance of lifetime being in lights. I could see Danielle Steel, Jackie Collins, and Deepak Chopra making room for my books, Mack Dunstan’s Inferno, Mystery of Everyman’s Way, and maybe King without an Empire.
Rational Delusion and psychosis can be such a great companion for an online author. Of course, in August, I did a follow-up call with the To Catch a Killer and spoke with the Producer.
“I am still trying to frame a story idea out of this piece,” he complained.
He told me he was grateful for the help from all those who were involved. I believed him too. Finally, the end of September 2013 came. I called him up. The bombshell hit.
“We can’t frame a story around this,” he exclaimed. I was crushed, stunned, and my bubbled had popped.
How could this happen? I raged to myself. The Gods of the Universe must be testing me once again!
Truth be told, I was humbled and honored with the fact that my simple article attracted the attention of the Big Guys/Girls of Publishing. That in itself is amazing. After some soul searching, I had another idea. I called him with a question and he said no to it. So I emailed him the request. It said:
Hope all is well with you. Following our discussion, I am wondering who best to speak to regarding an attached confirmation of our discussion about Yogi Narayanna information.
Hope all is well with you.
Looking forward to your response.
All the best,
He responded promptly by stating:
I’m not sure I made myself clear. I can’t really give you an endorsement as I can’t speak for the production company I work for, or the network we sell our programming to. And I can’t ask the president of the company to do it as she doesn’t know you or your work (I’m about 5 steps removed from her. She’s never even heard of the Yogi because the story never was approved.)
I do appreciate your enthusiasm for the story, but we have chosen not to follow up with it. I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors but I’m afraid I can’t help.
One again, I am humbled and honored to attract the attention of the Big Boys/Gals of Publishing.
I am humbled and honored with that alone.
But back to my happy little rut I must go!
It looks like the Oprah Winfrey Network has great taste for online magazines!
Well done, Paul. Love the article. I understand the “humbleness” 🙂
Way to go Paul 🙂
Even that brush with the wider world has to be good for raising your profile amongst others. There’s hope for us all! And thanks again, too, to Angie for creating Angie’s Diary and making these things possible.
Just read this Paul, been away from the computer, but a big word of congratulations, great job… yes, connection can be made if you have the right stuff!!! And, you do. Sincerely, Nancy