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For each change that occurred during the course of those twenty years, Joan had an entire nation watching her ...
For each change that occurred during the course of those twenty years, Joan had an entire nation watching her respond, commenting on the things that she did, critiquing the way that she did them, and putting forth opinions on what she should do next: "People I had never met constantly offered me suggestions about how I should handle my divorce, how I should raise my children, and the career choices I should make after GMA. I was a private citizen with the normal stresses that a mother, wife, and businesswoman endures on a daily basis, going through life's changes in a public arena."
We all go through change. Whether it's an illness in the family, a divorce, teenagers acting out, losing a job, having to move, or kids leaving the nest, one thing is certain: Change is the only thing we can count on. Yet, while change is the one constant in our lives, it often produces the greatest amount of fear. In this inspiring new book, Joan shows us the importance of staying levelheaded in the face of crisis no matter what or whom you're facing.
Both an intimate self-portrait and a practical blueprint for living a happier, more fulfilling life, A Bend in the Road is Not the End of the Road proves once again why so many viewers have followed Joan Lunden for so many years.
On Wednesday, October 28, 1998, barnesandnoble.com welcomed Joan Lunden, coauthor of A BEND IN THE ROAD IS NOT THE END OF THE ROAD.
Joan Lunden: Thank you, it's great to be with you! Years ago, I lived in San Francisco, and it's one of my favorite cities in the U.S. These book tours are really whirlwind. This week we've been in Kansas, L.A., San Francisco, Denver, and Seattle. Next week we do the East Coast.
Joan Lunden: Yes, ready to start.
Joan Lunden: I watch a lot of different news programs on all the different networks. When you work in news for years, I think you become a bit of a news junkie. I've always said that I'm an information addict. I go through magazines and rip them to shreds. I think I'm just a researcher at heart. I'm planning a new talk show with Warner Brothers for next year, and I think I've found enough information to book the first four or five months' worth of shows.
Joan Lunden: I still talk to Charlie. In fact, he called last night. He found me on the road because he's been seeing me on a lot of different shows where I've talked about him and how we're such great friends. We were really almost like brother and sister, and we miss each other a lot. I am still working for ABC, producing my prime time special, "Behind Closed Doors." My offices are still at ABC in New York, so I see a lot of my friends that worked with me at "Good Morning America" around the building all the time. I can't say I miss the early-morning schedule! [laughs] But the thing that was the most difficult for me in leaving the program was the feeling of being disconnected from all those viewers who invited me into their homes every morning and made me a part of their daily lives.
Joan Lunden: People ask me that all the time, but I was really ready to move on. So I'm happy to have made the change. Then, too, the show has been changed so much in its look that it's not like watching someone sit in your old chair in your old house. But it was a franchise that I was very attached to, and am still loyal to in my feelings, so I do still enjoy tuning it on now and then. This past year has been one of the busiest years in my life, so quite honestly, I've been on the road so much that I haven't had an opportunity to see it with any regularity.
Joan Lunden: Obviously, I've had such daily consumption of every detail of my life over the past 20 years, and that does affect you. I can think back to when I first went on "GMA" and had never done an interview with a major magazine and how naive I was about it all. I really wasn't aware then what the job as host of "GMA" would mean to my life. I never would have predicted that I would have so many articles written about every personal detail of my life. However, I try not to look at it as something that is a negative or as something overwhelming. I try to look at it as if it's a blessing because it means that there are a lot of people out there who feel a closeness and who care about you. I'm also changed in that I have the spirit and the confidence to take on challenges, which I'm not sure I would have 20 years ago. And that has made my life much richer and more exciting, and I always encourage others to do the same. Then of course my life is also much richer because I have three daughters who are so much fun and who I think are so interesting and who make my life so much better. On a personal level, when I first started it was more like just a job hosting "GMA." Now, I feel more of an emotional connection to those millions of people out there. It's really very, very different from when I first started -- more intense, but much more rewarding.
Joan Lunden: My father was a doctor, and I grew up wanting to be a doctor. But just out of high school, I worked in an emergency room and realized that stitches and shots were not my forte. Then I started working at KCRA-TV in Sacramento, California, where I grew up, but then decided that I wanted to run as a legislator because I felt that consumers needed protection. As I was seriously contemplating the move from consumer reporter to legislator, I got the offer to go to New York from ABC. But I'm quite satisfied that a job where you disseminate information to people to hopefully make their lives better satisfies my desire to follow in my father's footsteps. He was a great inspiration to me.
Joan Lunden: Yes! Yes! It distresses me greatly, the direction the American media has taken in these past years. While I'm not condoning the actions of either the President or Monica Lewinsky, it bothers me that we are involved in judging someone's private sexual life. Having been such a target of the press in the past, I must say that it is frightening sometimes to realize that accusations can be made with no basis and that it is up to us to defend them. That is not what our Founding Fathers had in mind when they wrote about freedom of the press. Unfortunately, it also means that the talk shows that everyone listens to every day have lowered the standards about that which will be discussed on the public airwaves. I can't say I'm sorry to have missed this round while being off the air this last year.
Joan Lunden: My oldest daughter, Jamie, is 18, Lindsay is 15, and Sarah is 11. Jamie is in her freshman year in college and is hoping to follow in my footsteps. They are all quite resilient, and I think they've all been good sports about the press coverage about my life and sometimes theirs. As any parent would be, I'm very concerned and protective about their privacy. I've always walked a fine line in sharing of myself and not infringing on their privacy. They're very smart girls in my opinion; they understand that my sharing of myself has been part of what has made me successful. They've been on the road with me and have met many fans at book signings and appearances, and therefore they understand that what I do can touch people's lives and sometimes bring them hope and inspiration. So they're very understanding, and I smile when I say they've told me that they're very proud.
Joan Lunden: I think flying in the F-18 with the U.S. Navy and landing on the USS Eisenhower aircraft carrier was probably the most thrilling. However, I recently had the opportunity to fly in a U2 at 70,000 feet, which is at the edge of the atmosphere. It was necessary to wear an astronaut's pressurized suit, which was the hardest part of that feat. Being ensconced in a second skin for so many hours told me that I had a bit of claustrophobia. The U2 flight will be on the next "Behind Closed Doors" special on ABC. I detail the entire flight experience in my book, A BEND IN THE ROAD IS NOT THE END OF THE ROAD. It's in the last chapter, "Know No Boundaries."
Joan Lunden: This has been fun sharing, which of course is what has prompted me to continue writing books. It's wonderful to have had so many good experiences and to be able to share them with people. Thanks to everyone!
Joan Lunden: Goodnight!
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