Friday, February 6, 2009

Cover Girl!

by Susan McBride

It all started a few months back when I got an email from out of the blue. "We'd like to put you on the cover of St. Louis Woman Magazine," it said, and the note was signed "Lynn Deane, associate publisher."

Maybe it's my mystery background that makes me suspicious, but I initially wondered if it was a hoax. Before I even told my husband about the message, I did some online sleuthing, double-checking Lynn's email with the staff listing on the magazine's web site. Yep, it seemed kosher. She'd given me her cell number and asked that I call with an answer soon. I figured that would tell the tale, too. If someone picked up, saying, "Bertie's Dry Cleaners," then I'd know it was a joke.

So I dialed and held my breath until the ringing stopped and a woman said, "Hello," and identified herself as Lynn. Apparently, she was on vacation in Florida, and I felt like I was in La-La Land. Giddy that this was for real, I breathlessly told her, "Yes, yes, yes, I'd love to be a St. Louis Woman Magazine cover girl!" I mean, who in her right mind would turn down such an offer? We talked for several minutes though I can hardly remember a word I said. My head was still in the clouds. Though I do recall learning that the producer of "Great Day St. Louis" (a local morning show on which I'd appeared in September) had suggested me as a potential cover girl. Wow. It's nice to know that all those manners my mom tried to teach me might have impressed someone (see "Excuse My Manners," if you don't know what I'm talking about).

Not long after, I was contacted by the managing editor of Indianapolis Woman and St. Louis Woman (the same company publishes both). She wanted to drive in from Indy to interview me at home. We set a time and date, and she showed up an hour early with her notebook in hand, ready to go (turns out, she was on Indy-time, not St. Louis time!). Five hours later, Ed had come home from work, and Rebecca was just getting ready to leave. I don't know about y'all, but five hours of yakking had me worried about all the things I might've said that could get me in trouble.

Next, I heard from the art director who suggested doing the photo shoot at my house instead of the studio. I wasn't sure how that would work, but was game. Not having to get out in the cold to drive anywhere--especially hauling several changes of clothes and all my books to use as props--sounded perfect! That way, Ed could drop in during the afternoon and be included in a shot. In fact, he showed up just after stylist to the stars, Darin Slyman, had finished with my hair and makeup. (Darin had some great stories about celebs he'd worked with--I told him he should write a book!) My mom even popped in to watch the goings-on. At one point, the living room was practically emptied of furniture and was filled instead with lights. Photographer Steve Truesdell and art director Michelle Thompson encouraged me to be expressive (which accounts for my very goofy look on the cover!). When I asked Michelle, "Why can't I just smile and look pretty," she responded, "too normal." Okey-dokey.

Three changes of clothes and four hours later, I was pooped, and the crew packed up and took off. I think my face hurt from smiling and "being expressive." Whew. I don't know how those chicks on "America's Top Model" do it. But I must confess that I had a ball.

As of this moment, I haven't seen the actual magazine though I have peeked at some of the photos and the article on the web site. I'll be handing out the issue from the St. Louis Woman Magazine booth at the Women's Heart Health Fair in the Nordstrom courtyard of West County Center today and Saturday for an hour a pop. Can't wait to hold a real-live copy in my hands!

P.S. Just heard from the managing editor who gave me this link to view the article on the Indianapolis Woman Magazine site. The St. Louis Woman cover story is only slightly different with a little less info about my early years in Indy. Nice!


  1. Wow!! What a great article -- and you (and your husband) look terrific!


  2. Thanks, Marian! (And Maggie, who emailed me off-list!) It was a really fun experience, I must say. Now I'm waiting for "Cat Mom Magazine" and "Hockey-Crazed Dude's Wife Magazine" to call and want to put me on their covers. Ha ha.

  3. Great article! Helps to be young and beautiful--and funny! Susan has always been a cutie--I loved the wedding picture.

    I think I'd flip if someone wanted to do a photo shoot at my house. Eeek!

    Once they see how photogenic you are, Susan, you'll have Playboy after you.


  4. Marilyn, you are too funny! (And so nice--thank you!) I actually think that Playboy would do well to feature the Stiletto Gang in an issue where we're all fully clothed and talk about literature. ;-)