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Jacquelyn Mitchard
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    (December 10, 1956- )
    Born in Chicago, Illinois
    Best-selling novelist, children's book author
    Syndicated columnist, essayist, and writer
    Books include 'Breakdown Lane,' 'Twelve Times Blessed,' 'A Theory of Relativity,' 'The Most Wanted,' 'Cage of Stars,' 'No Time to Wave Goodbye,' 'Second Nature - A Love Story,' and 'Still Summer'
    First novel, 'Deep End of the Ocean,' became a best-seller upon its publication (1995)5; became the inaugural selection for Oprah's Book Club (September 17, 1996)
    Weekly column, 'The Rest of Us: Dispatches from the Mother Ship,' appeared in 125 newspapers nationwide until its retirement in 2007
    Her first bestseller was adapted into a fair-to-middling Michelle Pfeiffer-Whoopi Goldberg film.
    She spells her name with a pretentious '-y' and without the '-e.'
    She has a diverse body of literary works spanning a thirty-five year period but will only ever be known as the author of Oprah Winfrey's maiden 'Book Club' selection.
    'Deep End of the Ocean' only reached #1 on the New York Times Bestsellers list three years after its publication, and then only after being touted on Oprah's Book Club (previously, it had peaked at #14).
    She named one of her pets Dante and one of her kids Atticus (okay, so you're well-read - we get it already!)
    Her second husband sunk her assets into a Ponzi scheme run by their business manager, Trevor Cook (2009).
    She told Oprah during an interview that, when their financial problems got to be so bad she had to go on Food Stamps: 'I was looking around and thinking, these are people who have made a career out of making bad decisions.'
    Shortly thereafter, an employee (who had bumped into her earlier in the day) pulled out a stack of books from under her desk, asking her to sign them before she received her EBT card.
    She claimed to have a recurring nightmare in which she returns to her old house and knocks on the door, only to be told by the person answering 'you don't belong here, you were fired from your life!'
    She adopted two Ethiopian children.
    She authored a Jane Addams biography for kids.
    Her first husband died from lung cancer, after 13 years of marriage, in 1993.
    She reportedly drew from the grief of losing her husband to write her first novel (the idea for which came to her in a dream).
    Her second husband was an architect who designed their family 'dream home' (which they were later forced to put on the market).
    Oprah found herself so swept up in the intensity of a book by a 'first-time novelist' that when she finished she got on the phone to call Mitchard and tell her how much she loved it (giving her the idea to establish the 'Book Club' as it is now known).
    She admitted to holding an initially judgmental attitude towards those on welfare until she realized that they, like her, were dealt bad life situations to deal with.
    She established a residence geared towards new widows and recently divorced writers who are also aspiring writers, 'One Writer's Place,' which was open from 2007 to 2011.
    Trevor Cook, who absconded with millions of her family's money, was convicted and sentenced to 25 years in prison for defrauding more than 1,000 people out of over $190 million (2011).
    Her marriage managed to survive the difficult circumstances surrounding their bankruptcy (as of 2016, they are still married and living in Cape Cod).

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

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