'Real Housewives of NJ's' Caroline Manzo Talks Her New Book: 'I Will Always Tell the Truth' (Q&A)
Bravo’s Real Housewives franchise has created several authors including Bethenny Frankel, Alex McCord, Jill Zarin and Teresa Giudice. It can now add another castmember to the list with The Real Housewives of New Jersey’s Caroline Manzo.
Her new book – Let Me Tell You Something – is being published by HarperCollins and releases on March 23, 2013.
Celebuzz spoke with “Mama Manzo” recently about why she decided to write the book, how fans helped mold its content and how she chose what to include.
Celebuzz: Why did you decide to write it at this time? Caroline Manzo: Thankfully enough, it wasn’t really my decision. It was my PR people and my management people saying to me, “Now is the time. You’ve been on the show for a while and you’ve had the radio show and the columns that do well.” For me I just didn’t want to do anything without having my “peeps” so to speak. So they just kind of pushed me saying, “Now is the time to do it. What are you waiting for?” So, I did.
CB: How did you decide what you would and wouldn’t include? CM: It pretty much was born from questions that I have gotten over the years from viewers. Primarily my relationship with my kids, the kids relationship with each other, my relationship with my husband and our marriage, and being entrepreneurs, sticking up for the rough times kind of thing and it kind of speaks to all that. And my attitude is always a positive one. It’s never a negative one. So it has a comfortable, no nonsense, and do-what-you-have-to-do in this life vibe.
CB: Would you consider it a memoir or an advice book – a little bit of both? CM: I don’t think it’s a memoir. I don’t think it’s an advice book. I don’t feel I have the right to write a memoir. I just feel like I’m on a reality television show. At this point in the game, that’s called a mom of three kids that did a great job. I could pat myself on the back and my husband for that accomplishment. I have a great marriage. We’ve managed to carve out a very nice life for ourselves, but at the same time I don’t feel like I should speak to anyone. I don’t know, a memoir to me is something that’s very presidential. Presidents do that, people that really accomplish something in history in life. That’s not me, but at the same time I’m speaking to all the viewers that have asked me these questions.
CB: Do you talk about how you handle your children’s issues like Albie’s experience with Fordham and Lauren’s weight issues now that you could give a longer explanation on those things. CM: Absolutely and that’s where this is coming from. Albie was told in high school that he would never get into Fordham, much less graduate. And Albie graduated from Fordham University with a degree in Business in 2008, went on to law school with a learning disability. I speak, too, on the show when you see that scene and how it came about and what was going on in the background. It’s kind of like little did-you-know-that background things. When you saw this on the show this is what was going on behind the scenes kind of thing. Nothing negative, nothing negative at all.
I talk about Lauren’s weight and what’s really cool is each of my kids when I tell a story about them, I include one of their favorite recipes. So, it’s not a cookbook. It’s just like here’s Albie’s story and here’s Albie’s favorite recipe. And there’ll be photos and things like that. What I love about it is when I speak about Albie’s learning disability and Lauren’s weight and Christopher growing up, there’s also a little sidebar from each of my kids saying how they were affected by it and how they saw it through their eyes coming from me which is pretty interesting.
CB: Do you address things in the book that have been questioned over the years like rumors and misconceptions about your family, such as the mafia connection? CM: Yes. I’ve never hidden from anything that has been presented to me. I’m a very proud person, proud of my family, proud of my life that I’ve built with Al. And at the same time, I don’t skirt around anything. We are an American family that has the same issues as everyone else. If something comes to me, I will always tell the truth because I’m not ashamed of it. I think there are things that you learn from every aspect of life: The good and the bad. So in this book, I talk about a lot of things in my life that have never been on the show that made me the person I am today for better or worse.
CB: Do you address how being on the show may have contributed to your feuds with Danielle Staub and Teresa Giudice and the way you handled them? CM: Without a doubt. I talk about that too and how that affected me. Because in my reality, that would have never happened. I would’ve chosen to walk away and just stay out of that person’s life but because you do the show you’re around them. You don’t have the option. And at the same time not having the option, you have to make a decision: Do I worry about losing fans or do I worry about being true to myself? And it’s that struggle, as well, that I talk about.
Let Me Tell You Something is currently available for pre-order. The Real Housewives of New Jersey airs Sundays at 10 PM on Bravo.
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