Author Bill Schneider claimed on his website
that his most recent (self-published) novel, Crossed Paths
, had been selected for Oprah's Book Club. He also claimed that Oprah had interviewed him on her show. To prove this, he posted a full, five-page transcript
of the interview.
Turns out none of this was true. A spokeswoman for Oprah Winfrey said, "He is misrepresenting himself and he has no relationship with Oprah's Book Club." Schneider, who also is director of the Office of Tourism for Provincetown, Massachusetts, now says he made "an error in judgement."
The mystery here is how he could have thought he would get away with such a stupid, obvious lie. Perhaps he figured that the publicity from having the hoax exposed would be better than no publicity at all. (If that's what he thought, he may be right.) Or perhaps he's simply delusional. The latter theory is supported by his response to the reporter from Boston's Weekly Dig
who first exposed the hoax. The reporter phoned Schneider and asked him when, exactly, he appeared on Oprah: "June 18, I believe," Schneider said, "but you'll have to check with my publicist." Then he started gushing about how "your whole life changes after Oprah."
Schneider has now removed all Oprah-related claims from his website, but he's still claiming that his novel is being developed into a feature film. My guess is that he's shooting the film himself with a video camera. (Thanks, Joe)