But prior to her debut on The Real Housewives of New York City, Carole Radziwill was already well established as a writer and producer, a winner of three Emmys and having a memoir on the New York Times best-sellers list.
So did the RHONY star have any doubts about how her career would be impacted after joining the show? She's looking back on the time when her second novel The Widow's Guide to Sex & Dating was in the process of getting published—and she received that fateful call from Andy Cohen.
"The downside is there are a lot of people who bought my first book who would never watch the show and might think less of me because of my involvement in it," she told Salon. "On the other hand, there are millions of people who do watch the show and would learn about me and Google and find out more and end up buying the first book."
She decided to take a leap of faith and become a star on the show, more as an opportunity to promote her upcoming novel than anything else. Then something happened that she didn't quite expect.
"Widow's Guide was nearly complete; I thought I'd talk about it, and it's a great platform to let people know about it, and they can buy it, and that's great," she said. "But I didn't expect What Remains would go back on the best-sellers list. That, I think, had never happened in publishing; that book's been out for six or seven years. And I didn't even mention it, really, but viewers knew my background or found out about it, and What Remains went back on the New York Times best-sellers list. When that happened, I thought, 'Wow.'"
So far, there has been a lot of support. And there are also those who disapprove. But to Carole, that's just fine. "There'll always be haters who say, 'I can't believe you did that show, you used to have a serious career as a journalist and a writer'-- but that's OK, too," she said. "If I look back on my life when I'm 80 and this is the goofiest thing I've ever done, I'm OK with it. I've done serious things and had serious things happen to me. Maybe this is the comic relief."
What do you think about Carole's books? Are you a fan? Tell us in the comments.