Deborah Norville has been in the public eye, for better and for worse, for most of her personal and professional life. On the one hand, she is now in her 12th year as anchor of syndicated TV newsmagazine "Inside Edition"—a lone survivor of what was once a tabloid glut of such shows as "Hard Copy" and "A Current Affair"—and has already signed on for more. Norville is also known for her unfortunate role as the "younger woman" who replaced much-beloved veteran Jane Pauley on NBC's "Today" show. That short but noisy debacle in 1990 led to a press frenzy that sent Norville into a depression and looked to be a career-ender.
But the Dalton, Georgia, native, who had seen some tough times before—as a child of divorce and caretaker of her bedridden mother, who died when Norville was 20—came out the other side and turned her experience into a self-help book, "Back on Track: How to Straighten Out Your Life When it Throws You a Curve."
Much of what helped Norville through the hardest times, she says, was her Christian faith. Now she has found inspiration in the subject of her latest book, "Thank You Power: Making the Science of Gratitude Work for You" (set for release Oct. 2 from publisher Thomas Nelson) Former television critic James Endrst sat down with Norville recently in
You've been with "Inside Edition" for 12 years, married for 20, have three healthy kids, and continue to thrive in television long after many people left you for dead professionally. It seems you have a lot to be grateful for.
You bet. I'm very cognizant of it, too, and I try to make sure that my kids are cognizant of it [as well].
Is gratitude an important thread in your life? Something you think about on a day-to-day basis?
I think about it on an hourly basis, really, because I'm constantly finding things to be grateful for. It's not that pay-it-forward garbage that you hear about. It's not monumental "Hallelujah! Praise the Lord" stuff. For me, it's just a constant, steady cadence. It's a metronome to my life.
And, in fact, that’s the heart of your new book, “Thank You Power.”
Yes, it is. Some of my best stories have always come from natural curiosity, and I have been curious over the last few years, like [why does] my life go better when I make a point of stopping in this crazy, busy city that I live in and internally put the brakes on? [I] go inside, reflect on that moment, that person, that experience that was pleasurable, and then go, "Whoa! I feel good. And why do I feel good? Why do I keep feeling good?" And all of those kind of questions that follow from that. What I've learned is there's a scientifically proven phenomenon that's attached to gratitude, and that if you consciously take note of what is good in your life, quantifiable benefits happen. No one has done anything on this in a major way and I think that person is going to be me.