By now, Sarah Ferguson, ex-Duchess of York, is an experienced author. She has written 26 books, the majority of them aimed at children. But perhaps none have had quite the high-profile launch enjoyed by her newest series, "Helping Hands."
Ferguson is in New York this week to promote her new line of children's books at the annual BookExpo America conference. Just days earlier, she was caught on hidden camera in England offering to exchange access to her ex-husband, Prince Andrew, for about $700,000.
As a result, cameras have followed Ferguson everywhere in the US – including to the BEA. "It was quite difficult for me to get to the Javits Center [where the BEA is being held]," she joked to the crowd there. "[There were] one or two people in the way!"
Later, at a book party at Grand Central station, Ferguson used one of her books to make another reference to the scandal. She suggested that perhaps she herself could learn something from her own book, "Ashley Learns About Strangers."
"It's about how you shouldn't talk to strangers. ... Perhaps I should take a leaf out of my own book," she joked.
Ferguson has always been enormously popular in the United States. CBS News correspondent Elaine Quijano suggested that this latest scandal "may have cemented her sordid reputation overseas, but the attention may have helped her here."
It has certainly given her a highly visible platform from which to promote her status as the author of children's books. Ferguson – who over the years has done a significant amount of charitable work promoting both children's causes and literacy – is reported to have had an emotional moment at the BEA.
"I'm a children's book author. I'm Sarah Ferguson. I'm a mom," she told the crowd. "And I'm very, very proud of that."
Marjorie Kehe is the Monitor's book editor.