What’s new with Sharon Osbourne, co-host of the CBS daytime show The Talk? The wife of rocker Ozzy Osbourne (more on Ozzy in a moment) has written her first children’s book, Mama Hook Knows Best: A Pirate Parent’s Favorite Fables (Disney Publishing), to be published on September 17.
It’s based on Osbourne’s Mama Hook character on the animated Disney Junior show Jake and the Never Land Pirates, inspired by Peter Pan. In the series, Osbourne voices the mother of Captain Hook. Set in Mama Hook’s younger years, the book explores her sea travels and recounts the many adventures she took when Captain Hook was just a young boy.
In a chat with USA TODAY, Osbourne, 60, shared her thoughts on Angelina Jolie’s preventive double mastectomy, having gone through the same procedure herself. The famous Brit also opened up about Ozzy, who has dealt with substance abuse and recently relapsed, sharing on his Facebook page that he had been drinking and using drugs for the past 18 months.
Q: What inspired you to write this book?
A: I wanted to so something nice for my granddaughter (Pearl) so when she’s able to have her bedtime stories, she can say it’s Nana’s book.
Q: What were some of your favourite books when you were a child?
A: (One) of my favourite books growing up was Heidi. I loved my storybooks. I found that it was a place where I could get lost and if I wasn’t happy, books could take me to another place.
Q: Did you have any favourites as a mom to read to your kids when they were young?
A: Oh my goodness me, yes! They loved Green Eggs and Ham. I wanted them to have the gift that I had of being taken to another place; it’s good for your imagination. What’s better than getting to talk about pirate ships, being in the Caribbean, the beautiful ocean, jewels, treasure and adventure? There’s nothing better for a child.
I think that now in the age that we live in parents leave so much for children on the Internet and video games and it really damages their imagination. I don’t even like Kindles, I can’t stand them! I just can’t go there. I’ll do anything. I’ve tried everything, but I will not give up my books.
Q: I’ve read that you see parts of yourself in Mama Hook. What else do you love so much about this character?
A: She’s so strong. She loves her son, she knows he has weaknesses, but she accepts him for them and loves him and she’s always encouraging him. I like that in her.
Q: Do you have a favourite line from the book?
A: I think I like it when she calls everyone “scallywag.”
Q: This story is spun off from Peter Pan. What do you like about Peter and how it’s kept evolving over the years?
A: It’s such an amazing story. When you think of all the books that have been written and all the films that have been made, and the story never tires. …The whole thing is pure fantasy and it’s just a great escape.
Q: How did it feel writing a children’s book?
A: It’s just so nice to do something that’s nice. It’s such a relief. Nobody wants the gossip, nobody wants the dirt—you’re not scraping up your rubbish of the past.
Q: What’s left for you to do in show business that you haven’t tackled yet?
A: I did Vagina Monologues in London and I just loved doing it so much. I would love to do some more theatre.
Q: You mentioned on The Talk what you thought about Angelina Jolie’s recent mastectomy. Have you reached out to her, or thought about anything else to add to your statement?
A: She’s an exquisitely beautiful young woman and it just goes to show that there’s more than just her looks. You are looking at a person who has many layers. I know a lot of women who would walk through fire to keep their breasts. If someone like her can do that, it’s such an amazing example that it sets today for women.
Q: How is Ozzy doing?
A: He’s doing incredibly well. He is. Eighty-plus days clean and sober. He’s working his programme rigidly. It’s amazing to see how somebody in just over 80 days can change their life around. You know, miracles happen all the time and he has (gone from) hating himself, from a place of despair, to being a responsible husband and father again and it’s amazing to see.
I’m very proud of him. He’s a great example too for people. He’s not the only person that suffers from addiction. Tomorrow’s a new day and you start all over again. You just don’t give up, it doesn’t matter what you have, or your position in life, you still have those demons in you.
This problem affects so many people. It doesn’t matter what you have. It’s the same battle for everyone.
Q: Has he read Mama Hook?
A: Yes he has, he’s read it over and over because I keep reciting it to him. All is good with us.