Monday, January 2, 2012

Why I Wrote a "Romantic Comedy"

What Boys Really Want is now officially available in bookstores. 

This is an unusual (for me) book—a romantic comedy, of all things. Allow me to explain.

Way back in the latter years of the last millennium, I suggested to my partner, Mary Logue, that we write a book together. "It will be fun!" I said. "I have an idea."

The book would be loosely based on a true story. Many years ago, when I was in high school, one of my shirttail relatives (second cousin once removed, I think) decided to earn some money by writing, publishing, and selling a small handbook to his classmates. The title of the book was something like "How to Please a Boy."  He printed hundred or so copies, and had some success selling them at school. Later, I learned that his book had been cribbed from the "Wendy Ward Charm Book." (The Wendy Ward Charm School was a popular program offered by Montgomery Ward department stores. It taught young ladies how to dress, behave, enunciate properly, and attract a mate. It was quite popular in the sixties and early seventies.)

With this fuzzy and possibly inaccurate background story, Mary and I began work on our book. It would be a he said/she said story. I would write the boy's parts, Mary would write from the girl's point-of-view. We wrote about six short sections—maybe twenty pages in all—before the project sputtered, coughed, rolled over and died. The problem, as I recall, was that it was my idea, and I was too directive, too impatient, and too everything else. Also, Mary was working on her own book, and our togetherness project was taking up too much of her time. So we set it aside.

Fast forward five years. While organizing my computer, I came across the abandoned manuscript and reread it. I liked it. I asked Mary if I could take it on solo, and she gave me her blessing. I fiddled around with it for a few more years. After a time the story came together, and now, thirteen years after its inception, it is a book. You will find traces of Mary Logue in the first two chapters, but after that I must take full responsibility. 

What Boys Really Want is available as a bound book, or in ebook format. You can get it here:

Or (best choice) your neighborhood bookseller.

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