Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Why do girls date assholes?

One of my friends on Facebook posted this as a question to the universe today, and because I hear it ALL THE TIME, I wanted to address it.

My theory is that girls "date assholes" because "assholes" are typically the only guys that actively hit on them. No matter how you personally define asshole (or jerk, or whatever your favorite negative term is), the definition usually includes a large ego, and therefore outward confidence. Because (a lot of) the nicer subset of the male population has had little luck hitting on women (because they don't know how and fall into a myriad of common mistakes that are easily rectified by reading Screw Cupid and/or the upcoming male version of Screw Cupid I'm currently working on), they don't do it very often, leaving the female population to be approached by only the assholes of the world.

Ever heard the complaint "There aren't any good guys left!" - it's the same story, just from the other side. When the only guys hitting on a girl are jerks, she's going to assume that jerks are the only guys available - hence the aforementioned complaint.

Yours in the belief of a plethora of nice guys,
S

*Clearly I'm generalizing - there are obviously exceptions to the "only assholes hit on girls" statement, and the "nice guys don't hit on girls successfully" statement, as well as the millions of women who refuse to date assholes. I answer in generalizations to keep in line with such a generalized question as "Why do girls date assholes?"

Sunday, December 13, 2009

What if you find yourself in a situation where there’s a time crunch—where because of the situation, you or they are not going to be where you are in 15 or 30 more seconds (like on an elevator). You really want to try to initiate a conversation, even though the encounter is so fleeting. What do you do?!

This is challenging because Screw Cupid's techniques are all based on having some time to establish a connection. So, in this situation, I saw completely go against Screw Cupid's techniques and go for it. If you see someone you REALLY want to get to know better and you only have 15 seconds, I say to pull out a business card, write your cell number on the back with a "You're hot. Call me if you're interested." It's a ballsy enough move to get their attention and may just work.

There's really not much else to be done in that limited amount of time. You could also try slyly following them for a minute or two to see if they go somewhere where you could have a bit more time to start a neutral question conversation. Just to be clear, I am NOT advocating being creepy. Just think of it as an extended form of gaining proximity.

Yours in a time crunch,
S

Thursday, December 10, 2009

What if you see someone’s ad online, and you’re interested in them for whatever reason, BUT they don’t actually offer much factual or other info on which to base asking a neutral question. How do you pursue such a person neutrally if there’s nothing really obvious to use as the point of neutral connection?


This one is a bit tricky, since obviously you can't use Screw Cupid's techniques to the letter. I think the answer has three options.

Option 1 is to make something up for why you're contacting them - you're researching a book, you're conducting an informal poll, or you're contacting different profile types to find out what works. Since they list no info, how has their response rate been? Call them out on their lack of information.

Option 2 could be to admit that you're intrigued, but since they listed no distinguishing characteristics on their ad/profile, you'd like to know more. Then list 10 fun facts about yourself. If you're interesting, entertaining and/or intriguing enough in your fun facts, there's a good chance they'll respond in kind. You are admitting interest with this one, which can lower the chance of success, but I think it could work with the right person.

Option 3 is to disregard Screw Cupid's techniques (by immediately indicating you're interested) and admit you're intrigued by their ad/profile and would they be up for meeting for coffee to see if a connection exists? This is a long shot because it's the most basic response out there, but since there is a possibility of it working it may be worth a try - especially if you're not comfortable with the other two.

Yours in creative contact,
S

Friday, December 4, 2009

Neutrality - What is it?

The way I define it in Screw Cupid, i.e. in the context of initiating conversation with a guy you like, neutrality is the face you put forward and an attitude that governs your body language and words. The point of being neutral is to keep him guessing as to whether or not you're interested in him, at least initially. The logic behind this is that when Person A knows that Person B likes them (which is what happens when Person B says "Hi" to Person A), Person B immediately becomes less interesting to Person A. There's no chase, and therefore no challenge.

Just to be clear, I'm not advocating stringing someone along or keeping them guessing for longer than about 10 minutes. Neutrality is about taking advantage of a social norm - i.e. that people like a little bit of a chase. Make it too easy and it's boring. Make it to hard and it's annoying. Keep it in the middle - i.e. by being neutral - and it's interesting and fun.

Neutrally yours,
S

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

What is a "Hot Guy"?

The way I define it in Screw Cupid, a "Hot Guy" is any guy that you personally find extremely attractive. I realize that the term "hot" typically refers to the societal standard of what women - in general - find attractive, but that's not what I am going for with my Screw Cupid definition. The Screw Cupid "Hot Guy" may refer to a set of personality traits more than physical traits, or it may refer to the fact he also enjoys 8 hour cross country skiing treks. Whatever it is that turns you on about a potential mate, that's what should define "Hot Guy" for you.

Yours in tall, adventure racing triathlete lumberjacks,
S

Friday, November 13, 2009

I don't think some of the openers used as examples in Screw Cupid would work in real life. Are you really suggesting I go up to some guy and ask him about why guys grunt in the gym?

I used the example of men grunting in the gym multiple times in Screw Cupid as a humorous tool for demonstrating how openers work, and with the hope that my readers would laugh, and then think about what they personally might want to use to initiate a neutral conversation.

The "grunting man" conversational gambit does work, but as I say in the book, it depends on the context. You wouldn't want to use a funnier, more ballsy opener like the grunting opener in a coffee shop or in your photography class, nor would you want to use it if it doesn't fit with your personality type. If you're more on the shy side, one of the examples about needing information about a nearby restaurant, or a gift, or dating advice for your friend could all be good bets.

Ultimately, Screw Cupid is about learning how to initiate conversation with the men you want to talk to (and to see if you click with them) - the opener is just the door that gets you into the conversational room. Once you're there, be yourself. By using your personality as a guide, you can find an opener that fits both you and the situation. And remember - you don't need to stress too much about that initial opening question. If you click with this guy, he'll remember way more about the conversation as a whole, rather than what you said to start talking to him.

Yours in contextual conversation,
S

Monday, November 9, 2009

Have you ever lived on the East Cost? People here just don't "talk" to strangers (aka hot men). It seems like your advice would work in California, but not in the big East Coast cities.

I haven't ever lived on the East Coast full-time, no, but I've definitely noticed the vibe difference between the East and West Coasts in terms of how people communicate on the street - your point is a good one.

My advice is that if you're finding yourself in situations where it doesn't seem socially appropriate to strike up a conversation with someone you don't know, then I would suggest trying to find other venues in which to meet people - take a cooking or photography class, join a book club, join a running group - something that gives you a reason for being there and therefore makes the people you're interacting with less like strangers and more like the other people in your group. When they're the latter, it's much easier to just "talk" to them.

Yours on the left coast,
S

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

What's the target audience of your book? I'm in my 40s and divorced. Will this work for me?

The great thing about Screw Cupid is that it's ageless. It's geared toward any single woman - 20-80 (or older, if they're dating!). Given that I'm in my late twenties, some of my language and cultural references may indicate a younger target audience. Please don't be dissuaded by this. Screw Cupid works at any age because it teaches how to initiate conversation easily, naturally and in an ego-safe way. There's no age-limit on that.

Screw Cupid has been very popular among the 40-50+ divorced crowd and I've gotten lots of positive feedback that these women are using the techniques and having success. My mother, who is in her 60s and divorced, has been using these techniques since she read a first draft 3 years ago.

I've heard it mentioned that women in the 40s, 50s and 60s are less likely to go out in groups than women in their 20s and 30s. I don't find going out with friends a pre-requisite at all for successful conversation starting. If anything, I think it works better when you're by yourself. If you feel self-conscious about being out and alone, say your friends are "on their way" or "bailed at the last minute". Also, try to find co-ed activities/classes where it's completely socially acceptable to be there by yourself - clubs, classes, mixers.

Yours in ageless advice,
S

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Internet dating - I wish you talked about this in your book! I bought your book after reading your amazing article on JDate about internet dating. I was hungry for more information......do you have more articles on how to use your techniques/advice for internet dating?

I'm so glad you liked the internet dating section and you liked the JDate article. I'm currently working on a series of articles on internet dating, so keep an eye on my blog - screwcupid.blogspot.com or on my twitter account (twitter.com/screwcupid), for updates. If you have particular topics you'd like me to cover, please let me know and I'll address them.

Yours online,
S

Monday, November 2, 2009

I think for introverts (like myself) your target of meeting 10 new men in one evening is unattainable, exhausting and out of the question! What do you recommend for the more introverted?

When I mention the 10 new guys a night option, I mention it only to show that's it's possible to meet this many, should you choose to. By no means am I advocating making yourself uncomfortable and exhausted trying to meet as many people as possible!

If you're feeling introverted, I recommend starting out small and getting more bold as you gain confidence and comfort. For example, practice just getting close enough to a guy you find attractive that you could start a conversation if you wanted to (with a reason to be there besides him, of course!). This is outlined clearly in Screw Cupid (pg. 64, "5 Techniques to Build Skills and Confidence").

Using openers to start conversations takes some practice and I want my readers to be comfortable. The point is to meet a guy you connect with, so take your time and enjoy the process.

Yours in connecting,
S

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Why can’t I just say “Hi”?

Ah. My favorite question. So many people think this is the optimal way of initiating conversation with that hot someone you've had your eye on. I disagree. Here's why:

Saying “Hi” forces a split second decision from the guy about whether he wants to continue the conversation, and ultimately, whether or not he wants to date you. This is because saying “Hi” is what we say when what we really mean is “You’re hot and I want to date you”. It's uncomfortable for the person being hit on, and it doesn’t work very often (and believe me, I’ve tried).

Why?

Because I have given those guys two seconds to decide how they are going to respond—and most guys make their decision about a girl in the first ½ second when she makes it obvious she likes him. Since my value was already decreased because I had “hit on him”, my odds sucked for success. He knows I like him (which is boring and makes me a whole lot less interesting) and he's uncomfortable (from having to judge me). It may work sometimes, but it’s not a reliable way to open a communication channel with someone.

Yours in reliability,
S

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What do I do if I can tell he’s not into me?

If you sense that the conversation isn't going well, you can bail at any point. You can keep your dignity intact by just saying “Thanks for your input—that’s really helped me out.” If at any point the guy thought that you might have been hitting on him, this will completely negate that conclusion. You just left the conversation, and you wouldn't have done that if you were into him.

Yours in ego-safety,
S

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What do I do if it doesn’t work?

Sometimes it won’t work. You're learning, and mistakes will be made. The more you practice, the better you'll get. Initiating conversation will come very easily to some, and will take a lot of practice for others. In 99% of cases, it's definitely not something you can expect to just go out and do and have it flow flawlessly. So give yourself a break and try again. I can't even tell you how many times I bombed a conversation when I was figuring this out.

Also, remember that dating is a numbers game. And now that you have the power to talk to anyone you want, if one opener gets screwed up, it doesn't matter in the slightest. There are hundreds more where he came from. If you mess up an opener, rather than getting bummed out, think about it like you've just gained some knowledge about where your potential hang-ups are.

Yours in fishing,
S

Friday, October 23, 2009

The thought of initiating conversation makes me feel like I'm going to puke. How do I get over this?

I hear you. The good news is that the more you do this, the less nervous you'll become and the better you'll get at it. For me, opening a Hot Guy is a very similar experience to public speaking. I get nervous and I get butterflies. I sometimes even do that nervous slight sweat thing, but once I’m in, I’m totally fine. I’ve gotten to the point now where I love the nerves—they keep me sharp and the rush is great. Practice is the key - it makes a huge difference in your comfort level, especially if you're a bit shy and aren't used to initiating conversation with people.

Also, if you think about how these openers are staged, it would be natural for you to be a bit nervous—you are asking a random stranger for advice, after all. So if you feel nervous, let it show a little bit. I find it works best when I don’t stare at the guy the whole time. I also look up or down when I’m “thinking” about something, like their response. You want to make this as realistic as possible. If you’re starting to talk too fast for them to understand you, or you’re stuttering or fidgeting or otherwise conveying that you are freaked out, you may want to practice a bit more. Otherwise he’ll wonder what’s up.

Yours in not puking,
S

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Best and Worst Cities for Dating (according to The Daily Beast)


It's something every single has pondered: Are you shooting yourself in the foot by living in a particular city? Or was your choice to live in your current city a great one because of the multitudes of Hot Single Guys running around?

The Daily Beast has taken it upon themselves to rank the US cities on their man-magnetness based a number of attributes - city size, education, income and gym availability (the latter to serve as a proxy for how easy it is to meet said Hot Guys, and how fit they might be). Most lists I've seen like this in the past have been based purely on U.S. Census Bureau statistics, so I applaud The Daily Beast for adding in a few more ways to judge. Here's the article:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2009-10-18/the-best-cities-to-meet-men/?cid=hp:beastoriginalsR1

I'm pleased to see that Seattle ranks near the top (#3). I've had the distinct impression upon moving here 4 months ago that this city is a great place to meet Hot Guys, despite what I had heard. They're everywhere - running on the waterfront, in the ubiquitous coffee shops, in the bars, in the museums, at the shows, on the street... As I see it, Seattle is urban enough to dispel those persistent rumors that every guy that lives here is a grundgy hippie. Not that I have anything against hippiness (I'm a two year veteran of Burning Man), but as I understand it, the word on the street about Seattle and the Northwest in general was that if you wanted someone who showered, this wasn't the place to go. After careful observation, I stand by the statement that this isn't true. There are lots of Hot Guys in Seattle. I'm glad to hear someone is backing me up on that.

The other ranking that jumped out at me was San Francisco being ranked #4 - as in the 4th best city to live in to meet guys. I'm a native Northern-Californian, and one of the major complaints I've heard about SF is that it's an impossible city to be in if you're a single girl looking for a date. The guys are either "taken or gay", to quote my friend Kate. Now, as a proponent of girls taking the lead in initiating conversation, I'm not sure I can wholeheartedly agree with this city-wide judgment (largely because I'm not sure Kate has seen the light with initiating conversation).

Are there lots of Hot Guys in SF? Certainly. As for the "taken or gay" standpoint, methinks this may be a case of the 10/20/70 ratio at work. As in - on any given night, the guys out on the town will break down (roughly) into the following groups:

10%: These are the douchebags that hit on you. Their egos are huge and they throw cheesy pick up lines at you in the hopes that you'll become another notch on their bedpost.

20%: These are the socially mal-adjusted guys. They're undateable for one reason or another: loose relationship with the shower, line items on their criminal records, etc.

70%: These are those best-guy-friends/brothers/co-workers all your friends keep talking about that are so amazing, funny, hot, cool and nice. They don't hit on you because they've been burned one too many times by hitting on other girls - either by being laughed at, having a drink thrown in their face, or receiving a fake phone number. There's nothing wrong with them, they just don't try anymore because every time they do, it backfires.

The perceived "taken" is most likely based solely on the sub-set of guys that actually initiate conversation, which probably hovers at around 15% of the total single guy population. My friend Kate doesn't talk to the other 85% (which includes that golden 70% mentioned above), because they don't approach her, leaving her no choice but to judge the entire group based on dudes with egos the size of elephants. As for the complaint about some of the hot guys being gay? SF is a west-coast, liberal, gay-friendly city. Enjoy it!

So, how does one meet the Golden 70%? Unless you're content with destiny bringing you Brad Pitt as your pizza man, you take matters into your own hands and you initiate conversation. That 70% is out there and waiting for the sassy girls of the world to take the reigns.

Thanks to The Daily Beast for putting together the best "Where to Find the Hot Guys" list I've seen in a long time.

Yours in sassy optimism,
S

JDate.com

Check out my first article on JDate.com! This is my first published article, and it feels like a major milestone in my journey as a writer. I'm very excited!

http://www.jdate.com/jmag/2009/10/getting-a-reply-the-golden-goal-of-online-dating/

Yours in published giddiness,
S

I don’t get this whole “making up openers” thing. What advice can you give me?

When you're thinking up your own openers, remember that whatever you ask the guy needs to be something that he'll know the answer to. You cannot, for example, expect the average guy to know how awesome the new Christian Louboutin's are, or why so-and-so was on the cover AGAIN of that magazine. There are millions of things that are sex-neutral that you can bring up: dating, good local restaurants, movie opinions and current news are all good bets for opening questions.

On that same note, asking a guy something that he can be knowledgeable about plays up the damsel in distress scenario. Guys (yes, I'm generalizing) like feeling like they know more than you. It makes them feel powerful. And though I am definitely not advocating dumbing yourself down to get a guy, it doesn't really matter if you know the answer to the question or not, in the end. Guys like to help girls—it makes them feel macho.

Also, actively avoid yes or no questions - these are conversation killers. Opinion questions invite further conversation and have the added benefit of the guy feeling like he's doing the conversational running and cleverly coming up with conversation on the basis of what you're saying. He'll feel like he's hitting on you rather than vice versa.

Yours in neutral openers,
S

I made up a poker opener: “My friends and I were arguing: does a flush beat a straight or is it the other way around?” but I can’t get it to work. What am I doing wrong?

This is maybe salvageable as an opening question, as long as you have something strong that you can lead into afterwards to continue the conversation. I'm guessing this is not happening by your comment that it's currently not working. The way it stands right now, the guy is just going to say “A flush beats a straight” or “I don’t know” and then that’s the end of your conversation.

The real problem is that your question is not really a matter of opinion, it is just a factual question that the guy either knows the answer to or he doesn’t. It works much better to have questions that require opinions as responses. It makes the conversation more interesting and they'll talk for longer than if they were just settling a fact for you.

Yours in pocket aces,
S

Saturday, October 17, 2009

What if I don’t like the guy I opened?

This happens. You get close enough to him to really see his true colors and he's not as cute as you thought. Or he says something that makes you internally wince and you figure out he's definitely not the guy for you.

If this happens, bail on the interaction ASAP. Just say brightly “Thanks for your help on my dilemma”, (or whatever it was that you opened him with), “It was nice meeting you—bye!” and bail. Think no more about it. Not every guy you meet is going to be right for you.

Mistakenly yours,
S

Friday, October 9, 2009

I made up an opener, but it didn’t work. I said “Hey - can I get your opinion on something? What do you think of Lady Gaga?”

This is nearly a good opener, but the problem is the sub-communication.

Why do you care what he thinks of Lady Gaga?

The sub-communication you are making here is “You look like someone I’d like to know. I’d like to know what you think of Lady Gaga”. Asking someone’s opinion is not by itself neutral. It becomes neutral when you give them a reason for wanting their opinion that has nothing to do with them.

You could turn this into a workable opener by saying “Hey—can I get your opinion on something? My friends and I are arguing about Lady Gaga. One of my friends says that guys don’t like her music. But that’s BS, right? Can you help me talk some sense into her?” From his perspective, you’re not asking because he's hot and you want to get to know him, you want his opinion to help you with an argument. This is a subtle difference, but it will make all the difference.

Yours in Fame,
S

Monday, October 5, 2009

The German Copy of Screw Cupid!

Gro├čartig!


The German copies of Screw Cupid (from publisher the Egmont) arrived in the mail today. I love the cover and I'm so excited to see Screw Cupid in a different language!


Now I just need to find someone who is fluent in German and can translate for me since the only thing I currently know how to say in German is "Both windows are closed."Not very useful for everyday conversation, or for translating a dating book.


Yours in Deutsch bliss,
S

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Signing at Book Soup in LA

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who came to my signing at Book Soup on Sunset Blvd. in LA this weekend, and especially my many friends and the UCLA Chi Omega girls who made me a sign. I had an absolutely wonderful time, and was very pleasantly surprised to discover that talking about Screw Cupid in front of people for 30 minutes is not the terror-fest I thought it was going to be. It was so fun to be there, and to get to share Screw Cupid with new people.

Thank you also to Tyson and the amazing crew at Book Soup. I'm so glad to have met you all - you were a pleasure to work with. By the way - if you haven't gone in to Book Soup
(www.booksoup.com), do so as soon as possible. It's an amazing bookstore with a fantastic vibe.

Yours in reading and signing contentment,
S


Saturday, October 3, 2009

I have a crush on my co-worker’s friend. We’ve been introduced a couple times, but he seemed kind of quiet. Since I already know him, as an acquaintance, how do I start a conversation with him? Your advice is based purely on how to approach someone you don’t know at all.

This is not nearly as tricky as it might seem. I know what you mean about some of the openers assuming no knowledge about the Hot Guy and therefore not being the best choices for someone you’re acquainted with. However, some of the other more “I desperately have a question I need answered” based openers will work just fine. Let me show you:

YOU: Hi! I think we’ve met a couple times—you’re [insert co-worker’s name here]’s friend right?
HIM: Yeah. You’re [insert your name], right?
YOU: Yep, that’s me! Can I ask you a question? I just got off the phone with my girl friend, and we’re utterly perplexed. She went on a date last week with this dude, and it went well. He called today and left her a voicemail that said “Had fun, see you around”. What does that mean, in guy speak? Should she call him back?
HIM: I’d say he’s playing it cool. If he was desperate to see her again, he would have asked her out again. 

YOU: Huh. Do you think she should call him?
HIM: If she wants to—as long as she realizes that it’s possible he’s not that into it. You sound dubious—do you think she should call him?

Now they’ve got a conversation going and it should be relatively easy to segueway into another topic—movies, thoughts on good restaurants (starting with the one the friend went to on her date, perhaps?), travel, etc.

Yours in co-worker crushing,
S

Friday, September 25, 2009

Seattle Signing Update


A huge thank you to Jason at the Borders in Redmond, WA and to Danielle at the University of Washington Bookstore in the U-District. You were both an enormous pleasure to work with, and I'm so glad to have met you. Also, thank you very much to the lovely women I talked to - both in Redmond and in Seattle, and who attended my events.

It was a very surreal experience signing books at a real bookstore, and seeing my name on promotional materials. I don't know if I'll ever get used to that. I've been dreaming (like every author on the planet) of seeing my name on a book in bookstores, and now that it's finally here I keep waiting for someone to shake me awake. It's so unbelievably rad seeing your dream come true.

Of course, now the dream has been updated to wanting complete and utter market saturation... :-)

The picture is of me next to the stand at the front entrance of the Borders in Redmond. I also snagged the huge banner with my name on it for my living room wall. You only get to have your first book signings once.

Yours in dream-achievement,
S

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I just walked up to this guy and used one of your openers and it was really awkward. What did I do wrong?

If you just “walked up to a guy”, chances are the getting proximity part of the equation needs a little work. Just walking up to someone directly conveys interest. He knew you were interested before you even started talking, which is not neutral and therefore not what you're going for.

You need a natural way to get near someone, with an obvious other reason why you are there besides him. In bars, get a drink or be on your way to the jukebox. In coffee shops, be on your way to the bathroom or sit near the guy you want to talk to with your newspaper. In any store, just pretend to be totally interested in whatever product is near him. On the street (or in a mall or wherever) it is fine to stop someone and ask them a question (i.e. open them), but you need to be walking near them before-hand.

Yours in proximity,
S

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Does this only work at bars or can I do this anywhere?

I’ve focused a lot on bars and clubs because they are can be easy places to meet new people. You can go out with your friends (or by yourself), have a fun time AND potentially meet great guys. Plus, there are lots of guys all in the same place so you don’t have to spend as much time looking for them. If it's a Friday or a Saturday night, there's a good chance the guys you meet will be single. Plus, no one is in a hurry to get somewhere else because they are all out to socialize anyway.

However, bars aren't for everyone. And that’s fine.

You can absolutely use these principles anywhere. Bookstores, coffee shops, at your Team in Training meeting, on the street, in the park, on the beach, in your photography class, at the driving range: pretty much anywhere you feel safe and there are good looking guys to talk to is fair game.

Yours in ubiquitous conversation,
S

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Screw Cupid on Seattle's KING 5 "Morning News"

I'd like to give a huge thank you to the crew at KING 5's "Morning News" for making my first live TV appearance as painless as humanly possible. It was a pleasure and an honor to be interviewed, and I enjoyed myself thoroughly. I am especially happy I didn't throw up from nerves, contrary to what the epileptic butterflies in my stomach were suggesting the morning of.

The lovely Joyce Taylor from the "Morning News" team interviewed me, and did a great job, as you can see on the clip of my interview here.

The two coolest things about being a news station's studio? 1) The cameras are on robots that move around the studio on their own. Who knew! and 2) Major respect to those who report the weather on live TV in front of a green screen. If I was gesturing in front of a blank screen about the weather in West Seattle, I'd probably be pointing at Alaska... He did it flawlessly. Well done!

Now - off to my first book signing in the Redmond, WA Borders at 7pm!

Yours in non-nausea,
S

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Is this something I can do alone?

By all means, YES!! As you probably noticed, some of the openers I mention in Screw Cupid require that you're with some friends to make sense. But you can adapt most of them to use by yourself. For example, instead of saying, "My friend and I were wondering...", you can say, “Could you help me out with something? I just got off the phone with my girl friend and she was wondering...”.

Also, depending on your personality, you may prefer going out and doing this by yourself. I personally find it can be a fun change to going out with my girl friends. I feel like I have more freedom to cruise the room and talk to whoever I want. Plus, I tend to worry about whether or not my friend is enjoying herself when she’s “taking one for the team” and talking to the non-hot friend of the Hot Guy I’m talking to.

If you have a free Tuesday evening but none of your girlfriends are in the mood to go out, just go out by yourself. If anyone asks where your friends are, just say your friends are “on their way”. No one will be the wiser but you.

Yours in solitary fun,
S

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Pacific Northwest Bookseller's Association (PNBA) Conference "Nightcapper" in Portland - aka My First Book Signing!!


I had the honor of being one of 20 authors selected for the Pacific Northwest Bookseller's Association's (http://www.pnba.org/) 2nd Annual "Nightcapper" event last night in Portland, OR. Beyond it being a fantastic event...

It was my first signing!

Signing my first book for an actual person (not related to me...) is now 2nd on my all-time favorites list of being an author. The first was receiving the first copy in the mail and holding my book in my hands, shiny cover and all. Signing books? Awesome #2. I was in excellent company at the event, and it was a pleasure to meet so many booksellers from all over the region.

The response at PNBA to "Screw Cupid" was great - everyone who came up and talked to us thought the title was awesome, and everyone loved the cover. Our table was dominated by the day-glo pink of the book cover, which made us stand out from the crowd and fortunately is a flattering color for both my editor and I. :-)

A very big thank you to the staff at PNBA for putting on such a great event, and for making my first signing experience such a pleasurable one.

Fun story from the drive back to Seattle from Portland in the wee hours of the night:

I stopped to fill my beater of a car's gas tank in a town called Cougar in southern Washington. I get out to swipe my card and put the gas nozzle in the hole, when I hear a hissed "Hey!" from the gas attendant's booth. Upon closer examination, she had opened up the door to her booth about 4 inches and was saying something to me. I walked closer to hear better.

I kid you not, this is what she said:

"Hey. You might want to sit in your car while you fill up. We just heard on the radio that a cougar is wandering around the neighborhood. They like to attack. " She pulled the door shut and went back to her business of cashiering.

A cougar in Cougar, WA...that likes to attack. Rad.

I finished my gas pumping business unassaulted by large felines, but needless to say, was glad to get back in my car unscathed.

Next up in the world of Screw Cupid is preparing for my first public book signing next week at the Borders in Redmond, WA and preparing for my live interview on KING TV's "Morning News" on Thursday at 8:20am.

Yours in sunny, non-cougar infested Seattle,
S

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Should I make eye contact before I approach a guy?

Negative.

Making eye contact
constitutes flirting, and flirting translates to “I’m interested in you. Your point is to get close to him (i.e. get proximity) without him knowing so that you can ask your question. Getting “accidental” proximity would be impossible if you had made eye contact with your target before-hand. He would know for sure that you didn’t just “happen” to slide into the bar to get your drink right next to him. Whereas, if no eye contact has been made before you get proximity and deliver your opener, there is no tip off to him at all that you are interested in him. He may have noticed you and tried to make eye contact with you before this point, but you will have been strong and not let on that you thought he was your kind of Hot Guy.

Caveat: checking him out when you are sure he’s not looking to make sure he’s cute is more than fine.

Yours in sly peeking,
S

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Where to Buy "Screw Cupid: The Sassy Girl's Guide to Picking Up Hot Guys"

"Screw Cupid: The Sassy Girl's Guide to Picking Up Hot Guys" will be available in bookstores on 9/1/09 and is available now online:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-A-Million
Borders
IndieBound.org and
Powell's

Look for Screw Cupid on the front tables of Border's and Barnes & Noble for the first two weeks in September, and feel free to post a review on any of the above sites. The more reviews I collect, the more street cred I have!

Yours in information dissemination,
S

Saturday, August 15, 2009

My author copies have arrived!


I went to get the mail today and had the lovely surprise of receiving a large box from New York containing my author copies of Screw Cupid! This is the first I've seen of the final version, and it looks *Awesome*. The color, the rounded corners, the cover - I couldn't be happier!

By the way, none of the pictures due the color of the cover justice. This is a serious day-glo 80s pink we're talking about, so bright it doesn't translate to anything even close on the computer. I'm crossing my fingers this makes it hard not to see in bookstores!

My shoe is in the picture again to preserve the tradition. This time I had just finished running.

Yours in day-glo glory,
S

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Germany! Brazil! The UK! Oh My!

Screw Cupid has gone international!

Germany!
My editor likes to email me with updates, and then at the very end of the email casually mention amazing news. I love it. He emailed me about updates on the copy-editing process, and then casually mentions after five paragraphs that Screw Cupid has sold to a publisher in Germany--the Egmont will bring out their German edition in fall of 2009!

Brazil!
Screw Cupid has sold in Brazil! The land of the great Amazon rainforest and the birthplace of many Victoria’s Secret models has a publisher, Bestseller/Record, and they are going to publish my book. I couldn’t be happier! Stay posted for the Brazilian version publication date.

U.K./Australia/New Zealand!
I had a check-in call with my editor today, and he shared the extremely happy news that Screw Cupid has been picked up by U.K. publisher Constable & Robinson, and will therefore be published in the U.K., Australia and New Zealand. This is so amazing! Their publication date is spring of 2010.

Yours in lederhosen, caipirinhas and hot accents,
S

Monday, July 6, 2009

Outdoor Festivals, Blankets and Hot Guys

I was at the Seattle International Beer Fest for the 4th of July (because what better way to celebrate U.S. Independence than with an afternoon of tasting local microbrews?) The Beer Fest takes place at Seattle Center and besides being a great way to spend a day, I noticed (not too surprisingly, given the activity around which the Fest centered) that there were an especially large number of attractive guys walking around, standing in groups (sometimes with other guys, sometimes with girls), and.... sitting on blankets.

When you're outside at a noisy venue like a beer fest, with hundreds of other people milling around, positioning yourself well enough to speak to the whole group at once and provide yourself with an excuse to sit down or squat next to them is the goal. Getting proximity wasn't challenging - there were enough people around that you could wander anywhere and have a perfectly valid reason to be there. But what is the ideal opener?

I've said it before, and I'll say it again here - any question that has to do with dating is a goldmine for an opening question. Everyone - and I really mean everyone - has a strong opinion about dating. I tried out the "Can I ask you guys a question? I just got off the phone with my girl friend, and she just got a voicemail from this guy she went out with last week. At the end of the message, he said 'See you around'. What does that mean in guy speak?" on three different groups that day, and because of the outdoor, comfortable setting, within 10 seconds I was sitting with the group, sharing a beer and discussing the finer points of leaving voicemails. Ideally, you'd position yourself so that you ended up sitting next to or as close to as possible the guy you were targeting, but it was so easy to talk to anyone in the group because of the friendly atmosphere, it didn't matter as much as it normally would. Everyone introduced themselves very quickly, and we all had a great conversation. Plus, the group was constantly changing because people were getting up and sitting down in different places to talk to their friends or to get another beer, so if you didn't end up sitting next to your target guy at first, it would be really easy to re-position if need be.

Moral? Go to outdoor festivals where people sit on blankets. It seems to bring out the friendly in everyone, which works very much in your favor when you're cruising for guys, or if you're just trying to make new friends.

Yours in unexpected friendly places,
S




Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Advance Copy!!


I totally freaked out the mail guy downstairs by shrieking loudly when I realized that my very first copy of Screw Cupid was about to be in my hands. This is an insanely surreal moment - I can't believe I'm holding a copy of the project I've worked on for the last three years. And it looks amazing! So rad.

My friend Yvonne has pointed out to me and would like it known that you can see my shoe in this picture. We (my boyfriend and I) had just finished the two day drive and big move to Seattle from Los Angeles (hence the running shoes), and were giddy with excitement about starting the next chapter of life. For me - this includes being a full-time writer. What better way to commemorate than having the first copies of my book to hold the second I arrive in Seattle?

Time for a celebratory margarita!

Yours in extreme happiness,
S