It isn’t often that you get to interview the author of a book you wrote a book review for… at least, it isn’t often that I get to do such a thing.
I must admit, I was a bit nervous. After all, while I saw some definite good in the book (Screw Cupid: The Sassy Girl’s Guide to Picking up Hot Guys –Full review Here-) including the writing itself, the style, the ideas of parties and places to meet said Hot Guys, I definitely took exception to a few of her ideas and suggestions. Again, you can read my review if you wonder what I am alluding to.
So then, how to talk to the author of a book that I found disquieting? What to ask her besides the obvious “Really? What were you thinking? What planet do you live on?” sort of things. I managed to curtail myself and decided to ask her questions drawn out of discussions I had with people about the book during the reviewing process and questions that came to me from the review.
I sent her 25 questions and she was nice enough to write back.. I hope she doesn’t regret it.
First off, I don’t want to be overly nitpicky… but some of her answers made my head spin.
Like her use of the word “rad” as in… “Another rad idea…”, I mean. Wow. The idea was indeed “rad” but I think I don’t need to explain how things like this can be really offsetting.
Ok… so without further ado, here is my interview with Samantha Scolfield, author of Screw Cupid: The Sassy Girl’s Guide to Picking Up Hot Guys: (I edited them down to keep this short(er) but if you really want to read all 25 questions, let me know.)
1.Can you tell us why you wanted to write it… and what led you to feel qualified?
I’ve been told my whole life by my friends that I should write down my mishaps in dating but couldn’t really think of a good reason why people would want to hear them. Then, when I figured out the secret to how to easily meet and start conversations with the guys I wanted to talk to, my good reason was there. I wanted to help others to meet the guys they liked, without having to repeat my mistakes.
2.One of the best aspects of the book is your frankness in telling us your mistakes and awkward moments. What do you think you learned from these experiences?
Hmm…. humility and what it feels like to be insanely embarrassed! Mostly what I took away from all my mishaps is to not take it personally when you get rejected (because 99% of the time your rejection is way more about their issues than yours), and that if you like yourself, others will follow suit.
3.Were you involved with the cover art and artistic feel of the book? Why did you go the route of bright pink and cartoon feel?
Yep, I was involved, and am very pleased with what the designer and the publisher came up with. They did a fantastic job. Bright pink happened because it’s bright, and also it’s a girl book and we wanted it to be immediately identifiable as such. The cartoon feel was the favorite out of many, many, MANY different cover ideas.
*(Just a side note here… one of the things that a lot of my readers disliked about th book was it’s obvious pinkness=femininity thing… could just be a case of the audience I tend to attract/interact with, but just thought I would point that out.)
4.Can you talk a bit about what sort of success you had with your techniques?
Well, I met my current boyfriend using my techniques, and he’s awesome, so that’s a check in my success column.
*(Another side note… she met her boyfriend online… so, yes, using the technique of “starting a conversation out of thin air” but if you are on an online dating site, it is hard, nigh, impossible to incorporate the whole Don’t Let Him Know You Are Interested part of Screw Cupid’s advice. Just saying’)
5.You say that you took three years of research to write this… as you get older, do you feel the techniques are ideas are still relevant?
Nothing has changed. Because Screw Cupid is based on a basic tenet of human nature (i.e. we want what we don’t know we have), I expect this will still work for as long as humans date each other.
6.Do you feel the techniques are usable for any geographic location?
Most definitely. As long as there are people to talk to, the techniques will work.
*(Several of my readers took exception to this idea… and the fact that the author resides in California’s LA does tend to make a difference.)
7.There seems to be a focus on bar/club settings. Do you think the ideas of the book can work outside of a meat market sort of place?
I mention bars and clubs only because they’re the first place most people think of when they go “out to meet guys”. I’m actually much more of a fan of outdoor venues where everyone is there to have a good time and hang out – outdoor concerts, food or drink festivals, hiking groups – these are great places to meet people because no one is walking around with a pre-conceived notion that they are there to find someone to date. They’re just there to enjoy life.
*(I really wish she had incorporated this more in the book… )
8. What would be your main piece of advice to single women who are looking for love?
Break out of your comfort zone and try new things – take classes, join new groups, sign up for something you’ve never signed up for before (a marathon, for example). If what you’re currently doing isn’t working, it’s time to change it up a bit.
*(This is perfect! It is advice like this, common sense to be sure but actually useful, that saved the book… if she had focused more on this and less on some of the other stuff, I think the book would have been much more useful.)
9. Many women might not want to play the role of the helpless, confused, in need of assistance or advice female when first meeting a hot guy… any advice for them?
Screw Cupid’s conversation starters can be a question about anything – they don’t have to be of the damsel-in-distress variety. You could say to the Hot Guy in question that you just got off the phone with your girlfriend and you guys have been arguing about health care reform and you’d like a second opinion.
*(I’m not sure if she is joking about this… let’s leave it and hope so.)
10. You advise to not be overly flirty because then your intentions will be clear and this is a turn off for men, but most of your openers lean toward the flirty side of things… asking about grunting etc. When do you think it is it OK to flirt and when do you think women shouldn’t?
Well, you’re talking about two different kinds of flirting here. Flirting by winking and blowing kisses prior to asking a question (that, using Screw Cupid’s techniques, should indicate that you could care less if you’re talking to him or to some other guy) won’t work. He’ll know in that situation in very certain terms that you’re very interested in talking to him. If, however, you ignore him and then go ask your question, he’s not going to know whether or not you like him – which is attractive. Humans want what they don’t know they have. Asking a guy in a teasing manner why the male persuasion grunts in the gym (which could be construed as flirting) is still a neutral question.
*(No, no it’s not… especially if you are at a social place and if he is a stranger. Also, do people actually wink and blows kisses at strangers/ Am I just too old to have ever found that an acceptable way of making contact?)
11. A lot of women are self conscious about talking to random guys… any advice for a woman who simply can’t just start a conversation with a guy?
Warm up to it, but don’t give up and remember, practice, practice, practice! The fear behind approaching guys is 100% about rejection. Screw Cupid’s techniques are designed to set up a situation where you can talk to a guy without him knowing you’re interested. How can he reject you if he doesn’t know you’re interested?
*(By seeing through the clever ruse and then not talking to you…?)
12. Using your pick up line techniques… what do you hope women will be able to accomplish?
I want to level the playing field in dating. I want women to be able to talk to the guys that they like, without having to wait for the guy to initiate the conversation.
*(Again… this is a noble goal… I personally disagree with how she is setting up the go-about-it-process… but the goal is damn important.)
13. Your approaches seem to count on quantity rather than quality… if a girl isn’t out to collect dozens of telephone numbers but wants to make a good solid connection, do you think your advice is still usable?
I focus on quantity only so that you can quickly weed through the not-so-desireables to find your quality guy. You’ve got to keep meeting new people so that you can fine-tune what exactly you’re looking for and find that perfect guy for you.
14. Do you think attitudes about the double standard of women hitting on and pursuing men are changing in our society? Do you think they are different in regards to age… as in guys in their 20s might be threatened by an assertive women but guys in their 40s might not be?
As far as I can tell, 95% of the male population (20 to 80) would LOVE IT if women took the initiative in dating, so yes – it seems like societal standards are definitely changing. What’s not going to change is an aversion to awkwardness (or what happens when you make your sexual interest in your targeted Hot Guy known).
*(So guys love it when women take the initiave… as long as they don’t know the girl is actually interested… Am I the only one left scratching my head?)
15. Do you watch any of the reality romantic set-em-ups on TV/ (Like the Bachelor, Cupid, etc)
I graduated from high school with one of the guys on the most recent season of The Bachelorette, so I watched a couple episodes of that, but other than that I don’t watch them. I much prefer real life to TV!
So, I hope you have learned a little bit more about Samantha Scolfield and her book Screw Cupid: The Sassy girl’s Guide to Picking Up Hot Guys.
Let me leave you with this gem:
You know all those “great guy friends” that every woman has? Most of them don’t talk to girls they don’t know anymore because they’ve been burned by fake phone numbers and bitchy reactions to their pick-up attempts. These guys aren’t losers – they just don’t know how to initiate conversation. Why not take the initiative and start the conversation yourself? By the way, I’m currently working on the sequel to Screw Cupid – teaching these Nice Guys how to meet girls.
(Full interview available upon request.)
Read full review here.