Welcome to Hanging With Bells, Devan. Would you start off by telling us a bit about yourself?
I’m a single guy who’s been writing about weddings for the past six years. And that’s not the setup for a joke. But maybe it should be. I started writing The Wedding Beat when I realized that my life could seem potentially comedic to someone who wasn’t living it.
The Wedding Beat is your first book! Congratulations! I found The Wedding Beat to be absolutely refreshing as it mainly focuses on a man that’s truly looking for love. Did you feel it was important to show that a man wants to find true love just as much as a woman?
After talking to more than a thousands brides and grooms, I can safely say that men are looking for love every bit as much as women. They don’t necessarily talk about it at the gym or in the corporate lunchroom. But romance is not an exclusively female pursuit. And how could it be? I mean, doesn’t it take two people to fall in love, and isn’t one of them usually male? If you think about “the grand romantic gestures” that we’ve read about or seen on a movie screen, it’s usually a guy that’s galloping in on horseback or flying across a Saharan desert in a single engine plane. So it was surprising for me to discover that very few novels in the romantic comedy genre have male protagonists. Maybe I can start a new trend.
The main character of the book, Gavin Greene, is a journalist and you are one as well. How much of yourself do you see in the character of Gavin?
One of the reasons I wrote the book was to share my experience writing for the Vows column at the Times, so Gavin’s career is fairly similar to mine. And we’re both rather hopeless romantics. But he has a different romantic history and a different perspective on the topic. This may sound odd to say, but I think he’s more naïve. He’s also more spontaneous, despite his protestations otherwise – unless that’s also something we have in common.
Do you plan on writing more books in the future and what was your first experience of publishing a novel like?
It’s been a whirlwind from the time I started writing The Wedding Beat. I worked six days a week, 12 to 15 hours a day, which is even more than I worked at the Times, and I didn’t think that was possible. And it hasn’t stopped. I was fortunate enough to get a two-book deal, so I’m hard at work on my next romantic comedy. I’m not supposed to say a lot about it, but I can tell you that it’s about two people who make a lot of wrong turns on the way to finding each other. The tagline is “Sometimes love at first sight can take a lifetime.”
Who are some of your favorite writers?
I have a terrible time picking favorites of anything. There are so many writers I admire. But there are several writers who were particularly inspirational as I worked on this book: Helen Fielding (Bridget Jones’s Diary was my bible), James Collins (Beginner’s Greek proved a man could successfully write a romantic comedy), Sarah Dunn (Reading The Big Love and Secrets to Happiness made me a better writer and a better person), and Erica Jong (There would be no Bridget Jones or Carrie Bradshaw if there hadn’t first been Isadora Wing in Fear of Flying)
Thank you, Devan for stopping by the blog. I wish you much success in the future!
Thanks so much! I can’t tell you how much it means to hear your great response to the book. I’m humbled and grateful.
I absolutely LOVED The Wedding Beat and you can read my review here to see why.
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