FAQ: Where did you get the talk radio idea?

September 17, 2007


Lots of books start with the premise of “what if vampires and werewolves existed in the real world?” The stories tend to get soap-opera-ish and angst ridden. I decided these folks needed their own call-in advice show because Dr. Laura just couldn’t handle their problems.

I wrote the first short story initially because I figured an idea that silly couldn’t possibly last for more than a short story. It turns out the radio show was the perfect format in which to discuss just about every aspect of the supernatural, paranormal, and all its attendant literatures and stereotypes I could possibly put my mind to. So, five short stories, a couple of spin-off short stories, and four novels later, I’m still writing about Kitty and her world.


A side note about Dr. Laura: I was working in a bookstore at the time (mid-90s) and her book, Ten Stupid Things Women Do to Mess Up Their Lives, was hitting best seller lists. I despise that book. No, I haven’t read it. But 1.) the title is so condescending it makes my blood boil, and 2.) a great number of the people who bought the book were middle aged and elderly men who said they were buying it to give to their daughters and granddaughters.


Oh. My. God. It was all I could do not to yank the book out of their hands and bitch slap them with it. Is it any wonder girls have low self esteem when the father figures in their lives are basically telling them, “I’m expecting you to mess up your life.”


By the way, it’s not usually a good idea to give a self help book, any self help book, as a gift to anyone. Even if you mean well. Especially if you mean well.


14 Responses to “FAQ: Where did you get the talk radio idea?”

  1. Simen Says:

    Hey, there’s an idea for a book, “Ten stupid things geeks do to mess up their lives”. No?
    I gave a self help book away as a gift once, at least I think it is a self help book. You can learn a lot from Max Brooks “The Zombie Survival Guide, complete protection from the living dead”.

    A great book with plenty of good tips to help yourself in many ways.

  2. Chris Reed Says:

    Perhaps a better title would be “Ten Stupid Things Dr. Laura Does to Mess Up Other People’s Lives.”

  3. mythusmage Says:

    The Things Therianthropes do to Mess Up Their Lives

    “For werebison it’s insisting on staying inside when the full moon occurs during a rain storm. Bison poop is a bitch to get out of carpet, and bison stomachs don’t process artificial ferns very well.”

  4. bbashful66 Says:

    Ewww…why would you ever GIVE a self help book to someone. That just seems far to insulting/blunt…

  5. chris2 Says:

    LOL! You’re right, there just really is NO way to give a self-help book that is nice! *giggle*

    Probably anyone giving a self-help book ought to be whacked with it. If they’re willing to undergo that trial of being pummeled with the book, perhaps they really Do care about the person after all.

    Funny how after having a daughter who captured my heart, any condescending, limiting type attitudes toward girls or women really grind in my saddle blanket! I’m sorry to say that I likely wasn’t that way right out of the box, but thankfully the software upgrade took.

  6. carriev Says:

    Turns out “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” is a popular graduation gift. That baffled me as well. I mean, it’s supposed to be “self help,” not “foist help upon the friends you think are losers.”

    The self help section was my very least favorite section of the store.

  7. jenandben Says:

    I totally dig the mental image of you bitch slapping a customer with the book. Not only does it kick ass, it is totally appropriate.

  8. carriev Says:

    And you know, that would totally hurt…

  9. jenandben Says:

    Which makes you hope that they would think about what they did…Lesson learned.

  10. Laura Says:

    I loathe self-help books. They’re basically the author killing a bunch of trees so that he/she can tell you how to live your life. We were forced to read “Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens” in seventh grade (we weren’t even teens yet!) and it made me want to smack the author right in his smug, condescending mouth.

  11. carriev Says:

    I’ve never read “Seven Habits,” but I’m told that one of the premisis is how to organize your life better and spend less time on work, because no one ever lies on their death bed wishing they had gotten more work done.

    But a writer friend of mine pointed out: this isn’t true of artists/writers/musicians/etc. They actually DO end up wishing they’d done more work!

  12. Jared Says:

    I’m not so sure all self-help books are necessarily bad. For someone like myself, who has ADHD, there have been some self-help books about my condition that have inspired me to try to get my life together.

  13. Jared Says:

    *Er, granted, these were books I bought for myself, or requested as holiday gifts, rather than someone thrusting them upon me without any warning. But still…

  14. carriev Says:

    Yeah, I think the key word should be “self.” Part of the problem with giving them is gifts is not knowing if a particular self-help book’s philosophy will suit the person you’re giving it to.

    And the ones with titles like “Now that I’m Married Why Isn’t Everything Perfect?” kind of drove me batty on principle.

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