Tag Archives: dating

10 QUESTIONS FOR…Elizabeth Fournier, author of “All Men are Cremated Equal”


Author interview with Elizabeth FournierFournierElizabethHeadshot0309All Men Are Cremated cover art

Elizabeth earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications and Broadcasting in 1991, and soon became a local radio personality at KBOO-FM in Portland. Elizabeth is currently the voice of the autopsy exhibit in the forensic wing at the United States National Museum of Medicine. You can also see her online as the Video Spokesperson for Chinook Winds Casino Resort. She and her dance partner, Scott, teach Ballroom Dance at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Oh, and she’s also a full-time mortician.

1) Where did you get the idea to write a book about a blind dating spree by a woman in her 30s who happens to be a mortician?

It’s my life story. I live the mortician part daily, and unfortunately I lived the 77 blind dates, too. Thankfully it was for only a year!

I readily admit that my job title made dating more complex. Since I work in the funeral industry, my career choice made the whole dating situation somewhat awkward. I was always up-front about what I did for a living, because I wanted men to be in the loop before we met. But I also steered the conversation to other topics because my career was too often the focus when meeting people. The first date could easily turn into a question and answer session all about me. I was there to screen them, after all!

The idea to actually write the book came from my beloved father, a member of no less than three Catholic singles groups at the time. He decided this was fun he didn’t want to miss out on. It was his idea to number the dates, run down each thumbnail sketch to him on the phone before each date, and keep a journal of highlights. I would e-mail him after each date, and he kept encouraging me to share these e-mails with other women.

2) When did you write the book?

When I wrote “All Men Are Cremated Equal: My 77 Blind Dates,” I was newly married. After planning a wedding across the country in only five months, I decided I could do anything. So I promptly sat down at the keyboard after our return from New Jersey and cranked out my manuscript.

3) When coming up with your characters, did you base any of them on people you knew?

Most were real, and here’s the deal: I checked with friends to make sure I could identify them by name and characteristics. The women in my memoir are long-term, fabulous friends who are all important to the story. I confided in them, garnered support from them, and still love them all so much.

My merry group of mansion housemates are all real people, but their names are changed since I wasn’t able to contact anyone to gain permission. They portrayal is flattering, although I use different names out of respect for their privacy, in the event they wanted privacy.

The blind dates all have aliases. Their monikers correspond with their jobs. Names were changed to protect the rejected!

4) What do you think of the chick lit genre in general? Are you thrilled to be apart of it?

I love chick lit! I don’t read it exclusively, but I know who’s out there, what they’re writing about, and am also a sucker for late-night movies on the Oxygen Network.

Chick lit has created millions of new book lovers. Not only women, I might add. I get emails from male fans, too.

5) Tell us a story about your writing experience.

No one knew what to make of me. I have a stockpile or letters and e-mails from literary agents stating “not sure what to do with this.” That was such a common theme. The title was unique, the story was about a single girl in her 30s who wasn’t into Prada or Cosmos, and I’m a mortician. It just didn’t sound too sexy for most people. I did, however, find wonderful, brave souls with a vision who expressed great interest. I will always keep them in my prayers.

6) What newspapers or magazines do you read?

Daily reads are the Oregonian and the Washington Post online, monthly reads are Funeral Home and Cemetery News, Mortuary Management Magazine, and the Black Lamb. There are a few fun blogs I like to sneak a peak at if I have a spare five minutes.

7) What is your greatest achievement?

About 10 years ago I had a great paying job and was able to help three women working in prostitution get off the streets in San Francisco. I had served as the Chair of the Board for the Council for Prostitution Alternatives in Portland, Oregon five years prior to that, so I was aware of the challenge women on the streets face. They need options, and I was able to provide that for these women who truly wanted out of their current lifestyle. I know I made a tremendous difference in their lives, and I’m very proud to say they never looked back.

8) Do you believe in love at first sight?

Absolutely! I am a rainbow-and-ponyland sort of girl who loves love. I certainly feel that someone can walk in the sort of grace that resonates with our soul in a particular moment.  I believe this is rare, but extremely special gift. It is one that I have never received, but do know two people who have.

9) Do you have any irrational fears?

I have an irrational terror of shipwrecks. The skeletal remains of a large vessel laying on the bottom of the sea floor just plain scares the hell out of me. I also very much dislike really loud water in unnatural circumstances like hydro-electric power stations, lock gates, or mill races. Water alone is OK it is when it is pouring into machinery that I hate the noise and the rush of it.

10) What would you like to be your epitaph?

Inspired many to believe in humanity.

“All Men are Cremated Equal: My 77 Blind Dates” can be found on Amazon.com

Visit Elizabeth at http://www.elizabethfournier.com

10 QUESTIONS FOR…Brad Berkowitz, author of “The 21st Century Guide to Bachelorhood”


Author interview with Brad BerkowitzBrad Book PhotoBook Cover

1. Tell us about your latest book.

My book, The 21st Century Guide to Bachelorhood: Lessons Learned Over 20 Years is a funny, but poignant look at dating from a guy’s point of view. The book is a practical, sometimes hilarious, guide to being a single guy and describes why guys do the things they do. The book will show guys the best places to find women, how to prepare for a date, the common pitfalls of a relationship and the things to avoid in relationships.

2. How did you get started as a writer?

I have had many interesting and funny dates in my life. Friends told me that it would make for a funny book so one day, I sat down, and started to put my thoughts together. I decided not to make it a book about my dates, but about the things I have learned along the years.

3. What does a typical day look like for you?

I used to be a Wall Street analyst/trader, but left the business in September 2008 thinking the economy was going south and along with it, the stock market. I had been working on Wall Street for 22 years and wanted a change. I had been working on 3 different books along the past ten years, but just never had time to finish them. As a goal, I have decided to finish all three this year. The first was published in February and my publicist begins work on it on Monday. The second is a book about the life of 3-time world champion boxer Iran Barkley. The third is a science fiction book.

I have also been working as the Director of Business Development for a sports marketing company.

4. Describe your workspace.

I work from my apartment at my desk in the corner. I have everything I need here.

5. Favorite books (especially for writers)

I have always enjoyed Stephen King books.

6. Tell us 3 interesting/crazy things about you

a) I used to co-host a sports television show in Manhattan for fun for six years. I have met many interesting athletes and have some funny stories about them.

b) I drove a car in then VP George Bush’s motorcade when he was running for President. It was a great experience, even though I didn’t vote for him, driving along the streets of Manhattan with all the people watching.

c) I went shark cage diving a couple of years ago for Great White Sharks

7. Favorite quote

“No one’s gonna really be free till nerd persecution ends”

8. Best and worst part of being a writer

Best: I am my own boss. I work when I want to. Worst: Lack of personal interaction. Getting into the proper mindset to write.

9. Advice for other writers

Learn about how to get a publisher. Do as much research as possible. Write an outline before you write the book.

10. Tell us a story about your writing experience. 

I saw a guy on the subway reading my book and laughing. I asked him if he liked it and he said the book was very funny. When I told him I wrote it, he didn’t believe me since I have a stock photo on the cover.

Where can people buy your book?

My book is currently available on line at Amazon.com and BN.com. The reviews have been very positive. My author website is: http://136084.myauthorsite.com/

10 QUESTIONS FOR…Lisa Jander, author of “Dater’s Ed”


Author interview with Lisa JanderCoverSmallLisaTreeSmall

Lisa Jander is the author of “Dater’s Ed: The Instruction Manual for Parents” a Certified Life Coach, public speaker, and former director of a dating service in California. As the mother of two teens and surrogate to hundreds more, ‘Mama J’ shares her unique relationship insights with her readers in this, her first book, “Dater’s Ed.” She and her husband Owen live in Lake Orion, Michigan. Oops, with their children.

Lisa is 14-years old trapped in and old person’s body. She plays a cello named Sophia, wields a mean sledgehammer, and has more friends than dirty dishes. After a profound midlife awakening, Lisa decided to wrestle her dream to the floor and make it behave.

Lisa doesn’t know anything about cars, including her own.

1. Tell us about your latest book.

Teens pass Driver’s Ed, why not Dater’s Ed?

I was sitting at the kitchen table filling out my son’s Driver’s Ed log and he leaned over my shoulder and said, “I can’t wait until I have my license and I can date!” After my wheels stopped spinning I realized I was completely unprepared for my two teens to travel down that road. They were both accelerating toward the dating highway without a permit and headed for a concrete wall of a dating disaster.

I interviewed parents and teens and the findings were grim. Pregnancies, drugs, alcohol, betrayal, depression, failing grades….all wrapped up in a truckload of broken hearts. I had to do something radically different.

For the next few days, I skimmed through the Driver’s Ed manual and changed the word “driver” to the word “dater” and this great analogy popped off the pages. I thought about how different my dating years would have been if I had had a manual for dating – something that could steer me away from all the dating collisions I had as a teen.

So, I went to work and wrote my own manual to use for helping my kids date defensively, navigate safely and steer clear of unhealthy relationships. The book is called “Dater’s Ed” and all the analogies are of cars and driving. “Dater’s Ed” is to dating what Driver’s Ed is to driving. Together we define Boundary Lines, talk about Dating Under the Influence and even determine who is just a Salesman and who is part of their Pit Crew.

Now, I use 25 years of public speaking experience, my life coach certification and four years as the director of a dating service in California to help other parents prepare for and navigate through the teen dating years. I speak at libraries, schools, churches and youth coalitions to help change the direction and the speed at which these students travel down the road to relationships.

Now that my own kids are on their way, I am dedicated to bringing a fresh perspective to parents and students of all ages.

Buckle up…It’s the Law of Attraction!

2. How did you get started as a writer?

My book was born out of necessity. I had 59,632 words to say to my teens about dating and they wouldn’t sit still long enough to listen – so I wrote a book.

3. What does a typical day look like for you?

Scary! I am a “creative random” which means I can’t follow a straight line and I like to “decorate” what ever path I do chose for the day with my own personal color. I tackle whatever comes up in that moment because at my age – I won’t remember it otherwise. Whether a crisis or opportunity – everything gets top priority. Life is always an adventure!

4. Describe your desk/workspace.

Controlled chaos – piles of creative collections, hundreds of index cards that I use to jot ideas on and use like puzzle pieces on my dining room table to see how my thoughts are developing. All my ideas need to remain in a fluid state or the y become stagnant.

5. Favorite books (especially for writers)

Oswald Chambers – My Utmost for His Highest, Anne of Green Gables, Secret Life of Bees. I found I acted defeated when I read books on publishing or writing – they make me feel inept. (Except, of course, Wendy Burt-Thomas’s  “The Writer’s Digest Guide to Query Letters”)

6. Tell us 3 interesting/crazy things about you.

I learned to play cello at 47 with no musical background whatsoever.  After college, I was a ski-bum in Vail Colorado. Last weekend, I rode in a kayak on a frozen lake going 40 miles per hour in the dark behind a snowmobile.

7. Favorite quote.

”It’s more important to make a life than a living.”

8. Best and worst part of being a writer.

Writing is easy, even publishing is quick and inexpensive with all the options now in technology. Marking is where it gets tough. You have to be consistent and persistent and never let you foot off the gas. Don’t discount any effort; you never know what will work.

9. Advice for other writers.

Write a little every day. Blog, Twitter, Facebook… continue to market yourself because no one else will. Hire people to do what you aren’t good at doing – don’t try to be everything.

10. Tell us a story about your writing experience. 

I was writing a response to an inquiry on Facebook but I didn’t realize I was actually logged in on my teenage daughter’s page and I was responding as her.

Where can people buy your book?

“Dater’s Ed: The Instruction Manual for Parents” can be purchased online at www.DatersEd.com ($16.95 paperback, 272 pages) “Weekly Tune-up” can be found for parents at www.DatersEd.blogspot.com or for teens at www.mamajander.blogspot.com



10 QUESTIONS FOR…Alison Blackman, author of several nonfiction books


Author interview with Alison

I am a
freelance writer and creator of the Advice Sisters Online Publications.  I have been providing content online
for 16 years and The Advice Sisters http://www.advicesisters.net  is actually credited with bringing the
advice/infotainment genre, online! All of the content on my web site and daily
blog http://www.advicesisters.net/advicesistersblog.html  focuses on providing lifestyle ideas to
an international audience of educated, upscale adults, focusing heavily on
fashion, beauty, and ways to make life easier, more successful and more
fun.  My Web Site and my Blog are
my online portfolio. I am the author of The
Everything Dating Book
2nd Edition Adams Media 2006);  Recruiting
Love: Using the Business Skills You Have to Find the Love You Want
Books, 1998) and contributor to several other nonfiction books.

1. Tell us about your latest

I am
working on a self-help book that I hope will help people stop being timid about
moving ahead with their lives and careers, learning and being inspired by real
life examples.

2. How did you get started as a

I have
been writing for so long, it’s hard to remember.  However, I discovered that every job I had I ended up either
volunteering or being “volunteered” to write the newsletter or the
annual report or what have you, so when I decided I wanted to work for myself,
writing seemed like the natural choice.

3. What does a typical day look
like for you?

 I get up about 8:00 and have much-needed
coffee.  I talk to husband who his
dragging his feet going into his own office.  I can’t do any work if there is noise or distraction so I
don’t even listen to music.  When
husband leaves, I go through my emails and then start thinking about writing
reviews or my blog posts.  I tend
to be distracted by email and sometimes, computer problems. I do all the
technical work on my web site and blog, myself.  I wish I didn’t have to because for every little thing I
fix, ten more seem to crop up that I caused because I’m not technically savvy
enough!  Sometimes I work through
lunch and sometimes, it’s dark outside before I finally turn around and stop
for a rest. I work out for an hour, or eat lunch. Then back to the computer
until husband comes home or I have evening events. I work on the weekends
pretty much the same way but with mor breaks.

4. Describe your

workspace is a very old, beaten up computer hutch from Ikea.  I have a photo of my husband and I when
we were a a Matsuri (festival) in Japan that always makes me smile. I have
beauty review samples and business cards scattered everywhere!

5. Favorite books  

really have any

6. Tell us 3 interesting/crazy
things about you 

I am a
twin (my twin sister was part of the Advice Sisters before she died) and that’s
why i am still known as: “The Advice Sisters”  I am a genuine redhead, and I have
never met a cat I haven’t loved!

7. Favorite quote 

the moment I could talk, I was ordered to listen” (Cat Stevens–i think he
changed his name but this quote was the one I had in my school yearbook many
years ago)

8. Best and worst part of being
a writer

best part of being a writer is being your own boss and being able to share your
thoughts with others.  The worst part?  No Money!!!!!

9. Advice for other

quit your day job unless you become a celebrity

10. Tell us a story about your
writing experience.

I once
met an agent early on in my career. He had just repped a best-selling book in
my field, and somehow he took a bit of pity on newbie me, and helped me revamp
my proposal document. Alas, he was never home and I had to pitch (literally) my
work over the fence of his house so it would land near his door. I’d just leave
it on the street!  He never did
become my agent, although I did sell books after that. (grin)

Where can people learn more
about you?

 The Advice Sisters Web site is http://www.advicesisters.net/  My Blog is
http://www.advicesisters.net/advicesistersblog.html  the Feed is: http://feeds2.feedburner.com/advicesistersblog  and you can follow me on Twitter “
Advicesisters”  Please check
me out!



Blackman, Publisher/Writer-AdviceSisters Publications

Advice Sisters http://www.advicesisters.net

Guide to Life, Success & Happiness Blog:


Works Beauty, Cosmetics & Fashion review column: http://www.advicesisters.net/whatworkscol3.html


Me: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=732170494