When the idea of a dating guide on how to pick up European men was first put to me I scoffed because it sounded ridiculous. After reading said guide I am still scoffing, but I'm also laughing.
The Single Girl's Guide To Meeting European Men, written by Katherine Chloe Cahoon, is a tongue in cheek, hilarious guide to finding and enjoying the mysterious European male. It's a one of a kind book that is unmatched in it's ridiculousness, absurdity, comedy, and truth. Cahoon's Elle Woods meets Lifestyles of The Rich and Famous style of writing is witty and sharp. She is effectively able to get you worthwhile information in a way that makes you exclaim WTF!?
TSGGTMEM is the sort of book you pick up by accident and subsequently purchase because you feel like you MUST share with your friends. If you are still unconvinced that you need to pick up a copy then you must take a look at the viral video series that she created to go with it. Do yourself a favor and check them out.
When I decided to take a look at the book I emailed Katherine and she agreed to give Let's Talk About Sex an interview:
Let’s Talk About Sex - So, I guess my first question would be... could you explain your book/web series. How did this project start?
Katherine Chloe Cahoon - The lowdown on my book. I first went to Europe on my own when I was 17 to take summer classes at Oxford. Then at Vanderbilt University I had an international major, which gave me the opportunity to study abroad every summer. In addition to my coursework, I wanted to learn European culture and perfect my foreign language skills by meeting the locals, but every fall when I returned to school all my girlfriends asked me about were the European men, the locations where I met them, and my flirting tips. They didn't seem to care at all about what I studied! When I graduated, they asked me to write a little European tip book for them. That's how it all started. Then one of the producers I was writing a screenplay with strongly urged me to expand it into a full book.
The Single Girl's Guide to Meeting European Men is meaty. It contains real romantic stories, flirting tips, and man-meeting hot spots in twenty different European countries, complete with addresses, websites, and phone numbers. These social hubs appeal to women who like white knuckle sports, clubbing, and everything in between. All of them are tried and true, meaning that my girlfriends and I had excellent experiences at each of them.
My book is also fun and humorous. It is filled with entertaining stories, many of which are hilarious, so that anyone who likes chick lit can read it just for pleasure. In fact, last week I was on a radio show with a female host who was married and had no plans to travel abroad. Nevertheless, she told her listeners that she loved the book, and recommended it them regardless of their travel or romantic goals.
Although my book is a hybrid of dating/relationship and travel, it has been reviewed by serious critics who sit on only one side of that aisle. The dating/relationship reviewers have given it their top recommendation for the interpersonal insights, the travel reviewers have said it is one of the most valuable travel guides they have read, and those interested in chick lit were so impressed that I was invited to showcase my book at a romance writers' convention attended by authors throughout the nation. So in addition to being a topical hybrid, my book is a hybrid of seriously valuable information and abundant entertainment.
The web series. The web series came about because my publisher wanted me to create a blog. The marketing adviser said that I could even just quote parts of my book. Since my readers would be getting my book, I didn't want to jip them, so I decided to create video blogs. I had taken one semester of Intro to Film Making at Vanderbilt, so I got a camera and an editing program and went to town. My dad did the camera work. He had never filmed before so at first he cut off heads and feet, and couldn't get the hang of panning. This made for some creative editing! He's getting quite good now though.
My videos are meant to be fun and funny book teasers. In them, I do a sly parody of an Elle Woods type travel host, with a Sex and the City style wardrobe. Some of the videos include hot European men. We had such a great time filming together and egged each other on to up the entertainment value. I remember when Alexander from my first video said that I should wear my dressy red dress on the basketball court for a scene where the guys play a game of shirts and skins. I told him that I would do more than that...I'd wear matching red heels too! Unfortunately, they didn't show in the take.
But along with the fun, the videos reveal useful information. For example, if a woman wants to increase her chances of meeting Spanish men, she really should wear the red and white clothing I demonstrate at the Running of the Bulls.
LTASex - What do you wish for your book to accomplish?
KCC - I want my book to help girls who are traveling abroad reach their man-meeting goals. That is why along with the success stories I include the mistakes that my friends and I made. I want other girls to avoid them. I incorporated the historical and cultural background on each of the twenty countries so that women can feel at home when they arrive.
I also want people to have a fun, enjoyable read regardless of whether they are traveling...and regardless whether they want to meet European men.
LTAS - Any special tips you can give to my readers on how to meet European men here in America?
KCC - Business is becoming so global these days that my friends and I continue to meet more and more Europeans in America. I have even met them at the grocery store. It's easy to get to know them if a girl follows the flirting tips in my book. If she looks approachable, they will ask her questions about produce and American cooking.
Europeans are also drawn to dance clubs. Dancing is very prevalent in Europe. Many of the men there told me that they were taught ballroom dances by their mothers and sisters when they were young. You can generally spot a European man who is visiting America in a dance club because his dance moves will be incredible and he will often be incorporating salsa, samba, and mambo. Bump and grind won't usually be in his dance repertoire. That's not to say that those sly Europeans don't dance close!
LTASex - How has this experience been for you since your web series went viral, and I'm assuming, the sales of your book have sky rocketed?
Two and a half weeks after my book's publication date, it shot up to number one in a travel category. I believe that was due to a combination of events...my web series going viral, being on several radio shows, and a respected critic saying that my book had secured a place among the "literary elite" due to the number of five-star reviews by top Amazon reviewers. I was also on Perez Hilton, so when people ask why I think my ranking went up so quickly, I joke about it and say "Thank you, Perez!"
Since my pub date, I have received some amazing media opportunities in different areas. Right now, I'm sorting through everything and seeing what is the best fit.
LTASex - How much longer do you plan on doing your web series?
KCC - I'm not sure. I'm currently working on another video. How often I come out with a video depends on how much time I have to devote to it. I have to stitch in making my videos between my writing and book projects. Whenever I start receiving emails and messages from readers asking when my next video is coming out and saying that they hope soon, then I know it's time to make another one.
LTASex - Where are your favorite European men from?
KCC - How could I possibly narrow it down to just one place?! My friends and I found that a girl can find appealing men in every European country. Spaniards are among the top when it comes to having fun. They throw elaborate festivals incorporating music and huge fire displays, like at Las Fallas. The Portuguese men are very chivalrous, and the Irish have amazing wit. That's a good start, but I could definitely go on!
LTASex - Any further plans? I saw on your Facebook page that there might be a movie in the works.
KCC - I'm working with producers on a movie adaptation. I'm interested in hearing what you and your readers would like to see in it. There is no way I can put all the stories from the book into the movie, so it is important to me to know their favorite ones. They can tell me anytime on my website www.MeetingEuropeanMen.com or they can email me on my website email.
Also, I recently returned from a university philanthropy book tour, which I'm really excited about. The events benefited First Book, which gives children in need new books, CASA, which helps abused and neglected children, and the Nashville Children's Hospital. With the flooding there and the recession, more parents are having difficulty paying for their children's healthcare. Helping them was very important to me because I went to school in Nashville and my close friend's life was saved by a children's hospital. I was there for all of her several open heart surgeries starting when I was two. Now she is a healthy 25-year-old who recently gave birth to a healthy baby.
The university students hosted each of these events and I donated and signed my books. I let the students choose the activities. We had everything from a concert, a dance band at a waterfront restaurant, and a pageant put on by male European students!
Seriously, just do yourself a favor and pick one up. You can pick up the book at Amazon for super cheap. However, we have a couple of signed copies to giveaway to the two people who comment on this post. Make sure you fill in your email address on the comment form so I can get all your shipping info. They will be picked at random, and all you need to do is comment.