I’m excited to introduce you to my dear friend Margot Starbuck this week. Margot’s book is days from launching, and I can’t wait for my copy to arrive.
When did you know you wanted to write this book? Tell us about how it went from idea to big publisher.
I was about a year into online dating when I first imagined writing The Grown Woman’s Guide to Online Dating: Lessons Learned While Swiping Right, Snapping Selfies and Analyzing Emojis. As I found myself relaying funny dating stories to friends, and receiving theirs, I realized that women like me needed a friend on this dating journey to guide, encourage, and comfort them. I was begging thirty year-old friends for tips on dating apps, and I knew that what I was learning could benefit other women.
Although I’ve authored and ghostwritten about twenty books, I haven’t been intentional about building a sizeable platform. So when my agent pitched this book, we weren’t certain it would find a home. But a savvy editor at one genius publishing house—Thomas Nelson—recognized that this is a felt need for many readers and believed in me and the book! I’m thrilled they said yes.
How did you conduct research?
I took friends out for drinks and bribed them with ice cream to get them to dish on their dating experiences and that of their friends. It was such a treat both to learn from them and to hear some pretty crazy stories!
I read some of the popular books on dating, both to inform my own journey and also for insights to share with readers.
Most importantly, I was also out there in the dating trenches, hustling for dates. I was making myself vulnerable like every other woman who’s been brave enough to get out there. The only difference is that when I’d get ghosted, or stood up, or bread-crumbed, or catfished, I could just chalk it up to “research.” (Oh, and I could also write off the subscription fees for the dating sites as a legit tax deduction.)
Can you share something about the book that is not in the blurb?
The blurb describes some of the practical benefits of the book—choosing a site, writing a strong profile, crafting an effective message—but I’m excited for readers to discover something about themselves in the pages of the book. What is it about the people we find attractive that draws us to them? What do we do with those lies that creep into our heads when we’ve been waiting longer than we’d prefer? When we pause to notice what’s going on inside of us, we can live better and date better!
What is the key message you’d like your readers to know about online dating?
I want them to hear that even though a lot of us are not big fans of online dating, and are only on the dating sites so that we can get off of the dating sites, it’s not the worst way in the world to meet people we wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet otherwise. I also want to challenge readers to be brave. Take the risk of answering a message from a guy you’re not immediately attracted to. If a first date isn’t horrible, go on a second date with him, even if you don’t hear wedding bells. Reach out to someone who seems interesting, even if he doesn’t look like the guys you usually date. Whether or not you get booed up with Prince Charming, I do believe that the dating journey is a rich opportunity for personal growth.
You’re a popular ghostwriter, editor, and speaker. How do you manage your time, along with family commitments?
I have a lot of creative energy and I’ve learned that my brain is the freshest first thing in the morning. So the first part of the day is when I get my best work done. Just above my desktop computer is a whiteboard where I list my assignments and their due dates. And I love to drag my finger across a white-board marker assignment when it’s completed! I am very grateful to have the kind of work that allows me to make my own schedule, get to kids’ athletic events, take a bike ride before the rain comes, etc.
Writing is a solitary pursuit, now more than ever. Any tips for writers to manage the isolation?
I’m a nerdy introvert, so I’m actually fueled by the time I have staring at a screen and wiggling my fingers to create something new. But because we are made for relationship, I do look forward to the folks I see regularly on the trail where I ride my bicycle! And I’m intentional about phoning and facetiming with family and friends. We’ve just had to get a little more intentional about finding that time.
Oh, and I text you. That’s always a gift in my day!
To attend the virtual launch party for free, click here. Free replay is available if you cannot attend live.
Find Margot at MargotStarbuck.com or on social media.
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