After the amazing success of his first chick lit book Wing Girl, Nic Tatano is exciting about the upcoming release of his second book Boss Girl. Here at After the Final Chapters we were delighted to get an interview with the man himself.
What it’s about
Sydney Hack is the single, thirtysomething VP of news for a failing network… and she also has a taste for younger men.
She soon realizes a whole lot of over-thirty female viewers do as well, so she sets out to give these women what they want; a chiseled, trophy buck in his twenties sitting on the anchor desk next to a woman…
With nothing to lose she does the unthinkable; along with three female managers who happen to be her best friends she brings out the casting couch and turns it into a sleeper sofa. Doesn’t matter that the men have no television experience. As long as they look good. And there’s a hint of romance in every newscast.
Ratings skyrocket as a result, but Sydney and her female cohorts discover something else along the way…
True love is not always age appropriate.
Who is Nic Tatano?
I’m a writer who has spent his career in television news as a reporter, anchor and network field producer. Happily married for 24 years to an absolute saint who doubles as my muse. Major Star Trek fan & cat lover. And since I’m Italian I am, of course, obsessed by food.
You are a man, right? 😉
Last time I checked, yeah. I may write chick lit but like any guy I love movies in which things explode. Yesterday I was writing a romantic scene while watching Die Hard. It’s a bizarre kind of multi-tasking. Yippee-ki-yay!
How did you find yourself in the world of ‘chick lit’?
I had signed up for a writers “boot camp” and we were assigned to read books from twelve different genres. The list included Meg Cabot’s Princess Diaries. I dreaded reading it but once I started I couldn’t put it down. It was hilarious and her voice reminded me of my own snarky personality. After that I got hooked writing Rom Coms. I’ve always loved romantic comedy movies so it came easily to me.
Do you think you have been perceived any differently because you are a man?
It’s hard to say. I think some women are intrigued by a guy who writes romance, while others might be a bit apprehensive. I realize there’s a perception that men aren’t as sensitive or romantic as women, so maybe I’m doing my part to blow up that myth. We can be sensitive and romantic, but most of us are horrible klutzes when it comes to showing it. Sometimes words speak louder than actions.
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudo name?
Oh, absolutely. And especially when I was shopping the manuscript. I was concerned editors might not give my work a look if they knew it came from a guy, so I kept any possible reference to my gender out of the query letter and bio. I discussed this with the editors at HarperCollns and they didn’t feel I needed a pen name. Nic is simply short for Nicholas.
How did you find yourself on the Harper Impulse team?
My agent and I had parted ways after three years and rather than shop for a new agent I decided to simply send my work directly to editors. I know lots of authors who are now doing that and more editors are receptive to it. So I basically carpet-bombed publishers with queries and actually got more response than I had ever gotten from agents. While on vacation I got an email from HarperImpulse and after a phone call we agreed on a three book deal. They’re a wonderful group to work with and really do make you feel like you’re part of a team.
What is your favourite genre to read?
Honestly, I’m all over the place. (Like most guys.) I love legal and political thrillers, science fiction, women’s fiction, chick lit, anything featuring a main female character with attitude.
Which authors have shaped the way that you write?
I loved Jacqueline Susann and Sidney Sheldon as a kid. Stephen King taught me a lot about voice. Suzanne Collins does cliffhangers better than anyone. I like Lisa Scottoline’s spunky female characters.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Creative. Ambitious. Compassionate.
Has being a published author been everything you thought it would be?
It’s been more than I expected because the people at HarperImpulse keep surprising me. I’ve heard from authors who signed with other publishers and gotten no promotion or support. Some can’t even get their phone calls returned. Here it’s just the opposite; they’re constantly trying new promotional ideas, asking for my input on covers, working with Amazon to get my book in special promotions and getting advance copies out to the right people.
I even had lunch with Publishing Director Kimberly Young when we were both in New York. I was expecting twenty minutes of her time and she spent more than two hours with me.
When my editor Charlotte Ledger asked, “What else do you have?” I mentioned I had a couple of Young Adult novels so she asked to see them. The first will be published next month.
Do you have a motto that you live by?
It’s from Carole Kneeland, the late television executive. “It is never the wrong time to do the right thing.” The phrase really applies to anything in life.
If there was any book that you wish you could have written what would it be?
Stephen King’s JFK time-travel novel 11/22/63. I love time travel stories and that period in American history. And it’s not your typical go-back-in-time-and-save-Kennedy book, of which there have been many. This one’s got a love story woven into the plot along with a conflicted time traveler. And of course, King’s incredible voice set in the age of America’s innocence.
What is your favourite book?
“The Return” by William Shatner: A must for any Star Trek fan that blends elements of several past storylines together in a very clever fashion, by the original captain of the Enterprise. (Sorry if you were expecting a classic, but I’m being honest. I love this plot.)
What has been the high point of your career so far?
I guess the release date for Wing Girl and all the terrific reviews that followed were definitely a high. The first book is always something special.
With the impending release of your second book Boss Girl, do you get nervous about the incoming reviews?
Back in September 2012 I nearly checked out, so I’m not much of a worrier anymore. (Although the fact that I didn’t see the white light does concern me.) But I think every writer is always a little apprehensive about reviews. Boss Girl is not at all a formulaic Rom Com. A few authors who have seen it told me it reads like a movie script.
You always hope that everyone will love your book but that’s never going to happen. Check any best seller or classic on Amazon and you’ll see a parade of one-star reviews. I can only hope readers enjoy my book and are entertained by the story. If I can make readers smile and entertain them, take them away from the harsh realities of life for awhile or make a plane ride go faster, then I’m happy. I think that’s all any writer can ask for.