Guest Lana Cooper: Can Fiction Really Tell It Like It Is?: What Inspired Me to Write “Bad Taste In Men”

Bad Taste in Men bannerThere’s a common ground writers and readers share — the operative word in this case being “share.” Both love sharing a good story and losing (and finding) themselves in something that seems larger, or at least a little more exciting, than everyday life. The act of telling a story and listening to a story is an intimate act of sharing between a writer and their audience.

It was this desire to share a story with others, connect with them, and make them laugh that prompted me to write Bad Taste In Men

Who’s Gonna Tell It Like It Is?

As an avid reader of everything from horror novels to funny chick lit to Harry Potter, I know how important it is to lose yourself in the story. To find a character – whether it’s the main protagonist or a supporting player – that you identify with to help make that story all the more real. To find a few other characters that make you say, “Dude! I know someone exactly like that!”,and  add another element of reality to a work of fiction.

I’m generally a pretty happy, upbeat person — but I have a snarky and cynical side, too. As much as I want to believe in pixie dust, happy endings, and $9.99 all-you-can-eat buffets that don’t make you want to hurl two hours later, I know that these things don’t always exist.

Yet, in nearly every novel I read, somehow, through some twist of fate, the main character always fox trots into the sunset with the man of her dreams — sometimes to selections from the Dirty Dancing soundtrack.

In real life, it doesn’t always work that way. Cinderella doesn’t always get to go to the ball and not every girl “gets the guy” at the end of the story. It was this sentiment that inspired me to write Bad Taste In Men. Well, that and the fact that, as someone who came of age in the ’90s, I’ve been experiencing an odd sense of déjà vu in seeing the trappings of my youth co-opted by this new generation of hipster whippersnappers. Why not show ’em how young adult angst and unrequited love were really done in the analog era?

Making An Emotional Connection

Whether you listened to depressing ditties by The Cure on your Walkman or cry along to Adele on your iPod Shuffle, the feelings that accompany unrequited love are still the same regardless of the year you’re experiencing them.

Let’s face it. How many of us have been 100% lucky in love? We’ve all either dated – or been turned down by – our fair share of losers. Usually, it’s not until later on that we realize that rejection was probably for the best when a new and better opportunity presents itself. You throw yourself a little pity party, find the humor in the situation, and then move on to your next adventure.

At its core, fiction provides a world that readers can escape into, but it also offers us a safe house for our emotions. Pick up any book you love and you’ll recognize something inside it that resonates strongly with you and your own life situation.

Regardless of whether you grew up in the ’90s or are pounding pavement on the dating scene today in 2014, uncomfortable feelings and emotions – and sorting through them with a sense of humor – are timeless. Those feelings are part of what makes us human and, as a writer, made me want to create something to reach out to that 30-something woman who got stood up on a blind date or that 15-year-old guy who just got turned down by his crush to let them know that, it may not seem like it now, but it will be okay in the future… And that they may even laugh about that rejection down the line.

About the Author

Lana CooperLana Cooper was born and raised in Scranton, PA and currently resides in Philadelphia. A graduate of Temple University, she doesn’t usually talk about herself in the first person, but makes an exception when writing an author bio. Cooper has written extensively on a variety of pop culture topics and has been a critic for such sites as PopMatters and Ghouls On Film. She’s also written news stories for EDGE Media, a leading nationwide network devoted to LGBT news and issues. Cooper enjoys spending time with her family, reading comic books, books with lots of words and no pictures, and avoiding eye-contact with strangers on public transportation. Bad Taste In Men is her first full-length novel.

Her latest book is the humorous nonfiction, Bad Taste in Men.

For More Information

Visit Lana Cooper’s website.     Connect with Lana on Facebook and Twitter.

Visit Lana’s blog.     More books by Lana Cooper.     Contact Lana.

About The Book

Bad Taste in Men 2Have you ever felt like even Mother Theresa has got more game than you?

If you have, you’d be in the same boat as geeky, awkward metalhead Nova Porter.

Bad Taste In Men follows Nova from her prepubescent years through young adulthood and her attempts at getting dudes to dig her.

Juggling self-esteem issues, small town outsider status, and questionable taste in guys, Nova is looking for love in all the wrong places – like the food court at the mall. Nova’s circle of friends and her strange(ly) endearing family more than make up for what her love life lacks.

Along the way, Nova alternately plays the roles of hero and villain, mastermind and stooge; picking up far more valuable life lessons than numbers for her little black book.

One part chick lit for tomboys and one part Freaks and Geeks for kids who came of age in the mid-’90s, Bad Taste In Men is loaded (like a freight train) with pop cultural references and crude humor.

From getting laughed at by your crush to being stood up (twice!) by a guy with one eye, Bad Taste In Men showcases the humor and humiliation that accompanies the search for love (or at least “like”) as a small-town teenage outcast, managing to wring heart-warming sweetness from angsty adolescent memories – and jokes about barf and poop.

For More Information

  • Bad Taste in Men is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.


2 thoughts on “Guest Lana Cooper: Can Fiction Really Tell It Like It Is?: What Inspired Me to Write “Bad Taste In Men”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *