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July 12, 2018
As always, The Word On The Street is coming up this September. But the fall can’t get here soon enough! So we sat down with Andrea Bain, author of Single Girl Problems, who will be joining us at the festival this year!
WOTS: You talk a lot about relationships and sexuality as co-host of the talk show The Goods on TV. Why did you decide to write a book as well?
Andrea Bain: Actually, I wrote my book, “Single Girl Problems” before the show started, in fact it was already completed before I was even chosen as a co-host on “The Goods”. Ten years ago I was hosting another talk show called “Three Takes” and one of the guests pulled me aside and told me that I would be an author one day. To be honest I’d never thought about writing a book before so I thought she was a bit bonkers but that conversation planted the seed. Jump ahead to 5 years later and I was asked to be a contributor on “The Steven and Chris Show” to talk about dating and relationships from the viewpoint of a single woman. I did that for about 3 seasons—and then one day as I was leaving the studio an audience member asked me where she could buy my book and the lightbulb turned on in my head. This is the book I was meant to write.
WOTS: Single Girl Problems targets single women over 29. Why do you think women are scrutinized more for being single as they get older than their male counterparts?
AB: Ha! As a single woman who has been scrutinized a zillion times I’ve been asked this question many many many times. The truth is I found in my research that almost every culture connects a woman’s value to her ability to make babies and get married. The older the woman gets the less valuable she becomes, mainly due to fertility issues and the number of single men available in her age group. The ticking of the clock gets louder for women the as they age. Meanwhile men are encouraged to sow their wild oats, travel, go after their career goals, date and settle down when they feel ready.
WOTS: In some reviews for the book, readers felt as though the book still focused on dating and relationship advice quite a bit. What would you say to the woman who would rather not date at all?
AB: Read something else. No, but in all seriousness I knew when I started to write my book that it couldn’t be everything to everyone. The reality is there are a lot of women who have zero interest in getting married as well as women who would love to meet a great partner and have a family. What I wanted to address is that we live in a great time where women can do whatever they want to. We are breaking through glass ceilings, driving real estate markets, and having sex out of wedlock so to hell with folks and their opinions on what they think we should or shouldn’t be doing. My grandmother didn’t have half of the options that I have today. So my advice in the book is to live your best life and don’t worry about what other people think. The most important relationship is the one you have with yourself. Being single is not a problem to be solved.
WOTS: What are your favourite places to write? Any quirky must-haves when it comes to sitting down and building out a story?
AB: I don’t have a favourite place to write but I love listening to jazz while I write. I’m listening to jazz as I write this. I also must have a pot of tea nearby.
WOTS: Tell us a bit about your process. How did you start writing? How did your process for writing this book differ from your process writing for television broadcasts?
AB: Writing for television and writing a book are completely different. My tv career started in news and that writing style is short, sweet, and to the point. Writing a book is about your story and you have the freedom to tell the long version. Since this is my first book I didn’t have a process but I did have a lot of research done thanks to the segments I produced when I was a contributor on “The Steven and Chris Show”. That made it easier for me to plan what I wanted to write about.
WOTS: What would you say to a writer who’s just starting out? What one thing do you think is crucial to know?
AB: My advice to a first time writer is to write about something you know and care about. It’s a very long and arduous process so take your time and don’t put any pressure on yourself. In the beginning I was worried about what folks might think. Is this too personal? What will my family think? Then I was given some great advice, which was: tell your truth, write from your heart.