Crossing genres, some love it, some don’t. Dean Lorey, started with traditionally published young adult novels, moved to non-fiction, and now is self-publishing romance (not your ordinary romance though, “romance for men” which is actually satire) In this interview I talk to Dean about why he moved away from the traditional world, how to write comedy, and a whole lot else.
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Arrested Development – Dean is a writer for this show.
Nightmare Academy – Traditionally published young adult.
Romance for Men – Dean’s latest book.
Dean had a background in many types of writing, as well as being a TV writer for one of my favorite shows, Arrested Development. He traditionally published some young adult fiction early on with HarperCollins. This did well.
A few years ago he decided to write a non-fiction fitness book called Fitness Confidential. He was the co-writer on the project with a fitness trainer, and they had originally wanted to get it traditionally published, but the book wasn’t picked taken up. They had some interested, but it would have involved changing the book to something that it wasn’t, and they both didn’t want that. The decided to self publish with the attitude that people shouldn’t be able to tell that the book was self published. The process for writing this book was interesting, because Vinnie was telling the story and Dean was writing it down.
The book has done very well since its release and when they started talking about writing a sequel, all of those uninterested publishers were suddenly super keen to get onboard. They very briefly considered signing, but really knew that they can do it again, and take their 70%. They were also concerned that the publishers again would want to change the book to something that it wasn’t.
Almost all of Dean’s stuff when it comes to TV has been comedy. Until his latest book he has not written comedy for books. For this book he created a personality for the author (a pen name), which he has developed so that he has social media, website etc. He stated wanting to write something ridiculous that was the perfect book for men. The whole book and everything surrounding it is very satirical.
One of the reasons that Dean created the pen name character so thoroughly is because in writing comedy when you understand the characters it is easier to make thing amusing. Unlike when working on TV, writing a book is a much more solo venture, there are no people giving you immediate feedback as you go. To make sure things were funny, Dean sent the book to friends of his who were into comedy and asked them for feedback, specifically just asked them when they got bored or confused. He says that people want to give you notes, but these are often not as helpful as just getting the “I was bored or confused here” comment.
Dean really expected that men would be the only audience for the book, but he found that many of the women that ended up reading the book (wives and girlfriends of the men he sent it to) actually got the heavy satire and enjoyed it. Obviously the book is not for everyone, and Dean knew that, but he was surprised by the number of people that it did land with.
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