Friday, 27 November 2009

Pulling a 'cracker' for Xmas? Or is 'Staying Single' your New Year's resolution?

Our guest blogger this week is Alison Norrington, author of our latest titles, publishing today: 'Pulling Power - Pick Up Tips for Girls' and 'Pulling Power - Pick Up Tips for Guys'

A promise to stay single for a year....

A sensible move, to stay below the radar and not be distracted by the ups and downs of dating?
Or sticking my head in the sand and missing opportunities with all those great guys I just hadn't met yet?
Just like the laws (or perils) of attraction, which of the above you agree with depends on your point-of-view and past experiences.

Staying Single was my fourth chick-lit novel and was loosely based on 2 years littered with horrendous dates. I really did meet ‘Yosemite Sam’ at a speed dating event in SoHo. I honestly was locked in a car on a rainy afternoon in a public park with a guy who wanted more than just ‘a quick bite’ from our lunch break date. And don’t get me started on the pilot! Ok, DO get me started! The quick version?
• I wanted to take flying lessons.
• We met randomly in a club (he looked great and we started chatting).
• Turns out he’d just got his light aircraft licence and offered to take me ‘up’ (!)
• In short, I was expecting Top Gun to come knock on my door.
• I got Mr Bean - complete with his tin-foil wrapped sandwiches and Simon Cowell high-waisters.
• Don’t ask me how I could have got it soooo wrong.
• But I did.

And this is only the tip of the iceberg.

So I vowed to take a year out. I was traumatised!

I began to rethink everything I’d ever considered about marriage. I even talked with friends about our groundbreaking idea that marriage should be replaced by a 7 year contract - renewable only if both sides agreed. It made sense! Wouldn’t that make us respect each other and our relationships and not take things for granted? It was perfect! Positively groundbreaking! Even Carrie Bradshaw hadn’t figured that one out and she’d been on the singles scene for at least 8 series! We figured we were dating geniuses!

In researching the whole idea about staying single it became clear that there are numerous bonuses to remaining single by choice and of the hundreds of readers who wrote to Sophie many were finding it fun to go out without an agenda. The room really is full of people to just have fun with and with no potential ‘targets’ you go from predator to party animal. Then, by removing those preconceived ideas about who you do and don’t ‘fancy’ you become gregarious and friendly with everybody. Which, in turn, makes you relaxed and fun. Which, in turn, makes you, erm, er... rather fanciable! You only have to Google ‘types of daters’ or ‘dating styles’ to find categories such as cautious daters, ‘if only’ daters, adult babies, flirts and cheaters. So ducking down under that radar really can be very refreshing.

In the Staying Single story, Sophie is an unlucky in love magazine columnist and when her quick-fire, ‘Devil Wears Prada’ boss hears her ranting about yet another disastrous date and her vow to stay single for a year, gets lumbered with a weekly column about her quest. ‘Relationship Rehab’ becomes her outlet for recounting the horrors of pre-organised dating events as part of the Staying Single story, but it’s the Pulling Power mini clips that really show your real experiences of love, lust and loneliness.

Pulling Power was a hugely successful element of the Staying Single storyworld and came from my initial idea of making a series of mini documentaries about chat up lines, dating disasters, love stories and down-right-wicked ways we’ve been dumped. What started as video content soon dried up as I realised I simply couldn’t go on a world tour to shoot this series of short films and so people from New York to Nanching, from Perth to Peterborough and Saskatchewan to Second Life began to email me their chat up lines and dating tales.

I was really excited when Ali and Lorelei approached me to write Pulling Power for Girls and for Guys and it seemed a natural move – especially when I’d learned so much from researching what did and didn’t work on the pulling and dating front! Pulling Power Dating Hints & Tips is structured in an obviously progressive way – taking you from figuring what you want, how you want it and then, the best way for you to get it! There are practical hints on what to wear, where to go and even delves into online dating and text flirts.

So, what did I learn from being ‘Sophie’ and staying single?

• Settling for second-best should never be an option
• Charm school works (only if it’s not too cheesy)
• Chat up line success lies all in the delivery and not in the words
• Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder
• and we’re all looking for different things from a partner at different times in our lives.

Check out the Staying Single story at , there’s a Facebook group for Pulling Power, you can watch the video clips at or at
- Alison Norrington


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