Thursday, March 30, 2017

Interview with authors Susan Hyatt and Lina Lecaro

My special guest today is author Susan Hyatt. We’re talking about the new relationship, self-help book she co-wrote with Lina Lecaro, Never Mind the Rules – The Alternative Dating Guide for Girls Who Wanna Rock!

Susan Hyatt is an American singer/songwriter, former UK talk show host and an NASM certified fitness trainer. Susan is currently enrolled in post-graduate studies in psychology for Master of Marriage and Family Therapy licensing.

She has written and recorded over 150 love songs and published 6 albums for her bands Pillbox, Stimulator, and most recently Sirens of Soho. Dozens of Susan’s songs have been licensed by international brands and TV shows such as Macy’s, Disney, The Bethenny Talk Show, Dawson’s Creek, NBC, and MTV, to name a few.

Susan spent ten years in London, where she hosted a music and lifestyle TV show called The Pulse. She conducted countless personal interviews. Her unique lifestyle of touring, recording, writing, hosting, and training left little time or room to find a suitable life partner.

At age 43, feeling hopeless and addicted to self-help books, she was ready for a change. Susan decided to focus her energy on finding a husband. Having gone through dozens of failed relationships with what turned out to be gay men, married men, and crack addicts, she was like millions of other middle-aged women who were alone, and/or divorced and scared of the horrific “dating scene.” Fast forward five years later, and Susan Hyatt is now a wife, step mom, musician, and runs her own business.

Susan is devoted to empowering women. You could hear her anthemic theme song “Calling All My Girls” daily on the syndicated talk show Bethenny (produced by Ellen De Generes) on the Fox Network. She also trains and motivates women to get in shape through her fitness business and workout DVD Susan Hyatt’s Rockstar Workout. (An Amazon Bestseller).

Lina Lecaro is a published author, journalist, photographer, and web radio personality based in Los Angeles, California. She has been likened to an LA version of both the Candace Bushnell Sex and the City writer/character Carrie Bradshaw and The Village Voice’s sassy scribe Michael Musto.

As the LA Weekly’s nightlife/entertainment columnist (via her first print column, “The Night Ranger” and her current one “Lina in LA”) Lecaro has been LA’s resident expert on the city’s nightlife, music, entertainment, and pop culture for over two decades. As well as authoring her book, Los Angeles’s Best Dive Bars - Drinking & Diving in the City of Angels (Ig Publishing, 2010), she has contributed to several popular Los Angeles city guides and “where to” publications. These include Fodor’s Travel Guides and The Underground Guide to LA.

Lina has written for numerous blogs as well as her own, including the Weekly’s sex, music and arts blog. She has also contributed to countless online and print publications including Playboy, Rolling Stone, LA Times, Los Angeles Magazine, Flaunt, Paper, Billboard, Vice (Noisey), Paste, LAist, Thrillist, Medium, Consequence of Sound, LNTV, and Flavorwire, to name a few. Before she was 21 years old, Lina started snagging bylines while simultaneously earning her BA in Journalism from California State University, Northridge.

In 2013, Lina’s long-term marriage to her high school sweetheart ended. Thrust into the exciting yet intimidating new world of dating as a single mom, Lina joined Susan Hyatt to co-write Never Mind the Rules as a woman’s how-to-guide, a guide she herself wished existed. She’s been “drinking her own Kool-Aid,” testing Never Mind the Rules’ techniques and principles on a daily basis. Essentially “living” the book, as she and Hyatt wrote it and adapting her advice based on what worked and didn’t work for her. Even after encountering some less than honorable fellows during this process, she remains a passionate advocate of men, romance and relationships. She hopes to pass along this faithful optimism to her daughter as she grows up.

Welcome Susan, please tell us about your current release.
Never Mind the Rules is your alternative to the barrage of cookie-cutter self-help relationship books geared towards a set of rules that are intended to work for ‘everyone.’ This is a frank, honest, sexy and racy dating guide that helps you write YOUR own rules by getting REAL with yourself. It is written with a unique rock n’ roll angle that music fans can enjoy.
While doing the research for Never Mind the Rules, we interviewed reputable therapists, rock star chicks, housewives, journalists, polyamorous couples, swingers, and best-selling author Neil Straus (who wrote the controversial book The Game) who turned out to be a huge inspiration; and lastly even men we dated (gay & straight)!
We reveal personal dating horror stories, successful dating stories, wild and romantic anecdotes, and the world of sexual fetishes. We hope you will laugh and cry with us like we do when we watch Sex & The City, Girls, or Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce.

We navigate dating in a tech-centric world including: online dating, social networking, and texting. We provide a step-by-step guide for you to create your perfect online profile. You will learn how to create your own vision board and write a successful business plan for love. Included are a variety of quizzes and mantras to help you. Our aim is to make you feel as though you are part of a non-judgmental secret girls “club” of sorts, just like you have with your own personal BFFs.

What inspired you to write this book?
I was inspired to write this book for many reasons.

I always had so much drama in my love life. I seemed to go from one disastrous relationship to the next. I would tell my girlfriends my weekly crazy stories and everyone kept telling me to write a book. I would be cracking up laughing at my own misfortune and the ridiculous men I would encounter. So I thought that it was a great idea.

I also have been avid reader of self-help books. Whenever I felt my love life was unmanageable I would turn to books to provide me with answers. So when I finally got married at age 43, and picked the right guy, I wanted to tell the world how I went from the least likely person to be married to the girl with the best marriage ever! I had to share what I had learned. If I could just help one woman with her love life then it would be worth it. I truly feel that Never Mind the Rules is your one stop shop for dating. Lina and I brainstormed and wrote about everything we had learned on our journey.

Excerpt from Never Mind the Rules:
Chapter 2 - Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Romances – That Crazy Little Thing Called Love
Rock ‘n’ roll is about having a badass attitude, great sex, and uninhibited expression. These are ideas we want you to explore as you learn about yourself and what you want from a relationship. Most love songs come from real life, and some of the greatest stuff ever written was inspired by amazing, often tumultuous, rollercoaster romances. Some songs are simply about pure and true adoration. Some are dirty, hot, and wild. Some are sad. Some are angry AND nutty! The music-love connection goes beyond specific compositions or tracks. After all, there is no bigger inspiration than that “crazy little thing called love.”
Think about your love life and the soundtrack that brings it all back. The song playing at the dance or party during your first kiss… or in the car during your first sex encounter. The pop hit that always seemed to be on when you dated that one special boyfriend (and still brings back that warm feeling in your gut when it comes on classic rock stations today). For a lot of us, there’s a certain song that just gets us sweaty or teary every time… its lyrics simply and rather eerily describing our entire relationship and the feelings involved. It’s like we could have written every damn word!
Being a “rockstar” at love is more than just having a rule-breaker spirit. It goes beyond having swagger or sex appeal. Sometimes being a badass is, in fact, about allowing yourself to be vulnerable and putting yourself and your feelings out there. It is ok to screw up. You will make mistakes and you will learn from them with our help. Some of the most successful people in business have made the biggest mistakes in love.
We want you to find your number one fan, the one who will be loyal no matter what! Now imagine yourself fearless, like a rock band taking the stage in an arena filled with thousands of screaming fans, and maybe a few critics too. Let’s set the tone here, and get the rhythm rolling by taking a look at some of our favorite odes to love, music, artists, and the types of relationships that inspired them. Read on and rock on….

What exciting story are you working on next?
I definitely am planning on writing more books. I’m currently enrolled in Graduate School, and in the process of getting my Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy. I look forward to writing more books as a licensed psychologist.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I was always a writer. I was the Editor in Chief for my High School’s first magazine, I wrote for the UCLA’s Daily Bruin and I was a journalist and TV host for a live music chat show called The Pulse in London. I have written stories for several blogs, including best selling author Neil Strauss’ (The Game) website.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?

I have my own vocal coaching business in Nashville, and I am going to graduate school. Writing is a passion of mine, so everything flows naturally. I don’t make time, it just happens. I have to write, otherwise I will be tortured with my thoughts and ideas. You always find the time when you care about something.

My co-author Lina Lecaro is a full-time writer, she has been the LA Weekly’s nightlife/entertainment columnist for over two decades. She is also the author of the Los Angeles‘s Best Dive Bars - Drinking & Diving in the City of Angels.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
My writing is a direct reflection of my personality. I’m direct and no nonsense. I love reading stuff that makes you go “ wait what did she say??” I love shock rockers like Marilyn Manson so I think sometimes my stories sound crude and uncouth. Lina is the total opposite. Her writing is colorful and fun and that’s what makes us great writing partners.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to be a Rockstar. I definitely got a taste of it. My band Stimulator was the support act for my childhood heroes Duran Duran. I got to play Madison Square Garden and we had some success. But soon I realized that a real rockstar is a person who lives an authentic and enriching life with someone they deeply love. I was just looking for love and I thought I had to be famous to get it!

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Yes, read the book! You will laugh, you may cry, you will walk away learning something I guarantee it. And if you have a dating story that tops mine, please get in touch with me so I can include you in our next edition.


Thanks for being here today, Susan.

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