Publisher: Messenger Publishing
Genre: Non-Fiction (Humorous)
"Insightful, relatable and laugh-out-loud funny, Men Are Like a Box of Chocolates is the literary equivalent of sitting down with your girlfriends, opening a fresh box of chocolates and having a good gab about the opposite sex." Synopsis
Forrest Gump's mama said, "Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." But Elly Klein says, "Men are like a box of chocolates" and if you learn to distinguish the type of chocolate every man-type represents, you'll know exactly what you're gonna get!
Meet Elly Klein, author and humour blogger with a social conscience. She's a Sydney girl who studied in Canada, when she wasn't skiing. Her background is in Advertising; a great forum to hone her writing and humour. For your entertainment, Elly combined her intimate knowledge of chocolate with her witty observations on men and relationships to write Men are Like a Box of Chocolates, the chocolate-loving female's guide to the opposite sex.
1. What gave you the idea to cross-reference different types of men with different types of chocolates?
It was something my sister and I used to joke about. We both love chocolate and would come home from dates and say something like, ‘Oh, he’s like a caramel chew – such hard work!’ Being an advertising copywriter by trade, and someone who loves gift books, I knew there was a great book idea in it. I also knew it would give me a chance to pass on some hard-won relationship lessons in a humorous way.
2. Does your favourite type of chocolate correlate with your favourite type of man?
No. I like all chocolate!
3. Is there a particular type of chocolate man that you think is overrated?
Yes, quite a few. Fruit & Nut Chocolate man, for instance. He’s your creative type – actor, musician, comedian etc. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve fallen in love with someone’s talent… only to discover that while he may be good at his craft, he’s not very good at having a relationship. Of course, they’re not ALL like that, but it’s something to be wary of when you’re gazing longingly at a lead singer or rubbing shoulders with celebrities. Every character in the book has his pros and cons. The only one I advise to steer well clear of is Chocolate Bullet man. He’s aggressive and potentially abusive.
4. Is there one you think is underrated?
Yes – again, quite a few. But I’ll just pick one: Chocolate-Covered Marshmallow man. He’s a chubby foodie. His body is a little inflated, but his ego isn’t. His life revolves around food, sensuality and enjoyment. Unlike Chocolate Protein Bar man (gym junkie) and Hot Chocolate man (just plain hot!), both of whom might make you feel as though you’re not in good enough shape, Chocolate-Covered Marshmallow man will make you feel comfortable in your own skin. That’s an extremely attractive quality, especially if you’re looking to spend a lifetime with someone.
5. A book parodying men and personality types as chocolate is generally received in good humour. Do you think the converse would be true, if a man had written a book matching women with types of chocolate?
Yes, but I don’t think it would have worked as well. Women relate to chocolate. For men, it’d have to be something like ‘Women are Like a Mixed Case of Beer’… which doesn’t really have the same ring to it (heh heh). I was careful not to write a book that would make men look bad. Men Are Like a Box of Chocolates is more like a little advice book written in a fun way. It is not an anti-men rant – quite the contrary. It encourages women to sample (and appreciate) a wide range of men, as they would a wide range of chocolates.
6. How long was it between inception and completion of your book?
About five years. I wrote an outline for the book about five years ago. Then, I wrote the chapters on weekends and in between freelance copywriting jobs. Attempting to get it published was also extremely time-consuming. After it did the rounds of the traditional publishing houses (and wasn’t picked up), I decided I wasn’t happy with the first draft and, so, rewrote it, which took more time. I wanted every word to be perfect and every joke to be laugh-out-loud funny. My copywriting background and love of comedy and sitcoms helped me achieve the desired result. (See, you really CAN learn something by watching A LOT of television, particularly Sex and the City – heh heh.) By then, I didn’t want to send it round again. I approached a non-traditional publisher that would allow me to have more control over my book project. I’m glad I did that. It’s amazing what an enormous commitment (and various sacrifices) a little book like mine requires.
7. Can you give us a glimpse of your next planned project?
As much as I would love to dive head-first into the next creative project, my plan for 2012 is to get Men Are Like a Box of Chocolates into as many non-bookstores as possible. (I am responsible for all non-bookstore sales.) As it’s a non-fiction humour gift book (not a novel), I will be approaching gift stores, chocolates stores and women’s fashion stores. I exhibited at the Home & Giving and Reed Gift Fair in Melbourne in August (the largest gift fair in the Southern Hemisphere), so I’ve already got my customer base under way. I am also planning to attend some international book fairs and approach overseas customers. Having said that, I have a catalogue of ideas for future writing projects, which I’m looking forward to going through over the Christmas/New Year’s break. It’s hard for a creative person to sit at a desk all day and make sales calls!
8. What's in your 'too hard' basket?
I don’t put anything in the ‘too hard’ basket if it’s important. But I do throw a lot of things in the ‘unimportant’ basket or the ‘not for me’ basket.
9. In terms of worldview, what do you believe?
Wow! That’s a biggie. I guess I believe in being the best version of yourself that you can possibly be. If people regularly gave themselves a self-evaluation, realigned their priorities and conscientiously chipped away at what was important to them, their family and friends, their community, their country and their planet, the world would be a better place. Nobody’s perfect. We’re all human and all fallible. And we can’t do it all or have it all. But giving up on one’s priorities should not be an option.
10. Elly's favourite:
Book: It sounds cheesy, but Dr Phil’s Life Strategies changed my life. I think his Ten Life Laws should be drummed into children and young adults’ heads like times tables.
Film: Good Will Hunting. What a script! No wonder Matt Damon and Ben Affleck won an Oscar for it.
Music: Can’t pick a song, an artist or a genre. I love all kinds of music – from rock to rap, from soul to show tunes.
Motto: ‘You make a living by what you get, but you make a life by what you give.’ – Anon.
Charity: I’m a Big Sister mentor to three underprivileged teenage girls.
I take my hat off to you, Elly, for your community involvement and three cheers for a fabulously fun gift book! I've also made mental note of your 'too hard' basket philosophy - thanks for the tips.
I've been trying to correlate my favourite chocolate ~ dark chocolate mint lindt ball ~ with my favourite man, but decided I'm just pleased he knows the chocolate I like and is thoughtful enough to buy a whole bag of them just for me! (I usually buy him the chocolate we both like, so he'll share).
But I'm dying to know what the Carob man is: a try-hard? For the relationship you're in when you're not in a relationship? The second-rate substitute? Hmmm... I guess I'll have to buy the book to find out. And I have just the person in mind to buy it for...
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