Tuesday, September 9, 2008

15 Minutes...Okay, 17

by Stephanie Losee

Stephanie Losee here--I'm one of the authors of Office Mate: The Employee Handbook for Finding--and Managing--Romance on the Job. My co-author Helaine Olen and I will be reading at the Ferry Building store next Tuesday night at 6pm, so we're guest-blogging this week.

It's been a few months since Office Mate came out, but the publicity continues at a surprising clip. Just this morning we did another interview, this time for the web site BizMe; recent interviews have also included Men's Health, Elle Canada and Esquire. Since Helaine and I are both career journalists, being on the opposite end of these phone calls is without question the strangest aspect of the post-publication process. We're used to the part where we interview other people, and indeed, we had to conduct scores of interviews to write Office Mate. And of course we're used to writing. But it's easy to imagine that you'll write a book, and that some people will buy it and some people won't, and you'll earn a bit of money and then maybe you'll write another one. But it's harder to project yourself into a future in which someone else--hundreds of someone elses, actually--is asking the questions and you're answering them, and when the story comes out you're satisfied with how you were quoted or you're not. It's been an interesting and not always comfortable role reversal.

Soon after Office Mate came out I was invited to an intimate book party for Michael Krasny's Off Mike: A Memoir of Talk Radio and Literary Life. I listened to his silky bass voice for a while and then lined up to chat with him and get my copy signed. I couldn't wait to ask the Earl of Interviewing how he felt now that the mike had been turned on him. Did he find it as strange as I did? "Nah," he replied. "I'm a ham. I could talk all day, whether I'm asking the questions or answering them."

I wouldn't say Helaine and I quite entered the Krasny Zone, but discussing office romance in public has certainly become a normal and regular part of our lives. If there's one thing we'll never get used to, it's the fact that people find our subject matter so scandalous. That's because office romance is a normal and regular part of our lives. We've each been married for 17 years to men we met at work.

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