Monday, January 30, 2006

Book Extra: The Virgin's Guide to Everything

Hello all!

Sometimes you come across a delightful book that you must share with your friends. "The Virgin's Guide to Everything" is just that sort of book. And no, it's not for those kind of virgins. It's for novices. And face it, everyone is a novice at something. If you've never eaten sushi, asked your boss for a raise, trekked around the world alone or done something truly adventurous, this book is for you.

The book's author, Lauren McCutcheon is a delightful young woman who recently came all the way to Charlotte to do a reading at one of the world's best book store, Joseph-Beth Booksellers at SouthPark Mall. She had lots to say about this truly useful book!

Photo Credit: Chris Meck

Q: How did you get involved with the "Virgin's" book and concept?

The idea for the Virgin's Guide first belonged to a couple of in-the- biz girlfriends — one whom I knew and loved, another whom I was about to know and love. My pals were looking for someone to develop it into a book. The concept sounded great, but I was wary. I'd never written a whole book before. I guess you could say I was a virgin author, and those, more experienced friends were my book-writing go-to girls!

Q: What do you want readers to walk away with knowing after reading the book?

The book packs in a whole lot of information. I don't expect readers to become gemologists, or instant wahines. I do hope that the book makes readers feel more confident about facing a brand-new first, that the information reassures them that they can ask for — and get — that raise, that they can make it through a yoga class. A Virgin's Guide aims to give a boost for a bunch of achievable, everyday first times — and assure my readers that they have an absolute right to unlimited do-overs!

Q: What was the thing that surprised you the most in writing the book?

Aside from my amazement at being able to write a book, at all? All in all, I learned hundreds of nuggets of information, things that seemed obvious once I heard them, but didn't occur to me until I interviewed experts. For example, Dara Johnson, a camping instructor from Appalachian Mountain Club, confirmed my suspicion that the number one reason that women fear camping is, well, numbers one and two. (And Dara told me how to get over it.) Dr. Dina Anderson, our resident dermatologist, said it was totally fine to go to a skin doctor for a single pimple, and Suzanne Schlosberg, author of an amazing book about her experiences with called "The Curse of the Singles Table," gave such sensible advice about online dating: Don't become attached to another online dater until you meet face to face; don't plan a whole big date before you meet up (just go for a 15 minute coffee), and whatever you do, don't give up the search.

Q: What's next for you?

There are so many places to go from here. The website: is growing in leaps and bounds. My fellow virgins and I are gathering loads of ideas for future guides. And me, I'm still striving to do one new thing every day — or at least, every week.

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