Three friends break bad romantic habits by finding each other dates in comedian Osho’s debut rom-com, Asking for a Friend (HQN, Feb.).
What inspired this novel?
It had a lot to do with reading a load of dating self-help books and thinking, “How can I create a story where I can share what I’ve learned from this?” I’ve read a ton, and they were so mind-blowing to me because I had such a backwards, upside-down view of relationships. I really wanted to find a way to take all the wisdom in the books that have really had an impact on my life and how I relate to guys and turn that into stories. That’s where I started.
Though best friends, the three heroines are at very different life stages. Tell me about the age gaps between them.
The characters are basically all versions of me at different ages and have the kind of attitude I had towards relationships at those ages. My late 20s were a really pivotal time for me. I broke up with someone, cut my hair off, decided I wanted to be an actress. I was so much “everything in life is available to me.” I think there’s a sort of hopefulness that hasn’t been stamped out by life, when you’re young. That’s how Meagan is. She has her plan. She knows how her life is going to go, and it’s going to go like clockwork as far as she was concerned. At 36, I had another breakup, which hit me in a completely different way, where I felt like this was it. I thought I was never going to be with anyone. I was closer to 40 than I was 30, and I just really wanted to be in love, I really wanted to be with somebody. I was as much a hopeless romantic as Simi is in the book. By the time I got to 42, I had that resignation like Jemima, thinking it just wasn’t going to work out for me. It doesn’t happen for people like me. Jemima has herself compartmentalized, and that’s how I was at that age, too. So that’s why I chose all those points for the characters.
The women’s romantic issues tend to stem from their childhoods and family lives, but we don’t meet their families on the page. Why?
The women are so close, they’re family to each other. Once the story started to unfold, there really wasn’t a need to go and have tangents of figuring things out with mum. I wanted to show that what happens when you’re young can have a far reach in your life, which is why I included the stuff about their families—not to have mum and dad show up to resolve everything.