PW: There are many real people in Cad, and not all of them are depicted flatteringly. Has anyone else seen the book? Have your ex-girlfriends seen it? Has Vanilla Ice seen it?
Rick Marin: I haven't sent it to any ex-girlfriends. It's mostly been my agent and some friends. No celebrities have seen it, as far as I know. Can Vanilla Ice even read?
PW: There's so much that happens in a decade of dating. How did you choose your material?
RM: I tried to use my experience in a way that seems, if not universal, then at least familiar. I wanted to do something that read more like a novel. I wanted something where both men and women would read it and say, "Exactly—I can understand the hell of having brunch the morning after with someone you have nothing to talk about with."
PW: The end of the book takes a serious turn, when you write less about women and more about your father. Why did you make that choice?
RM: I knew from early on that I wanted that third section to be different in tone. You don't want to just keep reading about a guy who goes on three dates with someone and then breaks up with them. That's monotonous. I wanted the third act to have some turnaround in the character; I wanted something to change him and give him a little depth.
PW: There are some characters and scenes in this book that seem so outlandish they could have come right out of a Saturday Night Live sketch. How much did you sacrifice technical accuracy to make it more amusing?
RM: My male friends are my male friends. With the women, I knew I was going to change names and identifying details in the interest of masking the identities. I didn't worry about that too much. I probably also took some liberties in the interest of making it a better story.
PW: When you describe your marriage at the beginning of the book, the reader almost gets the sense that it didn't mean much to you. But later you seem really bitter about it.
RM: It's funny, there's this phenomenon today of "The Starter Marriage." Even the term writes it off. No kids, no cats, no big deal. But I think something like that always has an effect on you, even a marriage that lasts for less time than a relationship. I was carrying it around for a while.
PW: This book has been promoted as "a view from the other side of the bed." After all the books that show relationships from a woman's perspective, did you set out to give the male viewpoint?
RM: There's an insatiable curiosity in women about the eternal mystery of the male mind. But as Jerry Seinfeld said, "Women always ask what men are thinking about. We're thinking about nothing. We're just walking down the street, not thinking about anything."