(Laura Zigman matched for her latest book)
By her own account, best-selling author Laura Zigman likes to brant. There is even a mock dictionary definition on her website to help get the point across:
brant (brant) v.i. - to simultaneously brag and rant.
After four novels which sold, according to Zigman “not nearly as much as you might think” (actually several hundred thousand copies worldwide, taking into account foreign editions), she was in a self-described period of “failure” when her latest project presented itself.
brant (brant) n. - a shared on-line journal where people can post brags and rants about themselves and their personal experiences, opinions, observations, and feelings.
Be it about meeting Hugh Jackman (on the set of the movie adapted from her first book), celebrating Christmas as a non-Christian or organizational-porn, Zigman shares a lot of funny details of her life with her fans in her personal brant.
Writing about her “new favorite television show” during the summer of 2007, something unexpected happened. One of the people reading intimately knew the show Zigman was discussing.
Jessica Novak was online searching the name of her mother’s television series. She clicked a link directing her toward Zigman’s website and brant. She forwarded the link to Joshua Seftel.
As manager of Patti Novak, the matchmaker of A&E’s “Confessions of a Matchmaker,” Seftel alerted Zigman that they had seen her website and musings about the show. A standing invitation to meet Patti Novak was extended.
branted, brant-ing, brants intr.v. To write entries in, add material to, or maintain a (we)brant.
Of course, Zigman branted about her luck online in typical third-person fashion, “Would she be interested? She felt like she was on Candid Camera.”
The television show chronicled the popular Buffalo-based matchmaking service. Zigman drove from her home outside of Boston to meet Patti in New York while she was in the city appearing on an episode of the CBS Early Show.
Although Patti had not read any of Zigman’s work prior to meeting her, the connection between the two was obvious, especially to Patti’s daughter.
“They instantly clicked and have similar views on a lot of things.” Jessica said, “I don't think I've ever heard them disagree.”
So they joined forces and several phone calls, legal pads, and thick black Sharpies later—a basic outlining for the book based on Patti’s gift for matchmaking was complete. Zigman was ready to start writing.
“We assumed it would be just a book about dating, but it turned into something with much more substance.” Zigman said.
While in the researching phase, she made the drive to Buffalo several times, even sitting in on five to six coaching sessions between the matchmaker and her clients.
“My job was to put Patti in book form.” Zigman said, which she admits was not difficult because “she has a distinct voice.”
Now appearing at a bookstore near you, “Get Over Yourself: How to Get Real, Get Serious and Get Ready to Find True Love” (Ballantine) is three-fourths self help book and one-fourth dating guide.
It contains basic background information on the matchmaker along with relationship history worksheets, and dating tips.
“It is indeed a self help book,” Zigman said, “but it really is a book about love.”