Author Q&A

In his new book, Lovesick, CNN deputy political director Alex Wellen offers a new twist on the concept that only women want to get married.

Wellen tells the story of Andy — a man so struck by love he will do anything to marry the woman of his dreams — even if that means moving to a small town in California and working for her father. Wellen spoke to The Hill about the book and his own marital adventures.

Q: Why did you decide to write this book?

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I think that almost every story has been told, but I also think that I had something unique to say in this book. This book examines a few universal themes, love being one of them. However, I wanted to offer something different on this story — the man’s perspective of when he finds the woman he wants to marry and will do anything to make it happen.

Q: Does this story mirror your life at all?

Yes. There are certainly aspects of Paige’s and Andy’s personalities that reflect Kris’s [Wellen’s wife] and my own. I actually pitched this book to my publisher as nonfiction at first. My publisher, however, asked me if I would consider writing this as a piece of fiction. My publisher said that I had a nice touch with language and understanding of the characters; they just wanted to see more.

This book takes a look at the beginning of a relationship, and at the beginning [of my relationship], my wife’s father and sister were so kind and welcoming to me, and, well, that did not provide the things you need for a great story. That is why I think fiction was a better way to go.

Q: What aspects of Paige and Andy are like you and your wife?

Paige certainly has some of the elements of my wife’s personality. Paige and Kris are spontaneous, have a great attitude and are goofballs. With Andy, I thought I could push the limits quite a bit. There are elements of his personality I can relate to — for instance, his analytical side. But I wanted to take certain things and push them to their limits and satirize them. I know that men can be too logical, too rational about emotional issues. I wanted to explore this. …

I thought it would be interesting to have this man who is over the top, who uses graphs and charts and different types of formulas and equations to solve matters of the heart. And understanding that matters of the heart are beyond rational explanation is a realization that Andy makes though the course of this book.

Q: Why did you focus on the beginning of the relationship?

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My first book, Barman, chronicled the changes that occurred in me and others during a nine-month period as we underwent the transition from being law students leaving law school to becoming lawyers. Taking a small moment in time allowed me to explore these changes in depth.

I like using a small window of time and so I choose to repeat it again in this book. I also just knew that I wanted to write about the beginning of a relationship.

Q: What is next?

Well, I am a father now. I have a kid that will be turning one soon, and that has totally changed me. Writing takes a lot of time, a lot of alone time. I think someday I will write a book about fatherhood and the transitions that I experienced, but right now I am going to focus on my job and my family.

 Michael M. Gleeson