It was a rare occasion in Los Angeles: a party for successful, world-famous writers without any screen credits. In fact, no screenwriters were invited. And it was an atypical location: a small, no-name restaurant on the edge of Hollywood, devoid of producers, directors, or paparazzi. Yet these authors – a group of serious writers considered by many to be a vanishing breed – seemed to be truly enjoying their opportunity to be with their peers.
These authors had come together to belatedly celebrate the 20th birthday of the relationship classic "Men Who Can’t Love", the book that coined the phrase commitmentphobia in 1987 and set the pace for the next generation of non-fiction and self-help.
Steven Carter and Julia Sokol, the authors of "Men Who Can’t Love" were showing their New York roots as they shared their success with three dozen authors, including Rita Williams ("If The Creek Don’t Rise"), Arianna Huffington ("Right Is Wrong"), John Krasno ("Soft Boiled"), Lloyd Johnson ("Women I Have Known"), Rick Friedel ("The Complete Book of Hugs"), Barbara Keesling ("The Good Girl’s Guide"), Norman Haggie ("Death In Anegada"), and playwright Leonard Post ("Carla") were just a few of the three dozen authors who were enjoying an evening of food wine and laughs with their highly literate compadres.
Also invited were New York literary agent Barbara Lowenstein and celebrated Brazilian publisher Marcos Pereira, co-founder of GMT Sextante. Pereira hopes to replicate the success of "Men Who Can’t Love" next year in Brazil when he releases the book on his home turf, fueled by the power of GMT Sextante. Carter and Sokol have had two dazzling years with Sextante in Brazil with their books "What Smart Women Know" and "Men Like Women Who Like Themselves" topping the national bestseller lists for over 100 weeks. Carter’s success was recently the subject of a Los Angeles Times feature story that was meant to inspire authors to stay true to their craft. (for the full Los Angeles Times story, go to: http://www.latimes.com/features/books/la-et-self26-2008jul26,0,2920383.story)
Though "Men Who Can’t Love" was written by two authors who claim they are "allergic to Hollywood," the book, ironically, has had a long, celebrated career in film. "Men Who Can’t Love" made its silver screen debut in the 1989 Billy Crystal/Meg Ryan classic When Harry Met Sally (remember the bookstore scene?). But it made an even bigger splash in the hands of Julia Roberts when she starred with Brad Pitt and James Gandolfini in the 2001 film, The Mexican. In that Gore Verbinski film, the book had almost ten full seconds of center-screen, scene-stealing exposure.
But the story doesn’t end there. Next year, the timeless bestseller faces an even more challenging 'role.' In April of 2009 "Men Who Can’t Love" will appear in the Katherine Heigl film The Ugly Truth. No one is releasing the details, but the authors feel that Katherine Heigl fans will leave the theater with a lasting impression of the power of self-help books, particularly the power of "Men Who Can’t Love."
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