Several years ago, two girlfriends put a crazy idea in my head. “You should write a book about your dating experiences here in New York,” they urged. “But why?” I asked. “Because no one has better stories than you. Coming from Texas, you have been the ultimate connector. What you’ve learned will encourage people who are facing a big life transition to be brave.”
I was already working on a book about the importance of connectors in the workplace,
and had been interviewing industry leaders around the country. Should I also write a book about how to be an effective social connector?
As any author will tell you, it’s impossible to manage multiple book projects at the
same time. It’s a fulltime job to conceive of, write, get published, and market a single book, let alone two. But once my friends challenged me, I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
To test the waters, I wrote a sample dating story and shared it with more friends. When the positive reactions came back, I got the courage to plunge in.
Since I was already writing the leadership connection book in my name, I decided to write the dating book under a pen name. I chose Kate (my middle name is Kathryn) and Somerset (for my Manhattan apartment building).
The next step was figuring out how to put the book together. In a twist on ‘Sex and the City”, I planned to tell real stories about real people… but without real names. 15 chapters, 15 men, 15 song titles.
As I wrote, I began to see patterns and lessons from my dating life. Even with all the horrific press that dating receives, (and yes, my book does contain some doozy experiences!), I discovered if you show up authentically, dating like anything else can be joyful.
Six years ago, I was at a crossroads. My marriage of 24 years was over. I had a choice to make. I could stay in Texas where I was deeply rooted. Or I could look beyond the world I had known for 30 years and do something hard. Something scary. I could take a chance on challenging and fulfilling.
So, I began secretly considering how to move to New York City. To execute the plan required leaving the seat at the table of the university I loved, setting up my own consulting practice for nonprofits, and finding clients to sustain me in a brand-new place. I was excited AND I was terrified.
When I got on a one-way flight from DFW to LaGuardia in March, 2017, I said a silent prayer that I could keep building meaningful connections in New York. I wanted to get rooted. I wanted to be invested.
What I have gained has been so much more than fun. I have been given a magical opportunity to grow. The chance to build new friendships. And the opportunity to evolve into a more courageous version of myself.
Being a connector does these things for us.
I love what Jack Canfield, co-author of Chicken Soup for the Soul wrote on the back cover of my book:
“In a world craving human connection, this is the book you’ve been waiting for…the irrepressible Kate Somerset teaches life lessons on a brave journey to find herself in New York City. This isn’t just a book about dating. It’s about having a possibility mindset in life…”
Called “Mom…You Just Need to Get Laid: The Adventures of Dating After Divorce” by Kate Somerset, is published by the Brooklyn Writer’s Press. The book and eBook are available on Amazon or by ordering anywhere books are sold. The audiobook, voiced by the fabulous actor Laura Patinkin (cousin of Mandy), was produced by The Three Tomatoes of New York.
I am proud of the book and the larger message I want readers to know: whatever you face in life, do it with a sense of curiosity, optimism, and courage. Meet other people where they are. Take an interest in them.
Build connections. They pay off in lifelong friends and in finding community.