I started a blog in 2009 that became pretty popular on my own site MissKellyRossi.com. I was writing about my every day experiences intertwined with the insane “Wrong Men” stories that have happened in my life. Then, about three years ago, I met an amazing man who didn’t quite fit into my ‘Wrong Men’ stories anymore. In fact, it was pretty much like he was carved out of my exact dreams of what I had been looking for through all those years of passing on questionable dating situations. So, there I was with nothing new to write about “Wrong Men” because I had found someone so “Right” for me.
Obviously, from day one, he knew all about my blog and it never bothered him. I’m thinking it was because he knew that he treated me well and wouldn’t give me reason to write about him in a “Wrong Man” story. Now, THAT, is a little thing called “Integrity”, take notes boys. However, about a year and a half into our relationship, I really felt like my “Wrong Men” stories needed to be written to not only show people how to spot a bad dating situations, but to get through them, grow and recognize the right ones. He agreed. Through the years, I also would touch base frequently with a friend of mine John Russo (co-author of Night of the Living Dead) who loved my blogs and kept suggesting I needed to write a book.
In early 2013, I went to Lake Las Vegas for four days, turned off my cell phone and internet (yes, I am capable of this) and wrote the first version of Dating the Wrong Men. My ‘Right Man’ was the first person who read it with me telling him I’d scrap the whole thing if he didn’t feel comfortable with it. I was braced for any response from him saying “this is terrible”, to breaking up with me, to finding all my exes to kick some ass. His first response when he walked out the door after reading it was, “What the hell! I can’t believe some of the stuff you went through.” Through this book, I think he finally could realize how I wasn’t that trusting when it came to men and could comprehend how the situations had effected me. Again, proving he knew how to be an actual man, he was compassionate about how the stories had affected me. With his intellectual sledge hammer of a brain and amazingly sexy charm he broke down walls, and showed me that no matter what I had been through, I was lovable and the girl for him.
With the relationship responsibilities of the book covered, John took the reigns as my main mentor on the book. He was second to read it and the only word I can use to express that the response he gave me was “shock.” He has been married a long time and had heard stories that women went through these days, but I don’t know if anyone had really opened his eyes as clearly as to what is going on in the single world as I did. I also don’t think he thought someone as positive as I always am could have possibly gone through the things I had. After a few days to process, he came back to me with the Foreword to the book. The book was a very raw version at this time and I could tell by John’s voice it needed a lot of work to get him back to the point he would always get to with my blogs of cracking up at the literary twists I took with each unbelievable story. No matter what, this is when the jokes of similarities of the characters in my book and his horror books began.
The third person who read this book was my mom. Again, there was a little shock, but most of the stories she was all too familiar with and we talked in depth about any issues that put me in the position to start choosing these ‘Wrong Men’ in the first place. At that point, with her lifetime of literary background and Masters in English she became my ‘Go To’ girl on so many parts of editing.
I feel like the book went through 500 versions over a year and a half. In the beginning, it was just the stories but I wanted something more. The humor and the entertainment factor slowly started weaving it’s way through each chapter making it a true “Kelly Rossi” piece of work. But still, I wanted something more… I needed this to be something people could benefit from and something that might give that guidance that I clearly state we’re all lacking. This is when I turned every experience into a so-called “Wrong Man” personality and threw in “How to tell you’re dating a … ” and “Final Thoughts on dating a … ” in each chapter. As you can see in the chapters, some of the “Wrong Men” in my stories don’t match up to their titles 100%, but I needed someone to fit the role. One of my favorite times of writing this book, was when my ‘Right Man’ and I sat down and went over each chapter’s “How to tell you’re dating a ….” We had a blast coming up with them. I brought in what I had experienced in relationships and he brought in what he knew guys would try to pull. What an amazing contribution from ‘Mr’ Right.’
Midway through editing, illustrator Stephanie Olivieri came into the picture. I gave her a copy of the book and told her to choose 9 chapters and do whatever she wanted. I asked to avoid a few chapters that targeted very serious issues like abuse and addiction because I didn’t want to make light of the subjects. I also said there is only one chapter I need her to do 200% and that is the one with my dog. What you see in the book and the front cover are the final versions of what she came up with. They are absolutely amazing and no one who has read the book has not commented on them!
Finally, the day came when I sent John one of the last versions through email and called him a few minutes later when he was reading it. He was cracking up laughing like he used to with all of my blogs saying “What Dolly Parton Has to … oh no! ha ha ha”. I knew it was there. He told me “I wouldn’t be afraid to show anyone this book at this point.” And that was that, a few more edits and it went to print.
This is what went into the writing of the book. But when reading it, you’ll see that the book in itself is my testimony. It’s the path I took through dating all the wrong men that lead me through changes in life, put amazing people behind me, gave me the ‘Right Man’ as my partner and pointed me to God. And THAT is what is the most important of the entire shebang!