Did you envision yourself as part of the audience that you were writing to?

Absolutely. In some ways, I felt like I was doing it more for me than my audience, and that was just very real. It was very personal because these are things that I wanted to know.

Since you were dating your now husband at the time, did he influence any of the kind of questions that you asked your guy friends in the book?

Well, so that I sort of share with you the whole scope of things, I started the book probably seven months before I met my husband. So I actually had started on it before meeting him. But while I was finishing up the project, you know we had met and were starting to date. I feel like we debated actually going back and forth on whether or not I should interview him, but it felt too close to home. I even thought, “How could we do it so it would actually be like somewhat natural and not weird?” And we thought about me simultaneously interviewing one of his other friends—actually one of the guys that introduced us—and it was just too bizarre. He was open to it, but I felt weird about it because it just, I mean we were in process of living out what I was asking about. So it almost felt wrong to be able to ask him these things that kind of come up naturally in a real relationship over time. So I know that for me our dating relationship did impact it, but not directly because I didn’t interview him.

So when you first met and were getting to know each other and you said, “Hey, by the way I’m working on this book project,” what was your now husband’s initial reaction to hearing what you were doing?

I think he thought it was super cool. He respects my ministry and what I do but isn’t at all like fazed by it or kind of weirded out by it. He’s just a very strong, but very laid back, man. And so he just kind of took it in stride, and I did interview one of his friends . . . in the book who has a background in modeling, and he’s a writer in L.A. And that’s one of his friends. So it did get somewhat close to home, you know, with me interviewing one of his friends. And it’s actually one of his former roommates who ended up being a groomsmen in our wedding. But yeah, he took it in stride like he always does.

When you interviewed the guys in the book, were they more organic type of conversations or were you armed with your list of 20 questions and looking for answers?

They knew that I was interviewing them for the book, and we actually got a lot of the interviews on tape as well as on a Flip camera . . . and so yeah, I kind of filmed some of them because I just really wanted to kind of catalog those moments. We may end up using some of them online, showing little clips from the interviews. But so they knew what was going on, I kind of adjusted the questions that I had to the specific person because every single one of these guys were friends of mine. I had history with them. One of the guys I didn’t know very well. I kind of met him on the road. He was kind of helping with a concert that I was doing. And so he was a part of the church there, so I didn’t know him super well. But everybody else I have long-term friendships with, and so you know I kind of came at each interview to that person and some of them were more like a real conversation which were kind of back and forth and the ideas being shared. And as you can see from the book format, I would share my ideas, too. There was like a dialogue, and those were the best ones. And then some of them were more just me asking questions and them giving their thoughts. But each one was different, you know. I probably asked similar questions of a lot of the guys; each one was very unique.

What surprised you the most about what you heard that men were really thinking?

Well, the main kind of epiphany that happened for me in writing this book was realizing that at least in Christian circles, the dating model has changed and girls need to see this because if we don’t see it, it creates resentment. And that is that there has been this like long-term model for a long time of like guy meets a girl, he gets her phone number, he asks her out for a date, they go out on dates and end up dating and then if it goes well, they end up getting married. Well, engaged and then married. To more of this organic kind of friendship-based approach to dating now where it’s almost more of what I describe in the book as a “Starbucks dating” mentality. And that has happened, and it has happened to me, and this is why I’m passionate about it.

Girls actually get kind of upset and angry with guys for not stepping up. It’s like if I could give you a quarter for every time I’ve heard that, you’d be a rich person. It’s like I hear it a lot. But I think what is actually going on is not necessarily that these guys don’t have the strength to step up; it’s actually that the approach has changed. And I think we girls need to accept that and just go, “Okay, it’s probably going to be a little bit more of a slow process, but if I’m patient, this over time will blossom into something and it could actually be much more of a real kind of friendship-founded relationship that could be for the benefit of the relationship.” So that was probably the biggest thing that was like, “Oh my goodness. This needs to be heard, ‘cause we’ve got to stop critiquing guys that they’re not being strong enough.” Now . . . some of them legitimately are scared. You know what I mean? Some of them are legitimately not stepping up. So it’s not across the board. I just think there needs to be more grace coming from Christian girls.