By Lori Bizzoco

From representing pharma to cooking chicken parma, there’s no telling what best-selling author Jamie Reidy will do next. One thing that remains consistent is that his books are results-oriented and focus on sealing the deal, whether it’s in pharmaceutical sales or winning over a new love interest. Reidy’s new book, Bachelor 101: Cooking + Cleaning = Closing, is a cookbook and lifestyle guide for “idiot single guys like me,” he told Cupid in a recent interview.

A former pharmaceutical salesman, Reidy is best known for writing Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman, the basis for today’s movie release, Love and Other Drugs starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway. Cupid had the wonderful opportunity of speaking with Reidy last month, and he filled us in on his new book, which boasts 30 idiot-proof recipes for men who want to wow” that special someone:

What’s the premise of Bachelor 101?

The premise is that single guys aren’t just going to get off their butts and stop ordering in Domino’s, or learn how to clean their apartment without some sort of an incentive. The incentive is that your odds on a successful date go way up if you take the time and put in some effort that cooking requires. Women know how much work goes into cooking, so if a guy actually cooks for them instead of making a reservation, that should make a nice impression.

Why do you think most men don’t like to cook?

I think first of all, because it seems like a huge deal. “Oh man, I’m cooking.” It seems like an entire process, and it’s just scary, and that’s because we are totally unfamiliar. It’s just like anything else – if you don’t know how to work the remote of your TV, you sit down for a while and you look through the directions and you figure it out. Then, you look back and say I can’t believe that I didn’t know how to do that.

Being in the kitchen is the same thing, knowing how to chop and dice and that sort of thing. I was terrified of the broiler. You couldn’t get me near the broiler, but I had to do it for a few meals and it’s pretty easy. Sauté seems like a scary, fancy word, but it means to heat up in butter or oil, so why is that such a fancy word? It’s primarily the fear of the unknown.

After how many dates would you say that a man should cook for a woman?

Well, that all depends. It depends on how old the people involved are. I would say that for people in their late 30s, they’re a lot faster to do things like that, whereas if you are in your 20s, a woman may be gun-shy about going over to a guy’s house. Who knows – if you met someone at a bar or grocery shopping or something and got a good vibe, and the guy said, “Why don’t I make you dinner sometime?” the spontaneity could really wow you.

Where did you get the recipes for your book?

A majority of the recipes I tested out came from women, but a couple of them came from some buddies of mine. I learned a couple of great lessons there. Every recipe is basically a paragraph that women give to each another. So I would read these paragraphs, and even though my friend who gave it to me would say, “it’s the easiest recipe ever,” I would be cooking and invariably I would miss something. My eyes would glaze over the items in the middle of the paragraph. I figured out that it must be something in our DNA. Guys need a list, a step-by-step list. My book literally has 1. Open oven door; 2. Slide out bottom rack. This way I can say, “Check, I did that. Yes, I did that.” I can check things off as I go.

Were there any lessons that you learned while writing Hard Sell that helped when writing Bachelor 101?

Yes, I guess there are two things; one is a personal encouragement thing and the other is as a writer. What I learned from Hard Sell is that I have a voice that people respond to – it’s tongue-in-cheek, self-deprecating, with pop culture references. So when I started writing Bachelor 101, my voice was very clear and I didn’t have any doubt that if people would only get their hands on it they would laugh and find it informative and entertaining. Hard Sell gave me the encouragement and validation to do that.

As a writer, what writing Hard Sell taught me is that you can’t be half-assed about it. It took me a little over a year-and-a-half to write it, but I would walk away from it for a month or two. It wasn’t like I was writing every day, or every week. My mom had a great point years ago. She said, “Ya know what? I think writers, I think they write…like everyday.” It cut right through me. I realized that if you aren’t writing everyday then you probably aren’t serious. So I knew with Bachelor 101, I knew that I had to be doing something everyday, whether it was writing, cooking, or taking notes throughout the process. I had to be much more disciplined, which I learned through writing Hard Sell.

What is your favorite recipe in the book?
My favorite recipe is not the one that’s gotten the most rave reviews. The crab cakes have been cooked the most often and have gotten just absolute rave reviews. My favorite recipe is chicken breast dipped in ranch dressing, dropped into a huge zip-lock bag full of cornflakes. There is another variation of that, with crumbled up Ritz crackers. It’s a tremendous comfort food, but it’s not the healthiest thing in the world.

What’s on the horizon?

I’m currently writing screen plays. Right now, I am doing a couple of different things, including a romantic comedy. I am also writing a collection of humorous essays about me and my dad.

Cupid thanks Jamie Reidy for his time! Check out Bachelor 101: Cooking + Cleaning = Closing on Amazon.com and see Love and Other Drugs today!