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He’s Just Not that Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo, came out last September and has spent over 25 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list. Recently released in an abridged version, He’s Just Not That Into You: Your Daily Wake Up Call and now the subject of a touring comedy show, Gothamist thought this would be a good time to speak to the female part of the equation, Tuccillo, about the book. We also threw some questions at her about “Sex and the City” (the series for which she was an executive story editor), her relationship to New York and projects she has on the horizon.

THE BASICS

Occupation: writer
Place of birth: Brooklyn
Current residence: Manhattan
Length of time in New York: My whole life!
Relationship status: single
Online guilty pleasure: Googling ex-boyfriends to see what they're up to.

THE INTERVIEW

2005_06_bookintoyou.jpgYou co-authored the New York Times best-seller He’s Just Not That Into You, the book that gives women helpful hints on how to tell if a guy isn’t interested. Were you surprised at the success of the book? How does it feel to know you are changing the dating habits of women (and hopefully men) everywhere?
When we decided to write the book, I was sure it was going to be a huge hit, be on Oprah, and change the dating habits of women throughout the land. But then after we finished it and it got sent to be printed, I got really embarrassed and terrified at the thought that I just had the nerve to write a dating book. The idea that we've changed perfect strangers' dating habits is truly mind-blowing. And then when you hear women talk about it, it just is incredibly satisfying to think you might have saved someone a lot of misery.

What drove you to work on this project?
It was literally Greg uttering the damn phrase "He's Just Not that Into You" in the writer's room of “Sex and the City.” A bomb might as well have gone off in the room, the reaction that got from us.

Throughout the book you voice the pessimistic view that maybe there isn’t someone perfect out there, while Greg continues with his party line that unless you keep trying you’ll never know. Frankly, we’re in your camp. Does Greg come in bottled form? Can we drink his potion or put him on like perfume whenever we get pangs of throwing in the towel or settling? What do you do?
I literally call Greg and he gives me a pep talk. Now, if you can't do that, I guess you can go back and read the book, but that's a little self-serving. So...I would say...I have no idea. Move to Alaska where there are tons of men? Call up a friend and make them play the "greg" role? He really should have a hotline, shouldn't he?

Not everyone has been a fan of the book. Elle Magazine advice columnist E. Jean Carroll has come out against you, as well as other authors that deal with this type of subject matter saying, "These writers are worse than astrologers and psychics. They're treating women like they're imbeciles. They're preying on weak, powerless women, and it's not fair." Let’s say E. Jean was here right now reading this, what would you like to say to her. Any opinions on her book, Mr. Right, Right Now!?
Oh my God -- are there people that really don't like the book? I pay people a lot of money to shield me from things like that. I'm shock and horrified.

Let's see...I would probably just ask E. Jean Carroll if she had read the book. How are we preying on anyone? What? Telling them not to go out with guys that don't like them? I have not read her book, however I am sure it's thoughtful, wise and well-intentioned.

You mentioned that the idea for the book came out of a “Sex and the City” writer’s session. You were an executive story editor for the show. What exactly does a story editor do?
I have no idea. The beauty of the way Michael Patrick King ran the writing room is that everyone had all these different titles next to their names, but in the end you're all in the room just slugging it out with each other, and then going out to eat.

How did you come to work on “Sex and the City?”
My dear friend, the actress Nadia Dajani knew Michael Patrick King and got him to agree to meet with me. Which in itself is a miracle. And then we hit it off, not such a miracle, I'm adorable. But then he actually read and enjoyed my writing samples. Big miracle. And then one of the current writers at that time called and said he wasn't going to be coming back to the show, right around that time, HUGE COLOSSAL MIRACLE, and I got hired. Can you believe?

We found He’s Just Not That Into You in the self-help section. Did you view your work on “Sex and the City” as self-help?
Well, the writer's room often felt like a giant group therapy session, in a very good way. But we were mainly concerned with telling great stories. But so many women have come up to me and told me how the show helped them feel better about being single, and how that was the half hour each week that they looked forward to, that they took just for themselves. And now, they miss it so much, I've had women cry telling me about it!

Of all the storylines you worked on for the show, which one was your favorite?
I love them all, but I do have to say, the last two episodes of the show are possibly the best television I have ever seen in my life. It raised everything to a whole other level and I can't believe I got to be there and watch it happen.

Inquiring minds want to know… Let’s say it’s 10 years from now and you’re called back to work on a SATC reunion show (we know reunion shows sounds silly). Can you give us a hint of what you think is going on the lives of our faithful (or unfaithful) foursome?
It all starts with the concerns, right? What would their concerns be then? I guess like every other late-forties/fifties woman, the concerns would be about their children, husbands, divorces -- I have no idea specifics, but I know that no one would be able to do a funnier job with the topic of menopause, than we would.

Did you ever stay in a relationship a little longer than you wanted in order to get fodder for the show or the book?
No! But it is amazing how still to this day relationships can be so confusing and perplexing. And just when you think you've figured it all out, then here comes the ONE situation that completely confounds you.

Ever receive any hate mail?
I'm very hard to find, specifically for that reason. But Greg has gotten a few heated emails from some disgruntled gentlemen.

Now, "Sex and the City" is probably one of the most New York-centric shows in TV history. Did you discover anything about New York and/or your relationship to the city from working on the show?
Just the surprise of it being reaffirmed how much I love the city. Like crazy. Like I LOVE it. Like it's a person or a pet that you can actually have deep real emotion for. GOOEY PASSIONATE LOVE. But it's a city. It's so weird. But I just LOVE IT.

If there was one thing you could change about New York, what would it be?
More affordable housing for normal people like teachers and social workers and the guy who works at the Gap. It's INSANE.

Do you ever consider leaving the big apple?
No. All I do is spend my free time devising schemes so I never have to leave it ever.

You are about to go on a He’s Just Not That Into You tour with Greg (you’re doing a show at Irving Plaza on June 21). What will the format of these shows be like?
We'll talk for a bit, about the book, how it came to be, the success of it, what we've learned from promoting it all around, etc. Greg is a stand up comic, so he's hilarious. But the fun comes when we take questions. Sweet lordie there is nothing more fun than getting people in a room to talk about their relationships -- in a setting that everyone knows is light and fun, but also real. In the past it has been riotously fun, sometimes raucous and a few times I thought a brawl might break out (there's always a few gentlemen in the audience that have a bone to pick).

We hear you’re also developing a new dramedy series for the WB called "Related." What is this show all about?
It's about four sisters living very hectic lives in New York City.

Many of the projects you’ve worked on deal with women and women’s issues. Would you consider yourself a feminist?
That's a great question. I have no idea. I don't feel that I have ever had it harder being a woman. I don't talk about "well, if I were a man, maybe they would have blah blah..." But do I think women should be able to accomplish whatever they want, whatever their dreams are? Yes.

It's a very interesting question, one that could be a whole piece -- asking women what they think it means to be a feminist in this day and age.

Who are your role models?
My role models are a few writers that I feel keep doing great work and keep their lives simple.

And all of the people in my family, and my friends, because they are all kind, loving, decent people. And I do enjoy checking in on Oprah, because, I mean, COME ON.

Also, I have to add, a big role model for me is my former boss Michael Patrick King. He works on a very inspired level at all times and is a fantastically good person as well.

You've played a part in shaping pop culture, which is pretty significant. What's your relationship like with pop culture? In terms of your career, is this where you want to be?
I love feeling like I'm "on the pulse" of things. Nothing more satisfying, more valued, more exciting as a writer. Because shaping pop culture really means that you're saying something that a lot of people want to hear. I mean -- as a writer, what's better than that? Now of course, “Fear Factor” I guess is also pop culture, so I guess it's fun to be a part of pop culture when it's smart, thoughtful pop culture. And as for my relationship with it -- not so much. Don't watch a lot of television, don't listen to a lot of music. God. What have I been doing with all my time? I'm a bore.

Any other projects lurking in the recesses of your brain?
So many I don't know where to begin!!!! Again, all of them things that would force me to stay in New York!