The fabulous Jo Piazza!
BC: What was the genesis of Love Rehab? Where did the idea for it come from, and how did it end up taking the form that it did?
JP: I was horrible at breakups in my twenties, as were all of my girlfriends. I remember one of them calling me five times a day to ask me whether I thought her ex was still thinking about her. When I stopped taking her calls I got the idea for this book. We all handle breakups with our own strain of crazy.
At the same time I had a good friend who was going to Alcoholics Anonymous and like Sophie in the book I got the idea that women would be better off if they had a support group outside their friends and family to help them deal with their love lives.
BC: The book has so many different stories from so many different women, all of whom badly need love rehab. Where did these stories come from? Are they true? Which one is your favorite?
JP: The main character isn’t me by any stretch of the imagination and the other characters aren’t my friends. That said, I totally built on crazy stories that the women in my life have told me about how they have dealt with love, losing love and finding love again. There was about a year when I may have been encouraging my friends to go on as many dates as possible just to find more fodder for the book.
I think the section where Sophie puts her ex-boyfriend’s penis on the Internet is hilarious because it is so extreme. I’m not saying who it happened to, but it is 100 percent something that happened in real life. But I also love Cameron who is addicted to online dating and was bitten on a date (which is rude unless you ask). I do have a girlfriend who was once bitten by a vegan she met on Match. Prithi and Annie might just be my favorite characters, though, and both of them are complete fiction.
One of the amazing things we did [for the book] was host a Gimme Love Rehab contest on social media last year. Over a hundred women submitted stories about the craziest things they had done in the name of love (and sometimes hate). The three winners became characters in the book.
The character Megan O’Brien is actually based on my real friend Megan O’Brien who demanded that I use her name in the book.