Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Q&A with Sidney Karger


Photo by Josh Towvim



Sidney Karger is the author of the new novel Best Men. Also a screenwriter for film and television, he lives in New York City.


Q: What inspired you to write Best Men, and how did you create your character Max Moody?


A: The story is partly inspired by my real-life childhood best friend who asked me to be her man of honor at her wedding. Of course I said yes, but her wedding planner wasn’t having it. The planner didn’t want one guy among the all-women bridesmaids so I was demoted to… an usher. Frowny face.


Later, it struck me as funny and I started to imagine what if a gay best friend character actually became the man of honor in his friend’s wedding. What would that story look like?


I also wanted to write a rom-com about two gay guys who were polar opposites and see how they could go from rivals, to finding common ground as friends and hopefully ending up together romantically.


For the main characters, Max and Chasten, I was really interested in exploring characters who are typically seen as the gay sidekick and turn them into the leading men over the course of this story. They aren’t necessarily the gay tropes you were expecting.


So I smooshed those two ideas together and Best Men was born.


Q: The writer Grant Ginder said of the book, “Best Men takes the reins of the rom com and reinvents the genre in a thoroughly modern way. Karger’s debut is inventive, hilarious, and satisfying; it’s also a keenly-observed portrayal of love and friendship.” What do you think of that description?

A: Well, Grant is an excellent writer so this is quite an honor! It’s such a nice thing to say and coming from Grant, it really means a lot to me.


Q: Do you have any other favorite novels centering on a wedding?


A: Speaking of Grant Ginder, his book The People We Hate at the Wedding is one of my recent favorite novels centering on a wedding. I’d picked up his book when it first came out and was completely swept up in it. The characters are so well drawn, with a unique story about family that’s both emotional and funny. It hit the perfect tone for me.


Q: What do you hope readers take away from the story?


A: Ideally, readers will connect with the characters in Best Men and go on this ride with them. Even though it’s a romantic comedy about two guys trying to land on the same page, I’m hoping the specific relationship and friendship struggles will resonate in a universal way.


The main characters are figuring out their lives and, as the title suggests, that’s great inspiration for readers to want to live their own best, authentic life. I’d also love it if readers could laugh out loud with the comedy, swoon over the romance, and then come back for my next book!


Q: What are you working on now?


A: I’m about to go into copy edits on my second book, which will come out one year after Best Men. It’s another rom-com about a gay couple who are going through some turmoil right before they’re about to have their first baby born via a surrogate. So they decide to go on a babymoon road trip from New York to California with lots of stops and starts along the way, both physically and emotionally.


I’m also working on a few film and TV projects with various production companies.


Q: Anything else we should know?


A: This is my debut novel and the whole process has been such a joy. As a screenwriter, I’m used to a very economical writing structure, so the writing process on Best Men was very liberating. I was able to have more space to go deeper on characters and story. I’m also incredibly grateful to the publishing team at Berkley and I feel like I’m in really excellent hands.


I’m going on a little book tour in LA (May 4 at The Ripped Bodice), Chicago (May 6 at Barbara’s Bookstore in Schaumburg) and New York (June 5 at The Strand in conversation with Anderson Cooper), so stop by and say hi in person. I also love hearing from readers via Instagram or Twitter. Oh, and if you have a book club, I’d love to chat with you all about Best Men!


--Interview with Deborah Kalb

No comments:

Post a Comment