Who the hell is Laura Roberts?

I write about sex, travel, writing, and ninjas – though not necessarily in that order.

As the author of the “V for Vixen” sex column, I began my career chronicling Montrealers’ sexcapades, which are collected together in my book of essays, The Vixen Files. Blurring the lines between fact and fiction, I’ve also penned San Diego from A to Z, Confessions of a 3-Day Novelist, Ninjas of the 512, parts one and two of my serial novel, Naked Montreal, and a wide assortment of erotic Quickies.

I’m also the founding editor of the literary magazine Black Heart, the San Diego chapter leader for the Nonfiction Authors Association, and offer affordable indie editing services through my company Laura Roberts Creative Services. In my free time, I leg-press sumo wrestlers while sipping my morning coffee, blog about travel, and enjoy the music of experimental and electronic artists. I live in an Apocalypse-proof bunker in sunny SoCal with my artist husband and our literary kitties, and can be found online at Buttontapper.com.

Where did this idea come from?

One of my many day jobs involves transcribing footage for reality TV shows. Therefore, I’ve seen a lot of behind-the-scenes drama and "off the record" chat on lots of shows, ranging from cooking competitions to scripted and unscripted dramas, and everything in between. One of the more recent shows I’ve worked on is called Married at First Sight*, which you may have seen before. In case you haven’t, this is the basic concept: a panel of relationships experts talks to tons of singles, and then matches them together for marriage based on their personality profiles. They explicitly bill this show as a social experiment -- because that’s exactly what it is.

This concept intrigues me. Who are these people? Why would they want to marry a total stranger? Why sign up for a social experiment of this magnitude, essentially leaving one of the biggest decisions of your life up to chance? Who are these experts, and what makes them so sure that they’ve chosen a good partner for these singles?

My idea for this book revolves around playing with possible answers to those questions, but since it’s a work of imagination, the characters on my fictional show will be hiding a lot of things from the experts... and my "experts" each have plenty of skeletons in their closets that will interfere with their matchmaking abilities!

How can readers help me shape my draft?

Tell me what kinds of things you enjoy most about reality TV! Even though I work with many different shows on a daily basis, I’m always interested in what other reality TV viewers find exciting, offensive, or worth watching again and again. What are your favorite shows, and why? What makes a couple’s drama particularly compelling?

If you’ve seen Married at First Sight specifically, what most drew you into watching this show? Which couples (or individuals) did you most enjoy learning about? Were there any "villains" in the bunch? What did you think of the experts, and do you think their roles could (or should) be expanded upon?

*Please note that the couples, experts and production team from Married at First Sight are in no way involved in this project, and I will not be referencing the show explicitly in my book. The show itself is only a reference point for readers curious about the premise of the book.