Fine Print: Katie Heaney
Katie Heaney has a hilarious Twitter, a feature on The Hairpin, and she’s also a regular writer for BuzzFeed. To top it all off, Heaney’s first book, Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without A Date, was released earlier this year from Grand Central Publishing. In it, Heaney tells the tale of being the odd woman out; for some reason, even though she’s a total catch, she's just never been in a relationship. It’s not a book of woe, but a story of how it’s empowering to invest instead in your female friendships. I recently chatted to Katie about her book, her best friend Rylee, and her favorite Mr. Darcy.
Interview by Maitri Mehta. Photos c/o Katie Heaney.
First of all, congratulations on writing the book! Have guys from your past come out of the woodwork since you published it?
Thanks! Not really. Most of the feedback I’ve gotten has been really positive emails and tweets from women thanking me for writing the book. I’ve gotten a few messages from dudes, some creepy, some polite, but I usually just ignore them.
One of the main characters in your book is your real-life best friend, Rylee. How does she feel about being a part of it?
Rylee knew about the book from the beginning. Sometimes it was hard in college. I think that despite her having a different dating life she never thought it was weird that I wasn’t seeing anyone. It wasn’t something that came up a lot, even. It was more her struggling to understand why I didn’t WANT to be with anyone.
How long have you and Rylee been friends?
We’re coming on nine years! It’s been work at times, but part of the challenge of finding the right BFF is finding someone that also wants a very committed, loyal relationship they can devote time to, even if one or both people are also in romantic relationships. Finding the right best friend is just as tough and just as important as finding a significant other.
You wrote this book in "real-time." Was that weird?
At first, but by the end it was more like journaling mixed with being aware that I was writing a book. I was always hoping that it was going to be a good finished product, something that people would want to read. I still considered it a project to be finished that was very much separate from my actual life (even though it was my life I was writing about!). It’s good that I didn’t really have the chance to go back and change it.
How did you choose which dudes and experiences to write about?
I have to say I chose the crushes I had that were more substantial, more romantic, or just more interesting.
Who’s your favorite Darcy?
Obviously Colin Firth from the BBC miniseries.
Same! He’s the only choice, really. What do you think of the enormous statue of him in his long johns that was built in England?
I think it’s totally creepy and it doesn’t do him justice.
Who was your first kiss?
I can’t remember his name. Maybe Eric? It was at a frat party while I was visiting a friend during my freshman year of college at her school. I never saw him again!
Who’s your favorite Austen heroine?
You know, I always say Emma, but in a way I kind of hate her, too. She thinks she’s being helpful and great but then all these guys fall in love with her, and she’s just perfect, and oblivious, and annoying. I love the book but god, Emma kind of sucks. I’d be so jealous of her if we went to college together.
I hate to even ask (because it’s horrible to talk about out loud), but do you use Tinder?
I mean, I’ve been on OKCupid, and I have Tinder on my phone, but I’ve really only used it to test out a story or as a half-assed attempt to please my friends that think I should have it. I don’t like it at all!
What do you want people to take away from Never Have I Ever?
Young women shouldn’t feel bad about being single or wanting to be single and actively not wanting a relationship. It’s perfectly fine to prioritize other things in your life.