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Build Your Own Romantic Comedy

Pick Your Plot, Meet Your Man, and Direct Your Happily Ever After

Published by Ulysses Press
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

Live the cheesy rom-com love story of your dreams with this hilarious mix-and-match adventure through adorable meet-cutes, fun montages, and grand romantic gestures that Entertainment Weekly calls "brilliantly fun."

Selected as one of the Best Comedy Books of 2020 by Vulture!

Get ready to relax with your favorite romantic comedy of all time—the one you create! Instead of turning on the latest cheesy rom-com for a simple, mood-boosting love story, put yourself in the director’s chair with Build Your Own Romantic Comedy.

First, open the book and pick your heroine. Will she be a high-powered business lady with no time for love? Or a quirky bakery owner? Just make your choice and read how the magic unfolds. When it's time to meet your man, do you prefer a hunky prince, a hunky executive, or a hunky nemesis? Each choice will take you down a totally different path that all somehow end up making a charmingly predictable romance.

Choice by hilarious choice, you’ll pick from classic rom-com elements like:

  • Sassy best friends
  • Romantic date montages
  • A makeover, obviously
  • Dramatic but easily solved misunderstandings

Make your way closer and closer to the big payoff—the picture-perfect, most romantic final kiss ever.

And when you’ve savored that last bit of fun, romantic goodness, don’t be glum. Turn back to page one and start a new love story. With over 100 possible stories, the happily-ever-afters never have to stop.

 
 
 
 

 

 

You know what’s fun? Romantic comedies. They’re frothy, earnest, and guarantee a happy ending. Also fun: finding a playful, punchy, high-concept humor title on a bookstore display table and thumbing through it and laughing out loud several times per page. A third fun thing: Choose Your Own Adventure, those adventure tales even reluctant readers read in grade school because we loved starting over when the story didn’t go our way — it gave us control over the story and also subverted tropes. With Build Your Own Romantic Comedy, Lana Schwartz combines all the fun things listed above, deftly subverting the tired formulas utilized by ‘80s, ‘90s, and Hallmark Channel rom-coms (a subject of which she clearly has an encyclopedic knowledge and unabating appreciation) by making those the story points of a rollicking, meta, Choose Your Own Adventure novel for adults whose notions of romance are skewed and cracked from a lifelong diet of Meg Ryan movies. And because of its game-type format, there’s a lot of replay in Build Your Own Romantic Comedy, not unlike a well-liked rom-com.

 

– Brian Boone, Vulture

"Are you the next Nora Ephron or Nancy Meyers? If you've ever dreamed of writing a romantic comedy that stands the test of time, Lana Schwartz provides inspiration to create your own happily ever after, in a variety of different ways. With warmth, wit and surprises, Schwartz's gift for storytelling shines through in every twist and turn of her love letter to a beloved genre. Saint Nora would approve." 

 

– Erin Carlson, author, I'll Have What She's Having: How Nora Ephron's Three Iconic Films Saved the Romantic Comedy

"As someone who has seen nearly every rom com ever produced and has had a hard time coming to terms with the fact that Hugh Grant made a finite number of movies in the '90s, I so appreciate that Lana Schwartz has written this charming, funny book which allows you to create as many new rom coms as your heart desires."

 

– Blythe Roberson, author of How to Date Men When You Hate Men

"Brilliantly fun"

– Entertainment Weekly