NEW FEATURE: ‘Library Computer’ is our latest regular column and it is entirely dedicated to Trek Books. The goal will be to review and preview every new Trek book (novels and non-fiction), plus offer interviews, retro-reviews and retrospectives. This first ‘Library Computer’ has a Valentine’s Day theme as Rob (and Kristen) Lyons take a look at the new "Captain Kirk’s Guide to Women." Plus we have copies of the book to give away…see below.
According to a recent TrekMovie.com poll, 64% of the readers here are single men so we thought to dedicate this week’s column to each and every one of you who aspire to something beyond single-ness…
Interview with John "Bones Rodriguguez, author of "Captain Kirk’s Guide To Women"
Valentine’s Day is big business. It is estimated that consumers will spend an average of $77.43 on Valentine’s Day gifts this year. E-commerce retailers are projecting sales of food, candy, flowers, and other gifts to top the $650 million mark. Just in time to take advantage of the Valentine’s Day shopping frenzy comes a book for Trekkers who haven’t yet managed to land a mate. "Captain Kirk’s Guide to Women" is the brainchild of John "Bones" Rodriguez, a New Yorker with a varied resume… and a lot of things to say on the topic of attracting women, Jim Kirk style. With a week to go before Valentine’s Day, I managed to interrupt the author in the midst of a round of Halo 3. He graciously took a penalty to talk with me about his background, books, and bride.
TrekMovie.com – I suppose the invariable and inevitable first question has to be… Bones?
John "Bones" Rodriguez – "Yea. In high school, me and my friends made our own Trek movie. I’m sixteen, weigh about ninety-eight pounds, and I have moon boots on. One of my friends, Eddie, played the alien, and I played McCoy. I pick up a tricorder and examine him while he’s dead, and of course I had to say, "He’s dead, Jim!" I was skinny, playing the doctor, and the name just stuck."
TM – Actor, author, entrepreneur… you have quite the varied resume. What led you to pen a Star Trek book?
BR – I love Star Trek. My cousin introduced me to it, and I just really enjoy it. I also read a lot of self help and leadership books. So I took those two items and paired them with my love for women.
TM – What is it about Captain Kirk that really spawned your interest in writing "Captain Kirk’s Guide to Women"?
BR – I’m definitely aware of the humor of Star Trek. The women were so responsive so Kirk, and yet Kirk always kept his eye on the mission. Originally, Harlan Ellison (writer of the Original Series episode: City on the Edge of Forever) wanted Spock to stop Kirk from rescuing Edith Keeler, but Gene Roddenberry told Ellison that Kirk was too focused on his mission. Even she wasn’t able to keep him from his mission.
On top of that, studies show that eighty percent of the money spent on books is spent by women. I wanted to write a book that could introduce those women to Star Trek and make them say things like, "Oh, I want to see Joan Collins in that episode."
TM – What was the writing process like for you?
BR – I had the idea for a while. I began by going through the Original Series episode by episode to take down all the romance lessons from Captain Kirk, but that bogged me down. It was too much. Finally someone told me to just write a proposal and that the publisher would help me with the rest. So I went right out and bought some books about publishing. I tend to bury my head in stuff for a while. Overall, the project took about two or three years. I put together a ten page proposal for Simon and Schuster, who then worked it up to a thirty page proposal. A thirty page proposal for a ninety-six page book! A lot of material had to be cut out.
TM – Finally, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, (and because advice-givers are only worth listening to if they have used their own advice) what Jim Kirk move did you use to win your woman’s heart?
BR – I think for me it was just a matter of being my own captain. People are attracted to people who are on a mission. My mission is to help people reach their own heights and to go for the dreams that they want. I want to make sure people have freedom to express themselves. My wife was attracted to that.
The Guide which includes color pictures throughout
Well, "Bones" certainly met the confidence factor when we spoke on the phone, but the real question I was left wondering about was, "What will women think of his advice?" That’s where my wife enters in.
A few weeks ago when my advance copy of "Captain Kirk’s Guide to Women" arrived, I had opened it and set it in my pile of material to review. Being somewhat larger than novel –sized, my wife picked it up and started to flip through it. Pretty soon, I heard some giggling, and when she finally commented on the book she said, "I could review this book for you." So, without further buildup, let’s see what Kristen Lyons thinks of Rodriguez’s advice.
Review: "Captain Kirk’s Guide To Women" (by Kristen Lyons)
I should start by saying I am not a Trekkie, this is the first Star Trek book I’ve read and were it not for my husband, I would have no idea about redshirts, "Live Well and Prosper," [editor’s note: She did say she wasn’t a Trekkie] or the starship Enterprise. That said I do have a basic understanding of what it means to be a Trekkie. Whether there is truth behind the stereotype that being a Trekkie is not cool and that most Trekkies are sitting at home on Friday night in front of their computer is not for me to answer. I can say it’s not always true (since my husband managed to get me to marry him), however this book confirms some stereotypes may be true. The author boldly proclaims that "Trekkies Don’t Get Chicks" and that "while their memory banks are full of technical aspects of the Star Trek universe… many have missed the critical data on romance…"
John "Bones" Rodriguez offers advice on getting chicks and uses analogies that only true Trekkies can appreciate in this short, easy read, "Captain Kirk’s Guide to Women." The premise of the book is that Captain Kirk is to be the role model that one should use to pick up women and find love. The many women that have had the fortune to catch Kirk’s eye are used to provide greater insight into the minds of women and the author’s comments on each woman teach us the skills that Kirk used to have his way with them. While I can’t comment on the accuracy of Star Trek information in the book, it appears to be well thought out and applicable for the topic.
The book begins with Rodriguez proclaiming that he wrote the book "…because it is a well known fact that many Trekkies have had some difficulties locking their tractor beams onto members of the fairer sex" then moves onto the ten things the author learned about love from Star Trek. The top ten list includes "Humans are preoccupied with the subject of love" and "The heart is not a logical organ". Before showing us why Captain Kirk is a stud, Rodriguez shows us why redshirts ("A Redshirt gets tongue-tied when speaking to a woman") and crew members ("On a romance mission, a crew member is also known as your wingman") don’t get the woman.
The reader is given a mission, determine what you want from a woman and then begin to get it. Whether you want a one night stand or a long-term relationship, the objectives of the mission are the same; explore strange new worlds, seek out new life and new civilizations and finally, boldly go where no man has gone before. The author outlines four guiding stars that Captain Kirk follows on his mission to get the ladies. Each of the four stars contains in-depth case studies of the women and their appeal. Every woman has a profile, special notes, telltale quotes, and a log. The log tells us the author’s opinion on the relationship and then solidifies Kirk’s stud status. These case studies make up the bulk of the book and are informative and amusing. As I said before, the author must have done his homework since he uses quotes and knows age, species, and other unique facts. For a Trekkie, I imagine that these studies will be interesting to read since they revolve around Star Trek trivia.
I found the book to be mixed with humor and knowledge of Star Trek. However, some of the advice seemed to contradict itself and some was just plain bad. Encouraging a man to take control of his life and go after what he wants is good, giving him tools and support is also good. However, the author seems to imply that only Captain Kirk can get the ladies and to some extent, encourages the reader to be someone he his is not. As a woman, I can say that encouraging a man to act like someone other than himself is not wise. There is nothing more unappealing than a man who is not comfortable in his own skin and who is trying to be someone else, except….. a man who is scared to approach a woman and lacks confidence. Kirk embodies confidence and doesn’t try too hard and I believe that is the message the author is trying to get across. Remember, not everyone can be Captain Kirk, in fact, without the redshirts or crew members, I submit that Captain Kirk would not be powerful force that he is. Just as in
the world of Star Trek, in the real world, there are all kinds of men and women… and there IS someone for everyone.
The best advice that Rodriguez offers is "a little less analysis and a little more action," meaning make your move, be confident and go after what you want. He also reminds us not to push something too hard. Finally, whatever you do, don’t use any of the pick-up lines that "Bones" offers, unless perhaps, you are trying to pick up another Trekkie. But definitely take the time to read this book.
Here at TrekMovie.com, we have five copies of Rodriguez’s book available for the hapless Trekker who is ready to put James Kirk’s relationship principles to the test in their lives. "How do I get my hands on a copy?" you ask? It’s as easy as answering a simple question: How desperately do you need Jim Kirk’s advice to score a date? In fifty words or less, share with us why you need a copy of John "Bones" Rodriguez’s new book. Type your request below in the talkback headed with "WHY I NEED KIRK’S GUIDE." The top five respondents over the next forty-eight hours will win a copy of "Captain Kirk’s Guide to Women," together with our fervent support and prayers that it just might help! (Disclaimer: TrekMovie.com does not assume any liability for the success or failure of dates undertaken after receipt of prize, or for any damage to your personal reputation that flows from your posted entry.)
More on "Bones"
John "Bones" Rodriguez can currently be seen nationwide in Olive Garden’s latest advertising campaign, and his book, "Captain Kirk’s Guide to Women" can be found at online retailers and in your local bookstore. Links to Bonus material from "Captain Kirk’s Guide to Women", and the companion work "Spock’s Guide to Women" (as well as his Star Trek film debut – complete with moon boots), can be found at bonesrodriguez.com
Until next time…
That about wraps it up for the Library Computer this week. Time for me to go get my Starfleet uniform cleaned and pressed and see what my wife thinks of going to dinner with me in command gold.