“It was such a leap going from 4 or 5 foolish comedian panels to an entire total guide,” says Tess, who spent the following six months producing it as she travelled around the globe. Working in cafes within the US, Central America, South America, and Asia, she drew round 90 pages of unhealthy dates that have been partly hers, partly her followers, and partly imagined. Although they have been tales belonging to many various folks, within the guide most of those dates are skilled by the protagonist Olive. We observe this character as she navigates her difficult love life, and results in the relationship model of AA. “The chief of the group is definitely a witch,” explains Tess. “So some extra silly stuff occurs, like a curse and a love potion – all whereas she is occurring extra unhealthy dates.”
Requested about her favorite tales from the brand new guide, Tess admits the one about Olive happening a date with “Orange Juice man” holds a selected fascination for her: “The one that despatched it to me should have made it up a bit… Why would somebody steal that a lot juice? It’s simply so foolish.” One other one about Olive happening a date with a man who “orders each single merchandise on the menu and solely takes a chew out of every one” is one other contender, she says. “After which he asks to separate the invoice – unhinged behaviour!”
Catastrophe Dates and Fortunate Escapes by Tess Smith-Roberts is out 26 October 2023, printed by Kyle Books.