Guest post from Diane Messidoro -Author of How to Keep a Boy as a Pet

As part of the How to Keep a Boy as a Pet blog tour, we have a guest post from Diane Messidoro…


I started writing How to Keep a Boy as a Pet three years ago, and since then, I’ve had some interesting reactions to the title.
Most often, I’m asked by friends, ‘Ooh, does that work on so-called grown-up boys too?’ (Yes.)
Then there’s been, ‘So, is this a manual – do you actually train boys to fetch and sit still and things?’ Um, no, or rather, not exactly, although my heroine, Circe Shaw, might disagree with me.
But the most interesting reactions I’ve had have come from boys, or rather men, ‘How dare you! I am NOT a pet!’ To which I reply:
a)‘You sort of are. You’re mammals i.e. animals who’ve come indoors from fields/jungles/caves etc and learned to keep your muddy paws off sofas and behave nicely in company (well, some of you have).’
b)‘Oh dear, please don’t get huffy/puffy.’ (The boy/man has often puffed up to make himself as tall as possible to differentiate himself from a hamster) ‘I love pets – and male humans! They’re brilliant. To be like a pet is not an insult, it’s a compliment! Pets are cuddly, loving, fun, really clever*, great company, they can keep you fit, they can even lower your blood pressure. Plus they never say they’re going to call then act as if you don’t exist; they never flirt with you, then ask your best friend out, and they never, ever talk about football!’
* At this point, the man/boy usually relaxes enough not to notice when I ask him to fetch me a cup of tea and a custard cream.
c)‘When you’re a teenage girl and BOYS ARE THE WEIRDEST PEOPLE ON THE ENTIRE PLANET, whereas pets are pretty easy to get along with (see b), comparing a boy to a pet can be really, really helpful. Trust me, I know what I’m talking about, when I was a teen, I made every boy mistake possible (and a few more).
I learnt a lot.’
As soon as I admit this, the boy/man wants to know all the juicy details about my romantic disasters. But I always just smile mysteriously and say, ‘Sorry, you’ll just have to read the book…’ But now, for the first time – and because Bookbabblers asked so nicely – I’m going to reveal one of those mistakes: number 304a (of about 500). Okay, deep breath, this is a little embarrassing…
When I was about 14 there was a boy I really fancied, let’s call him ‘Carl’, who seemed to quite like me too. Then, when we ‘accidentally’ (thanks to my precision stalking) bumped into each other in the park, he asked me out. Well, he mumbled, ‘See ya, alright, you here tomorrow lunchtime?’
I sprinted home – a sort of date, and only 24 hours to prepare! I spent the first 20 hours working out what to wear (although I only owned jeans and T-shirts) then it hit me – argh – it didn’t matter what I put on, I looked too pale! Carl was olive-skinned and his last girlfriend had been dusky too – and the one before that was even darker skinned – he’d never fancy pastey-faced me! Luckily, my mum was out at work and she’d left her make-up bag in the bathroom – result! The only trouble was, Mum had lots of different lotions and potions, but none of them made my skin quite the right colour…
Four hours later, I arrived at the park. Carl was already there, sitting on the swings. He waved and his grin got bigger and bigger as I walked towards him, and once I was within arm’s length he stood up and stared really hard at me. I froze, my heart pounding, and stared really hard back at him, because he’d never looked at me like that before and I thought it meant something romantic. Then he lifted his hand to my face and I thought he might lovingly tuck a lock of hair behind my ear. But he didn’t, he said, ‘Stay still’ and picked at my cheek and when he drew his hand back he was holding an olive-ish (orange) rubbery-looking circular patch.
I stared at it, confused, then at him, then at it again, then…
Oh. My. God.
My carefully applied mixture of about ten different foundations, bronzer and fake tan had got so thick it had cracked and he’d actually peeled it off!
I wanted to turn and run, but I didn’t, I just…
No – that would be telling. If you want to know what happened next,
or rather how Circe Shaw (who’s far smarter than me, thankfully) coped with a very similar situation, you know what you need to do…

Electric Monkey are running a fantastic competition to win a copy of How to Keep a Boy as a Pet and a t-shirt. To enter, you need to tell them your most cringeworthy pet boy dating disasters.
For more information and to enter please visit: