The Bachelor franchise has provided fodder for tons of memoirs over the years — just ask Tyler Cameron, Andi Dorfman, Trista Sutter, Sean Lowe, Colton Underwood or many others — so it’s no surprise that it’s also inspired a handful of fictional accounts.
Author Kate Stayman-London got the idea for her debut novel, One to Watch, while watching Nick Viall‘s season of the show, which aired in early 2017. “I was thinking about a lot of different ideas to pursue instead, until the night when I sat down to watch the finale of Nick Viall’s season of The Bachelor,” she told Goodreads in July 2020. “The idea for One to Watch really hit me like a bolt of lightning that night, and spending time in that world and with those characters just made me so happy.”
In the book, plus-size fashion blogger Bea Schumacher agrees to compete on the reality show Main Squeeze, which resembles The Bachelorette in that it spotlights 25 men vying for the heart of one woman. Though the novel chronicles Bea’s attempt to find love (or at the very least grow her brand), it also includes interstitial chapters featuring excerpts from a fictional Main Squeeze podcast and transcripts from chat room members who dissect each episode.
“I’ve been a fan of The Bachelor franchise for almost 20 years now … and it’s incredible to see this whole commentary cottage industry that’s risen up around the show,” Stayman-London explained of her decision to include those portions in the book. “For me, texting with my friends and listening to podcasts and reading blog posts are all essential parts of my viewing experience; it makes watching the show so much more fun to feel like I’m a part of a big community of people experiencing it together.”
For her 2016 novel, Eligible, Curtis Sittenfeld drew inspiration from an unlikely combination of places — The Bachelor and Jane Austen. The book is a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice, but in Sittenfeld’s version, Mr. Bingley is well known around the neighborhood because he recently failed to find love on a reality TV show called Eligible.
While researching for the book, the Prep author inadvertently ended up addicted to her source material. “I watched an entire season of The Bachelor for the book,” she told Vogue in 2016. “Then after that, I watched an entire other season, because I got hooked. … The thing is: It’s pretty brilliant. The more you watch, the more all the little nuances are fascinating. There can be, like, dirty looks that the contestants give each other that hold so much meaning. You wouldn’t really know unless you’ve been watching every minute of it.”
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