Author Interview with Andrew Knott — Love’s a Disaster

Elizabeth Gilliland Rands
9 min readApr 9, 2024


The man behind the romance

Bayou Wolf Press is very excited to announce our first publication through our romance imprint, Bayou Rose Press: Love’s A Disaster, a second-chance romance romantic comedy written by Andrew Knott.

We could not be luckier to have Andrew Knott’s Love’s A Disaster as our first official Bayou Rose title. This book is funny, poignant, quirky, sweet, and romantic, everything you could want out of a rom com novel.

Here’s our interview with Andrew, so you can hear in his own words why he wrote this book, what he’s learned from being a stay-at-home dad, and why Leap Year has been grossly maligned.

What inspired you to write Love’s a Disaster?

Oh, easy. I was casually perusing Green Day fan message boards 15 to 20 years ago, as one does, and I came across a post by a guy who said he proposed to his girlfriend in the pit of a Green Day concert during a particular song (if you want to know which song, buy Love’s a Disaster and flip to the Acknowledgments). The guy was completely earnest, and I assume the proposal went well for him, but I always thought it was kind of an odd thing to do. Like, it seems really bold and at least a little silly? Anyway, for reasons I can’t quite pinpoint, this message board post stuck with me for literal decades until my youngest child started full-time school for the first time. I’ve primarily been a stay-at-home parent to my three children for over ten years, so when my youngest left me to go to kindergarten for six hours a day, I had a bit of an existential crisis and decided to write a novel that starts with a marriage proposal at a punk rock concert. I assume this is how most novels come to pass.

I wrote the first draft in about two to three months during school hours and late at night. The story grew and changed a lot over the past couple of years, but it all started with a tiny piece of random internet weirdness.

Life is strange.

How did you gravitate toward writing romantic comedy?

Two key factors for this one.

One of the first books I was captivated by as a young adult was About a Boy by Nick Hornby. There was just something about the humor and ease with which Hornby writes about relationships and people that drew me in. About a Boy probably isn’t the most traditional rom com, but neither is Love’s a Disaster.

Quick aside. An amazing thing that happened while I was pitching my book to Bayou Wolf is that in one of the first emails Elizabeth wrote to me, she said my writing reminded her of Nick Hornby. I was so happy about that compliment, and honestly, completely blown away by the serendipity.

Secondly, and maybe a bit more practically, one of my best online writing friends Lindsay Hameroff wrote a rom com just before I wrote mine (it’s called Till There Was You and it’s so good). Lindsay helps me edit a parenting humor publication called Frazzled so I was vicariously along for the ride while she was pitching her book. Seeing that the whole writing a book thing was possible, and that type of book in particular, gave me the boost I needed to finally turn my half-formed, very rom com idea into something real.

What are some of your favorite novels/writers?

This list is always changing because I tend to fall in love with whichever book I’ve read most recently but some of my all-time and current favorites are Nick Hornby (of course), Fredrik Backman (the Beartown series is my favorite, but I also love his funnier books), Sally Rooney, R.F. Kuang, Matt Haig, Kevin Wilson… I’m sure I’m missing a lot!

What are some of your favorite rom com movies?

I honestly had to ask my wife how I should answer this one because I’m so bad with movies. Here’s what we determined are three of my favorites:

Definitely, Maybe — I loved the kid angle in this one, the subtle mystery, and the music element (which is something Love’s a Disaster has a heavy dose of). For some reason, the scene where Isla Fisher and Ryan Reynolds are standing outside on the steps of an apartment building in D.C. talking about Nirvana’s “Come as You Are” is burned into my brain. I believe she corrects him on the lyrics and her correction is not completely accurate? I could be dreaming this.

Leap Year — This one might be controversial because I just looked it up and the movie has a remarkably terrible score on Rotten Tomatoes, but I’m telling you, everyone is WRONG! I love Amy Adams and the Irish setting with the brooding Irish guy is perfection. When he walks out of the bar without saying a word and heads straight for the cliffs to stare out at the sea… man, simply one of my favorite moments in cinema. (Editor’s note — strongly agree on this one! Leap Year is fantastic!)

Amelie — Okay, so this isn’t a traditional rom com, but I found it on a list of best rom coms so I’m counting it! Amelie is one of my all-time favorite movies regardless of genre. I watched it for the first time when I was in my twenties and felt extremely worldly and erudite because I was watching a French film with subtitles but it’s more than just that! It’s so quirky and warm and moving and legitimately hilarious. I’ll probably watch it again now because I can’t remember which parts were so funny, but I do remember literally laughing out loud many times. And, of course, I might’ve had a bit of a crush on the star of the movie, Audrey Tautou, who is beyond perfect in this role. Anyway, I’m just realizing now while typing this that some of the things I love about Amelie — the silly side characters, the awkward love interests, the complicated family dynamics — are all things you’ll find in Love’s a Disaster. If my book is even one-tenth as fun as this movie, I’ll be happy! (Editor’s note — it is!)

This book has a healthy dose of parental / family comedy, which is something you’re known for writing. What inspired you to make this such a pivotal part of your storytelling?

Parenting humor is by far what I’ve written the most of in my life. I guess that’s only natural. They say write what you know, and as a stay-at-home parent for more than a decade, parenting, family, and kids are what I know. In fact, it sometimes feels like that’s ALL I know. Parenting can be a very all-consuming pursuit when it’s done in a certain way, and as it turns out, I do it in that certain way.

So, when I started trying to take this very small seed of a premise (the punk rock concert marriage proposal) and build a story around it, I knew immediately that kids and parenting would be involved. Caleb and Sadie’s parenting experiences are very different than mine, but I was able to draw from years of work and observation to create what I hope are realistic, relatable, and funny family dynamics.

I wrote a blog post several years ago describing my daughter’s reaction to finding a group of mushrooms in our yard. She identified the different mushrooms as Mom, Dad, Baby, Grandpa, etc. I wrote then: I’ve noticed that all my children do this — their default when they see any group of objects or animals or whatever is to describe them as a family and assign each of the members of the group a role. It’s funny, but I guess it makes sense because family is what children know best.

Of course, it’s also what I know best. Growing up in a very connected family and then transitioning into the role of pretty much a full-time parent has made family the center of my thoughts and my world. It would’ve been very difficult for me to write an entire book without bringing parenting into it. And I never take anything very seriously, so the humor was always going to be there. But stepping beyond the humor, I do feel like some of the moments in the book that hit the hardest emotionally (for me at least) are the parenting and family ones, particularly those involving Sadie and Caleb’s parents.

Florida is almost a character in and of itself in this novel. Why did you choose it as the setting?

I’m a Florida guy (not Florida Man, to be clear… totally different things) so it felt like the setting had to be Florida. I’ve lived in the central part of the state my entire life, first on the Space Coast and for the last decade in the Orlando area, so I know it better than I know anywhere. The weather patterns, the very subtle seasons, the wildlife, the weirdness… it’s all ingrained in me. With the thunderstorms and the hurricanes and the oppressive heat, it can feel downright cataclysmic at times, but it’s also weirdly comforting to just know a place so well.

I also think it’s a very interesting place to explore as a literary setting. It’s full of contradictions and it’s often misunderstood. It’s such a huge state and it’s filled with unlikely people. It’s so much more than the headlines you see in the national news.

Kristen Arnett and Alicia Thompson have done an incredible job of using Florida as a character in their recent novels as has Lauren Groff in her short stories. I don’t pretend to be on their level as a writer, but when I was brainstorming for this book, I was hoping I could utilize some of that Florida character and energy they and others have tapped into to make this book a little more unique. It just had to be Florida.

Why did you decide to publish with an indie press and/or Bayou Wolf specifically?

Publishing is so difficult and it’s seemingly impossible to predict what will happen with a book or where your publishing journey will end up. Because I was new to the fiction world, I was open to any opportunity, but I honestly never could’ve imagined I would find a home for this book that was so perfect.

Quick story. In one of Elizabeth’s first emails to me after reading my full manuscript, the same email where she mentioned that my writing reminded her of Nick Hornby, she highlighted one small scene that happens toward the end of the book and centers on Caleb’s mom. She said how much she loved it and how moved she was by it. I was once again blown away because that was my single favorite scene in the entire book. I was so pumped I practically levitated out of the room, which was weird because I don’t get excited about anything.

Needless to say, Bayou Wolf/Rose was where this book was meant to be. I tried to play it cool, but I knew from that very early moment.

Elizabeth also had a clear vision for how the manuscript could be improved, and thanks to her notes, I believe I was able to make the book much stronger and more cohesive.

What’s next for you with your writing?

I haven’t jumped into any big projects since finishing Love’s a Disaster mainly because I’m terrible at committing to new ideas and leaves keep falling on the trampoline, so I have to sweep it off for my kids and the neighborhood kids constantly! I continue to write about parenting and life in my newsletter and on Medium. I’ve also been editing a lot at my parenting humor publication.

I have been in a bit of a dystopian mood lately and I have the seed of an idea for a possible novel about work and the apocalypse, but that one remains TBD. If my track record is any indication, I might be ready to act on that idea when my daughter who is currently in second grade graduates from high school.


Thank you so much, Andrew! I’m sure everyone reading this can understand why we just had to publish Andrew’s book, which is just as warm and intelligent and witty as his interview responses. This book is a really special one, and we’re so excited to share it with all of you!

Pre-order for the book is open now for the ebook — HERE!
The book will be available on KU and in paperback on May 21st!



Elizabeth Gilliland Rands

Writer, Mom, Wife, English Instructor, Dr., Chocoholic. Co-founder of Bayou Wolf Press and the Detours Ahead podcast: