Hey fans of The Bachelorette, spoilers ahead. You’ve been warned.
In honor of Kaitlyn Bristowe getting engaged to the man of her dreams on Monday night to Shawn B., the man who stole her heart, we are sharing The Bachelor Season 16 winner Courtney Robertson’s recommended reading list and an exclusive interview about why she wrote her New York Times bestselling book, I Didn’t Come Here to Make Friends: Confessions of a Reality Show Villain (Dey Street, 2015). Plus, find out how she’s moved on since ending her engagement to Ben. We’ve got it all!
Courtney Robertson’s Reading List:
1. The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael A. Singer (New Harbinger Publications, November 2013).
2. Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned” by Lena Dunham (Random House, September 2014).
3. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand (Random House, July 2014).
4. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (Harper Collins, March 1993).
5. Grey by E.L. James (Vintage, June 2015).
Courtney’s work inspiration:
The One Thing by Gary Keller (Bard Press, April 2013)
Q&A with Courtney!
BookTrib: What made you want to write a book when no one before you had gone that route?
Courtney Robertson: I can tell you the exact date. It was right after our very public breakup. It was bad and I moved on pretty quickly. But there was a day where Ben tweeted, “Oops, I guess I dodged a bullet.” And there were still people who saw me as the bad guy. I watched the first episode when my season started airing and I had no idea that I was going to be painted as the villain. So that was a really tough pill to swallow. I was like, “The fans of the show deserve this and need this.” I know that there were people who were unhappy about it and I really didn’t write it for them. I wrote it to share my side of the story and give fans the inside scoop that they need. I had to relive it and I actually watched my season for the first time while writing it. I never watched it because it was just too painful, plus I didn’t want to see Ben with other women and hear what they were all saying about me. So when I watched it I was just kind of blown away thinking, “Wow, that was put there or you heard me say this here.” So that really fueled me to write it. There was definitely a couple of days that I was writing it and I was like, “Oh boy, I don’t know if I’ll be able to pull this off.”
BT: Not only did you pull it off, but you landed on The New York Times’ Bestseller List!
Robertson: Oh my gosh, that was probably one of the best days of my life. I got the call from my publisher and I was like, “This is the best news ever!” It just felt like all of my hard work had paid off. It took me a year to get the book done and I got a couple “no’s,” I got a couple “hell no’s!” [laughs] And then the next week I got the call [that we were on the bestseller list] and we stayed on for a couple weeks. It was just like a dream come true.
BT: What did you think of Kaitlyn’s season of The Bachelorette this year?
Robertson: I think it was one of the better seasons that we’ve had in a while. I think Kaitlyn’s so real and I was entertained. It’s nice to mix things up a little bit and she’s outside the box. I wasn’t really team anybody to be honest. I was really feeling Shawn and then I saw a different side to him. But I’ve been there too and I know what he’s saying about how it’s hard and feelings get involved. I’ve definitely experienced that and in my case I said, “I’m not going to think about the other girls.” It was kind of like, out of sight, out of mind. But I’ve met Nick and he is a nice guy. I really do wish her the best.
BT: The biggest question on everyone’s mind is, are you seeing anyone?
Robertson: I’m happily single! I’m dating and just taking my time. I’m focusing on work and real estate and I have amazing friends and summers here in Santa Monica. I love it. I just fostered a dog, which I think I’m going to keep. I’ve fallen in love, so he’s the man in my life right now.
BT: Are you ultimately happy you decided to go on the show even though it didn’t work out with Ben?
Robertson: I am glad. Really after my break up I struggled with it like, “Oh, I made a huge mistake. I should have never done it and I want my old life back.” But once I got over that I was like, “You know what, now I can appreciate all of the friendships I made from it and my life is a lot fuller.” It’s definitely a different path than I ever thought I’d go down, but I’m happy I did it now and I’m really happy that I got my life back to what feels normal to me. I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I hadn’t have done the show. It’s become part of me. It’s a positive, though. It’s sort of surreal. I’ll see pictures of that time and I have fond memories. It honestly was a real relationship and I learned a lot from it. I was 28 at the time and I just turned 32. I’ve learned so much through the whole experience and have grown so much and I really learned who my true friends are. I’m doing really well. I’m doing real estate full time now and I’ve got a great listing I’m working at. I’m loving it. My life is kind of back to normal finally, but it took a while. Now it’s kind of fun for me to sit back and watch the seasons and just be a viewer.
I Didn’t Come Here to Make Friends: Confessions of a Reality Show Villain, Courtney Robertson (Dey Street, 2015)
In I Didn’t Come Here to Make Friends, Courtney Robertson reveals exactly what led up to her break up with The Bachelor‘s Ben Flajnik, including the journey of falling in love with Ben and where it all went wrong. From Robertson’s ultimate decision to join the show, which she backed out of a couple of times, to ultimately becoming a contestant and being cast as “the villain,” she finds a way to share every little detail, making you feel like you were there with her. This tell-all page-turner needs to be on your TBR list immediately.