Alison Cochrun joins the Spotlight to discuss her LBGTQIA romance, The Charm Offensive

Author Name: Alison Cochrun

Book Title: The Charm Offensive

Book Genre: Romance/LGBTQIA

Release Date: September 7th, 2021

Publisher: Atria Books

Welcome, Alison! How would you describe The Charm Offensive?

The Charm Offensive is a queer romantic comedy about the star of a heteronormative reality dating show who falls in love with his producer instead of one of the twenty women competing to win his heart. Come for the swoon, stay for the mental health and queer rep! 

Great premise! What drew you to the romance genre?

I love contemporary romance because it’s both of this world and completely separate from it. With romance, there is a balance of both reality and escape, and in many ways, the romance genre consistently shows us what the world could be. It presents us with ideal healthy relationships, where communication and emotional vulnerability are valued. Romance is also based on the notion that everyone deserves a happily ever after, and that’s the theme I hope to convey with my book! 

How are you adjusting to promoting your book during a pandemic?

It’s definitely an unusual situation! When you imagine being a published author, you envision in-person book events and signings at bookstores, which is not the reality for me right now. However, it has actually been really enriching connecting with readers online, especially readers I would never be able to meet at in-person events! It also helps that I don’t know any other way but this! I do really hope I will be able to host in-person events for my second book, though! 

Are you working on a new project? Please tell us about it.

Yes! My second novel is called Kiss Her Once for Me, and it will be published by Atria Fall of 2022. It’s a sapphic Christmas romcom about a bisexual disaster in the midst of a quarter-life crisis and a butch lesbian bakery owner with a twist on the fake-dating trope. It also takes place in Portland, where I live, and I am so excited to introduce people to these girls!

Where can readers find you?

The best place to find me is on Instagram (@alisoncochrun) or on my website! I also have an event with the romance-only bookstore The Ripped Bodice September 7th at 8ET/5PT with Hannah Orenstein (author of Head Over Heels), and I have another event at Third Place Books in Seattle on September 14th with Rachel Lynn Solomon (author of The Ex Talk). Register for these virtual events online! I hope to see you there!

Thank you, Alison! The Charm Offensive launches TODAY.

Dev Deshpande has always believed in fairy tales. So it’s no wonder then that he’s spent his career crafting them on the long-running reality dating show Ever After. As the most successful producer in the franchise’s history, Dev always scripts the perfect love story for his contestants, even as his own love life crashes and burns. But then the show casts disgraced tech wunderkind Charlie Winshaw as its star.

Charlie is far from the romantic Prince Charming Ever After expects. He doesn’t believe in true love, and only agreed to the show as a last-ditch effort to rehabilitate his image. In front of the cameras, he’s a stiff, anxious mess with no idea how to date twenty women on national television. Behind the scenes, he’s cold, awkward, and emotionally closed-off.

As Dev fights to get Charlie to connect with the contestants on a whirlwind, worldwide tour, they begin to open up to each other, and Charlie realizes he has better chemistry with Dev than with any of his female co-stars. But even reality TV has a script, and in order to find to happily ever after, they’ll have to reconsider whose love story gets told.


Alison Cochrun is a high school English teacher living outside Portland, Oregon. When she’s not reading and writing queer love stories, you can find her torturing teenagers with Shakespeare, crafting perfect travel itineraries, hate-watching reality dating shows, and searching for the best happy hour nachos. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @alisoncochrun.