Nathan Baylet

Let’s PoP!

Nathan Baylet’s Marina Rom-Com Series

Passion or Pancakes is the first book in the super fun Nathan Baylet’s Marina Rom-Com Series I’m writing, which is set in San Francisco’s glittery Marina District.

  • A hangout movie as a novel.
  • One wild Saturday night in 2013!
  • 12+ funny characters barhop, banter, and bubble with romance.

If you like Gilmore Girls’ fun dialogue, Sex & the City cocktailing, and rooting for 2 zany characters to fall in love, then this book will tickle you in all your happy places!

More books in the series are in the works for fall this year.

Book 1

Passion or Pancakes

Set on June 22, 2013
Published March 22, 2022

Book 2

Bren’s Novel

Set in Summer 2014
Coming in Late 2022

Book 3

Calli’s Novel

Set in Fall 2014
Coming in 2023?

Book 4

Kris’s Novel

Set in Winter 2014
Coming in 2023?

Book 5

Holly’s Novel

Set in Spring 2015
Coming in 2024?

My Nathan Baylet’s Marina Rom-Com Series Origin Story

You may wanna get a soda and sit; this story is about 4,000 words.

February 17, 1984, the movie Footloose was released, and Kenny Loggins’ song “Footloose” ruled the radio airwaves. February 28, 1984, “Weird Al” Yankovic released “Eat It,” his parody song of Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.” A bored middle schooler at the time, I suddenly felt inspired by Mr. Yankovic and spent a day writing a parody song of “Footloose” called “Toothloose:”

I got a loose tooth, tooth loose
Get it out before I get goose
Doc, don’t balk
Pull it out before dark
Mac, give slack
Rip it out before I get back
Tie a noose, to my tooth
Everybody cut a tooth loose

Sorry to inflict that on you. But writing that song was a blast. It was soooo fun that I wrote parodies of several other songs on the Footloose movie soundtrack: “Let’s Hear It For The Girl,” “Almost Pair Of Dice,” and “Holding Out For A Hero Sandwich.” I started to like lyric writing so much that, between the ages of 12 to 41, I wrote lyrics almost every week, just for fun. I have boxes full of interesting song lyrics and lots of cringy, awful songs like my high school notables: “Dr. Love,” “Rescue Mission Of Love,” and “Boobs.”

Let’s fast-forward.

November 7, 2012, after quitting stage acting and photography school, I was at a hotel in Los Angeles for a songwriting conference called Taxi, an A & R company I had been submitting my original songs to for artists to record, even though none of my song submissions had been chosen to be forwarded to artists and recorded ’cause my songwriting kinda sucked ass. While finding solace in room service chicken piccata, I reached for my college-ruled notebook to try another attempt at writing a song good enough to get recorded, become a number one hit, and launch me into a brilliant career as a songwriter!

I remembered a catchy song title I had come up with: “Heartful Of Heartbreak.” Surely, someone would want to record a song with that awesome title. But, for some reason, that balmy winter night, the words that fell out of my pen weren’t lyrics; they were prose. I don’t know why. I guess at that time, I felt like this title idea could be for a book rather than a song, and, even though I had never really written a short story before, I ended up writing a couple of pages about a couple breaking up. The story was depressing as heck, but writing prose was new and exciting!

Back home in Portland, OR, I started writing fewer lyrics and more prose. I enjoyed this new world of writing longhand; I didn’t have to rhyme every line all the time, and I didn’t have to write a melody to go with it. Cool. The fact that all of my songs were continually rejected made me wonder if I should catch a frickin’ clue that I wasn’t the next Paul McCartney and press pause on songwriting and instead explore writing a short story or something. But what would I write about? They say: “write what you know.” But, even at age 41, the only things I felt I knew about were Star Wars trivia and how to write a bad song.

Then in December 2012, it occurred to me that I knew one other thing: how much fun I had living in San Francisco for 12 years (1996-2008). I thought: what if I wrote a story set in San Francisco, in fun Cow Hollow/Marina District I lived in for two years (2006–2008)? And what if I took that short story I wrote about a breakup and turned it into a happy romantic comedy novel, where a woman does get her heartbroken but then finds new and better love? That sounded like fun—a lot more fun than writing another song that would get rejected. Totally.

So, for the next five years, I wrote, rewrote, rewrote, and rewrote a rom-com for my character of Bren (Brenda). I found an awesome editor whose guidance helped me turn my terrible, awful prose writing into (hopefully) a fun read, with snappy dialogue and occasional correct punctuation.

But after I finished that novel, I thought that my story should really be a series of romantic comedy novels about Bren and her three friends. So I would write a rom-com for Bren, then Calli, then Krista, then Holly. Then I thought: before I write and publish this series, I should really write a fifth book—a prequel to it all, a novel that explains how several of these characters met, and that prequel novel is Passion or Pancakes.

Passion or Pancakes’ original title was Sex and Grilled Cheese, and it would be really simple and really short. The story would take place in one night of partying, like George Lucas’s movie American Graffiti, it would explain how characters met (to set up the series), and it would be 90% dialogue (so I could write it really fast), then publish it soon, and then publish Bren’s novel.

But, my brilliant editor, Erin Brown, said my prequel story could be so much more than just snappy dialogue; it could be a much deeper exploration of characters and romance while still keeping it humorous and set in one wild night. I get down on my knees and bow before her in gratitude for her insight and encouragement to make my simple dialogue-play into a better, grander, fuller, funner rom-com novel. I’m so glad I took her advice, because now, after three years of writing this prequel to my series, I can proudly present to you what I think is a really, really fun, funny, a heart-squishing experience you’ll dig.

So, it only took “Weird Al,” three decades of bad songwriting, heart-crushing rejection, a change in writing style, a few story ideas, a wise editor, ridiculous persistence, a lot of cookies for comfort, and nine years of rewriting to finally bring you the beginning of Nathan Baylet’s Marina Rom-Com Series of novels.

I hope you enjoy my novels. Oh God, I hope you do. If you don’t, then what the %#@! did I do with my life!