How it Happened

In 1971 my father, Dick Anderson, began writing The Summer Bachelor, a novel.

He loved the world of creative advertising as much as he hated the advertising business. Ten years before he had been at the center of it—the beginning of television and consumer culture. The agency actually paid him to rib his team of creatives until they came up with ideas to sell stuff. What a job!

But then coveted promotions came, and changes. 1971 found him in management at a new agency, realizing that ambition came at a price. To evoke the early days, to transcend the present, Dick began to write down some stories, ones he had heard, agency stories, and his own escapades. He intended to recreate one hot summer in New York—what a guy could get up to with the family out of town.

I found his manuscript tucked away in a closet in 2000. Finding it led me to write The Lost Chapters, my memoir. I integrated a few excerpts into the book, to allow readers to hear from him directly, (find the e-book at

Fast forward to January, 2015.

A year ago after the holidays, as a writing exercise, I began sketching out a plot using the manuscript. I chose scenes and dialogue, took plot threads and continued them. Then I developed a new character, someone he might not have imagined, but based on several women he knew. The most fun came as I filled in the gaps in the story with my own creative writing.

This blog is supposed to be a serial. It’s a fictional story, about a New York adman who is more vulnerable than he lets on. Former viewers of Mad Men will be intrigued. To use a coffee metaphor, (excuse me, but I am immersed in sales pitches and slogans these days) this blog has the same flavor and none of the acidity of the TV show. As the curtain closes on Don Draper, let’s see if this one about Alan Robinson doesn’t keep you coming back for more.

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