Longtime Fort Worth executive Ann Louden comes out from behind her pen name as author of a book on dating after divorce

By dani2011dhs@gmail.comApril 5, 2023No Comments

Longtime Fort Worth executive Ann Louden comes out from behind her pen name as author of a book on dating after divorce

By Scott Nishimura

Photography by Jill Johnson

The book Mom…You Just Need to Get Laid: The Adventures of Dating After Divorce, written under the pseudonym Kate Somerset, caused a little ripple when the small Brooklyn Writers Press published it in May 2021. Somerset — a Texas community leader and breast cancer survivor divorced after 24 years of marriage — left the state for a new life in New York and promised her then-18-year-old daughter to complete the deed directed by the book’s title within three years.

Mom chronicles 15 dates Somerset went on over two years (the real number, she says, was many more), ranging from clunkers to luxuriant dinners to a trip to Europe to go sailing. But wait, there’s more. Earlier this year, the longtime Fort Worth nonprofit consultant Ann Louden, an advocate for adoption and cancer causes, revealed herself to be the author of Mom. Louden, still living in New York but in Fort Worth in February for business, met us for a Q&A at one of her local faves, the restaurant Brewed on the Near Southside, whose dark, intimate bar may be reminiscent of some of the Manhattan joints where Louden met her dates. Her daughter is now 25. Our chat is edited for brevity.

Ann Louden, who divorced several years ago and moved to New York in search of a new life, has now come out from behind a pseudonym, Kate Somerset, as author of a book called “Mom, You Just Need to Get Laid: The Adventures of Dating After Divorce.” Louden chronicles 15 dates she went on over two years, men she largely met through online dating sites. She was photographed at Brewed in Fort Worth while here for business on March 1, 2023.

360West: Tell us about the title of this book.

Louden: It was my daughter who said it to me when she was 18. It was 1 in the morning. I had been working, and my desk was in the kitchen. She brought all these kids home, they brought their In-N-Out burgers in, and they carried on. When I left the room for a minute, they took over the computer. So, I’m telling her that I need her to exit the chair. She says, ‘Oh, God, Mom, you’re so bossy. Why don’t you get a life? You are just working all the time.’ So, I’m saying, ‘Ah, yeah, yeah. OK, fine, but I still need the chair.’ So, she gets up, she turns around, and she just tossed out that one-liner.

360West: I’m not going to blow the suspense you so artfully create in the title. But you were obviously looking for something deeper. What was that?

Louden: When I started dating, my agenda was not to have a relationship. The idea of dating was horrifying. The idea of becoming romantically intimate with someone was even more horrifying. I was looking for a way to build community in a brand-new home of 8 million people. What happened was that I began the process of dating and then realized it was fun.

360West: You met most of these guys through online sites.

Louden: Of the 15 in the book, I met nine online and six in person. Now, if you were to ask me about the larger pool of people I met, the people that didn’t make the book, the majority were online.

360West: I was going to say, you meet a lot of people just in the course of what you do.

Louden: Online is a really efficient way of meeting people. Particularly in a place as big as New York.

360West: So, why now? Why come out from behind the pseudonym?

Louden: When I first wrote the book with the pen name, I was working on another book on leadership. I thought that book would come out first. So, I felt just from a practical standpoint, having a book about dating and a book about leadership might be confusing for people who knew me. I felt I could write at arm’s length about these men.

360West: Did you always feel safe?

Louden: I never was in a compromised position. You might know I write a dating advice column for a New York publication as Kate Somerset. I wrote a couple of columns on safety, because there are ways you can be more certain that you’re taking care of yourself. People asked me a lot about that trip to Switzerland when I went to meet the sailor. I had met all of his friends that were going to be on that trip. I knew who he was as a person. Did I know what his behavior to me would be? No, not necessarily, but I knew I was going to be always with somebody.

360West: How’d you get this book published?

Louden: Brooklyn Press is a small, independent publishing house in Brooklyn, started by a woman who was a writer and decided she wanted to get in the other side of the business. I met her through another New York friend. Once I shared a chapter with [the Brooklyn Press founder], she had it for a weekend and she called me and she said, ‘I want to see the whole manuscript.’ It took her another week, and then she called me back and she said, ‘We’d love to publish this book.’

360West: What did you learn about yourself that surprised you?

Louden: I learned that I was far more resilient than I thought. I went to New York on a wing and a prayer, really. My medical team was here [in Fort Worth], my friends were here, my volunteer involvement in the community was here, and I didn’t know if there was a chance in the world that I would ever be able to replicate the feeling of belonging that I had here. Turns out that’s what you need in New York, because if you don’t have that ability, you’ll feel lonely.

360West: You had great dates and some duds. What was the most fun date?

Louden: The most fun single date was with Ezra, who took me to a fabulous meal in Times Square. This was a first date. To see Hamilton on Broadway. And afterward we went for a ride in a carriage in Central Park. And he then surprised me with roses and strawberries and a chocolate cake. And tied with that one is the one with Sam the solicitor [Louden divided her book into chapters, one on each date, headlined by a fictitious name she gave each], solicitor meaning lawyer, who took me to a dance at The University Club on 5th Avenue, with a full orchestra, black tie. It was so romantic.

360West: What’s next? Will there be a Kate Somerset sequel?

Louden: That would mean I’d have to resuscitate some of the stories I left out of the book. I’m really interested in finding out what film versions it might have.


Ann Louden will hold a book signing and moderated talk, 2-3 p.m. April 29 in the Bluebonnet Ballroom at the Hyatt Place Fort Worth/TCU, 3029 Sandage Ave. The talk will be at 2:30 p.m. and moderated by NBC 5 anchor Deborah Ferguson.