Kendall Long’s Book Sparks Curiosity and Connection
By: Valeria Ramos
Kendall Long is most well known for her appearance on reality TV shows The Bachelor and Bachelor In Paradise, but she is also an author and taxidermy enthusiast. Inspired by her time on the show as well as her personal life, Just Curious: A Notebook of Questions aims to enhance and strengthen human connections.
In a recent episode of our Office Chats Podcast, Kendall joined us to discuss the making of her book, what sparks her curiosity, and what advice she has for aspiring authors. You can listen to the full episode on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or below.
Tell us about your experience on The Bachelor. How did your journey on the show begin?
I think people best know me from Ari’s season as the “taxidermy girl” and from Bachelor in Paradise where I met Joe, who is my ex-boyfriend. My journey on the show started when I was watching Rachel Lindsay’s season of The Bachelorette with a couple of my girlfriends. My sister suggested that I apply for The Bachelor and while I initially thought I would never do that, after a couple of glasses of wine it started to sound like a really good idea. I applied and I wrote on my application—tipsy, mind you—that I’m a taxidermy-collecting, ukulele-playing twin. The producers must have thought, “This is our weirdo,” because they called me the next day and a couple of weeks later I was on the show! I had to borrow all my dresses from my friends because I had nothing fancy to bring.
What inspired you to create your book, Just Curious: A Notebook of Questions?
It was The Bachelor that inspired me to publish it! The notebook of questions was originally a personal thing that I would share with friends, family, and dates. When I took my notebook on a date with Ari, fans of the show reached out to me saying, “You have to publish it, I would love to have this!” It was such an amazing tool for me and it did take a couple of years for me to publish it after that episode, but I loved that people wanted to be curious and have a tool to create deeper connections with others. I’m extremely thankful for Bachelor Nation who inspired me to publish it. It’s been a great experience and so I’m glad that this was the first book that I was able to publish.
How did you decide which questions to include in the book?
I had over 500 questions and I narrowed it down to 150. I’ve had these questions for years and I was able to test them out with friends, family, and dates. I chose the ones that sparked the most creative conversations and created unique conversations people wouldn’t have otherwise—some questions have led to hours of conversation! The book is also interactive because people can write their answers inside. You can answer the questions when you first get the book and then years later, you can re-answer them and see how your mind has changed.
What is the biggest lesson you learned during the process of creating Just Curious?
The feeling of not having anything to contribute to a conversation always terrified me as a kid. Writing Just Curious allowed me to contribute to conversations more meaningfully and break the perception that I had nothing to add. All it takes is a weird question and it doesn’t matter if it’s a non sequitur or if it comes from left field. Enjoy being curious with other people and learning about other people—that’s something that enriches so many of my conversations to this day. I think it gets to a point where you don’t even need to physically carry the book with you, the book—and the curiosity it sparks—can be within you and you’ll always have something to ask or be curious about.
Your book is all about creating deeper connections. What advice do you have for strengthening personal relationships?
Approach things you’re afraid of with curiosity. I think we all tend to push away conversations that scare us. That’s something that I learned on The Bachelor because I never talked about the future, having babies, religion, etc. There were just certain topics that I was very uncomfortable talking about because they require vulnerability. My advice is to run towards vulnerability and ask the scary questions because once you become more vulnerable, you’ll be surprised at how it’s not that bad and it’s not that scary. I’ve cried my face off and done stupid things on TV and I think once you face things that scare you and realize that you’re still alive, you can do anything.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Write about things you love and things that you’re curious about. It doesn’t have to be a full-fledged book—start with bullet points or ideas—just write and eventually something will take shape. When it came to publishing my book, there was very little I had to do because it was already there. I continue to collect questions to this day in notebooks, so the writing process never really ends.