Steve Harvey is perhaps best known for his ability to make people laugh, which he has been doing consistently for more than two decades. But on his daily syndicated radio show, Harvey gets serious when the talk turns to relationships.
Harvey, whose "Steve Harvey Morning Show" airs nationally (and in Atlanta on 102.5 FM), features a segment called "Strawberry Letter 23" that deals strictly with matters of the heart.
"The subject matter for 98 percent of the women who write in is on relationships," said Harvey during a recent interview. "And almost every letter has some confusing misrepresentation or misunderstanding of men. Women don't get us because they so very much want us to think like they do, and we don't."
Because of the feedback he received from women who wrote to him about their rapport (or lack thereof) with their partners, Harvey decided to detail his advice about understanding and dealing with men by writing a book, his first.
Published by Amistad/HarperCollins and co-written with Denene Miller, "Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment," was released Jan. 27.
"Through my advice on the radio, a lot of women kept encouraging me that I should put this all in a book," he said. "That encouragement gave me the idea to write the book."
The star of several popular television shows and feature films, Harvey will visit the East Metro area to promote his new book at 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 9, when he'll host a talk and signing at Borders in the Mall at Stonecrest.
Harvey relied on his own know-how to assemble the different parts of the book, but he consulted with many women to get to the heart of what they don't comprehend about their men.
"The women in the focus groups I talked to really helped me be able to put together the main concerns of women," he said. "There are more (concerns), and I may have another book in me writing about some other issues. They really helped me with the subject matter and then I just had to come up with some titles."
Although the thrice-married father of four can certainly use his own experiences (and those of other men he knows) to illustrate his declarations in "Act Like A Lady," he by no means considers himself a relationship counselor - he just speaks from familiarity of a life well lived.
"I didn't write the book from a clinical standpoint - I wrote the book from real-life experiences," he said. "I'm 52 years old. I've been married, I've had girlfriends, I've had women, I've cheated on girlfriends, I've been loyal to women, I've been un-loyal to women, I have not told the whole truth, I've been blatantly honest - I've done it all. And in my 52 years of living, I've found that all of my friends have done this, too."
And while he doesn't purport to be an authority on women or relationships, there is one subject Steve Harvey is confident to call himself an expert on.
"I want someone to introduce to me a man, a Dr. Phil or anybody else, who has more experience at this thing called manhood than I do," he said. "My father raised me to be a man from the time I was born. I've been working on this process for 52 years.
"My book is about how men think. I'm not an expert on relationships and I'm not an expert on women - I'm an expert on manhood. I understand all the principles of manhood. And my book is from the male perspective, to teach women how we think. There's nobody out there better qualified to tell you how men think than another man."
With a still-active touring schedule, Harvey is accustomed to entertaining thousands of concertgoers at a time, but the next several weeks will represent his first foray into the world of book promotion. He began his book tour on Jan. 26 in New York and will close out his literary sojourn on March 6 in Albany.
"I'm looking forward to it," he said just hours before making his first stop, at the Borders in New York City's Penn Plaza. "I love to see the reaction of people who are fans of mine. I love their reaction when a person buys a ticket and watches me perform. So this will be a little different.
"Here's a person who's not watching me perform, but has probably seen me somewhere in some form or fashion, but they're going to purchase a book of mine. It's going to be a different reaction. I don't know what to expect because I've never done this before. I usually get laughs from people, but this is a pretty serious book about a pretty serious subject.
"Hopefully, it will empower women. My e-mail bag will tell the story as people start to get the book and read it. I will know how the general public is feeling very shortly. I'm excited about it. I never get to be this close to people as I will be with the book signings, but I'm looking forward to it. It's a new chapter in my life, maybe - Steve Harvey the author."
For more information on Steve Harvey, visit www.steveharvey.com. For more information on the Mall at Stonecrest, visit www.mallatstonecrest.com.
Chris Starrs is a freelance writer based in Athens, Ga. If you have a story idea, contact Karen Rohr at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SideBar: If you go
What: Steve Harvey signing his new book, "Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment"
When: 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 9
Where: Borders in the Mall at Stonecrest
Info: Access the VIP meet and greet with purchase of Mr. Harvey's book from Borders Stonecrest.  Proof of purchase is required.Proof of purchase oVisit www.mallatstonecrest.com