William Yarbro turned a crushing encounter with his first crush into a guide for making a romantic connection

By Michael Aushenker

Venice author William Yarbro practices what he preaches with wife Linda Smith

Venice author William Yarbro practices what he preaches with wife Linda Smith


For longtime Venice-area real estate broker and self-described “incurable romantic” William Yarbro, the journey to publishing his miniature tome “The Little Book on the Art of the Kiss” began with a traumatic junior high school experience.

The New Jersey native had fallen hard for a New York girl, taking trains and buses to visit her Long Island home.

“Finally, when that moment came, I was not prepared,” Yarbro said. “I didn’t know what to do. We pressed lips together and that was it.”

What happened next was the devastating part. She ran and told a chaperone elsewhere in the house what a horrific kisser he was.

“It was humiliating,” said Yarbro, now in his mid-50s. “But I vowed then never to let that happen again.”

After that crushing first experience, Yarbro sought the advice of a good friend’s older brother and learned the proper way how to treat a woman, including kissing.

“Building anticipation, not to rush, take your time. Those and other tips have served me well,” he said.

As has experience. While dating in the aftermath of his 1995 divorce from his first wife, Yarbro found dating to be disappointing.

“One woman thought being romantic showed a sign of weakness, which put a short fuse on our relationship,” he recalled.

Yarbro felt compelled to write the book after feeling romance had become something of a lost art in the 21st-century dating scene.

The pocket-sized 3.45-inch by 5.5-inch how-to guide, self-published in 2012, runs 72 pages and features a glossary of specific smooches such as “The Hot and Cold Kiss,” “The Whipped Cream Kiss,” “The Foot Kiss” and “Searching the Cavern.”

“As with most personal gifts, you should take kissing seriously,” Yarbro said. “As a beginner or as someone who has been kissing the same person for a long time and is ready for a refresher, use this book to make your kisses special, each and every time.”

He must be doing something right. On Valentine’s Day last year, Yarbro got married to the love of his life — Linda Smith, a career counselor at Los Angeles Trade Technical College.

“It’s refreshing to find someone who approaches life from a romantic point of view,” Smith said.

As for the kissing, “he knows what he’s talking about,” she said.

For more information, visit thekissingbook.com.