What do you do when you’re a newly divorced 52 year old mother, keen for a second chance of romance? Why internet dating of course! Daisy Mae_224 embarks on the internet dating process with trepidation. Having not been on the dating scene for nearly 30 years, and with fairly rudimentary computer skills, she finds herself embroiled in a series of haphazard and hilarious situations. Daisy keeps a diary of her internet dating life and reveals detail by detail, the ups and downs of her midlife dating extravaganza. Soon after starting out, Daisy realises her true mission. With no past experience and no-one/nothing to guide her, she needs to produce – Internet Dating lessons. Read on to find out about PLONKERS, muppets and MAWDs, and a whole host of amusing anecdotes, tips and ideas. Working by day as a Sexual Health doctor, the story as it unfolds contains accounts of Daisy’s clinical experiences with patients in the Sexual Health clinic. She also reflects on her past life with Voldemort (the dreadful ex-husband). With advice and encouragement from Imogen, her 17 year old daughter, her surrogate parents known as the Amigos, with a big house and swanky swimming pool, her friend Pinkie and from Jeannie, her nonagenarian friend from the Nursing Home, Daisy resiliently persists in her quest to find a long term partner. This is a heartfelt story that will ring bells with anyone who has ended a long term relationship and now wants to find somebody new. It is humorously written, full of emails, poems, limericks, and even a recipe! Daisy can’t resist her pages of advice on topics like “Kissing” and “Anti-Snoring.” It is a unique and highly amusing book, which will make you laugh out loud! So read on and see. Will Dating Daisy find her “prairie vole?” Or will the whole process end in disaster?
I was asked by the author for an honest review.
This book was interesting and lightly humorous. I enjoyed getting to know Daisy and her adventure with online dating. The characters were strong and the story-line was lite and funny. If you are looking for a fun, chatty and different story give Dating Daisy a try.
About the author:
Living in the South of E
ngland Daisy_234 shares many similar professional, life, and dating, experiences as her protagonist; for this reason she has chosen to write under a pen name.
- How did you come up with the title?
This is the strangest thing. At the time I had no idea where Dating Daisy came from. The name Daisy just flew into my head. It was my dating name, and all the potential dates I met, asked me about it! They all asked if it was my real name – and I lied vociferously of course! (This is extremely hypocritical of me, as I was horrified by all the lies on the dating sites! But please believe me, I didn’t lie about anything else – and I kept to the name Daisy to protect my anonymity, partly because I am a doctor and want to remain anonymous if possible!).
However, it occurred to me much later – and this book, which amazingly was only 7 weeks of my life! – but took 3 years to write! – that we had a large framed picture in our house. This was one of the first things we ever bought for our new home, all those years ago, when we first got married. It’s called “A Breeze of Daisies” and was painted by Malcolm Thompson. I’ve always loved it. There is a large tuft of daisies, blown to one side in the wind, growing on a sand dune by the sea. When I knew we were getting divorced, the first thing I did was move that picture to a friend’s house to make sure it was the one thing I could keep from the family home. I didn’t really care about anything else. Now it hangs in my new home right by the front door. I am reminded every day, as are our visitors, where my new identity came from!
I think subconsciously that the picture gave me inspiration. Strangely I don’t think of it with any connection to my marriage. I suppose I probably chose it all those years ago and always thought of it as my picture. Little did I know how important it would be in my life to come.
- How much of the book is realistic?
One of the first things an editor asked me, was whether this is a fiction or a nonfiction book.
I was perplexed. Of course it’s a fiction book is the answer, but inevitably based on my own experiences. Here’s the thing – as Daisy would put it – everything has been changed, names, places, work details, family details. And, one does have to embroider the story a little to make it extra fun to read. But yes I did play internet cricket and meet a real live internet phantom!
Most people who advise about writing, say that if you have an interesting day job, write about it. Don’t leave a stone unturned! So – I took that advice. Seeing as I work in a Sexual Health Clinic, it was a great opportunity to record some sexual health stories! However, every personal detail has been changed and no patients are in any way identifiable. I couldn’t resist, while writing, making a plea for the use of contraception and the importance of screening and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases. This has been my life for 30 years- and I am passionate about the subject! So forgive me. And what I have written about these topics is factually correct.
- Is there a message in the book you want readers to grasp?
I wrote the book to record the things that were happening to me, as most of it was incredibly funny. I never thought of course, at the outset, it would ever be published. The story is about Daisy, internet dating aged 52. And I wanted to focus on her experiences. But inevitably there was some reminiscing about my marriage and divorce, and aspirations for the future. This lends emotion and purpose to the story.
I divorced my husband after 27 years of marriage. But I’m not alone. 60% of marriages end in divorce. This means a huge number of people are going through terrible emotional pain. Here’s the thing – as Daisy would put it – emotional pain is the worst type of pain. This is because you can’t take just run to the pharmacy, take an ibuprofen and feel better. There’s simply nowhere to put it. The end of a marriage and the Tsunami effect on your family and friends is exactly that. A Tsunami. I wrote in the book that I had literally cried myself to a crisp.
My parents were married 56 years. We don’t do divorce in our family. I had no idea it would happen to me. The shock was like being hit by a meteorite from outer space.
But! – How resourceful is the human species!
However, when I thought about it truthfully, and was honest with myself, I had been unhappy in the marriage for a long time. He had revealed himself to be a very strange character, difficult to live with and eccentric. In fact, I concluded, I was well out of it, and I should have divorced him years ago!
So I put it all behind me, bravely, and I got on with the whole business of living. Everything changed.
I ate healthily. In a “sink or swim” situation I literally started to swim at my local pool and lost 3 stone. I joined a choir and a walking group. I launched into an MA in Creative Writing. I started looking after myself, and felt so much better for it. And part of my rejuvenation, was the curious pursuit of internet dating! What better subject to write about! The more I wrote, the more I laughed. I found the whole process intriguing, exciting and often hilarious.
I would like other people going through the pain of a broken relationship to see that there is life in the future. A better life. It just takes a positive attitude. I didn’t want to be on my own and set my sights on finding a soul mate. The whole process changed my life, forever, and so much for the better. Daisy takes the pain, which she describes as a huge pink cloud, ties it up with string and puts it in the waster’s box. Her message, don’t open the box. Just get on with living instead.
- What was the hardest part of writing your book?
This is an interesting question, as actually it wasn’t hard as I became addicted to it and loved doing it.
I did seek advice to make sure my characters are fictitious, anonymous and non-identifiable. I did have gaps in writing, because I moved house, had a new computer, had to go back to work full time, had a new relationship, and developed a passion for dancing which takes up a lot of my time! My father became ill with pancreatic cancer in December 2014 and died 10 months later, having suffered terribly. My brother, my aunt and I supported him the best we could. But I didn’t feel much like writing a humorous book.
I did find that the manuscript got so big, even I, could not find myself around it! I wondered if other writers have the same problem. I made lists of my dates, their names, their internet names, where they lived etc to keep it consistent. Sometime I would get stuck and spend 48 hours for example just thinking up a new internet dating name – as of course – everything was changed.
There were a number of dates that didn’t work out – and if there hadn’t been there wouldn’t be a story! I do feel uncomfortable about writing for the nation about what went wrong. In truth they were all very nice guys, and I had to exaggerate to make a good read, but they were just not for me, so I hope there is no offence if anyone thinks they can recognise themselves from the book! I’m sure all authors base their writing on life experiences and the only person who really knows which aspects are true – is me!
- What books have influenced your life most?
This is a hard question. I have been an avid reader since childhood. But the answer to the question is not Chaucer or Shakespeare! I like to find an author I like, and then read all of their books.
I’ve always envied writers who can tell a good story. In essence I always say my favourite book is “a good story – well told.” I like to pick up a book that is instantly engaging, invokes some emotion, and by that I mean gives you a feeling for the characters. I like the story to be fairly fast moving. I don’t like endless pages of description. I like the story to have a purpose and to feel the page turning quality. A good example of this type of book would be “Norwegian by Night” by Derek B Millar.
There are so many fantastic reads out there. However, I would like to list a few I have loved. My favourite author is Khaled Hosseini, and my favourite book of his is “A Thousand Splendid Suns”, which tell the story of the lives of women in Afghanistan. The first chapter is so beautifully crafted, and in only a few pages, so much has happened and the scene is set. I could not put it down and it brought tears to my eyes. Another tear jerking tale, so wonderfully written, is “The Book Thief,” by Marcus Zusak.
I like a whole range of different styles and genres. I am a great fan of “The Pillars of the Earth” by Ken Follett, and the sequel “World Without End.” He is again, a master story teller. I really believe those books bring history to life. Similarly I would recommend Alison Weir and for example her books “Innocent Traitor,” and “The Captive Queen,” which fulfil all of my above criteria.
I love crime novels, but not the books with a detective. I love a psychological story with a twist. My favourite author is Barbara Vine. All her novels are totally engrossing and amazing stories. Try “A Dark Adaptive Eye,” “A Fatal Inversion” or “The House of Stairs.” I also like fast paced crime novels, such as “No Time for Goodbye” by Lynwood Barclay, and have read every book he has written, as soon as they came out!
For light hearted reading, I laughed out loud at Sophie Kinsella, “The Undomestic Goddess” and it is a book I frequently recommend to young people. I recently enjoyed several books by Jo Jo Moyes, notably The Last Letter from Your Lover,” and “ Me before You.”
My favourite writer at the moment is David Sedaris who I listen to on Radio 4, reading aloud his humorous essays. He tells simple stories about everyday life, but has an innocent and witty turn of phrase. I have listened again and again to his programmes and am currently reading his book “The Santaland Diaries” about his experiences being a Christmas Elf in Macy’s!
I have just started a book club with a group of friends and our current book is “We Need To Talk About Kevin” by Lionel Shriver. I have read this before, and found it psychologically enthralling. Was Kevin mad, or bad, or perhaps both?
I love childrens’ books of all types. Too many to mention. I have written three childrens’ books that are in line for publication.
Dating Daisy however is more of a diary, and can’t really be compared to any of these clever and very well researched tomes. But I have aspirations to write something much more along the above lines in the future.
- Do you have anything specific you want to say to your readers?
My book has been compared to Bridget Jones Diary. I take this as a huge compliment, I read this many years ago, and loved the films, but was unaware of any similarity to the book. I like the fact that Bridget aged over 40 found true love, and the story was hilarious. But any likeness is totally coincidental. But thank you to those who have said my book bears any resemblance! It’s a great honour!