Thursday, June 29, 2017

A piece of Lisa Daily's mind

Introduction and interview 
by Tracey Meyers

I don't read a lot of articles about dating tips (but perhaps I should) so it's not a surprise that I wasn't aware of today's Chick Lit Central guest, love guru Lisa Daily. Women across the age spectrum flock to Lisa's Dream Girl Academy at the Learning Annex in New York City. She is the author of eight books including her recent novel, Single-Minded. Please give a warm CLC welcome to Lisa Daily!

Visit Lisa online:

Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon Author Page | Goodreads

Alex has planned and executed her life with laser focus since she first met her future husband at the play-doh table on the first day of kindergarten. They have a terrific life, a gorgeous house on the bay, and fantastic careers they love. There’s only one problem: Alex’s husband Michael is gay, a fact he neglected to mention in the 23 years since they first met.

Now, Alex’s perfectly planned life has completely fallen apart, her biological clock is starting to feel like the timer on a nuclear device, and she finds herself drooling over her completely-dreamy-but-definitely-off-limits client, a star chef opening a hot new restaurant. Armed with dating guidance from her oddball collection of advisers—including her gay ex-husband, a foul-mouthed political consultant, a perkily masochistic yogi, and a pot-smoking octogenarian—Alex navigates the booby-trapped world of modern dating, in her search for a second chance at love.

How have your personal experiences with dating influenced your novels?
Well, I definitely have an endless collection of dating stories, that's for sure. Not just my own, but all those gems I've heard over the years as a dating expert, which generally fall into the categories of: We just clicked and it was magic; People are very, very weird; and Dating/Sex horror stories.

In Single-Minded, Alex is a woman who's married to her childhood sweetheart and suddenly he's out of the closet. Here he's been lying to her for their entire lives, and she has this perfectly planned existence (great husband, fab career, amazing house) and it's just blown to smithereens in an instant. And what she realizes is that she's a full grown adult who's never really been on a date.

Like most humans, she wants love and partnership. But she's this sort of list-making, methodical, this is not how I planned things type and she's bound and determined to get to her version of happily ever after as quickly as possible, and so she starts dating like she's on a mission. And I think we've all experienced that to some extent, or had a friend who has.

With this book in particular, my personal experiences were very intertwined with Single-Minded. I went through a divorce just before I started writing the book and so I was in this dark, sad place at the exact same time Alex was. (Although I think some of the funniest scenes happen when she's just pissed as she can be.)

And then, a couple of years had passed and suddenly I was falling in love at the same time Alex was falling in love, and all those incredibly strong feelings you have when you're first falling for someone, getting to know them, seeing how you fit together -- my own emotions were very much on the surface the entire time I was writing Single-Minded, and it made it so much more vivid for me.

And also, brand new, falling in love sex is pretty freaking awesome.

When you start a novel do you know how it's going to end or does the ending just come morph as you write the story?
I definitely know how it's going to end before I start writing. I'm a "plotter" (which is a writer-y term meaning I outline my books ahead of time, versus being a "pantser", who is an author who just sits down and lets the characters drive the story) and so I have a very good idea where I'm going before I start.

I generally start thinking about "What's the worst thing that could happen here?"

Then, I write a rough outline of how the various scenes will play out (Meet cute at the divorce party! Weirdest date imaginable! Disaster at the fundraiser!) and then let the characters and/or the situation take me from there. I tend to see scenes play out in my head like a movie, and sometimes that leads to some really funny scenes that you wouldn't necessarily be able to outline. When start, I have a basic idea of how the characters connect to each other, what the storyline is, and how it will all play out in the end, but a lot of the really hilarious, laugh-so-hard-you-snort-strawberry-dacquiri-out-of-your-nose moments in my books happen on the fly as I'm writing.

That's the my favorite part of writing, actually -- the really goofy, funny, human stuff that just bubbles up.

What advice would you give to those who aspire to write a book?
Read a ton, write as much as you can, get your work critiqued by people who are a lot better than you are. I worked as an advertising copywriter before I started writing books. My first boss, Tommy Thompson, was one of the most talented writers I've ever known. He was also a completely brutal editor. I bawled in my office the first time (and, okay, a bunch of other times) he critiqued my work -- but my writing improved more in that year I worked under him than at any other time in my life.

Don't join a critique group filled with other unpublished writers -- you'll often get more bad advice than good.

People will tell you what a tough business publishing is (and it can be) -- but I always think that even if there's only a 1 in 100,000 chance you'll get published, somebody has to be the "1" and it might as well be you.

As a dating guru, what is the question about dating you get asked most frequently?
Good question! The most common question I get is, "How can I tell if my boyfriend/husband is cheating on me?" My answer is that if you're asking that particular question in the first place, there's a very good chance they are. Generally you can trust your gut on that one.

Favorite summer outfit: I live near Siesta Key Beach in Florida, so my favorite summer outfit is basically my favorite year-round outfit. I love flowy, feminine cotton dresses with flip-flops or funky wedges (or bare feet!) if I'm just hanging around with friends or at the beach; and dresses with fancy, fancy shoes if I'm going out downtown or doing TV.

Top Three Favorite Movies:
I love Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday, Drew Barrymore in Music & Lyrics, and anything by Nora Ephron -- particularly Sleepless in Seattle.

Thanks to Lisa for chatting with us and to For the Love of Chick Lit for including us in Lisa's tour.

Visit all the stops on the tour:

June 27th

For the Love of Chick Lit - Spotlight Post
Novelgossip - Book Review

June 28th

Kristin's Novel Cafe - Book Excerpt
The Belgian Reviewer - Author Q&A

June 29th

Chick Lit Central - Author Q&A
Monique McDonell-Author - Book Excerpt

June 30th

Living Life with Joy - Guest Post
Judging more than just the Cover - Author Q&A

July 1st

Book Lover in Florida - Book Excerpt

July 2nd

One Book At A Time - Book Excerpt
He Said Books or Me - Guest Post

July 3rd

Reading To Unwind - Book Review

July 4th

ItaPixie's Book Corner - Book Review

1 comment:

Janine said...

This sounds like a good book. Thanks for the recommendation!