Sunday, August 20, 2017

Blog Tour: Dating Daisy by Daisy Mae (Spotlight)

Character spotlight all about Daisy

I looked up the definition of spotlight – “the area of immediate or conspicuous public attention.”

So here is Daisy, my central character, up close and personal, and now in the glare of the media – very definitely – in the spot light.

Daisy is 52 years and newly divorced after a long and unhappy marriage. In her quest to find a soul mate, Daisy bravely decides to do something totally new to her - Internet Dating. The result is a humorous tale, which may just make you laugh out loud.

Here’s the thing - as Daisy would put it - I don’t think when I was writing the book I ever imagined this would ever happen. It’s a first novel. I was plagued, no doubt just like many writers, by whether or not it was good enough to finish. But on the other hand, neither was it something I could bear to put down.

A Daisy: a little flower. Daisy is represented in the book, each time she has a date , by a little Daisy icon. Where did her name come from? I only worked this out retrospectively. She probably takes her name from a picture called A Breeze of Daisies by Malcolm Thompson, which has hung in my house for many years.

Daisy describes herself in the book. She is tall, medium build, too overweight for her own liking. She has limp, shoulder length blondish hair, green eyes, and a pleasant appearance if she dresses herself for a date. As she writes her profile, takes a selfie and loads these online at the beginning of the book, the reader quickly develops a physical impression.

A dynamic character, Daisy reveals her inner strength in this book. The story begins when she decides her grieving period is over. Time to take action and change her life for the better. She has stuffed the cloud of misery into a box, “a box for wasters,” tied it up with string and buried it deep in the recesses of her mind, where it can never be opened. The past is in the past.

The reader can’t help wonder what went wrong with her marriage. Daisy gives some clues in the chapter in which she describes all the reasons life is better without Voldemort. But this is just an episode of reflection in the midst of the flurry of the dating. The book is aimed firmly at designing a new life, and looking forward to the future.

Daisy has an eagerness for life that is quite endearing. She tells her story with almost breathless enthusiasm. Daisy has a colloquial style that is easy to relate to. A conversational tone that is perfect for a book with a page-a-day diary.

She has a great imagination and sense of humour. She describes the rows of faces that pop up on the dating sites as “Muppets” and “undateables”. She takes advice from her elderly neighbours the Amigos, her 97 year old friend Jeannie in the Nursing Home, and her nursing colleague Pinky.

Daisy’s hero, Chris Martin, whose photo is pinned on the wardrobe door, is always on hand to give support.

Daisy is abhorrent about having to take a photograph of herself, and load this to the dating site. The reader can see that she is very unconfident, and has been out of the public eye for a long time. As the story progresses Daisy realises she is not unattractive after all, and starts to enjoy dressing up, compliments and attention. She becomes more daring, clicking more confidently on the sites and not frightened of any rebuff.

Daisy continues throughout the book in her job as a doctor in a Sexual Health Clinic. She can’t resist telling some stories and giving advice. A caring doctor, Daisy listens to her patients and isn’t easily shocked, whatever happens in her daily consultations.

As the central character, Daisy has many roles, doctor, mother, friend, and daughter. At times she is exasperated by those around her. Her daughter Imogen, who is on a catering course but can’t cook. Her friend Pinky, who has no idea how to pack a suitcase to go abroad. But Daisy is a good mother and a great friend. Somehow she supports them all through trials and tribulations.

As a first time internet dater, Daisy has no idea who to ask for advice. She then decides to use her own experiences to compile some internet dating lessons. The emails, phone calls and dates are often very funny. She uses a quirky turn of phrase. The end result is often a hilarious list of tips and pointers, from anything to Kissing or Coping with Snoring. Daisy writes emails, poems, limericks, and she includes in the book, a Recipe for Love, (written by her daughter Imogen.) The daily events are depicted in the book by a series of small icons, which gives the book a comical feel.

Daisy shows empathy with the people around her. She always tries to consider things from different perspectives. She makes her own rules, dating rules, but then breaks them and usually suffers the consequences. She is talkative, writes witty emails, has good ideas, is up for most things, and knows what she wants. For Daisy, this is Internet dating, not Internet Mating. She declares firmly she will not be “a notch for the notch bed post gatherer!”

You can feel Daisy’s despair at the beginning of the book. Also the magnetic attraction of the internet, which after a while she calls “the boyfriend shop!” She suffers terrible insomnia, a common symptom when people are stressed or distressed. She gives an honest analysis of her body self at 52 and then shows her determination to resolve it. As the story progresses, you can feel Daisy getting fitter, happier and more confident. Her story demonstrates it is possible to move on from a tragic situation, and to turn your life around. I hope Daisy’s story will inspire others going through major life stress to realise they can do it too.

So, in summary, Daisy undergoes a metamorphosis. From sadness, despair, loneliness, and low self esteem and self confidence, to happiness, love and friendship, and a whole new forward thinking, active, positive person.

So this is Daisy, in the spotlight. Up close and personal.

I hope you all enjoy the book!

Daisy Mae 10/07/17


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