This is a fiction book, but based on my own experiences of internet dating. All the names, date, places, times etc have been changed to protect anonymity. While dating, I carried on working as a doctor in a Community Sexual Health clinic - so the book contains some unique, amusing sexual health stories!
So here’s my top ten - all about me!
I’ve been passionate about writing since childhood. I went to boarding school for 7 years, and used to write stories for all the girls in my dormitory by torch light. We would scramble out of bed and sit round in a circle reading them out loud, before I tore them into little pieces so matron wouldn’t find them! I think they were about beautiful princesses, handsome princes, white horses, that kind of thing - but how I wish I could read them again now!
It took fifty years of my life to get this, my first book, finished. I was distracted by marriage, motherhood and my career in medicine. I worked full time with the help of nannies, au pairs and nurseries. We were a noisy, happy household. I read to my children every night, and in the car while going on holiday we listened to story tapes. An absolute favourite was Granny’s Great Escape by Jeremy Strong. If you’ve never read it, just do! It’s so funny!
I suddenly found myself aged 52, and divorced. Then both my parents died in quick succession. I was feeling very alone, and uncertain about the future. I am just not good with my own company. I needed a mate - like the solitary chimpanzee in the zoo. But Oh - how resourceful is the human species! - The solution? - Why internet dating of course! And what a crazy, amazing, hilarious topic to write about! When I started to write, I just couldn’t stop! And 130,000 words, 425 pages later – Dating Daisy was in print!
Getting started with internet dating, was not easy. I was scared. Scared of what I might be getting myself into - scared of humiliation and rejection. I hadn’t had a date for nearly 30 years! I knew all the internet horror stories. I didn’t want my friends, neighbours and work colleagues seeing my profile and my photograph on line. I did a lot of looking on lots of sites - it’s free to browse - before I ever parted with any money.
In fact my internet dating experience was totally exhilarating. I loved logging on and couldn’t wait to see the latest happenings on my site. I enjoyed the witty email banter. I met some great people along the way, and laughed and laughed more than I had in years. I found I wasn’t unattractive at 52. I also found - that the only people looking at dating sites - are people looking for dates. I needn’t have worried about the humiliation - it wasn’t an issue.
It wasn’t all plain sailing. I found that so many men lie on the internet, about things like age, height and weight. They also post photos of themselves taken 20 years ago, or of someone else completely! This is very upsetting when you have exchanged perhaps 100 emails - and then driven maybe 100 miles to have lunch with them. My picture was a selfie which I took the day I went on the net. I was honest about myself. It’s no good to start a relationship with any sort of lie
I found my creative self while writing the book. It’s full of emails, poems, limericks and even a recipe for love. Daisy tells her story with breathless enthusiasm. She also can’t resist giving tips like Kissing Tips, and Anti-snoring Tips. I let my imagination rip, and could spend days thinking up just one dating name - for example! Chris Martin, from Coldplay is my hero, and always has a word of comfort for Daisy!
This book is all about being positive. It is a great example of how, in a sink or swim situation, Daisy literally swam, and turned her life around. During the book she started swimming regularly and lost 3 stone. She also found her inner happiness. Happy people attract happy people. This is a fantastic example of how anyone, even in mid life, can seize the day, and find a better life. I hope I can encourage readers to do the same.
I took up Ballroom & Latin Dancing about 3 years ago and I am now a complete addict. We belong to a local dance school, go to club nights, dinner dances, dance exhibitions and are doing our dance medals - we just took Gold and were highly commended. I love wearing long dresses and sparkly shoes and being whirled round the dance floor - like one of those boarding school princesses I never knew I could be! We sail, powerboat, swim - Oh and cycle. As of yesterday I have a fabulous Cytronex, yellow, daisy, Bobbin electric bike! And we love cruises - can’t recommend them enough. My life is full and happy. Better than it has ever been. Truly - I pinch myself every day!
If there is a message in this book, this is it. I firmly believe there is someone out there for everyone. The internet has an amazing ability to connect two people who otherwise wouldn’t know of each other’s existence! Loneliness is a terrible thing. Don’t be lonely! It’s a big world full of surprises and things to come you couldn’t possibly imagine! I know it to be true - because - I’m Dating Daisy, and it happened - to ME!
About the author: Living in Winchester, Hampshire 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. Her debut novel Dating Daisy (published by Clink Street Publishing 25th July 2017 RRP £10.99 paperback and RRP £3.99 ebook) is available to purchase from online retailers including amazon.co.uk and to order from all good bookstores.