March 2008


Florida-based TV dating expert Lisa Daily has followed up her advice book Stop Getting Dumped! with her debut novel called Fifteen Minutes of Shame.

Return to interview list

  1. What inspired you to write Fifteen Minutes of Shame?

    The week before my dating advice book Stop Getting Dumped! was first published, a very prominent dating expert was going through a very public divorce, and she was really taking a lot of heat in the media. At the time, my husband and I had just been married a few years - I remember having this moment where I thought about how awful it would be to go through one of the most difficult times in your life with the entire world watching - and the idea for Fifteen Minutes of Shame was born. As I developed the story, a lot of the funniest scenes dealt with the world of television - the disparity between how something (and some people) look on TV, versus in real life, has always been hilarious to me.

  2. Describe the main character Darby.

    Darby Vaughn, a small-town girl turned dating guru, has finally landed the life she's always dreamed of: A handsome, charming husband she's crazy about, a fabulous home in an exclusive neighborhood, a bestselling dating book, and tax-deductible pedicures. Thousands of women have attended Darby's famous Dreamgirl Academy and followed her man-snagging advice to the letter, in hopes that their lives will turn out just like hers. But when she finds out her husband is cheating, her publicity-perfect world spins out of control. Not only is the most humiliating moment in her life splashed across every supermarket tabloid and celebrity gossip show, but her reputation as America's favorite love expert is shot. Her book sales have tanked, her publisher has cancelled the rest of her tour, and her love life has become fodder for late-night TV. To make matters worse, the ex-wife Gigi keeps feeding the media frenzy in hopes of furthering her own reality TV career. If Darby takes her philandering husband back, she will be breaking her own most cardinal law of relationships (Never stay with a cheater!), and her career will be over. If she sticks to her own rules, she'll lose the only man she has ever truly loved. As her marriage and career fall apart, Darby learns that even dating experts get their hearts broken, and that when it comes to matters of the heart, none of us are in complete control.

  3. What have you been doing to promote the book and how has your advertising background helped you?

    I had a really ambitious publicity plan for Fifteen Minutes of Shame and have been able to pull off most of it. We put together some really cool press kits that look like gossip magazines to tie in with the gossip theme of the book, the folks at the Daytime show helped me film a fabulous trailer for the book, I'm doing a 20-city tour and a blog tour, a massive outreach to all of the hundreds of radio and TV shows I've done in the last five years, my assistant has helped me stay on top of my Facebook and MySpace pages, and I've been blogging on, a group blog with five debut novelists and one debut memoirist. When Stop Getting Dumped! first came out, I felt like I was behind the curve a bit - it was my first book, the publication was really fast, and I kept this running list of all the things I wanted to do on my next book. Unfortunately, I usually have a lot more ideas than time, so not all of my plans have come to fruition. My advertising background has helped a lot - I feel really comfortable writing media pitches to the media, developing press materials, and executing a marketing plan. I feel fortunate to have a high comfort level in an area where many authors feel a lot of frustration.

  4. What goes on at your Dreamgirl Academy?

    It's a secret! No, I'm kidding. So yes, The Dreamgirl Academy is a real-life event. It's a seminar I've taught all over the country (and in the UK as well) - it's a sort of finishing school for women who are fabulous but having some dating challenges. I teach different dating strategies, try to reframe how the attendees interact with men, troubleshoot problem areas. I love doing the events because they're really supportive and fun - it usually ends up being one big estrogen-fest.

  5. Explain what you mean by 'hybrid lit'?

    At the beginning of every chapter in Fifteen Minutes of Shame is real-life dating advice - it's a dating manual within a novel. What I noticed after I wrote Fifteen Minutes of Shame is that this non-fiction and fiction combo (what I like to call Hybrid Lit) has become sort of a trend - there are a lot of new novels coming out or recently out that contain everything from writing instruction to sushi recipes.

  6. How did you become a dating coach?

    I started writing a dating advice column about the same time my dating advice book, Stop Getting Dumped! came out, and I had so many requests for personal coaching I decided to try it. It's been hugely satisfying for me to help women get their love lives back on track.

  7. And the next obvious question, are you in a relationship?

    I am - I have a great husband and we've been together for almost 10 years.

  8. Which chick lit character do you think most needs your dating advice?

    Sophie, the heroine in Eileen Cook's novel, Unpredictable. Sophie sneaks into her ex's apartment building, steals his socks, moves his car when he's out on dates - I think she needs a dating intervention.

  9. Darby's cardinal rule of relationships is never stay with a cheater. What's yours?

    Be true to yourself. (And never stay with a cheater.)

  10. Tell us about your next novel, The Truth about Gossip.

    I'm still early in the process on this book, but it's a humorous, edgy story about someone struggling to overcome superficiality and preconceptions.

  11. Who are your favourite authors?

    My favorite authors are Jane Austen, Delia Ephron, Nora Ephron, Jennifer Weiner, Sophie Kinsella, Oscar Wilde and Kristin Harmel. I loved Freakonomics for the writing. I'm particularly fond of the girls at the Debutante Ball - Eileen Cook, Danielle Young-Ullman, Jenny Gardiner, Jess Riley and Gail Knopf-Baker. I love Eats, Shoots and Leaves for the punctuation stickers in the back. Liberating Paris by Linda Bloodworth Thomason was a revelation, and Michael Alvear, Lisa Earle McLeod and Lenore Skenazy crack me up.

  12. When did you first have your 15 minutes of fame?

    My first TV appearance was on the Sally Jessy Raphael show. There was a live audience, and she was a fantastic interviewer - when she's speaking to you, you forget that there is anyone else in the room. I have to say, it was the first time that I felt like a �real� author. After the show aired, friends called from all over the country. It was amazing.

  13. And are there any moments of shame you'll admit to?

    Well, thankfully, unlike my main character Darby, my husband has never dumped me on national TV. My biggest moment of shame happened when Howard Stern asked me on live radio about whether I was in favor of or against a certain sexual position - I had a quick comeback for him, but was really thankful he couldn't see my cheeks burning.

  14. What advice would you give an author who's about to make their first TV appearance?

    Keep applying make-up until you look like a streetwalker, otherwise, you'll be completely washed out. Don't worry about looking trampy, everybody does it. Even the men.

  15. Which celebrity relationship do you predict is going to hit the skids this year?

    I'm such a hopeful romantic, I hate to make these kind of predictions - I think Charlie Sheen and Brooke Mueller will have some major challenges to stay together. On the flip side, I think Drew Barrymore and Justin Long make an adorable, fantastic pair.

Back to top