What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.
How I Met My Second Husband Online at Age 50: A dating coach shares the keys to her Internet dating success
It’s a how-to book and memoir sharing the tips and techniques I learned in 14 months of dating on 8 Internet dating sites over a 14-month period.
The book is designed to help new as well as experienced online daters–primarily men and women over age 40–have more success in attracting compatible partners by choosing the best sites for them, writing intriguing initial emails, asking the right questions to screen prospects on the phone, and having a safe, productive first meeting.
Tell us something about yourself.
I am from the Chicago area and hold a B.A. in English and an M.S. in Communications. I’ve been a marketing/PR and business writer, editor and proofreader for 33 years, a life coach for 9 years, and a dating coach/Internet dating expert for 5 years. I also host a monthly singles gathering, which might be a discussion group, game night, costume party, scavenger hunt, etc., and I’ve helped many happy couples connect through these events or the matchmaking services I sometimes offer to current dating coaching clients. I especially love coaching divorced or widowed men who want to understand women in the dating world better.
What inspired you to write this book?
I learned so much in the 14 months I was dating online–including what NOT to do–that I wanted to share this knowledge with others to save them the grief and aggravation I experienced.
Online dating can be frustrating and sometimes discouraging, but, as a natural cheerleader and upbeat person, I knew I had the positive attitude that could inspire others to stay motivated to continue using this very helpful tool–especially those over 50 who have fewer other options in the dating world than younger people do. Also, since I’ve been a writer all my career and an instructor in my life coaching business, I wanted to put on my writer and teacher hats and offer something that could help others be successful with something I’d finally mastered myself.
How did you choose the title?
I wanted potential readers to know it was a how-to book and my own personal story, so I think the title captures both.
What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?
I didn’t know how to format my manuscript for sending to a publisher for self-publication, so I hired a book coach to help me with the technical end of things.
How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?
I had been writing poetry since age 12, and I knew I wanted to be a writer during my high school years, which is why I majored in English in college. I started out writing poems and short stories for a college magazine, then wrote film reviews for an employee newsletter at my first job, and began sending nonfiction instructional articles to various trade journals and magazines when in my 30s. It was at this time I began thinking about writing a book. I wasn’t sure of the topic, but I knew it would be nonfiction and self-help and aimed primarly at a female audience. I’d also been a columnist for a local women’s newspaper in my area for a couple of years and got good feedback from readers. So I began to gain the confidence to write an entire book. But, it wasn’t until I started my dating coaching business that I finally decided what topic I felt confident enough about to turn it into a manuscript for my first book.
Do you have any writing rituals?
I make a detailed outline of each chapter and its content. And, when I’m in the midst of writing each chapter, I make sure I spend at least an hour a day working on it.
Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?
Yes…many things. I learned, first and foremost, that, if you want to reach the greatest number of people to buy and read your book, you need to educate yourself about publicizing and marketing it. And it’s often best to hire experts to help you with these tasks. You also need to write articles for local and online publications showing expertise in the same area as you’ve demonstrated in your book, to build the credibility that encourages readers to buy your book and/or reporters to interview you about the book.
If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?
I would set aside more money to do publicity and to list the book on Amazon.com.
What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors?
I love to read self-help books, political satire, biographies, memoirs, and inspirational books. My favorite authors are Elizabeth Gilbert, Bill Maher, Debbie Ford, Regena Thomashaurer, and Wayne Dyer.
Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?
I’m just about to start outlining a book called Dating Is for Married People Too! It’s a guide to dating your mate to help married couples rekindle the fun they had when they were first dating…as a way to keep their marriage fresh, fun, and alive.
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
Be passionate about what you’re writing, so it’ll flow more easily and feel effortless as you write it. And have a good outline of the contents to follow, so the process is more efficient.
Also, be sure to get help from a book coach if any steps along the way to self-publishing are confusing or too time consuming for you.
Who is the perfect reader for your book?
Single, divorced and widowed men and women over age 40, especially those who’ve gotten fed up with not getting the results they want with online dating.
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?
At my website: www.datingsuccesscoaching.com