Paperback Writer introduces Lisa Daly author of Fifteen Minutes of Shame. Recently, Lisa was interviewed by Writers Digest and let her readers know that she has sold the movie rights for this novel. Hopefully, soon we’ll be able to see this in the movies.
Fifteen Minutes of Shame Synopsis:
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 canceled 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.
Hi Lisa Daily,
Welcome to Paperback Writer
Thanks for having me here!
Will you share with us how you came up with the idea for this book?
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.
Do you plan your stories first with an outline or does it come to you as write it?
I do a rough outline first — I need to know where I’m going, the basics of what needs to happen or be accomplished in each chapter. That way, I’m free to have fun with the dialog and the action
Do you know the end of the story at the beginning?
I do know the end of the story, but I am always surprised by what happens on the way.
Do you have a process for developing your characters?
I tend to start with people I know or have met, and mold them into whatever the story needs. Sometimes I start with something as small or seemingly insignificant as a necktie, or bushy eyebrows or a nasal voice or a way with insurance forms
It is said that authors write themselves into their characters. Is there any part of you in your characters and what they would be?
I’m a lot like Darby, the main character. She’s a funny, somewhat klutzy dating expert who wants to see everybody get a little piece of happily ever after. The trait we share is that we both tend to trust our brains over our hearts
What is your most favorite part about this book?
I love the scene where Darby finds out her husband is cheating, on live national television — it’s surprising in many ways, laugh-out-loud funny.
When in the process of writing your book did you begin to look for a publisher?
What struggles have you had on the road to being published?
Both of my publishing experiences were freakishly struggle-free.
My husband and I moved to Minneapolis after he finished grad school, and our young son was still miraculously taking three hour naps every day. I decided it would be fun to write a dating advice book in my spare time, and sell it online instead of going the traditional publishing route.
I did the math, and figured I’d make a lot more money if I published the book myself.
I never looked for an agent, I never submitted to a single publisher. I have an advertising background, and I knew art directors, I knew printers, I knew production people. I figured, how hard can it be? Besides, I planned to do all the marketing myself, and after 8 years of serving the advertising needs of corporate America, I thought I might like to call all the shots in my next creative endeavor. For a change.
So, I wrote my little dating book in about six weeks, set a pub date (Valentine’s Day, naturally) bought myself a block of ISBN numbers and found a good short run printer. I hired a book publicist to send out review copies ($5000, resulting in 7, count ‘em, 7 media hits) and built a website.
When Oprah didn’t call immediately, I started to worry. When B&N national decided to pass, I started to freak. I woke up in the middle of the night, terrified that I’d spent $10,000 we didn’t really have. I decided that publicity, lots and lots of publicity, would be my only salvation. So every time I woke up with nightmares of being sucked into a quicksand-fast hole of debt, I cranked out a press release and faxed it to every media outlet I could think of.
I got booked on a local radio station. I got booked on the local TV station. B&Ns all over the country started placing individual orders for my book. My $5000 publicist managed to snag a quickie review in the New York Daily News (thank you, Alev Aktar).
The interview requests started to pick up, and I had the idea to pitch the book to the Ally McBeal show –it seemed like a good fit, one of the characters was always doing weird stuff to try to snag a man. I sent off my pitch and received a lovely form letter back stating that they could not look at my book and pitch unless they came from an agent.
Well, that was inconvenient. I didn’t have an agent. Fortunately, my $5000 publicist had a good friend who was an agent, and she was pretty certain her agent pal would be willing to slap a cover letter on my package for Ally McBeal.
I’d racked up about thirty interviews, the book started taking off, but I was spending a couple of hours a day in my garage. (in Minnesota, in February), packaging up books one and two at a time for individual stores who’d ordered, and re-ordered them.
I was spending most of my writing time billing stores (individually, gawd help me) and shipping out books.
Two days later, as I returned from my freezing cold garage/shipping center, I got a message from the agent on my answering machine. She said she’d read my book, she loved it, and to give her a call if I ever wanted to sell it to a major publisher.
Hmmm. Thrills and glory as a big-time author? Or two hours a day in the garage? Hmmm…what to do, what to do? As soon as my fingers started to thaw, I dialed the phone.
We talked for an hour, and I agreed to sign on with her. I worked on a proposal over the weekend and sent it and my contract off on Monday morning. On Tuesday I got a call from the Sally Jessy Raphael show. They wanted to book me for Thursday.
I called Lorraine, my newly-minted agent, who promptly set up meetings with as many editors as she could squeeze in before my return flight. Two days later, I was in NYC, sitting across from Sally Jessy, one of the nicest interviewers I’ve ever met. I had meetings with three editors that afternoon, all at big houses, and had several offers from by the end of the week.
What is the best part about being published?
Seeing my book in bookstores. It’s been almost six years, and it still thrills me every time.
What do you want readers to remember and carry with them after reading your novel?
I want readers to remember how much they laughed. I’d love it if they finished FIFTEEN MINUTES OF SHAME and felt like they’d made a friend
Do you have plans to write another book?
I’m currently finishing up a new dating book called HOW TO DATE LIKE A GROWNUP and have begun working on a new novel, FIFTEEN MINUTES OF SHAME
Would you care to share with us how the virtual book tour experience with Pump Up Your Book Promotion has been for you?
It’s been really fantastic — I’ve really enjoyed the process, and have met a lot of great people in the process.
Where can readers find a copy of your book?
Do you have a website for readers to go to?
Thank you, Lisa Daily, for sharing your book and characters with us today. It has been a pleasure and I hope you have had a successful virtual book tour.
Thanks, I’m glad to be here!