Today my guest is Julie McDowall author of “Casting The Net”, a very entertaining book about internet dating. I recently reviewed the book and you can read that review here. http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-2gG Now let’s go and meet Julie;
1) Where is your home town?
2) Where did the idea for “Casting the net” come from?
It is a non-fiction account of two very harrowing, disturbed but funny years I spent online dating in Glasgow. I would come into the office on a Monday morning, still baffled, reeling, aghast, furious or overjoyed from the weekend’s mad dates. My friends would gather round my desk, desperate to hear what on earth had happened this time. I got real pleasure out of telling my stories and entertaining my friends, so I set up a blog on WordPress so I could share the horrors with a wider audience. The blog became massively popular, and within four months of starting, had been taken up by The Herald newspaper where it still appears in instalments each Monday. The editor at The Herald then suggested I contact a publishing house called Blasted Heath. To my mad and crazy delight, they agreed to publish it as an extended and uncensored book, in two volumes.
3) Your book is set in Glasgow, can you tell our international readers where that is and tell us 5 great things about Glasgow?
Glasgow is the biggest city in Scotland, and is on the west coast of the country.
It was once known as The Second City of The Empire as it produced so many of Britain’s ships and locomotives, and had great wealth.
Its history is evident in its architecture, so much of which is proud and ornate Victorian.
It has produced a staggering amount of great writers, such as Alasdair Gray, William McIllvanney, James Kelman, Julie McDowall…(Of Course!)
It’ll host the Commonwealth Games in 2014
4) In your book, you try out several types of dating sites, do you think there is much difference between sites, or does it not matter because everyone enhances their profile regardless of online styles?
There is a huge difference between the various sites, and a novice must choose carefully. Some sites, such as Guardian Soulmates, are aimed at middle-class types, so you’ll tend to find people who are in their 30s or 40s and are serious about finding a partner, and will expect that person to have achievements and interests. At the opposite end of the spectrum are sites like Plenty of Fish which can be quite foul. The people on these sites don’t need to pay to upload their advert, so you find silly, badly-spelled, sometimes rude and aggressive adverts, many of whom are from people simply seeking a one-night stand. Then, there are novelty dating sites, like ones for people in uniform and ones for clowns and circus performers.
5) Do you think there are upper age limits to online dating or is everyone getting involved now a days?
Most sites require you to be 18, but they have no way of testing your age so anyone can join. These days, you find a massive age range on these sites. I’ve seen teenagers and pensioners trying it (though not together) and I say good luck to ’em! There used to be a sad stigma attached to online dating and it was seen as something only desperate folk would do, but that silly notion is vanishing.
6) Can you give 3 pieces of advice to someone about to take their first scary steps into online dating?
The first is to upload a photo. I was nervous when I first started and didn’t want my picture out there for the world to see, but you will scarcely get any approaches without a photo. It will imply that you are concealing something, or that you’re not really committed. I say, be brave and post a nice photo.
The second is don’t be afraid to be rude. If someone emails you and you’re not comfortable with them, or you know there’s simply no way you’ll want to meet them, don’t be afraid to simply ignore and delete the e-mail. Don’t waste your own time, and don’t give people false hope. It’s OK to be ruthless!
The third is to meet a date sooner rather than later. If you e-mail someone for weeks, trying to work out if they’re right for you, you’ll build up a false picture of them in your head. Meet them in person as soon as is reasonable and don’t let a whimsical e-mail romance develop. You’re not here to find penpals!
7) Your book has been extremely popular, is their a sequel on the way?
Yes indeed, Volume 2 will be published and I am also writing a novel about sexual obsession.
Catch up with Julie at these following places;