Interview With Julie Spira

 

Julie Spira Julie Spira is an author, entrepeneur, and cyber-dating expert. She started her career as a radio show host and voice-over announcer at WAAL in Binghamton, NY where she was the first female announcer at the FM rock station. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Television-Radio from the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY.

Spira served as a top executive for several leading-edge Internet and communications companies; and today, as a super successful cyber-dating expert, she shares her stories to empower singles on the Internet dating scene. She is a gifted mentor and sits on the board of several charitable organizations in Los Angeles. She is the author of "The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online" (Morgan James Publishing, February, 2009) and hosts the radio show, “Ask the Cyber-Dating Expert.”

Since Julie attended college with my husband, I asked her if I could interview her for Women's Book Reviews.

Julie, welcome to Women's Book Reviews. I would like to ask you where you grew up and where you went to school?

I grew up in Bergen County in New Jersey and went to Ithaca College, Park School of Communications and have a B.S. in Television-Radio.

Have you written any other books? When you decided to publish your first book, how did you know what to do --- who to contact, etc.?

This is my first book. I came up with the book title in 1995, and finally wrote the book in 2000. I asked everyone I knew if they knew any published authors, publishers agents, and just spread the word. Because of social networking groups I was able to reconnect with people who helped me during the process.

Why did you write this book?

I wrote this book to share my stories of 15 years of online dating so other singles wouldn’t feel so alone in cyberspace. I wanted to make a difference in the lives of others so they can embrace online dating and laugh along the way. I often wonder how different my life would be if I had taken the “right turn” instead of the “left turn.” This book is about those “left turns.” It’s my journey in cyberspace hoping to replace the love of my life with a new Internet Mate and wanted to turn lemons into lemonade.

Have you been successful at online dating and why are you an expert?

I was online dating before most people knew about the Internet or even had an email account back in 1994. After 15 years and over 250 dates, which included four marriage proposals, one husband and once fiancé, I realized I was an expert and created CyberDatingExpert.com a social networking site where singles and couples can share their online dating stories and wrote the book.

Why is this book different than other internet dating books?

I wrote the book before I even knew if other books existed on Internet dating. "The Perils of Cyber-Dating" is about my romantic journey in cyberspace. It is a personal tell-all memoir. Most other books are focused on “how to date online.” My book is an Internet dating real life romantic story with its ups and downs and teaching others the red flags to avoid.

How similar is your story to "Sex and the City?"

It’s "Sex and The City" meets "The Rules" on a romantic journey like "Eat, Pray, Love."

Although my real life story line could be similar to some episodes of SATC, my book deals mostly with online dating and cyber-dating. In my book, I sadly got dumped by my fiancé in an email. When I tell people this story they immediately remember the episode in SATC where Carrie got dumped by Berger in a post-it, and they weren’t even engaged.

How similar is your story to "He's Just Not That into You?"

That film hit home. Like Jennifer Aniston, I had a seven-year guy who wouldn’t marry me. He said he didn’t need a piece of paper to prove his love to me. It was because of the relationship with my seven-year guy, that I first went online to replace the “Love of My Life.”

What was your worst date?

One of my early cyber-dates was with a man who went berserk in a restaurant because I looked like his dead wife. I felt sorry for him, but I politely exited stage right.

Then there was the gentleman who told me the graphic details of the colonoscopy he had the day before our lunch date. I lost my appetite and wondered why he thought I needed to know.

Also, there was the man who proposed marriage to me and was already married. I can’t imagine how many women he did this to around the country.

What was your best date?

I loved the men of Harley Davidson. It was a phase but I was determined to meet every upscale biker in town.

“The Boy Next Door” --- I met a man in LA who had grown up only a mile down the street from me while I was a child in New Jersey. Our parents knew each other, we were born in the same hospital, and we even picked out free pickles from the same deli. We are still friends, but I was allergic to his dog and his dog had home court advantage.

What do you recommend to other online daters?

Read the book, "The Perils of Cyber-Dating" and learn to see the red flags from my stories. Make sure you have a fabulous profile and have your pictures taken professionally. Men are visual and if they like your photo, they will contact you.

What do you recommend to women?

Be authentic about your age and use recent photos. I have a chapter in the book called “The Rules of Netiquette” and one of the rules is the “Cut off” Rule. If you feel you must shave off a few years of your age to fit into a search, never take off more than five years and please come clean on the first date.

What do you recommend to men?

Be patient. As women we receive hundreds of emails a day in the beginning. Try to write something personal and write to a woman with a profile that isn’t brand new.

Why do you like internet dating?

It is instant, available 24 hours a day, and over 40 million singles are dating online now. It is a good vehicle for busy professionals.

There is something for everyone. If you are looking for a casual relationship or to “hook up” there are sites for you to go to, and if you are looking for a serious relationship there are different sites that will be a good fit.

Where can you buy the book?

It is available on my site at CyberDatingExpert.com, Amazon.com, and BarnesandNoble.com. A portion of the book proceeds benefit Step Up Women’s Network, a national non-profit membership organization dedicated to strengthening community resources for women and girls.

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