Saturday, December 15, 2012


Alison Caiola, author of the mother-daughter drama The Seeds of a Daisy, discusses her novel's background, characters, and inspirations. Visit her website, Follow her on Twitter, or Like her Facebook page.

The Seeds of a Daisy is told from the intimate first-person perspective of a successful TV actress, Lily Lockwood. What inspired her character?

In my years working in Hollywood, in the Entertainment Industry and also as a mother of a successful actor, I have met and really gotten to know many young actors and actresses.  Lily’s character is a conglomeration recipe;  I took a spoonful of one actor, a dash of another and then of course handfuls  of pure imagination. 

It was also very important to me that Lily have room to grow and evolve throughout the story.

Sidebar: Many of the circumstances that both Lily and Daisy have gone through and the events that happened are inspired by real circumstances and  events in my own life.  So it was fun and sometime cathartic to revisit. 

Daisy, Lily’s tough-as-nails mother, is seen only in flashbacks, and yet as she’s revealed over the course of the novel, she quickly becomes as dominant a character as Lily. What was it like writing about her? 

I thoroughly enjoyed writing Daisy. As with all the characters I write, they become real, living breathing people to me.  I hear their voices as I’m writing, and it is always inspiring and entertaining.  With Daisy, in particular, it was my goal to write her as a very strong and determined woman; but also show her vulnerable and softer side. Like all of us, Daisy is the product of everything that has happened to her.  By delving into, not only her past with her daughter, but also her childhood, I wanted the readers to understand fundamentally  what makes Daisy click. 

The Seeds of a Daisy gives readers a glimpse behind the scenes of the entertainment world. Why did you choose this as the backdrop to your story? 

I've been in Hollywood since the early ’90’s. I know up close and personal what goes on behind-the-scenes, so it was a natural for me to use it as a backdrop of the story.

While I wanted to give the reader an insider’s perspective, it was important to show that actors and actresses are real people with the same problems, joys and hurts that we all have.  No matter who you are, what path you walk, we all experience illness, joy, love, friendship, betrayal, and  heartbreak. These are the great equalizers in life, and The Seeds of a Daisy has plenty of it. 

What kind of research did you conduct in order to write The Seeds of a Daisy? 

Research is of utmost importance to me; it is the realistic foundation that all my characters walk upon. Most of the research I did was medical-based. I spoke to professionals in the medical field, scoured books and the internet for answers to my questions. 

There is a component that I also took from my experience as a patient’s relative; the person who is given all the jargon and has to make sense of it. 

It was imperative to me that it was believable; I wanted the reader to feel Lily’s fear, frustration and  confusion when the doctors were downloading all the medical results and explanations to her. 

Were there any parts of your book that you particularly enjoyed writing? Any you found particularly challenging? 

Challenging first: There were many parts in the book that brought back memories that I went through when my own mother was in the hospital. There was one point that I put the book down for many months because it brought back a flood of emotions for me.  But I understood that in order for the reader to believe the story, it has to be real. And in order for it to ring true, it was inevitable for me to relive some of the sadness.

Parts I thoroughly enjoyed:  I must say, that I enjoyed writing most of the  story. I loved writing about Daisy’s colorful, if irreverent friends.  I loved writing about her escapades before and after Lily was born.  And I LOVED writing about Lily’s volatile relationship with Jamie. I guess all in all, I enjoyed the whole experience. 

How long did it take to write The Seeds of a Daisy? Did you outline your novel, or did the story come to you as you wrote? 

From the first moment I started writing until my last edited version took a little more than four years.

I went into the project knowing what the story would be and who the main characters were.  The experience was an extremely free-flowing one and there were times that I couldn't type fast enough to keep up with the inspiration.  Supporting characters emerged during the writing process, and I was able to later flesh them out over time. 

Are you working on anything new? 

Yes I’m currently working on many projects. I’m writing a sequel to The Seeds of a Daisy entitled The Seeds of a Lily. The reader will be able to follow Lily into the next phase of her life. I promise many suprising twists!

I've also written and produced a new Web/TV series The Tyme Chronicles, which is a new action-packed series about two close friends (ex Special Ops) who with their family create an organization and go undercover to work with the CIA and FBI. It's buddy movie, funny, and the romance component and family dynamic really tug at the heartstrings.

You can tell your readers to go to  for more information.  My son, JD Daniels, is one of the stars, so it makes the project even more enjoyable and special.  Besides acting, he’s also a talented writer and is currently getting his MFA at Stonybrook Southampton in Creative Writing. I had the pleasure of collaborating with him on the first episode.

And lastly, I recently started another book where the lives of three characters, who would never ordinarily meet, intersect and are forever changed,  due to a mysterious and deadly set of circumstances.

The Seeds of a Daisy is available at: Createspace (paperback), Amazon US (paperback), Amazon US (Kindle e-book), Amazon UK (Kindle e-book), Barnes & Noble (Nook e-book), iTunes (find it in the iTunes store)

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