For the love of Doris Day – Fiona Harper
By Fiona Harper
I’ve always been a bit of a Doris Day fan. I mean, what’s not to like? Big, glitzy musicals, a singing voice like velvet, an infectious, husky laugh and that indefinable quality that means you can’t stop watching when she’s on the screen. There’s something about Doris Day that just makes you like her, whether you want to or not!♥
However, about three years ago I watched a documentary about Doris and I discovered that she wasn’t just likeable – she was intriguing. Mainly because the wholesome, all-American apple pie image that I had grown up around was only the tip of the iceberg.
While Doris always comes across as sweet and smiling and happy, I discovered there was a lot in her life that she had to cry about – from her father deserting the family when she was young, not even bothering to wish her goodbye as he walked out the door, a dramatic car crash that left doctors thinking she would never walk again, then working full time as singer from the age of fifteen, touring with bands that kept a punishing schedule.
And then there were the men in her life … Four husbands, each bringing their own special mix of challenges. And yet, in the face of all this, Doris had still come through the other side smiling. I started to realise that far from being the two-dimensional goody-two-shoes the media often painted her as, she was tough and strong, and far more complex than I’d realised. I could see how a woman could easily admire another woman like that.
And that’s how the idea for The Doris Day Vintage Film Club came about. At first I was going to write about a Doris Day lookalike, and then the story was going to be about Peggy, one of the secondary characters in The Little Shop of Hopes and Dreams, but finally I ended up with Claire – the president of a Doris Day film club, whose life starts to resemble the plot of Pillow Talk a little more than she would like!
While the book isn’t actually about Doris Day, there are tons of subtle, and not-so-subtle Doris references in the book, from the names of the characters to the name of the local pub, and I hope that anyone who’s even a little bit of a Doris fan will not only get a kick out the story, but learn a little about this amazing lady too. I’m really excited that the book is finally about to be released!
As a child, Fiona Harper was constantly teased for two things: having her nose in a book and living in a dream world. Things haven’t changed much since then, but at least in writing she’s found a use for her runaway imagination. Of course, she still can’t keep away from a good book or a good movie — especially romances — but only if she’s stocked up with tissues, because she knows she will need them by the ending, no matter if they’re happy or sad.