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Red Bank author’s first novel focuses on the single life

Red Bank resident Victoria Thurman will be signing copies of her debut novel, “The Dating Dilemmas of Delilah Dunnfield,” at Winder Binder Gallery and Bookstore Dec. 16 from 2-4 p.m.

Delilah Dunnfield, the novel’s main character, is a 24-year-old woman desperate to find a man before she reaches age 25.

“She heard all the good ones are gone by 25,” said Thurman, who was given the same information by her mother about a decade ago, around the time she began writing the novel. “I wanted to look at that in a humorous light. I spent a lot of time crying over my marital status, and I started looking at all the terrible dates I had and just enjoyed the humor of it.”

Thurman describes her humor as dry, matter-of-fact and blunt. The book is centered on the theme of self-discovery, she said, and has been enjoyed by single women as young as 16 and up to age 84.

“She realizes she doesn’t have to take someone else’s advice blindly and she learns to follow her own path” said Thurman of Delilah, whose story is loosely based on her own life, and if she had her choice would have been played by the late Brittany Murphy had the novel been made into a film. “It’s taken me awhile to write because I’ve been living it at the same time.”

She finished the book in 2006, at which time she submitted it to a publisher, who liked the concept but thought the lack of sex in the novel would hurt sales.

“I think humor sells just as much as sex does,” said Thurman, who decided to self-publish the book last year in what she refers to as a “Delilah moment,” a time when one must take action to live the life they want to live. “I knew nobody would change what I wrote, and I think so far it’s been well received.”

At book signings, such as her recent visit to In-Town Gallery in North Chattanooga, Thurman dresses in a 1950’s-style dress and pink scarf similar to Delilah’s on the book jacket, and she hands out Ho Hos with wrappers emblazoned with imitation headlines relating to Delilah’s pathetic love life.

“Everyone thought it was clever and a good idea,” she said. “I want my book signings to be entertaining, and for people to be able to relate.”

The book recently received an Indie Book Readers Appreciation Group Medallion Award, which signifies it as a top-rated self-published novel based on reader reviews.

In addition to Winder Binder, the book is also available at New Moon Gallery in North Chattanooga and Wild Hare Books in Signal Mountain, as well as online at amazon.com.

Thurman said she is already working on a sequel, “Daylight Dawns on Delilah Dunnfield,” in which Delilah learns unconditional love from her cat.

Originally from Austin, Texas, Thurman is single and living in Red Bank with her cat, Mr. Bell.

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