Samantha Daniels has encountered some interesting characters in her career. She shares their stories in her book “Matchbook: The Diary of a Modern Day Matchmaker.”
“At the core, it’s a journey for love and the ultimate hope that everyone will meet someone eventually,” said Daniels of her non-fiction book which she said “reads more like a novel.”
Daniels, a Temple law alum, returned last Tuesday and Wednesday for book signings and to meet students at the Student Center, Johnson and Hardwick cafeteria and the law school.
The book, which came out Feb. 14, follows characters with nicknames like “Mr. Touchy” as they date.
“You learn from others’ experiences,” said Daniels, who worked on the book for a total of 10 months.
After pursuing her undergraduate degree at the University of Pennsylvania, Daniels attended Temple’s law school. She moved to New York after getting her degree in matrimonial law and became a divorce lawyer. While pursuing her career, she was throwing parties and events on the side. At these gatherings she would introduce people, and often and they would end up getting married, she explained.
Daniels so enjoyed introducing couples that she made a drastic career switch and started her business, Samantha’s Table, six years ago.
“It’s more rewarding bringing [people] together,” said Daniels, who charges $10,000 per client.
Still, her unorthodox career has raised a few eyebrows.
“At first [my family] thought it was an unusual idea because they didn’t know anybody that did it,” Daniels said.
As a 35-year-old unmarried divorce lawyer turned matchmaker, Daniels has since started a new business in Los Angeles, written a book and inspired and produced NBC’s Miss Match, starring Alicia Silverstone.
Her clients’ stories inspired her to write this book.
“People seem fascinated by what I do, and asking for advice,” said Daniels. She said she decided to “share what I’ve learned in an entertaining way.”
In practice, Daniels is all business. After a consultation, she sets up her client with someone who she feels is close to their own specifications of “the one.” She arranges drinks at a convenient location where they can get to know each other. The people who come to her are successful professionals and many are males looking for that special someone.
Daniels wrote this book for everyone to read and take something away from.
“It’s targeted at anyone who likes an exciting view into the dating world. Men, women, young, and old,” said Daniels. She compares the book to a cross between Sex and the City and “Bridget Jones’ Diary.”
“That’s what caught my eye,” said freshman Olivia Merlino of the comparison, who picked up the book and remembered watching Miss Match. “The ‘Bridget Jones” books are my favorite.”
While sitting in Johnson and Hardwick cafeteria, Daniels looked around at all the students.
“I like observing people,” she continued. “Wondering about them and creating stories.”
She also said in college there is a lot of friendship and hanging out, not really dating. However, she did give some tips for college students.
“Stay in touch with people you meet in college,” she said because many times people are not looking for serious relationships while in school. She also acknowledged that “if you get invited, always go, because you never know who you’ll meet there.
“There’s a lid for every pot,” she said, meaning that everyone will find someone eventually.
To be a matchmaker, in addition to observing people, Daniels said she needs to be able to read between the lines, be honest and direct, social enough to approach strangers and “be objective in evaluating people when they tell you what they’re looking for [in a partner].”
This is not the final project for Daniels. Besides continuing her growing business, she is working on her next book and another television show.
“If I keep working on things, [people] will stay interested,” she said.
Hannah Davis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.