Author Spotlight: D.G. Kaye

Welcome to next edition of the AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT & BOOK ALERT series. Today, we’re sharing:

D.G. Kaye and I met via our blogs about a year ago. She created and runs a Facebook Literary Divas group that I stumbled upon, where I met dozens of wonderful authors who love to share and promote each other’s work. From there, we began chatting on various social media forums… and when I sampled summaries of each of her books, I knew I had to read one. I chose P.S. I Forgive You as the first book to read from her collection. I thoroughly enjoyed this memoir (despite how emotionally painful it can be at times) and am sharing my 5-star review here. I’m excited to present this fantastic author to you today… including a special excerpt of her latest book.

About the Author

Who is D.G. Kaye?

Debby Gies is a Canadian nonfiction/memoir author who writes under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. She was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and the lessons taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome challenges in her life and finding the upside from those situations. Her refusal to accept the word No or the phrase I can’t, keep her on the path to positivity. Kaye loves to look for the humor in whatever life can dish out, and when she isn’t writing intimate memoirs, she brings her natural sense of humor into her other works. She writes with a rawness and honesty, leaving readers with something to take from her stories.

From an emotionally neglected childhood, growing up with a narcissistic mother, D.G. harbored a severely deflated self-esteem, and began seeking a path to rise above her issues. Her emotionally neglected childhood inspired her to write after journaling for decades about her observations of her dysfunctional family life.

Quotes:

“Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”

“For every kindness, there should be kindness in  return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

Key Links:

Please feel free to connect with her on social media and any of her author and blog pages at:

www.dgkayewriter.com

www.goodreads.com/dgkaye

www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7

www.twitter.com/@pokercubster (Of course there’s a story to this name!)

www.wiseintro.co/dgkaye

www.linkedin.com/in/DGKaye7

www.google.com/+debbydgkayegies

www.pinterest.com/dgkaye7

www.instagram.com/dgkaye

www.facebook.com/dgkaye

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Overview of Book (s)

D.G. Kaye has written six (6) books as of this spotlight. Check out the wonderful graphic below to see all the covers, then scroll to read a special excerpt of one of the books.

Look at all these amazing covers!

Today we get a book excerpt of TWENTY YEARS: AFTER “I DO” in this special author spotlight.

Blurb:

In this personal accounting, D.G. Kaye shares the insights and wisdom she has accrued through twenty years of keeping her marriage strong and thriving despite the everyday changes and challenges of aging. Kaye reveals how a little creative planning, acceptance, and unconditional love can create a bond no obstacle will break. Kaye’s stories are informative, inspiring, and a testament to love eclipsing all when two people understand, respect, and honor their vows. She adds that a daily sprinkling of laughter is a staple in nourishing a healthy marriage.

Twenty years began with a promise. As Kaye recounts what transpired within that time, she shows that true love has no limits, even when one spouse ages ahead of the other.

Excerpt from Unconditional Love – In Sickness and Health:

Unconditional love was an unfamiliar term to me, unrecognized for most of my life because I’d never experienced nor believed it existed. My understanding of unconditional love was that it meant loving a person no matter his or her faults or beliefs. I thought it meant partners love us regardless—warts and all.

Through sickness, devastation, defeat, and blame, if somebody loves you unconditionally, he or she will stick around and still love, support, and compliment your attributes even when you’re at your worst.

Before I met Gordon, I’d never experienced such love. Old scars of shame and low self-esteem have had the propensity to linger within my psyche. As an ordinary, awkward-looking child, often overweight through my childhood, I’d had my share of being ridiculed. Even through the years of trying to fix myself and learning to grow my self-esteem, those haunting memories of my long-ago past of feeling inadequate still occasionally circulated in my mind.

I often obsessed about how fat I looked or how a partner could still desire me if he saw me with no makeup on, once all my naked flaws behind the glamor were exposed. The insecurities I harbored when I was younger were engraved in my memory because I had nobody lifting me up, encouraging me to feel worthy about who I was on the inside. Some of my relationships had also kept me discouraged, as men couldn’t resist reminding me I may have gained a few pounds.

But when a man can see you in your most dire moments of humiliating illness and isn’t the least concerned about a few pounds, when he’s able to look at your bare face in the morning and hug you dearly while telling you how beautiful you are with sincerity in his heart, he’s a keeper. Gordon is that man. Many relationships aren’t strong enough to weather the storms, but illness is a good indicator of the strength of a relationship.

***

When the bad times came barging into our relationship after we’d been married for only one week, Gordon was there for me. He stood by me, not only out of a sense of duty. He cleaned up my sick messes, fed me when I had not one ounce of strength to lift a spoon, and complimented me even when the steroids I was taking to save my life made my face and body round and distorted. He cried with me, told me countless times a day how much he loved me, and reminded me that to him I’d always be beautiful, that we’d do whatever it took to make me better, because he didn’t want to live without me. That was when I learned about unconditional love. That was the lightbulb realization after our vows kicked in early: I had chosen the right man to share my life with. 

Customer Review

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, Twenty Years: After “I Do”. It was a heartfelt journey through the author’s life with her devoted and loving husband who is much older than she. I laughed along with her and shed tears of sorrow when she did.

D.G. Kaye expressed herself in endearing terms when she spoke of her husband and their wonderful life together. She wrote with deep expressions of angst over serious health issues they both experienced and then joy over happy times with much shared laughter.

Marriage is a difficult union as anyone who has been married knows. This book takes the reader down this path to discover the true meaning of soul mates and undying love from one another. D.G. shares the beauty of each day that she and her husband, Gordon, have had together and continue to have even in adversity. She displays a remarkable wit in tough times and a brilliant resilience to go on no matter what she must face.

This book is a must read for all who have been married whether for a short time or a longer time. All couples face similar situations and must make tough decisions in their lives together. The author has shown how she has had to deal with serious health issues and come out stronger and more persistent to make the best of every day she and her husband have left together. For isn’t that part of our marriage vows – to love each other in sickness and health till death do us part?

Reviewer ‘Jjspina’ gave the Kindle version 5 out of 5 stars

A Heartfelt Journey through the author’s married life!

Interview: Questions & Answers

What particular challenges and struggles did you face before first becoming published?

Besides spending a good year before publishing, learning the publishing business and searching for the right fit for an editor and book designer, I had to contend with the fear of my mother’s wrath. When I finally finished and had my first book, Conflicted Hearts ready to publish, I was concerned about the backlash from my mother, as she was a central character in my stories. I knew she was already bedridden, but nothing stopped her anger and temperament, and I knew if she weren’t broke and bedridden that she’d have sued me for sure.

I love this quote by Anne Lamott – “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.” 
― Anne Lamott – Bird by Bird

Some authors like to make an argument or address an issue when they write. Is there an issue that you address with your book?

Being a nonfiction/memoir author, all my books – through stories about my experiences, cover various issues in my stories. My books cover topics such as: narcissism, low self-esteem, emotional neglect, women’s issues with the lessons I learned along the way through my experiences. I write hoping to enlighten others.

What do you like most and least about being an author? What is your toughest challenge?

I love that I belong to a community of like-minded people, and the wonderful support and friendships that have come through the community. I love how being an author and becoming friends with many other authors doesn’t entail those petty jealousies that can occur in a regular job environment. We all respect one another’s work, and nobody steps on anyone’s toes because each and all our books is unique for any reader. But the toughest challenge as a self-published author is having to wear all the hats entailed to getting our books out into the world of visibility. Having to work on our own promotions, interviews, social media, running a blog, etc., cuts into our writing time – a lot! If we could only all afford assistants, no doubts, we could put out many more books.

What do you like about writing in your genre?

I’ve always been a storyteller about true stories. I write nonfiction because I get to tell my truths from the proverbial ‘horse’s mouth’, not disguised in fiction.

Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you do anything special to get reviews?

I always read my reviews – an author’s gold! I don’t respond to them directly. If I know of an author friend who happened to read and review, I always thank them. I don’t get involved with responding directly on the review page – good or bad. But I always make it a point to thank someone I know if they’ve reviewed. Gratefully, there are less than a handful of not-so-stellar reviews combined with all my books, and even then, those reviews aren’t even relevant to the book. Sadly, there isn’t much we can do with Amazon’s rules of reviewing. It really isn’t fair to authors to be given low ratings because of a reader’s backlash for delivery problems with Amazon, or because someone didn’t enjoy my book because they don’t like to read the genre of my books – ya, I know, so why read it right? But many an author has had to swallow that pill. Personally, if I’m perusing a book on Amazon and see mostly 4 and 5 stars and 1 or 2 low ratings, I’ll read them to see what their gripe is, but it won’t stop me from buying a book otherwise enjoyed by the majority.

I don’t blatantly ask people to review my books, but if I’m doing an active promotion, I will add in somewhere – If you’ve enjoyed this book, a review would be greatly appreciated. I personally review each book I read as I know the importance of garnering reviews, and many authors who read books do the same because they know the importance.

How long have you been published? Did you self-publish? What titles have you published?

I am a self-published author. I published my first book, Conflicted Hearts, in 2013. The following are the books I’ve published with a short description of each:

At a young age, D.G. began keeping journals to take notes about her turbulent childhood while growing up as an emotionally neglected child. Tormented with guilt, as she grew older, D.G. was conflicted with the question of whether or not she was to remain obligated to being a faithful daughter, in debt to her narcissistic mother for giving birth to her. Her first book, Conflicted Hearts is a memoir, written about her journey to seek solace from living with guilt.

D.G.’s writing relates to her experiences in life as she shares her lessons and ideas she acquired along the way. Kaye’s second book, Meno-What? A Memoir, was written based on her passage through menopause. In that book, she shares her humor and wisdom on what women can expect at that time, adding some of her helpful hints for relief, and humor.

D.G.’s book, Words We Carry focuses around women’s self-esteem issues. She talks about how and why the issues evolve, how she recognized her own shortcomings, and how she overcame her insecurities.

D.G’s little travel memoir, Have Bags, Will Travel, is a short, fun read on the perils of traveling with too much luggage. D.G. shares some of her more memorable trips and escapades, and her humorous attempts to get back home, and through Canada customs, unscathed.

Kaye’s – P.S. I Forgive You is a stand alone sequel to Conflicted Hearts. This book is a completion to the cycle of finally finding forgiveness for herself and letting go of the guilt she carried for half a decade from her narcissistic mother.

D.G. Kaye’s most recent release – Twenty Years: After “I Do” is a memoir about loving and aging, marriage in a May/December relationship, and how to keep a marriage thriving despite changes.

Do you think book covers play an important part in someone buying your books? Who designs your book covers?

Yes, I’m a firm believer that a good cover helps to capture the interest of a reader. It’s also important the cover captures the essence of the story inside the cover or readers will get upset for being misled if a cover denotes a certain genre and the story is of another. Often an eye-catching cover will lead to a reader wanting to learn more about the book, leading them to read the blurb, and hopefully, to buying the book.

 I have a wonderful cover artist – Yvonne Less, who runs a digital design and book cover business called Art4Artists. We have a great working relationship. I usually scour images of things that represent my story, then send them off to Yvonne, along with a brief synopsis of my book so she can get a feel for what I’m after for my covers. I visualize what I’d like for a cover and she makes it happen. And she’s quite reasonably priced too.

What do you think is the hardest part of writing? What’s the easiest?

For me, the writing is the best part of writing, but there’s a whole umbrella of what goes on besides the writing. I enjoy revisions too because it gives me the chance to elaborate and polish up my stories, but the repetitive times to have to read the book over and over for edits after is wearing. And like many authors, I don’t enjoy self-promotion, but it comes with the job of being a self-publisher if we wish our books to be discovered.

What types of books do you like to read? Who are some of your favorite authors?

I love reading nonfiction books, as factual and real-life stories, and information fascinate me. When not reading nonfiction, my two favorite genres are historical fiction – particularly WWII era, and lighter escape reads in the chick-lit or family saga genres. Until I started publishing my own books and learned about so many wonderful books by Indie authors, I mostly read books by traditionally published, more well-known authors such as: Nora Ephron, Jackie Collins, Sophie Kinsella, Judith Krantz, Barbara Taylor Bradford, Jeffrey Archer, Dan Brown – to name a few. And now there are many more Indie author’s books I enjoy reading. Just a few to mention of some of my favorite books to read are by Indie authors: Stevie Turner, Christoph Fischer, Marina Osipova, Paulette Mahurin, and Barbara Silkline, among others.

Do you blog and share book reviews of other authors? Tell us about it.

I sure do! I try to keep a structure on my blog by blogging three times a week. Tuesdays are posts on any random topic I feel I want to write about and share, Fridays are usually geared toward posts about writing, or guest writer interviews, and Sundays I share book reviews on books I’ve read and reviewed. I’ve been blogging for six years now, so eventually I got a rhythm going and a good feel for my readers and what kinds of posts they gravitate to.

What are you afraid to write about?

Politics. I consider myself an activist when it comes to inhumanity and injustices. As a truth-teller, I find it hard to stay quiet sometimes. I can gauge from running a few private groups and social media postings the temperature in certain circles. Many people are afraid to say how they feel against injustice. I can tell by some of my postings of political poetry I like to write that some of my regular readers who are mainstay visitors and commenters, shy away from commenting. I don’t wish to piss off my readers so I try to separate my political activities from my writing, although I’d love to be writing more about my observations and feelings about what goes on around the world.

Wrap Up

Thank you to D.G. Kaye for spending her time with me to prepare this interview. When an author can reveal so much about themselves through their works, and readers can feel the emotion dripping from the page, you’ve struck gold. I’m grateful to her for this interview and generosity.

***

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations but with a twist. There are five books: Academic CurveballBroken Heart Attack, Flower Power Trip, Mistaken Identity Crisis, and Haunted House Ghost. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

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86 comments

  1. I know Deb so well from her books and blog, a loving and supporting member of blogosphere, she keeps us humoured with her fun-filled activities! I met her through her blog and she became a dear friend within days. I admire her as she has many dimensions to her personality and this interview reveals a few more! Deb would never cease to amaze us! Loved all your answers.Stay blessed.
    Thank you Jay for inviting one of the gems to your site.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord Blog Magazine and commented:
    Our favourite memoir author and travel expert Debby Gies, D.G. Kaye is the guest today of James J. Cudney, sharing her books, writing experience, inspirations and favourite authors and genres to read.. Head over, as much as you think you know someone, there is always something new to discover.. thanks James and Debby for a great interview.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Great interview, Deb and James. I was just talking to a friend in my writer’s group about the danger of mentioning family members in a memoir, that they could get angry. I’m going to refer them to this interview, where you worried exactly that.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Terrific interview, Jay. I’ve read two of Debby’s books, and know what a great supporter of her fellow authors she is. It’s always interesting to learn more about someone whose books you enjoy.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Great interview, Debbie! I too am afraid to broach the subject of politics in this volatile time! It’s hard to remain quiet when we see so much wrong being done to what should be basic compassion for humanity. Thanks for hosting, James!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Thank you for the interview and reviews, Jay. Debby is a humorous and kind person. She is supportive of blogger friends and I’m thankful to be one of them. Her jokes and animation finds are hilarious.

    Congratulations, Debby for putting together this fun interview. I totally enjoyed it.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Thank you, Jay, for sharing your great interview with Debby. She’s a special unicorn buddy and her light shines a path for us all. I have ‘Twenty Years after ‘I do” on my bookshelf. A courageous and honest account from a loving, gifted author. Hugs for you both. Xx

    Liked by 2 people

  8. EXCELLENT interview. Here’s to all the hats we need to wear to succeed as self-published authors, Debby. Of course, the first and most important hat is the “good writer” cap, and you wear that well. Your books are honest and open, well-written and well-produced. And yes, because of our blogging, we have learned to wear different hats in the kinds of books/other genres we read too, in supporting each other. Thanks for interviewing Debby, Jay.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Wonderful interview with great questions, Debby and James. I also love writing And editing. But agree that after a while my head turns mushy and my eyes cross. And interesting answer regarding politics. We’re so much alike in that regard, Debby. I can’t keep my mouth shut no matter how hard I try! The rant just starts coming. Lol.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Wonderful post and interview Jay. I am not familiar with Debbie or her books, but I am going to check them out and see if I can fit one in. I do like to read memoirs interspersed with all the fiction that I read.

    Like

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