My guest today has become a friend on and offline and along with Tina Frisco form a little group called the Three Musketeers.. Oh sorry has that name been taken! Anyway D. G. Kaye – Debby Gies has been popping in to the blog for over three years and has been a huge support during highs and lows. We are finally going to be face to face for the first time at the Blogger’s Bash in June and I am so excited to meet her finally.
Debby writes as D.G. Kaye and has struck many a chord with her frank and down to earth memoirs and non-fiction books. Before we enjoy Debby’s interview I thought I would let her tell you all about herself.
I’m a nonfiction memoir writer who writes about life, matters of the heart and women’s issues. My intent is to inspire others by sharing my stories about events I encountered, and the lessons that come along with them.
I love to laugh, and self-medicate with a daily dose of humor. When I’m not writing intimate memoirs, you’ll find me writing with humor in some of my other works and blog posts.
When I was a young child, I was very observant about my surroundings. Growing up in a tumultuous family life; otherwise known as a broken home, kept me on guard about the on-and-off-going status of my parents’ relationship. I often wrote notes, and journaled about the dysfunction that I grew up in. By age seven I was certain I was going to grow up to be a reporter.
Well life has a funny way of taking detours. Instead, I moved away from home at eighteen with a few meager belongings and a curiosity for life. I finished university and changed careers a few times always striving to work my way up to managerial positions. My drive to succeed at anything I put my mind to led me to having a very colorful and eventful life.
Ever the optimist, that is me. I’ve conquered quite a few battles in life; health and otherwise, and my refusal to accept the word ‘No’, or to use the words ‘I can’t’, keeps me on a positive path in life.
I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences.
Growing up as an emotionally neglected child, tormented with guilt, I struggled with whether or not I was to remain obligated to being a faithful daughter, feeling in debt to my narcissistic mother for giving birth to me. My first book, Conflicted Hearts is a memoir, written about my journey to seek solace from living with guilt.
In keeping up with sharing my experiences in life, I thought about my turbulent voyage through menopause. No, it wasn’t fun. But in retrospect, I had to laugh when comparing symptoms with friends over some of the craziness of the side effects, so I decided to write Meno-What? A Memoir. The book is a short, humorous accounting of my passage through the hormonal injustice. In that book, I share some of the many symptoms I encountered, hoping to shed some light and humor on what women may expect or experience at that unpredictable time. I also offer up some of my helpful hints I found useful for relief.
Words We Carry focuses around women’s self-esteem issues. I talk about how and why we develop a low sense of self by using my own life experiences as examples. I share stories about how I recognized my own shortcomings, and overcame my insecurities, hoping to empower others.
Have Bags, Will Travel is a little travel memoir of tales and reminiscings from some of my more memorable trips, which all factor in the same ongoing issues for me – too much luggage!
My newest book, P.S. I Forgive You is Book II to Conflicted Hearts, a journey of seeking forgiveness for my narcissistic mother. As her death was approaching, I was forced by conflicting thoughts to reconcile my feelings about my mother and find a way to make peace within myself for my decision to remain estranged, yet find forgiveness for her to send her off with compassion.
I write raw and honest about my own experiences, hoping through my writing, that others can relate and find that there is always a choice to move from a negative space, and look for the positive.
Read the reviews and buy all of Debby’s books: http://www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7
“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?”
When I’m not writing, I’m reading or quite possibly looking after some mundane thing in life. It’s also possible I may be on a secret getaway trip, as my passion is traveling.
My favorite reading genres are: biographies, memoirs, books about writing, spirituality, and natural health. I love to read stories about people who overcome adversity, victories, and redemption. I believe we have to keep learning—there is always room for improvement!
I love to cook and concoct new recipes (and I don’t believe in measuring cups), travel, and play poker (although I seldom get the chance), oh, and did I mention travel?
Now time to put Debby in the hot seat and she is also looking forward to answering your questions in the comment section.
Welcome Debby and can you tell us about your chosen genre of books that you write and why?
I think I was born to be a nonfiction writer because I’ve always been a great observer of my surroundings and people. I have an undeniable urge to share info with others. I like to talk and write about real life issues and I’m always in search of resolution for problems. I feel by sharing my stories and findings, I can enlighten others and hopefully help them through sharing my own experiences.
Is there any invention that is a major part of our lives that you wish had not been invented?
Oh yes Sal, there sure is and that would be mobile phones. I know the world has advanced incredibly with technology, but as all good things, too much advancement can be overkill. Sure it’s convenient to have access to everything at our fingertips, but having that easy access has somehow taken away a lot of the human side of intimate connections in the real world, particularly with the younger generation.
With no cellphone attached as an appendage, people would engage one on one with eye contact and dialogue without having to constantly be fixated on texting like robots. When we’re out doing things, we should be enjoying and focused on the people we are out with, not chatting or texting, checking phones every minute, not to mention those killers who refuse to stop texting when driving.
Do you have a favourite quote? What does it mean to you as an individual?
I do love quotes, particularly profound ones that resonate with me from some favorite movies. To choose one, I’ll go with “Hope floats.” The full quote is from the 1998 movie Hope Floats – “Beginnings are scary. Endings are usually sad, but it’s what’s in the middle that counts. So, when you find yourself at the beginning, just give hope a chance to float up. And it will!”
Why I love that quote so much is because it projects optimism. I have always been an optimistic person, ever searching for that tiniest of bright side, and I preach optimism to all who know me. Focusing on the negative will only bring more negative with no chance to flourish, so why not believe that hope will deliver and stay on a positive path?
As an established memoir author, what three key elements would you consider to be most important?
The three most important elements to writing memoir are:
Truth – Keep the story genuine, true to the way you remember it. If it were to be sugar-coated for dramatic effect, it would become on the verge of fiction.
Invite the reader in – By feeding the reader the conflict of the story and true descriptions of emotion and character traits of both the protagonist and antagonist in the story, they can form their own assessment about how they feel. Don’t write to try and sway readers by condemnation and character bashing to evoke sympathy from the reader.
Leave a positive message –Even though the story may not be about a happy topic, find the triumph from enduring and overcoming the conflict to inspire the reader so that they may also learn to strive for a method to overcome their own adversity or hurdles by sharing your own path to victory.
Many people may be unaware that they are in fact in a toxic relationship within their family or in personal relationships with friends and lovers. What are the signs that people should look out for?
There are numerous warning signs, and I can attest to that from both growing up with a toxic, narcissistic mother, and having endured a physically and emotionally abusive relationship in my 30s.
The scary part is that some people with low self-esteem feel as though they don’t deserve better, or feel trapped where they are. I talk about such things in my book Words We Carry. But to mention a few warnings to pay heed to, look out for those who dominate, threaten, have superiority complexes, have to always one-up you and win all the time. And one of my all-time favorites is beware of those who exude signs of jealousy. If there is someone in your life, partner or friend, who cannot compliment your looks, wardrobe, or accomplishments, take those as huge flags. Those are the people who feel it either takes something away from themselves by complimenting you, or when in a relationship, can’t handle anyone else looking at you. I’ve had them both and thankfully, I can size up those types within the first 5 minutes of conversation with them.
What other topics would you like to publish books about in the future and why?
Gratefully, I’ve never had to sit around contemplating what I should write about. Usually, a topic randomly hits me that I feel compelled to write about. My first book, Conflicted Hearts, and my latest book, the sequel, P.S. I Forgive You, I knew I had to write because I’d been journaling for years about my observations about my mother and the emotionally abusive relationship I had with her.
Menowhat? A Memoir, was written after I went through the craziness of menopause to shed light on some of the funky stuff women endure and share some humor and helpful tips to make light of a not always so humorous time in crazytown. I wrote Words We Carry to share my own struggles with low self-esteem and share how I overcame it using my own experiences to demonstrate how we perceive ourselves and what we can do to better ourselves.
And I wrote Have Bags, Will Travel, really just as a distraction to myself while I was also writing P.S. I Forgive You, to talk about happier things and my favorite topics, travel and shopping.
Currently, I have outlined a book I’ve sadly neglected these past few busy months about what happens in relationships when the years catch up after the fruitful years of marrying someone 21 years my senior. Life with a senior when you’re not quite there yet can be challenging at times and it takes a strong foundation and commitment to weather through the new elements. And I figured there are plenty of people, men and women who have married someone older who may be looking for some good advice.
The working title to that book is Twenty Years, because when my husband asked me to marry him, I was 37 and he 58. We always shared humor, a component necessary to keep a healthy relationship, so I told him I’d only marry him if he promised to be around at least 20 years.
While I began writing chapters for that book, I had another book title epiphany, which set me off outlining for a future book. That book will be based on discovering what to look for when entering a relationship, and how to keep it healthy. That working title is Are They Worthy? I’m all about kindness, compassion, empowerment and building self-esteem. Anything that is fair and good for the soul, if an idea strikes, I’m probably going to write about it. So I can’t even say what my next inspiration may be.
Thank you so much Sally for inviting me over to share my thoughts and work here once again. It’s always such a treat to be featured on your most popular blog, and a bigger thrill to call you friend.
Debby has chosen and excerpt from her latest book for her book reading.
P.S. I Forgive You Chapter: Regrets
I still think of my mother often. She’s gone now but not forgotten. While she was still living, I wondered how I’d feel when she was gone. Would I feel relieved of my own self-imposed burden? Would I regret that she had left while we were no longer speaking?
My feelings are still a mixed bag. My guilty conscience plays on my empathy sometimes, and in those moments I question myself, wondering if I failed her. I remembered feeling much the same way when it was my responsibility to look after my siblings and father when I was young. I was conditioned to be the caretaker. I couldn’t help but feel it was my duty to repair the broken state of my mother. My need to make her better, make us better, gnawed away at me for most of my life.
I couldn’t accept that her temperament was beyond my control, and I didn’t understand the complexities of dealing with a narcissist. I didn’t even realize she was one until I was well into my twenties. I never intended to hurt her, no matter how deserving I felt she was of hurting many times. As fate would have it, she wound up hurting herself in the end, enduring estrangement from her loved ones with loneliness and suffering.
The most recent review for P.S I Forgive You
How many of us come from dysfunctional families? I know I certainly came from one. However, when you are the child of a narcissistic mother, those wounds fester and bleed well into adulthood becoming baggage that hangs around your heart. Almost certainly, these feelings are accompanied by guilt and a desire to understand why a mother could treat her own flesh and blood in such a demeaning way. Especially, when you would never think of treating your own children with such disdain.
This is the author’s journey to redemption. She sets out to explain the reasons why her mother treated her and her siblings in such a derogatory manner. What she discovers is her own strength and determination to come to grips with the revelations that none of this treatment was her fault. The final realizations pivot the reader to experience the liberation of a survivor, first hand, with empathy and compassion for the author and her family.
I followed D. G. Kaye’s path into a state of mindfulness, where she focuses on the present while acknowledging and accepting her feelings and thoughts from the past. At times, I cried right along with the family, feeling old emotions of my own boil to the surface. Ultimately, the story ends when understanding is achieved and the only avenue left is that of forgiveness.
This is a poignant novel filled with inspiration and strength. By the end of the story, I felt like D. G. Kaye, and I had become close friends, and she was telling me that my hunt to dispell my own childhood demons was going to be all right. If you have a narcissistic family member, this is the book for you. Believe me, you will never feel alone again.
Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars
Read the reviews and buy all of Debby’s books: http://www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7
Connect with D.G. Kaye
My website: http://www.dgkayewriter.com
Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7
About me: http://www.wiseintro.co/dgkaye7
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@pokercubster (yes there’s a story)
Thank you for dropping in especially over such a busy holiday weekend. Debby will be delighted to answer your questions and please leave them in the comment section of the post. Happy Easter and thanks Sally.