Welcome to the first in the new Sunday Interview series, exclusive to the authors in the Cafe and Bookstore.. details of how you can participate and join the other authors in the cafe can be found at the end of the interview.
Delighted to feature D.G. Kaye (Debby Gies) as the first author and whilst if you are regular visitor, you will have met Debby before as a contributor with her Travel Column, and the Laughter Lines, you will find out a great deal more about her writing and her selected book today.
Thanks so much for your most generous invitation Sally. I’m delighted as always to be here sharing my thoughts and experiences as a writer, and of course, a bit about my book – Twenty Years: After “I Do”
Always a pleasure to have you as a guest and contributor Debby and time for you to reveal which questions you have selected…
Looking back on your life, what key elements such as childhood, education, inspiration, motivated you to write?
My childhood inspired me to write at a very young age. I was a curious child who loved to learn by whatever means, be it reading, watching TV or just observing people. I had a voice and was quite inquisitive but had no confidence to use my voice. So, at a young age, I’d craft love notes and amateur poems for people I loved to demonstrate my affection because I didn’t feel comfortable saying ‘love words’ to anyone, mostly, because they were unfamiliar words to me.
My voice was through my writing. As I grew up, love notes turned into letters, a frequent method I used to communicate to people what I was feeling in order to avoid one-on-one confrontation and nervous fluster, which would have me forgetting all the points I wanted to cover.
From my teens onward, I began observing my mother closely, and journaled my discoveries. Then after years of being a victim inside my mother’s web, as I neared mid-life I felt compelled to start writing my first book compiled from all my journaling.
If you’re a nonfiction writer, please tell us about the inspiration behind your books, and if personal, how you feel it has benefited you to share your life experiences.
All my books are written about experiences I encountered through my life, from growing up emotionally neglected with a narcissistic mother to living out my life with a narcissistic mother, low self-esteem issues, living through menopause and staying sane, to snippets of some of my travel discoveries, sharing first-hand advice gathered through my stories. My featured book here – Twenty Years: After “I Do”, is about how I navigated my marriage happily, despite the challenges of what life can throw our way. Many of the issues I write about are also other people’s issues, this is why my readers can relate, and perhaps through reading how I manage to plow through these events, I can lend some encouragement for someone else’s circumstance.
As for myself, I’m a storyteller and a big believer that if I find something useful, I feel compelled to share with others who appreciate learning something that may enlighten or encourage them. It’s a wonderful feeling to write and share my stories.
Sometimes I wonder, who am I that someone would want to read my books? I’m a girl who experienced a lot since her young life who just wants to share her stories so that others can take something from my words, and hopefully, enjoy the read along the way.
Where did the inspiration for your featured book come from?
As some here know, I’m married to a man a generation older than me. I share about what it takes to keep a marriage going strong despite the pitfalls of life that happen, and that could potentially tear apart a relationship.
When I accepted my husband’s wedding proposal, I replied. “Yes. But you have to promise me 20 years Mister!” My sarcastic humor was really my fear of the distant future, knowing we wouldn’t have the luxury of growing old together, but if I was somehow promised 20 years, I would accept that as a good amount of time together. We’re now 20 years married this year.
As this anniversary was approaching, I wanted to commemorate my 20 wonderful years of marriage and share in story that life will always present its ups and downs and dilemmas, but it’s about how I keep my marriage thriving despite our age difference and obstacles presented to us along the way. I wanted to share some of my situations to pass along some learned wisdoms.
Love has no age or time limits.
What is your editing process, and do you use any software you’ve found particularly helpful?
Editing for me begins with first round revisions. For those who aren’t familiar with my prehistoric method of writing books, all my books are written in longhand. Once I’m finished writing my first draft, I enter each chapter into the computer and in doing so, I begin the editing process – revision round one begins. Once the chapters are entered, I begin round 2 of edits. By the third round is where I’ll turn on my ProWritingAid program, installed on both my website and my Word docs, to do further edits and discover inconsistencies and typos overlooked through that program.
Next, I like to leave my manuscript alone for a period of time – from a few days to a week, so I can distance myself from it for a while and go back with fresh eyes. While my MS is marinating, I’ll work on other things which are part of the book, such as the blurb, and cover art images I find that represent the book’s essence so I can send to my book designer to help her get a feel for what I’m after. Then when I’m ready to go back to my MS, I print it out to do a paper edit. It’s amazing what our eyes pick up on paper as opposed to on the computer screen.
The next round of edits, I turn on the ‘text to speech’ feature in Word, make myself a coffee and a comfy spot on the couch, and listen to my book being read back to me. This helps me to discover any other typos, missed punctuation, or weird sounding sentences my eyes may have missed. When I hear something wonky, I just pause the reading and highlight the issue to fix later and continue reading so as not to stop the story flow.
After listening to my book and editing what need be, I feel confident that I’ve cleaned up my MS as well as I can assess and send the book off to my editor. The cleaner my MS is – the less it will cost. And once the editor’s changes come back, I’m back into scrutinizing mode opening both copies she sends – clean version ready for print and original sent version with all the suggested changes and edits and any comments regarding changes are left in the column for comments on the Word doc. This gives me the opportunity to see how my editor may have changed a sentence, how it would look compared to how I had it, with her commentation in the side bar. I mostly accept her changes, but sometimes I question a change, so I’ll email her to discuss her reasoning and then decide if I choose to make that change or not.
Once I’m satisfied with all changes, I once again read my book (of which I’m pretty sick of by that time, lol) then I send it back to the editor for her last round of proofreading, along with the blurb – both services are included in the cost to me.
Have you read any books on writing to recommend, to hone our skills?
I absolutely have read many books on the craft, but a few stick out as mainstay staples I highly recommend. To name a few:
Sin and Syntax by Constance Hale -blurb
A fully revised and updated edition with writing prompts and challenges in every chapter
Today’s writers need more spunk than Strunk: whether it’s the Great American e-mail, Madison Avenue advertising, or Grammy Award-winning rap lyrics, memorable writing must jump off the page. Copy veteran Constance Hale is on a mission to make creative communication, both the lyrical and the unlawful, an option for everyone.
With its crisp, witty tone, Sin and Syntax covers grammar’s ground rules while revealing countless unconventional syntax secrets . . .Read more
You can read my review HERE
Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss – Blurb
In Eats, Shoots & Leaves, former editor Lynne Truss, gravely concerned about our current grammatical state, boldly defends proper punctuation. She proclaims, in her delightfully urbane, witty, and very English way, that it is time to look at our commas and semicolons and see them as the wonderful and necessary things they are. Using examples from literature, history, neighborhood signage, and her own imagination, Truss shows how meaning is shaped by commas and apostrophes, and the hilarious consequences of punctuation gone awry. Read more
Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing by Mignon Fogarty –
Online sensation Grammar Girl makes grammar fun and easy in this New York Times bestseller – Are you stumped by split infinitives? Terrified of using “who” when a “whom” is called for? Do you avoid the words “affect” and “effect” altogether?
Grammar Girl is here to help! Mignon Fogarty, a.k.a. Grammar Girl, is determined to wipe out bad grammar . . .Read more
You can read my review HERE
Woe Is I by Patricia T. O’Conner – Blurb
In this new edition of Woe Is I, Patricia T. O’Conner unties the knottiest grammar tangles and displays the same lively humor that has charmed and enlightened grateful readers for years. With new chapters on spelling and punctuation, and fresh insights into the rights, wrongs, and maybes of English grammar and usage, Woe Is I offers down-to-earth explanations and plain-English solutions to the language mysteries that bedevil all of us. Read more
On Writing Well by William Zinsser – Blurb
On Writing Well has been praised for its sound advice, its clarity and the warmth of its style. It is a book for everybody who wants to learn how to write or who needs to do some writing to get through the day, as almost everybody does in the age of e-mail and the Internet.
Whether you want to write about people or places, science and technology, business, sports, the arts or about yourself in the increasingly popular memoir genre, On Writing Well offers you fundamental principles as well as the insights of a distinguished writer and teacher. Read more
Crafting the Personal Essay by Dinty Moore – Blurb
Crafting the Personal Essay is designed to help you explore the flexibility and power of the personal essay in your own writing. This hands-on, creativity-expanding guide will help you infuse your nonfiction with honesty, personality, and energy. Read more
On Writing by Stephen King – Blurb
“Long live the King” hailed Entertainment Weekly upon publication of Stephen King’s On Writing. Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer’s craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have. Read more
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The first 3 books above I recommended are great books to keep on your writing desk. They are books on grammar, punctuation, phrasing, etc. that offer a wealth of information for both the novice and seasoned writer who appreciate a refresher course on what we may have learned long ago. These books all contain referencing with wonderful chapter headings, making them perfect to keep around as handy guides. These books are also written in a manner to entertain as well as inform and because of the style of writing, is a method that helps us remember the rules.
The last 3 books I recommend are old staples on the art of writing, all of which have updated editions, and are always relevant.
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I’d love to share this excerpt from my book, Twenty Years: After “I Do”, Chapter – Fighting Words, where I’m talking about the importance of remembering that words of anger leave scars, and how I circumvent those incidents.
I was teased a lot as a child, sometimes by the kids in school and sometimes by my own family. I lived through it and learned to grow a thicker skin, to build my self-esteem and overcome my childhood inadequacies. After spending a lifetime listening to my mother belittling others, I witnessed and felt the humiliation of those upon whom she inflicted her cutting words, my father in particular. I learned at a young age just how powerful words are, often cutting much deeper than a physical wound that heals faster.
Because of the verbal abuse I witnessed and the impact it left on me, I learned how painful words stay with us and how they can leave a scar after slicing the heart right out of a relationship. Even in the best of marriages, there will be disagreements and bigger arguments. This is human nature, as we all sometimes stand on different sides of certain issues. That’s what makes us all unique—our standards, values, and morals. Though a marriage may be solid and strong, there are days when anger falls upon us for whatever the reason. It’s how we handle those moments of discord that sets the tone for respect. If we cross boundaries using angry words that take us beyond the issue at hand, that leaves residual damage to the relationship well after the original issue of contention is rectified.
Controlling our emotions in difficult times while we’re feeling hurt or angry at a loved one is a delicate balance. In those dangerous and sometimes thoughtless moments when we wish to shoot off our mouths or bang the door closed, it can be a challenge to hold our tongues. While seeing red, we may not always be able to see the repercussions if we allow ourselves to unleash our words of anger.
Fair fighting can sometimes feel difficult to maintain. When we find ourselves wanting to expel our anger, it’s essential to pay attention to the manner in which we direct our words and discontent. We want to defend our cause and have our protests heard in that moment of heightened discord, but we also need to consider how others will interpret our words in those moments to avoid tainting the future of the relationship. It’s doable, but it’s a fine balancing act. Expressing anger without turning the argument into a personal attack is a delicate art, as is keeping the discussion contained to the context of the original conflict.
A recent review for Twenty Years After ‘I Do’
DG Kaye beautifully chronicles twenty years of her marriage and along the way encapsulates the heart of unconditional love amid life’s challenges. What I loved so much was her honest retelling of those years, both good and challenging. I found myself nodding again and again while I read as she honed into what the fundamental requirements were to maintain a healthy relationship. Respect, laughter, intimacy and patience are the cornerstones of a solid foundation that can withstand the trials of daily living. This is, or should be required reading for anyone in a relationship whether married or in a partnership. The author touched on so many issues that impact all relationships. This novel is a keeper and one I will return to over and over again. I extend a heartfelt thank you to the author for her candor and the gift to all of us for this remarkable book.
Read the other reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B077V386TL
And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B077V386TL
Thank you so much for having me over and featuring my book today Sally.
My thanks to Debby for kicking off this new series and she would love to receive your feedback.
About 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 she shares 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, while practicing gratitude for all the positives.
When Kaye isn’t writing intimate memoirs, she brings her natural sense of humor into her other works. She loves to laugh and self- medicate with a daily dose of humor.
I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences. 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.
“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 that is my passion—traveling.
Books by D.G. Kaye
Read all the reviews and buy the books: http://www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7
and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO
More reviews and follow Debby on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/dgkaye
Connect to Debby Gies
About me: http://www.wiseintro.co/dgkaye7
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@pokercubster (yes there’s a story)
Please check out Debby’s Travel Column for wonderful ideas for your next vacation: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/the-travel-column-with-d-g-kaye/
If you would like to participate in the Cafe and Bookstore Author Interview and feature a new or previous book then please check out this post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/18/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-series-sunday-author-interview-coming-soon/
Thank you for dropping in today and as always your feedback is appreciated.. Sally.