Debbie, what inspired you to start writing?
Growing up in a dysfunctional family life inspired me to journal. Journaling gave me a place to vent my feelings, frustrations, and observations I wasn’t permitted to voice.
How would you describe your book to someone who has not yet read it?
P.S. I Forgive You was written as a sequel to Conflicted Hearts, although it’s a standalone book in its own right. Both books involve my life and torment living with a narcissistic mother. In this book, it is about my journey to understand my mother and finding a place of forgiveness for her before she died.
People sometimes behave inappropriately either because of their conditioning, illness, or lack of guidance. I didn’t want to continue resenting my mother, so I chose to look into what things inspired her to become the person she was. I found that by seeking to understand my mother became a stepping-stone in my path to finding forgiveness.
Is there a message in your book that you want your readers to grasp?
Yes. We can still find forgiveness in our hearts for someone who has wronged us, without having to allow them back into our lives.
Give us an excerpted quote from your favorite review of this book:
“This is heartbreaking and heart-mending at the same time. It is an important book that should be read by many who are struggling to forgive and move on. It’s not an easy task but one very well worth your while.”
~ Christoph Fischer
If Oprah invited you onto her show to talk about your book, what would the theme of the show be?
How to seek understanding and refuge from the clutches of a damaged parent.
How much of the book is based on real life (either yours or someone you know)?
The book is a memoir, all truth, and unfortunately, real life.
What would/could a reader or reviewer say about this book that shows they “get” you as an author?
I write raw and honest from my soul. No holding back and making things appear prettier than they were.
Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned as a writer from then to now?
Readers want truth. They want to be able to learn something from our experience. They want to understand the conflict of our story to be able to form their own opinions and emotions, not to be forced to solely feel the author’s view point of view.
Considering a book from the first word you write to the moment you see it on a bookstore shelf, what ís your favorite part of the process?
My favorite part of writing is writing the first draft. This is where I get to write freely, exposing all my emotions in the raw out of my head, almost like a purge before re-writes begin.
What’s your least favorite?
My most challenging and probably least favorite part is writing the blurb. This is the part where a whole story is condensed into one or two short paragraphs, where we have to pull out the essence of the story to capture a reader’s attention, without giving out spoilers.
What scene or bit of dialogue in the book are you most proud of, and why?
After my mother passed, my brother and I had to decide what we should have engraved on her headstone. The chapter is aptly titled: The Stone. It was an emotionally difficult process to have to decide the words that would give her some dignity, yet not sugar-coat her memory with undeserved praise.
What genre have you not yet written but really want to try?
I sometimes think about writing women’s fiction. But I realized I’m just not a fiction writer. I’m a storyteller about life and situations. Writing my books as fiction would be like wearing a mask, hiding truth in a story that would have come from real life anyway. I think if I ever were to endeavor into any other style of writing it would be screenwriting.
If your book would be made into a movie, who should play the main character?
Now that’s a tough one. I don’t think I’ve ever thought that far. I’d have to say it would have to be someone who could portray both, a compassionate side, but a strong-willed character to represent me. Perhaps someone like Natalie Portman, Kate Winslet, or maybe Reese Witherspoon would be suitable.
How did you get published? Please share your own personal journey.
I’m a self published author. I spent a year learning about the self publishing industry while I was writing my first book, Conflicted Hearts. I subscribed to newsletters from some of the pioneers in the industry, joined forums, watched many webinars and podcasts, and made some good friendships along the way with other writers who already had experience under their belts, and were generous in their help and support. It’s a big job to self publish because there is so much that goes under that umbrella, and consequently does eat up quite a bit of writing time.
What general advice do you have for other writers?
Read a lot. Read in different genres to get a sense of different writing styles to find what you like and don’t like about those styles. Write every day no matter how little or how much. Write for a blog, a book, or just use word prompts to keep your minds current and to better your writing. I don’t believe to committing to a daily word count and there will be days when the pen (or fingers) just flow and days you may only get a paragraph or two out, but it’s a start for tomorrow’s writing. Like anything else, writing daily makes us better writers. Many authors including myself will tell you when they look back at their first book, they can see how far they’ve grown as writers by a difference in their writing as time passes.
What is the best part of being a writer?
I’m my own boss. I make my own work schedules. I can write anywhere if I choose to travel. And I can write in my pajamas!
What’s the most challenging part of being a writer?
I love everything about being a writer. Self-publishing is the challenging part because it takes up so much of writing time. Being self published and trying to become successful means putting a lot of time into social media to build a readership. Writing a blog and following up with comments daily and emails, and reading other people’s blogs eats up a lot of time but is necessary to make connections with others. This is all part of promoting our own work if we want to give our books any visibility in a very crowded market.
Where’s the one place in the world you’d like to visit?
I’ve been to many places, but I left my heart in Arizona, and that’s where I hope to live one day.
What is your favorite book?
The Thornbirds by Colleen McCullough. A story about life, heartbreak and forbidden love.
How would a close friend describe you?
Energetic, empowering, outgoing, empathetic, compassionate, honest, and relentless.
Where can people learn more about your writing?
I run a blog www.dgkayewriter.com where I post articles on everything from writing, to personal stories, helpful articles for technical issues I come across, random thoughts about life, book reviews, guest posts and interviews with other authors. You can also type a subject in the search bar there to check out any of my many blog posts and interviews I’ve done. The latest place I’m wanting to participate more with posts is www.niume.com.
All my books can also be found on my Amazon author page: www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7
And of course I’m on social media everywhere!
What is ONE thing that you have done that brought you more readers?
Engage with readers and followers! When people take the time to read what I post and leave comments or emails, I always reply. I also follow back my readers on their blogs and social media and help to share what they promote. This engagement makes others want to reciprocate, and by sharing each other’s posts and promotions, it brings new eyes to our work.
What’s one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you?
As outgoing and forthright as I am, I’m quite shy when it comes to public speaking and talking on video.
How do you practice authenticity, in your life?
I live it! I’m an optimist always looking for the up side of a down side. I speak the truth, I write my truth. I’m a person of my word. I always try my best to build people up because I’ve worked hard to build my own self-esteem. I know what it feels like to be on the crappy side of the fence.
I speak from experience. I preach kindness because it doesn’t cost anything to be nice to someone. And anybody in my real life and virtual, online world knows if I can help someone, I will.
What do you know, or perhaps represent – that others may not know or have?
I know what’s it’s like to be abused, neglected and demeaned. That was a long time ago, but we never forget adversity. In times of doubt or darkness, I remember how far I’ve come and I continue to rise. We all have the ability to rise above adversity. No, it’s never easy, but if there’s a will there’s a way. And that’s what I try to pass on to my readers. Knowledge is power.
As you look at your life story, at what point would you say you knew you have to write?
When I turned twenty and was already living on my own for a few years, journaling about life, I knew I needed to write. My life was still unsettled while trying to get my act together, and I was too young to take writing seriously. But I knew I was going to write books at some point. It took me a few more decades to discipline myself.
What values are most important for you as a writer?
Honesty in my writing. Helping other writers because I know when I first began writing there were other writers who gave of themselves with their time to help me when I was learning the ropes.
I’m a nonfiction memoir writer who writes about life, matters of the heart and women’s issues. I write 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 or posts, you’ll find me writing with humor in some of my other works and blog posts.
Where to find D.G. Kaye:
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)
Blurb for P.S. I Forgive You
“I hurt for her. She wasn’t much of a mother, but she was still my mother.”
Confronted with resurfacing feelings of guilt, D.G. Kaye is tormented by her decision to remain estranged from her dying emotionally abusive mother after resolving to banish her years ago, an event she has shared in her book Conflicted Hearts.
In P.S. I Forgive You, Kaye takes us on a compelling heartfelt journey as she seeks to understand the roots of her mother’s narcissism, let go of past hurts, and find forgiveness for both her mother and herself.
After struggling for decades to break free, Kaye has severed the unhealthy ties that bound her to her dominating mother—but now Kaye battles new confliction, as the guilt she harbors over her decision only increases as the end of her mother’s life draws near. Kaye once again struggles with her conscience and her feelings of being obligated to return to a painful past she thought she left behind.