Epistolary Writing by DG Kaye | @No Wasted Ink

I was recently invited over to Wendy Van Camp’s writing blog- Nowastedink, to share an article on writing. As I have been comtemplating writing my next book (now in very rough draft) in Epistolary writing style, I thought that would be the perfect topic to write about.

writing tips

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Hi Wendy, thanks so much for inviting me over again to your blog. Today I want to talk about writing in Epistolary style. What is epistolary writing? As a nonfiction/memoir writer I’ve been exploring this form of writing for a book I’ve been drafting about grief. I am seriously considering presenting the book in this form.

Epistolary writing is a style that addresses the reader through a diary format (think Bridget Jones’ Diary) or in journal or letter format. In this era of digital life, epistolary writing can also include email and blog post entries, police reports, newspaper articles and transcripts. This style involves the writer speaking directly to another person, expressing the bond in a particular relationship through the content being written, which gives the reader an intimate peek into the writer’s private self and thoughts regarding the person she is writing to, and an inside scoop into that relationship between the writer and the character being spoken to. Journal and diary entries are more contemplative writings, but there is also the method of writing strictly in dialogue. Epistolary writing is in essence writing dialogue from one’s self. It is important that the writer let the reader know to whom they are writing to. Epistolary stories can involve one or more characters the writing conversation is being directed toward.

Often, in this form of writing, the focus is more on evoking emotion, more so than a dialogue driven story. Epistolary writing is also classified as a sort of confessional-like writing, also known as monophonic point of view, letters to one specific character. It is referred as ‘dialogic’ if two people are writing letters, or, ‘polyphonic’ with three or more characters writing and receiving the letters. It is ultimately, a first-person point of view that allows the reader to get inside the writer’s thoughts. It’s a correspondence between characters or to a character. This form is a different take from third person POV where the usual plots and characters are the driving force of the storyline. Instead, the reader gets to understand the character’s interactions through what is implied by the writer.

The word -Epistolary, is derived from the noun – Epistle, which is the Greek word meaning ‘letter’. This is an actual literary genre that pertains to letters written for delivering story through personal messages from the writer to her subject(s). This format can be used as context for a relationship, friendship or even a business relationship between the writer and receiver.

Because this method of writing is a person telling, it can be written in multiple tenses. For example, the writer might go back in time with an entry and bring it up to present to invite in some tension. In most stories in other points of view writing, they are written in the classic, ‘show more, tell less’. This could be challenging to write in epistolary form because there is no narrator building a scene. But description that paints a picture to the reader can still be done. The more ‘real’ a story feels to the reader, the more they will engage in the emotion. Epistolary stories can be written in both fiction or nonfiction. . . Please continue reading at Nowastedink

Source: Epistolary Writing by DG Kaye | No Wasted Ink

©DGKaye2022

Q & A with D.G. Kaye – Featuring #Sci-Fi Writer – Wendy Van Camp

Welcome to my June Q & A. Today I’m happy to be featuring author Wendy Van Camp who writes Sci-Fi, speculative fiction, and offers up a weekly ‘Writers Links’ information post for writers with some great collaborated shares on her blog at Nowastedink. Wendy recently released her newest book where she is the editor and contributor to the anthology – Eccentric Orbits – Book 3 in the collection of anthologies of science fiction poetry – Scifaiku, and today we’re going to get to know a little about her.

About Wendy:

Wendy Van Camp is the Poet Laureate for the City of Anaheim, California. Her work is influenced by cutting edge technology, astronomy, and daydreams. A graduate of the Ad Astra Speculative Fiction Workshop, Wendy has won Honorable Mention at the Writers of the Future Contest, is a twice nominated finalist for the Elgin Award, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Dwarf Stars Award. Her poems have appeared in: “Starlight Scifaiku Review”, “Quantum Visions”, “The Junction”, and “Far Horizons”. She is the poet and illustrator of “The Planets: a scifaiku poetry collection” and editor of the annual “Eccentric Orbits: An Anthology of Science Fiction Poetry” by Dimensionfold Publishing.

Blurb:

The function of speculative poetry is to engage the mind to a new understanding, not rehearse the past or the ordinary. This anthology of science fiction, fantasy, and horror poetry explores new concepts, folklore, myth, and the fantastic, by some of the most exciting, speculative poets of our time. Discover the insights of these contemporary wordsmiths that are surging from the pages of science fiction into the reality of our world.

This speculative poetry anthology is perfect as a gift for poetry lovers, readers of science fiction, fantasy, or horror literature or to complete your own book collections.

Speculative Poets represented in this anthology:

JANUARY BAIN * STEWART C BAKER * ROBERT BEVERIDGE * CATHERINE BROGDON * FARUK BUZHALA * DALE CHAMPLIN * LINDA M. CRATE * BILLIE DEE * KENDALL EVANS * GARY EVERY * MARK A. FISHER * JEAN-PAUL L. GARNIER * LEE GARRATT * KEN GOUDSWARD * FIN HALL * MICHAEL HOFFMAN * DEBORAH L. KELLY * DEBORAH P. KOLODJI * DAVID C. KOPASKA-MERKEL * BLAISE LANGLOIS * GERRI LEEN * RICHARD MAGAHIZ * JACK MASSA * ALLENE NICHOLS * MICHELLE OUCHAREK-DEO * RK RUGG * RYFKAH * JUSTIN SLOANE * JOSHUA ST. CLAIRE * SEAN STUBBLEFIELD * REX SWEENY * LISA TIMPF * LAMONT TURNER * WENDY VAN CAMP * MIKE VAN HORN * RUTH E. WALKER * TD WALKER * LYNN WHITE * JEFF YOUNG

Welcome
Wendy

Let’s get to know more about Wendy!

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Did you have a passion to write as a child? Do you remember the first thing you wrote?


Thank you for having me on your blog, Debbie. To answer your question, I suppose I was born a storyteller, although I come from a family of non-creatives. I was always telling stories verbally, even at a young age.


Some of my earliest memories are of writing “books” all in child’s scrawl on cheap loose-leaf paper. My first effort was about mermaids and was a comfortable 150 pages. I wrote it when I was four or five years old. My second “novel” was a Tolkien inspired fantasy that I wrote on a broken typewriter when I was sixteen or seventeen years old. The carriage return didn’t work, so I had to move it manually with one of my hands. I learned to type quickly with one hand due to this. My parents never thought to fix the typewriter since this might encourage me to write.


During my pre-teen years, I wrote poetry. I purchased a small deep green journal with my allowance, which I had fallen in love with from the stationery store. I handwrote short poems with no real knowledge of how to write poetry. I simply wrote what I felt. However, my younger brother discovered the poetry journal and ran through the house reading my poems out loud, laughing at my private musings. As a young pre-teen, it humiliated me. I gave up on poetry for a very long time due to this incident. Thankfully, I did not give up on writing.

D.G. – Wow Wendy, it sounds like we have a common thread between us with our young writing, and our ridiculing and unappreciated talents by our family members. I am sorry to hear, but applaud you on following your passion.

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Do you find your writing is geared toward a specific audience or do you just write what inspires you to write?


I do think about my audience when I plan my projects. I am a science fiction author and a speculative poet. I also dabble in Austen Regency historicals because of my love for Jane Austen’s work, but honestly this is more of a one-shot effort and I have no plans on becoming a romance writer. I have been part of the speculative community for two decades. I write reviews of classic science fiction novels for journals, have read the genre extensively, and have met many of the A-list authors whose work I love. I am a regular panelist at science fiction literary conventions all over the United States and teach speculative poetry workshops. I suppose this is why I breathe science fiction concepts and most of my work, both prose and poetry, are speculative.

D.G. – That is commendable work Wendy. I should think it’s not only inspiring, but fun to be part of such a big community of this specific genre.

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What’s your favorite mode of writing – computer, hand written, dictation, and why?


I use all three methods, but at different times in my writing process. I use dictation to get ideas from my thoughts onto the page for both novels and short stories, and for longer form poetry. None of this ever makes the final cut of my writing, but I find sometimes verbalizing a concept can bring out ideas you didn’t realize were in you.

I am a power-user of Scrivener for my novel organization and revising. I tend to not draft in Scrivener, for that I use an Alphasmart typewriter, google docs, or other word processing programs, but wherever the draft is done, I always put it in Scrivener in the end. Scrivener also can create an epub of my work which I find handy.


I write poetry in an unlined A5 journal with my fountain pen. I love the messy way the pages fill up with words and cross outs. I rewrite the lines, count my syllables, and then bracket my poems. When I feel the poem is done, I type it into digital storage. I used to keep my poetry on Evernote, but lately I’m trying a new filing system in Scrivener. It allows me to print up a poem if I have a reading. My specialty is scifaiku, which is science fiction themed haiku and haiku style astropoetry which you can read in my Elgin Nominated poetry book, “The Planets”.

D.G. – I love how you are so versatile with your writings and collections. I commend you with Scrivener. I purchased a lifetime license for Scrivener a few years back, and I still cannot grasp the hang of it.

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Would you like to share with us what upcoming projects and/or ideas for books you’re working on?


I am working on a couple of projects this year. I am continuing the work on my Austen Regency Historical series. The final three books are close to completion. I fell behind schedule due to the pandemic, but lately I am gaining more speed and feeling more creative. It helps that I’m able to get outside the house to write again. Besides the Austen books, I’m writing poetry for several literary magazines that I support and for a new poetry collection that I am tentatively calling “Time, Space, & Technology”.


I am editing three poetry anthologies in rapid succession during 2022 and 2023. My next one is “Eye To The Telescope” which is published by the Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association. I am to be their Fall guest editor. When that one is complete, I begin work on a literary poetry anthology for the City of Anaheim where I have recently been named the Anaheim Poet Laureate. I plan to make this an annual project and do two books during my two-year term. Finally, I will start next year with the fourth edition of “Eccentric Orbits”, an anthology of science fiction poetry, which is published by Dimensionfold Publishing. This will be my third year as its poetry editor.

D.G. – You are certainly busy with so many projects on the go. And interesting that you feel you get your best writing done outside of the home.

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What hobbies do you enjoy when not writing?


Life is not all writing and poetry! Over the past few years, I have branched out from my black and white poetry illustrations to ink & wash urban sketching. The urban sketching is done when I am on the road. When I speak at conventions and conferences, I find I like to sketch the hotels and surroundings of where I am working. The vivid watercolors and the mathematics of getting perspective correct appeals to me. I wish I had more time for painting, but these days I fit it in when I can.

D.G. – You are a multi-talented creative Wendy, very commendable that you can also write, sketch and paint. I can’t even color in the lines, let alone draw.

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Thank you so much for visiting with us today Wendy, and sharing your work with us. I do hope my sci-fi, fantasy and horror readers will check out your work. I wish you much success with all your projects.

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Follow Wendy on Social Links:

Website – https://wendyvancamp.com
Blog – https://nowastedink.com
Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/author/wendyvancamp
Medium – https://medium.com/@wvancamp
Twitter – https://twitter.com/wvancamp
Instagram – https://instagram.com/nowastedink

©DGKaye2022

Spring, Beauty and Books Series Has Ended | Valentina Expressions – Video

Earlier this week I posted my guest feature over at Valentina Cirasola’s blog about Spring Beauty and Books. Once the series was completed, Valentina kindly, made this beautiful short video, incorporating all the books from the authors she hosted. It’s a lovely video, and it was so nice to have my book be part of the video along with books by many of my writing friends. I’m reblogging Valentina’s ‘thank you post’ here, along with the video.

 

Note: Click on the Youtube link as the video will not show here.

Spring Beauty and Book Series has ended:

This Spring flew by, between winds of war, fake news, new diseases, corrupted politicians, investigations, and protests around the world to gain the lost freedom, we have arrived almost at Summer. What will it bring us? My hope is always that humanity will mend itself and be infused with so much love, compassion and empathy, as without these elements, life cannot be called life.

With the arrival of Spring, my goal was to instill beauty. Beauty multiplies as it is an entity that everyone wants and everyone recognizes for their wellbeing. I also wanted to spread kind thoughts. Who better than authors can do that? Authors are good with words, they know how to craft them to let the readers live a fantasy, see places and experience new emotions.


Please continue reading at Valentina’s blog and see a complete list of authors who were included in this series.

Source: Spring, Beauty and Books Series Has Ended | Valentina Expressions

©DGKaye2022

Q & A with D.G. Kaye featuring Award Winning Author, Jan Sikes

Welcome to my May edition of Q & A. Today I’m happy to be featuring friend and fellow author, Jan Sikes. Jan is a multi-talented, multi-genre author and dabbles in tarot, runes and gemstones articles on her blog too, besides the blog tours she hosts and the books she reviews. So today we’re going to get to know a little bit more about Jan and her latest release – Jagged Feathers, Book 2 from her White Runes series.

About Jan:

Jan Sikes writes compelling and creative stories from the heart.
She openly admits that she never set out in life to be an author. But she had a story to
tell. Not just any story, but a true story that rivals any fiction creation. The entertaining
true story comes to life through fictitious characters in an intricately woven tale that
encompasses four books.
And now, this author can’t find a way to put down the pen. She continues to write fiction
and has published numerous award-winning short stories. She published her debut
paranormal romance novel, Ghostly Interference, Book 1 in The White Rune Series, in
2020, which won a bronze medal award from Reader’s Favorite. Jagged Feathers
released on January 31, 2022, as Book 2 of that series, and Saddled Hearts will release
later in 2022.
She is an active blogger, an avid fan of Texas music, and a grandmother of five. She
resides in North Texas.

Blurb:

Vann Noble did his duty. He served his country and returned a shell of a man, wounded inside and out. With a missing limb and battling PTSD, he seeks healing in an isolated cabin outside a small Texas town with a stray dog that sees beyond his master’s scars. If only the white rune’s magic can bring a happily ever after to a man as broken as Vann. On the run from hired killers and struggling to make sense of her unexplained deadly mission, Nakina Bird seeks refuge in Vann’s cabin. She has secrets. Secrets that can get them all killed. A ticking clock and long odds of living or dying, create jarring risks. Will these two not only survive but find unexpected love along the way? Or, will evil forces win and destroy them both?

Jan shares some wonderful quotes from her book:

REVIEW QUOTES:


“Wow! One of the top books I’ve read in a while. I’d give it more sparklers if I
could. The author had me from page one and didn’t let me go until the end. She
starts off hard and fast, then things kind of work out and the book goes into a
“safe” lull, which is where most romantic suspense stories would end. But no. She
doesn’t let you rest as the danger ramps up again before our hero and heroine
are really safe and have a satisfying ending that leaves you happy for them.” V.
Burkholder


“What an amazing and phenomenal book. Jagged Feathers has become my
favorite suspense book I’ve read in 2022.
Jan Sikes has a talent that mirrors the authors, that’s on top of the Best Sellers
List.” T. Lucas


“Wow! Few books grab and hold me as quickly as Jagged Feathers. I can’t say
enough good things about this story that’s brimming with heart. It has everything-
-an ex-soldier dealing with trying to heal from wounds and trauma left by the war,
a woman confused and scared by her psychic gift and running for her life, and a
dog that’s suffered horribly but hasn’t lost his ability to love.” L. Broday


“This is a high octane thriller and romance, with some intriguing paranormal
elements which draws the reader in, and sweeps them along with the action and developing love affair. And then there is also an adorable dog who despite his
own past mistreatment gives love in abundance.” S. Cronin

So, let’s get to know a little more about Jan!

Welcome

Thank you, Debby, for inviting me to visit with you today. It is truly an honor!

D.G. – Thrilled to be featuring you here today Jan. Thanks for coming!

How has writing changed your life?


That is a great question. After my husband passed away, I was still working full-time. But honestly, I was lost. I didn’t want to stay in the home we’d built together. Too many memories and too much property to take care of. So, I transferred my job to another town where one of my daughters lived. I withdrew from the world and hid behind my children and grandchildren. That was my safe place. Then, when I realized I was the one that would have to write the story of our life together, it forced me to step out and reinvent myself. It took several years before I could comfortably call myself an author. It wasn’t until after my second book won an award that it felt right. Writing not only changed my life completely but gave me a therapeutic way to rejoin the land of the living. It has given me a whole new career and I have met some of the most wonderful people— authors and readers!

D.G. – Do I ever hear you Jan. I know well what you mean about ‘hiding away’ after such a great loss. And no doubts writing was your therapy. 🙂

Do some of your own character traits or personal experiences spill into your book’s characters?


Oh, for sure! Of course, the first four books I wrote were biographical so that was me all the way. But when I started writing fiction, I drew from a lot of my personal experiences, philosophies, and beliefs and instilled them in some of my characters. I think the biggest example was Jag Peters’ mother, Charlotte, in Ghostly Interference. There is a lot of me in Charlotte. She is a smart but gentle lady who is a vegetarian and teaches yoga. She also instills in her son a lot of the same beliefs I have about Karma and the afterlife. The love of Charlotte’s life is a musician. So, I put a lot of me into her. Someday I want to tell her backstory.

D.G. – Only makes sense that we as writers will instill some of ourselves or other people we know when it comes to creating characters. 🙂

If you weren’t a writer what else do you think you would do?

That is a question I ask myself often. I work really hard at not only continuing to learn and grow in the craft of writing but in marketing as well. There are times when I stop and ask myself if this is what I really want to be doing. All the hard work results in little to no monetary rewards.
But, so far, the answer is the same every time. As long as story ideas and inspirations keep coming, I am duty-bound to keep writing them. And, if I wasn’t writing, I don’t know how I would be filling my time.
For now, this is what I want to do. It’s a chapter in life I am enjoying letting unfold.

D.G. – Once again, I couldn’t agree more! 🙂

I know you have a very active blog. What can you tell us you’ve gained from blogging as an author?


Blogging has created a whole new online family for me. I am connected to people all around the world. That is how I met you, Debby. So, I’ve gained a network of supportive and uplifting people as well as made what I consider to be friends. Even though we may never meet in person, through reading others’ blogs, I feel as if I know them. Besides this incredible network, blogging gives me a great platform to talk about my stories, accomplishments, failures, and everything in between. But my greatest joy is featuring others on my blog. I do lots of book reviews and have guest posts often.
Another way my blogging platform has enriched my life is through sharing metaphysical things such as Tarot cards and Rune readings, uplifting meditations, and my passion, Gemstones and their healing properties. It’s a way of sharing something that is a huge part of my daily life. It helps keep me grounded and focused while hopefully helping others at the same time. We are all on this journey together. So anything we can do to uplift each other is wonderful!
While blogging takes time away from writing, it is worthwhile all the way around. I can’t imagine stepping away from blogging, although it’s healthy to take a short break now and then.

D.G. – We share the same philosophy on blogging, once again. And of course we share a mutual interesting in the spiritual and metaphysical. 🙂

Share with us a book that moved you so much it stays with you.


This is probably the hardest question of all to answer. I’ve been an avid reader since I could decipher words. As a child, I devoured fairy tales and believed life would have a fairy tale ending for me. As a young adult, I read books by Harold Robbins that taught me so much about relationships between men and women.
“The Grapes of Wrath” is a book I have read multiple times. I think it has stayed with me because of stories my parents shared about the Great Depression. But a powerful book that changed the way I view worldwide governments is “The Captains and The Kings.” Taylor Caldwell depicted corruption among the leaders in such a way that I’ve never forgotten it. It’s a book I highly recommend to everyone.
A book I’ve read within the past couple of years that has stayed with me is “Where The Crawdads Sing.” And now I see that it has been made into a movie and will be showing in July. You can bet I’ll be at the theater to see it. And I want to add one more to my list of lingering stories. “If The Darkness Takes Us,” is such a chilling and realistic tale of what happens when the grid collapses and people are left to figure out how to survive on their own without any resources. Unfortunately, I feel that it may be more realistic than imagined. But there are lots of good survival tips shared in the book.
I’ll stop there with an apology. You only asked for one book. 🙂

D.G. – Had to laugh as the only books I could find around my house (in my mother’s room) were Harold Robbins’ books, lol. That was an education. And I loved Where the Crawdad’s Sing! I will now be checking out those other books you mentioned too. Thank you!

Follow Jan on her Social Links:


WEBSITE: http://www.jansikes.com

BLOG: http://www.jansikesblog.com
TWITTER: http://www.twitter.com/jansikes3
FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorJanSikesBooks
PINTEREST: https://www.pinterest.com/jks0851/
GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7095856.Jan_Sikes
BOOKBUB: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jan-sikes
LINKEDIN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jansikes/
AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Sikes/e/B00CS9K8DK

I hope you all enjoyed learning about Jan and her beautiful books.

©DGKaye2022

Q & A With D.G. Kaye – Featuring Deborah Jay and her Hot #NewRelease – The Prince’s Heir

Welcome to my last Q & A post for 2021. I know I have been sparse this year with Q & A features due to my world turning upside down, but  I couldn’t end off the year without sharing the news here from one of my oldest blogging friends, Deborah Jay, who has just released Book 4 in her 5 Kingdoms series – The Prince’s Heir.

About Deborah Jay:

Deborah Jay writes epic fantasy and urban fantasy featuring complex, quirky characters and multi-layered plots – just what she likes to read.

Fortunate to live near Loch Ness in the majestic, mystery-filled Scottish Highlands with her partner and a pack of rescue dogs, she can often be found lurking in secluded glens and forests, researching locations for her books.

She has a dream day job riding, training, and judging, competition dressage horses and riders, and also writes books and magazine features on the subject under her professional name of Debby Lush.

A lifelong fan of science fiction and fantasy, she started writing her first novel aged eight, and has never stopped. Her first published novel is epic fantasy, THE PRINCE’S MAN, first in the Five Kingdoms series, and winner of a UK Arts Council award. #2, THE PRINCE’S SON and #3, THE

PRINCE’S PROTEGE are both available with the concluding book in the quartet, THE PRINCE’S HEIR, released December 14th 2021.

Blurb:

Read the gripping conclusion to The Five Kingdoms series…

King Marten’s reign balances on a blade’s edge. Chel’s Casket, symbol of his right to rule, is missing. Can master spies, Rustam and Risada, recover it before someone notices its absence and challenges Marten’s sovereignty? Or is there a more sinister motive behind the disappearance of the casket—a relic that could be used to raise the demon god, Charin.

As a series of natural disasters besets the kingdoms, evidence points towards interference by the meddlesome deity, and the terrifying prospect of war between its two opposing aspects.

When Marten’s beloved wife, Betha, and their infant daughter vanish, Marten faces a stark choice: save his family, or try to save his kingdom from a conflict that threatens all humanity.

Excerpt from Prince’s Heir

“Risada,” said Marten in a tone that sent ice crawling down her spine. “There’s something we didn’t tell you last year. We thought it would never be an issue once we’d destroyed Charin’s Cult.”

The king paused, pursing his lips. Blood pounded through Risada’s head, filling the silence. She felt nauseous. What had they kept from her, and why?

Marten drew a deep breath, then continued. “You know they wanted our child. What you don’t know is that things came to a head when you returned with Halson. Charin wanted a child of the royal bloodline, and it seems Hal’s would have satisfied Him as much as mine.”

Risada gripped the back of a nearby chair, clinging to that spot of reality in a world turned hazy.

Halson! Charin wanted her son!

A fierce rush of protectiveness blasted through her. She would die before she allowed that to happen. Staring into Marten’s eyes, she saw the same intent reflected there. Of course, he and Betha had been willing to sacrifice themselves before, and now he feared Betha might be forced to make that call again.

“We won’t let it come to that; I promise.” She took one of his hands and squeezed it, but he shrugged and disengaged his grip.

“Sadly, that’s not something you can promise. Not where Charin’s involved. I’ve faced Him, remember? I was lucky to survive, and I don’t give much for my chances if it comes to a rerun.”

“Marten.” Risada employed the same tone she used when Halson was being difficult. “You’re not alone in this. You will never be alone to deal with such an attack again; that I can promise.

Let’s get to know more about Deb’s writing and dressage life in our Q & A session:

How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite of your books and if so, why?

Nine so far, plus novellas and short stories. Two non-fiction books on horse training (my day job), one SF (not published), five epic fantasy (one not published) and one urban fantasy. The unpublished books were where I cut my writer’s teeth, learning about plot, pace, and technique. One day I’d love to revisit them, but with so many other projects on the go, who knows if I’ll find the time?

My favorite book will always be the last one I finished. If you are anything like me, as we write more books our style changes, develops and (hopefully) improves. I am still proud as punch of my first published novel – THE PRINCE’S MAN – which in the early days before self-publishing, netted me two agents and a slew of positive feedback from the Big Six (as they were in those days) publishers, although no contract. Now, I’m really happy it didn’t sell – I would never have been allowed to write the sequels the way they’ve turned out, and I wouldn’t have control of my own career.

D.G. – You’ve certainly come a long way my busy friend. And yes, you are spot on, the more books we write, of course, our styles change as we learn new things. How many of us would like to go back and rewrite all our published books? Lol 🙂

What’s your opinion on self-publishing?

As a hybrid author – both traditionally and indie published – I can definitely say the latter is far and away my preferred route. Not only do I get to write what I want, when I want, I also earn a markedly higher percentage of the income from my indie published books (70% from Amazon, 60% from some other platforms, paid each month) than I do from my trad published books (10% from my publisher, paid annually).

Sure, traditional publishers can get you into bricks-and-mortar stores, but that’s far less important since Covid struck, closing so many, or forcing them to sell online. Publishers also have extremely limited funds available for marketing, and contracted authors are expected to do most of the grunt work themselves – marketing, networking, selling in person, etc. – so I’d rather put my efforts into my indie books for a higher return.

D.G. – My sentiments exactly Deb. And I’ve heard same thoughts from a few different authors who left trad to take control of their own books. 🙂

Did you have a passion to write as a child? Do you remember the first thing you wrote?

I don’t know about a passion, I just always assumed I would write. It seemed the natural progression – read other people’s stuff, then write your own.

As a child, comics took my interest, and my earlier attempts at writing were accompanied by awful illustrations (I’m no artist). When my mother died a couple of years ago, in amongst her papers (she was also a writer) I found what must be my earliest attempt, aged about 6 – ‘The travels of Sammy Snail – Scotland here I come’. Weirdly prophetic, as at that time I had never been to Scotland, nor had any of my family, and yet that’s precisely where I now live.

After that, came ‘The Adventures of Galloper’, another illustrated comic book, and then ‘Samantha the Adventurous Poodle’, a novel which failed at chapter 3 because it had no plot!

D.G. – What a gorgeous find! I know you have tons on your plate and agenda, but wouldn’t it be fun if you revised and published her work in a children’s book someday, authored by both of you? Food for thought. 🙂

Would you like to share with us what upcoming projects and/or ideas for books you’re working on?

While this week’s release brings to a conclusion the main story of one set of characters, I still have plenty of other tales to tell about them. One of the best aspects of self-publishing is the option to publish books of any size. I already wrote one short story that fits in between books #1 & #2, with another underway. I plan to write a set of them, with the ultimate goal of gathering them into a book of their own.

I have also plotted out and started a novella, telling the back story of a minor character who grew to become a major force in books #3 & 4. In addition, years ago, I wrote the novel that takes place before this set, so I plan on going back and rewriting that to a publishable standard too.

Beyond that, I have a rough outline for the next sequence of books, featuring the next generation. I’ve set up a lot of worldbuilding ready for them to walk right into, so, although the over-arching plot appears to end in book #4, it has a lot further to go – I’m thinking maybe 10 books in all?

Next up is putting together a boxset of books #1 – #4, and start editing for audiobook production – something I still have to dip my toe in. I also have one novel and a short story published in an urban fantasy series, with 6 chapters of the next book already done and just waiting for me to pick it up again.

Finally (as if that lot wasn’t enough!), I am currently writing a commissioned non-fiction book on horse training to go with the two already published, and sketching out two new in-person presentations now we are allowed to do such things again.

I’m certainly never short of stuff to do!

D.G. – You’re a machine girl! I hate to add to your plate, but I was hoping you would come out with a sequel to Desprite Measures with your Cassie character. 🙂

Do you edit and proofread your own work solely or do you hire an editor?

Neither!

I’m really fortunate to have worked with an awesome writer’s group for many years – thirty, to be precise! Members have come and gone, but the core has remained. New members have to put in an audition piece, so we can assess the standard of their writing. If we feel they aren’t ready to join us yet we point them towards where they can find more basic help to develop.

The group consists of (almost) exclusively published authors – some short fiction writers, some novelists. We do include a uni student, reading creative writing (what else?), but fundamentally we all write professional pieces that sell. We used to meet in person once a month, now we do it on Zoom, which means a couple of former members who moved away have rejoined.

One of the best aspects is that between us we cover a wide range of professions and interests, such as a medical doctor, a computer programmer, a travel writer, and a stand-up comic! Between the lot of us, we’re pretty darned good at the whole gamut of editing. And knowing we will all be on the receiving end at some point, we’ve become well practiced at constructive critiquing – the best sort of group.

D.G. – Sounds like a great plan and a wonderful and eclectic bunch of writers! 🙂

What was the inspiration behind the series you’ve just completed?

I was always frustrated that the super-spy, James Bond, was never allowed (until now!) to develop as a character. Enter my leading man, Rustam Chalice – a shallow, womanizing, spy. During THE PRINCE’S MAN, alongside the action and politics, everything he thought he knew is challenged and proven to be false, bringing about profound changes to his life, which continues to develop through the entire series.

I chose a fantasy setting partly because of my love for Lord of the Rings, but also because of the incredible scope available to my imagination. I can do whatever I want with the world (provided it’s consistent and makes sense), which allows me to put my characters through a crucible unlike anything they would experience in a real-world setting.

Out of these two things came tagline for the series: Think James Bond meets Lord of the Rings.

D.G. – Brilliant concept! 🙂

It was a pleasure having you over today Deb. I wish you much success with your new release, and no doubts the Prince’s Man fans for this series are anxiously awaiting this new release.

Connect with Deborah:

Newsletter sign up and FREE short story: http://eepurl.com/bPZcmT

https://deborahjayauthor.com/

https://www.facebook.com/DeborahJay

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7172608.Deborah_Jay

Amazon author page: https://viewAuthor.at/DeborahJay

©DGKaye2021

Season 3 Episode 50: Debby Gies on Being an Eclectic Memoirist and Conversationalist – Tea Toast & Trivia

I am thrilled and excited to share this post by Rebecca Budd of Tea Toast & Trivia. Rebecca interviewed me a little while ago and I was delighted to come across the post she wrote with the podcast audio attached. I hope you will listen.

Season 3 Episode 50: Debby Gies on Being an Eclectic Memoirist and Conversationalist

I am your host, Rebecca Budd, and I am looking forward to sharing this moment with you. 

I am delighted that blogger and non-fiction writer, Debby Gies and I are connecting Toronto and Vancouver, Canada.

Debby is a Canadian author, writing under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. She writes about life, matters of the heart and women’s issues. Her intent is to inspire others by sharing her stories about events she has encountered, and the lessons that have come along with them.

Debby is an empathetic fashionista and shopper extraordinaire who loves to laugh. She is an eclectic memoirist and conversationalist who writes to empower by sharing slices of life.  Her blog is a wide-ranging mix of randomness, where you will find anything from writing tips to tales from the past, to travel tips, book reviews, and author interviews.

I invite you to put the kettle on and add to this exciting conversation on Tea Toast & Trivia.

Thank you for joining Debby and me on Tea Toast & Trivia.

And a special thank you, Debby, for sharing your insights on living life in the now, with humour and expectation.   You have inspired me, and I know that you have inspired readers and listeners to head into the unknown with courage and determination.

I invite you to meet up with Debby on her blog, D.G. Kaye Writer.com , on her Amazon Page and on Goodreads.  It is a place that welcomes profound conversations that reminds us to Live, Love, Laugh and Breathe. 

Until next time, dear friends, keep safe, keep reading and be well.

Please head over to Rebecca’s blog and listen

©DGKaye2021

Q & A with D.G. Kaye – Featuring Lauren Scott – #NewRelease – More than Coffee: Memories in Verse and Prose

Welcome to my Q & A for September. Today I’m thrilled to be featuring my friend and author, Lauren Scott and her beautiful new book – More than Coffee: Memories in Verse and Prose. Lauren writes beautiful poetry and short story memoirs. I’ve been following her blog for a few years now and as Lauren has recently released her newest book, she’s on blog tour now, so I thought I’d jump in on her booklaunch tour with doing a little Q & A here with her. Enjoy!

 

 

Lauren Scott

 

About Lauren:

 

Lauren has authored two collections of poetry: New Day, New Dreams (2013) and Finding a Balance (2015). In the last couple of years, she began exploring memories from her past, penning them into short memoirs. She lives in Northern California with her husband, Matthew, and their lovable canine, Copper; they have two adult children. Family has been an aspect of life she has always held dear. From her experiences over three decades: raising a family, grieving through loss, finding joy in the smallest things, and the many backpacking and camping adventures, her writing takes a magical path of its own.

 

The marvelous wild world that surrounds her: the smell of the woods, the sound of a babbling brook, and the chorus of birds never disappoint in providing inspiration. Recent backpacking trips with Matthew along the California coast and Sierra Nevada have stirred up thoughts to write about love, lost friendship, family, and the possibility that anything can happen. Hikes along the Paper Mill Creek remind her that life is fragile. From trout hatchlings to swallowtail butterflies, Lauren is marveled at how the world is interconnected and that every living thing matters. She is a poet, short memoir writer, and nature lover who hopes her readers will find a little nugget of delight, comfort, or understanding in her poetry and stories – some detail that resonates with them beyond her words.

 

 

 

Blurb:

 

From the early woes of childhood and teen years, this collection of stories and poems paints a picture of young dreams and fears. But as adulthood sets in, these dreams and fears change. More than Coffee touches on love and loss, nature and endurance, marriage and parenting. In these memories, humor diffuses fear and taking risks proves to be a powerful method in boosting self-confidence. Through it all, whether in the wilderness near a sparkling lake or in the comfort of home, there’s nothing like a good cup of coffee. A poignant and reflective collection of verse and prose that is best enjoyed sipping your favorite coffee roast.

 

 

Welcome

 

 

Let’s get into a little Q & A and get to know more about Lauren!

 

Where do your book ideas grow from?

 

Inspiration is derived from a simple walk around the neighborhood with my dog: flowers blooming in springtime, bees buzzing in the distance, clouds forming art in the sky, or a subtle touch of a breeze. Family is most important to me, so I write about the love of my life, my husband of 32 years, who I met in a comical manner. My parents who have since passed away have been the fodder for poetry and short memoirs – losing one parent is difficult enough, but both is beyond surreal. It’s like the family foundation slipped into a sink hole. I find inspiration from my son and daughter who have turned out to be compassionate, amazing adults, and how it took some getting used to when my husband and I became empty nesters.

 

I write about loss and grief – the importance of letting those tears flow – but also the necessity of occasionally giving freedom to your silly self. Camping and backpacking have played an integral part of our life, so living in the wilderness near a sparkling freshwater lake encourages a plethora of thoughts eager to be written. Hiking five miles further up the mountain to a lake filled with lily pads is like entering a fairyland inspiring a new level of ideas for my muse.

 

When work on my memoir began, my mind transported to the past: recalling formative childhood years, finding forever love, becoming a mother, and taking on challenges that I never would have attempted before. I strive to convey the value of slowing down and reveling in surrounding beauty, feeling gratitude, meeting a challenge head-on, and living in the here and now. We’re only gifted one ride around the sun, so why not make it the best possible ride?!

 

DG: Even your response here is beautiful prose Lauren. Yes, writing about truth in life is all about the moments we take in and how we interpret them. 🙂

 

 

What are your writing goals for this year?

 

I had set a writing goal to publish my memoir, More than Coffee: Memories in Verse and Prose which was released in early September. What a feeling of accomplishment, especially because my first two books were collections of poetry. More than Coffee speaks of memories from the past written in freeform poetry and in short memoirs. The process took longer than I anticipated, and I thought the editing would never end. Eventually, the point of confidence that every comma and verb was written correctly was finally achieved. I am thrilled to check that box off, but in the process, I was able to relive many wonderful moments from my childhood into my adulting. When loved ones have passed on, it is the gathering of fond memories that sustain us and bring them to life.

 

DG: I’m glad you accomplished what you set out to do Lauren. I know how life can get in the way of our good intentions. Writing memoir is certainly reliving the moments. 🙂

 

 

Would you like to share with us what upcoming projects and/or ideas for books you’re working on?

 

As I inched closer to the finish line with More than Coffee, the wheels in my mind started turning again, and I wondered what will come next? I have written more than a dozen new poems I would love to see in print, but those may have to wait. I recently pulled a children’s book idea from my archived computer files. This book or a possible series commenced over two decades ago. And then life happened, raising children took precedence, and that idea became complacent in the archives. I feel now is the right time to breathe some life into this project. However, I don’t know the first thing about writing a children’s book. For now, though, I’m enjoying the ride on Cloud 9 from the release of my new book and the positive feedback I’ve received, along with the generous support from wonderful blogging friends. Once this ride slows down, the children’s book research will begin, and I’ll see where it takes me.

 

DG: That sounds fantastic Lauren. I could definitely see you as a children’s writer. That will be a wonderful project to dive into no doubt!

 

 

Do you have any advice you can share for new writers?

 

My advice is to simply write! Don’t think too hard! Years ago, I allowed intimidation to prevent me from pursuing my writing passion – intimidation from not holding that BA or MFA in Creative Writing. However, several years ago, I attended English classes required for an associate degree at our local community college (baby steps to a bachelor’s degree), and I’m proud to say that I aced those classes. I loved the writing and the experience. But what halted me on that path to a two-year degree was the requirement to take other classes that might not interest me, then to spend time doing that homework. Instead, my son nudged me into starting a blog. I slowly began to share my writing, feeling a little timid in the beginning. At the same time, I followed many talented authors. Before I knew it, WordPress transformed into an online classroom. I learned about various formats of poetry. I read compelling fiction with authentic dialogue. I laughed and let the tears fall when reading memoirs. I delighted in immersing myself into charming children’s books.

 

Thus, I made another choice, pouring my heart and soul into writing for my blog, a wonderful platform to engage with other like-minded bloggers. Regardless of age, learning is infinite, as well as growing in one’s craft. Maybe I’ll step foot on a college campus again? Whether that happens or not, I’ll continue to read, letting myself be drawn into fantastic tales of fantasy, mystery, and romance. I’ll feel the myriad of emotions when reading beautiful poetry, gaining more knowledge along the journey. And when inspiration moves me, I will write. So, follow your writing passion regardless of credentials or age.

 

DG: I’d say that is the best advice for new writers afraid to take the plunge. Oh yes, it can be so intimidating when we first begin. But the blog gives us our own platform to experiment with our writing and a great audience to inspire us to keep writing. It’s all about community for us writers. 🙂

 

 

Books by Lauren Scott

 

Lauren Shares an Excerpt from her story – Ascent

 

When we reached the top and I looked down that sleek granite dome, I was amazed at what I had achieved. Never underestimate our abilities. On the other side of the dome, Shealor Lake was in full view. We gave our legs a short rest, drank some water, then headed downhill with the enticing pull of the lake’s beauty. As we neared the bottom, my emotions ran wild. I was relieved that we finally made it, but a sudden wave of grief washed over me. We removed our packs and sat on a log for a time-out. I was so overwhelmed that the tears found freedom. I didn’t fight them. I cried for the loss of Dad. I cried for having completed this hike that I didn’t think I was capable of. I would’ve backed out graciously had I known the details.

 

After a few minutes, I composed myself and looked to the lake. The water, a jeweled phenomenon. It sparkled, inviting us for a swim. While we set up our back-country camp, the orange-hot sun blazed down on us as if we had drastically turned up the thermostat, so the cool lake water soothed our sun-kissed skin. The fact that we were all alone in this canyon full of forest and smooth granite was beyond welcoming. The tranquility offered me the chance to reminisce about Dad and my parents together. The solitude afforded a perfect destination to grieve, think, remember, and cry. Mourning the loss of one parent was difficult enough but losing both felt surreal – a new stage of life had begun.

 

I hope you all enjoyed getting to know a bit about Lauren, her writing and her new book. Visit Lauren at her blog and at her Amazon author page to discover some of her other books.

 

Visit Lauren:

 

BLOG: https://baydreamerwrites.com/

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE:  https://www.amazon.com/~/e/B08NCRH4MK

 

©DGKaye2021

 

Friday Spotlight – D.G Kaye | Stevie Turner

Today I’m sharing my recent feature spot I had over at Stevie Turner’s blog where I’m talking a bit about how my book – Twenty Years: After “I Do” came to be. Stevie Turner generously runs an author promotion series every Friday on her blog. Some weeks she offers ‘Click and Run’, where we’re invited to leave a link to a great review for one of our books, and this spotlight feature. Stevie invites authors to submit to be featured. Enjoy reading my post and if you’d like to be featured, follow her submission guidelines listed at the bottom of her post page.

 

 

Friday Spotlight – D.G Kaye

 

 

Hi all, today the spotlight is on D.G Kaye, a non-fiction author I feel I know very well even though I’ve never met her.

 

We’ve gone through a few similiar life experiences, and we have the same opinions on many subjects. Reading Debby’s bio below, I’ve often wished I could have been a reporter too, and it’s quite uncanny how much alike we are in so many ways!

 

I enjoyed reading Debby’s book ‘Twenty Years: After “I Do”, which contains many tips for a successful marriage based on the author’s own twenty year marriage to the love of her life, Gordon, who sadly passed away earlier this year.

 

 

Author, D.G. Kaye

 

 

Bio

 

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, sharing 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.

 

 

Why I write nonfiction

 

I’ve always been a ‘tell it the way it is’ kind of girl. In fact, I’m pretty sure I should have been a reporter. I’m a nonfiction/memoir writer and no matter how hard I try to get around that by dabbling into the odd fiction writing piece, it always seemed I was writing on factual incidents, so I decided why bother packing it as fiction, why not just own up to it and tell the truth. All my stories have lessons in them that others can take from them. And when a story isn’t about a serious topic, I’ll always try to inject humor whenever I can. Why? Because sometimes we all just need to look for the funny.

 

 

About the writing of this book:

 

 Writing this book was a true labor of love. The book stemmed from little things that popped into my head a few years ago when my husband took ill. I was riding a roller coaster of emotions for much of the year with my husband’s health, and it got me thinking about how much had really changed through the years, as his aging was happening well ahead of mine.

 

I’m not suggesting that time isn’t catching up with me too, but what I mean is that my husband was two decades older than me, and when we first got married, I let that factor slide because there were so many good reasons to marry him. But it’s a learning curve when you have a ringside seat watching your spouse go through situations that become a bit more difficult as the body ages and sickness sometimes takes its toll.

 

It was an actual statement that my husband made one day that lit up my brain with the book idea. He made a comment out of the blue, “We’ve been together twenty years.” When you read the book, you will understand why that statement spurred the title of the book. And from there, well, it got me thinking about some of the day-to-day activities we do that tend to become altered as one ages, as well as some of the things about the future we don’t normally tend to think about when we’re younger, but become things we’re forced to think about and reckon with.

 

The basic formula I can share to keep the engines of a marriage running smoothly is to always remember compassion and kindness, listen with your heart, talk about your feelings, be a supportive partner, and don’t forget to include laughter in your life every day!

 

 

 

 

Blurb:

 

May/December memoirs. 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.

 

 

Excerpt:

 

Sacrifice

 

When I chose to marry Gordon, I didn’t live in a fantasy world, unconcerned about the future. I didn’t jump in recklessly, thinking life wouldn’t present problems down the road. I wasn’t delusional, thinking, I’ll worry about whatever happens when it happens or Nothing bad is ever going to happen to him. No, I took everything into consideration and thought logically about marrying Gordon, and knew in my heart that the bottom line was that I loved him for all he was and who he was and that love, providing it was reciprocated, would sustain me through whatever came our way.

 

***

 

When I talk about the sacrifices we make in life, I’m referring to sacrifices we make for our marriage, our children, or sometimes just for the sake of peace. But what are we sacrificing? Do we become heroes because we act selflessly by giving into or giving up something to someone, by sacrificing our own happiness for others? Do we sacrifice to appease, or do we sacrifice from the goodness of our hearts?

 

“Sacrifice” isn’t a simple word. Sacrifice in a marriage isn’t an accolade we should brag about but an act we perform voluntarily for the pure pleasure of giving up something we desire for the sake of someone else’s happiness or need. A healthy relationship involves a give and take from both parties, and if one of those parties isn’t reciprocating, he or she isn’t sacrificing. When we commit to an honest relationship, we realize that selflessness is a main ingredient and part of what strengthens the bond as our relationships develop. We accept that life consists of peaks and valleys, and we sometimes have to give up something with an open heart to accommodate our partners’ needs.

 

If we’re the selfish type who only take from a relationship what we want and flee when obstacles present themselves, there is no sacrifice, only selfishness. Sacrifice will always be part of a good and healthy relationship because that’s what we do when we love with our whole hearts: We give of ourselves with no complaints or expectations.

 

So where does the word “sacrifice” fit into my relationship? Am I supposed to say I sacrificed my midlife years because my husband is older now and we’re unable to do many of the same things we once did together in our earlier years? That’s not how a good marriage works. I didn’t sacrifice anything to be with Gordon. We’ve had a wonderful life together and still do. Sure, our age difference can sometimes present challenges, but what marriage doesn’t encounter challenges? Ours are just different. We care about each other and have always been at each other’s sides through the big moments and the small. We support each other’s desires, dreams, and ambitions. We make each other laugh and remember to tell one another “I love you” every day. Our views on certain issues will differ, and sometimes Gordon may not understand my writing life, but he’s proud of me and applauds my accomplishments—and he never complains.

 

If I’m lost in my work and the dinner hour has passed, he won’t complain but will help himself to a bowl of cereal. My husband is a good sport when it comes to my desires, and he’s always happy to see me happy. That’s how it’s been since the beginning of us, and that says a lot for why we’re still together today.

 

A good relationship always entails sacrifices. Maintaining a good relationship is like creating a recipe with all the nutritional ingredients and flavor, well simmered to ensure it’s tasteful and fulfilling, and part of that recipe is to be generous with hugs. Hugs are a loving expression of our emotions. Still, to this day, when Gordon makes me laugh with his boyish charm, I see the charisma that attracted me to him twenty years ago and can’t resist hugging him like I would a comforting teddy bear. He is my teddy bear, huggable, lovable, dependable, helpful, and caring. So really, what could I possibly have sacrificed to receive all the gifts I am given?

 

~ ~ ~

 

Review

 

5.0 out of 5 stars A Memoir On Love and Marriage: Love Without Limits

Reviewed in the United States on August 20, 2019 by Lauren Miller

 

Verified Purchase

 

D.G 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.

 

Please visit Stevie’s blog for original post and find out how to be featured with your books.

Source: Friday Spotlight – D.G Kaye | Stevie Turner

 

©DGKaye2021