Sunday, May 8, 2011

with Kaye Dacus

Welcome to the Barn Door Book Loft, Kaye!
What started you on your writing journey?

Even though I started writing when I was a young teen (because I wanted to be able to continue the next day the story I’d been playing out with my Barbies—until one day, I forgot to pick up the dolls and just went straight to the pencil and paper), it wasn’t until I was sixteen or seventeen when I really felt like writing was what I really wanted to do with my life. I just didn’t have anyone around me who knew how to direct me. My parents encouraged me, but they weren’t sure how to give me guidance. I had a wonderful Creative Writing teacher in high school and that was when I knew for sure that I wanted to be like him—I wanted to be able to teach others how to do what it was I loved doing so much. But it wasn’t until much later in my life, at the age of thirty, that I truly thinking about and pursuing publication.

What distracts you from writing the easiest?
What distracts . . . hold on, sixteen e-mails just came in; let me go read and respond to them.
Distrac—ooh, someone just @mentioned me on Twitter, let me go look at that . . . and reply . . . and RT a couple of other folks.
Okay, sorry. Distractions . . . wait, I haven’t checked Facebook in a while—ooh, cute video; great new photos from my niece; better check on the rest of the extended family while I’m here—oh, and gotta post something pithy on my author page to try to get some discussion going.
Sorry. What was the question? Oh, yeah, distractions . . . oh, look, I have 84 unread blog posts on Google Reader. Better go look at those before they pile up any further. You don’t mind waiting, do you?

What kind of books do you enjoy reading?
I love medieval-set (England and Scotland) historical romances usually, but I’m in between eras right now—I’m a little burned out on all of the West/Prairie settings in Christian fiction, and I can’t stand the sleaziness in the general-market historicals I used to adore. Now that I have a Kindle, I find myself downloading samples of books that are more general in nature than regular romances—right now, several set around the early kings of England (Alfred, William the Conquerer, Edward I, Richard the Lionheart, John, etc.) and the Tudors. So far, I haven’t liked anything enough to purchase the full book after reading the samples.
Of course, given the fact that I’ve been on a short-turnaround deadline for the past eighteen months for the last four or five books I’ve written (only between two to four months to write each one), and that I’m a freelance editor working for a couple of different publishing houses by day, reading isn’t even on the back burner for me—it’s been put back into the pantry!

Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote?
I had so much fun writing Caylor’s character in The Art of Romance, because in addition to being a college English professor, she’s a romance novelist. So I was able to incorporate several of my own little quirks into her character.

If you were a style of music, what style would you be?
I think I’d be a Handel chorus—lots and lots of layers with lots of different “voices” doing different things all at the same time, yet blending together into a harmonic whole.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I don’t know if it’s the quirkiest thing I’ve ever done, but what’s coming to mind is at the ACFW conference in 2010 when I was talking to a big-name agent after-hours about my mentees, but instead of calling them mentees, I called them minions. And I rubbed my hands together and gave a slightly wicked laugh when I did so. Now the members of my local group—and several other mentees—are talking about getting together and designing some Kaye’s Minions T-shirts.

Are there things you put off doing because you dread them?
Paying bills and doing my taxes. I hate anything having to do with money (except spending it on fun stuff). Which is really bad, considering I’m single and responsible for all of it myself.

What's your favorite meal with family and friends?
Any meal eaten with family and/or friends is my favorite! I’m very much a social person when it comes to food—to paraphrase Proverbs 17:1: “Better a bowl of macaroni and cheese eaten with loved ones than a steak dinner eaten alone.” Which is probably why food features so greatly in my books!
One of the best main dishes—easy to put together ahead of time and great tasting—for entertaining is “Cavatini,” a pasta casserole my mom taught me. It’s pasta (can be cooked and refrigerated the night before—different shapes and sizes, like ziti, shells, penne, rotini, fusilli, elbow macaroni, etc., to give it lots of texture (choose whole-wheat or quinoa pasta for healthier/gluten-free variations or even fun shapes/colors for kids) layered with: spaghetti sauce (homemade or jarred/canned), browned and drained ground beef or sausage, pepperoni, and cheese—lots and lots of mozzarella! Since everything’s pre-cooked when you put it together, the night of the dinner, you just stick it in the oven at between 350 to 400 until it’s bubbly all the way through and the layer of cheese on the top is starting to brown. One of those already cut, buttered, and seasoned loaves of garlic bread can be thrown in the oven with this. Add a tossed salad (pre-cut in the bag), and dinner is ready!

Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?
I find that I write a lot about finding identity—as a single person (yes, I realize I’m writing romance novels), as an adult child of aging parents, as a creation of God—as well as finding purpose and direction in life.

Share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you.
My favorite passage is Hebrews 12:1-3:
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (nasb)

To me, this is my Christian journey in a nutshell—I wouldn’t be anywhere if it weren’t for those who’ve gone before me, who now surround me, and who will come after me; I must persevere in the tasks God has set before me—and I can do so only by living on faith in Jesus, who endured so much more than I will ever be asked to go through.

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
I have two more books coming out in 2011:

Ransome’s Quest (The Ransome Trilogy, Book 3) coming in August
This fast-paced, engaging end to the Ransome Trilogy follows a tale of love and danger on the Caribbean Sea in the early 1800s.
Commodore William Ransome is searching for his sister, Charlotte, who has been captured by Salvador, the infamous "Robin Hood of the West Indies." When word comes that his wife, Julia, has been kidnapped by the evil pirate, Shaw, Commodore Ransome and his crew frantically search the horizon for the two women he loves. After Charlotte is found, she emerges with revelations about Salvador's true identity and his willingness to help search for Julia. It's news that sends shockwaves through the family.
Will Commodore Ransome trust Salvador to help rescue his beloved wife? And what other secrets have been buried like long lost treasure in these waters? Romance, intrigue, and swashbuckling leaps of faith create a wonderfully heroic close to this beloved series.

Turnabout’s Fair Play (The Matchmakers, Book 3) coming in November

When Maureen O’Connor begins scheming to match her grandson Jamie with Flannery McNeill, the last thing she has in mind is a romance of her own. But when Jamie turns the tables and conspires with Flannery to bring Maureen and Flannery’s grandfather Kirby together, everyone’s best-laid plans seem to go awry. Is Maureen willing to start a new relationship at this stage of her life? Will Jamie ever drop his veneer of self-sufficiency and succumb to true love?

Purchase at CBD

Purchase The Art of Romance at CBD.

Kaye is giving away a copy of The Art of Romance. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.


Tracy Smith said...

Good morning! I enjoyed reading your interview with Kaye Dacus and would really enjoy her new book. Please enter me in this giveaway.

Thank you. Have a great Sunday!

cjajsmommy said...

Wow, I think I like this lady -- so many similarities. We also make Cavatini (was my dh's "specialty" for many years). Please enter my name for the giveaway.

CarlybirdK said...

Please enter me. I would love to win this book. Thank you.

Anne Payne said...

So true about the distractions! Are you a fly on the wall in my house, or what?! jk... I'm going to try your recipe, sounds delish! I am always looking for something quick & easy since I don't have much for cooking with all the distractions :)


Jordan said...

I would love the chance to win!


Amy said...

I understand about those distractions. Please enter me. Thanks.


Amanda Stephan said...

I love this interview! Such fun! And the whole minion thing, that's something I would do :) Thanks for the opportunity to learn about Kaye. I'd love a chance to win her book!

amanda38401 at gmail dot com

Cindy W. said...

I enjoyed your post and would love to be entered to win a copy of The Art of Romance. Thank you for the chance.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.


Linda Kish said...

Sounds great. Count me in please.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Jackie S. said...

I am anxious to read this book; thanks for the chance!

Pam K. said...

I think it's kind of sad that you (Kaye)don't have time lately to read (I don't know what I'd do if I couldn't read) but I do appreciate you writing great books for us to read.
I'd love to win "The Art of Romance."


Charity said...

I would love to be entered!! I am a big fan of Kaye's books and she has a wonderful way of writing:) Good humor too:D Thanks!

Courtney said...

Sounds like a great story, very interesting! I like what you wrote about the character Caylor being a English professor and a romance novelist! Thanks for the chance to win this!


apple blossom said...

love to win this book thanks

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Anonymous said...

This sounds really good!

karenk said...

would love to read this novel..thanks for the chance :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Roanna said...

I just read the blurb for this book on Kaye's website, and boy did it sound like an interesting and perhaps funny at times book!

I would like to be entered! Thank you!

Charlotte Kay said...

Rejoicing to be included in this giveaway:)

Many Blessings and Smiles:)
Charlotte Kay
charlovesmark at gmail dot com

Charity U said...

Please enter me! :)

Meredith said...

Great interview. Hate those distractions!

meredithfl at gmail dot com

Ann Lee Miller said...

Thanks for the chance to win!

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