Friday, January 8, 2010

Kaye Dacus ~ Interview + Giveaway!

Today author Kaye Dacus is telling us about her soon-to-be-released book, A Case for Love. She has offered an autographed copy of this book to one lucky commenter. She will also be stopping by throughout the week to answer reader's questions, so feel free to leave a comment for her! (Please say if you are only asking a question and not entering the giveaway.)

Welcome, Kaye! Tell us a little about yourself.

I am an author and editor who has been writing fiction for more than twenty years. I’ve been a member of American Christian Fiction Writers since 2001, and formerly served as Vice President. I currently serve as President of Middle Tennessee Christian Writers, where I teach a two-hour workshop on an aspect of the craft of writing or the publishing industry every month.

I was born in Louisiana but have lived in several different areas of the country including Alaska, New Mexico, and Northern Virginia. Since 1996, I have called Nashville, Tennessee, home.

In May 2004, I graduated from Trevecca Nazarene University with a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration on Professional Writing. And in June 2006, I fulfilled a long-time dream when I received my Master of Arts in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University.

I’m a Jane Austen fanatic and love watching and discussing British costume-drama movies with friends. When time permits, I’ll usually be found traveling to visit family in Arkansas or Louisiana.

How long have you been writing? How many books do you have published?
Though I started writing fiction when I was twelve or thirteen years old, it’s only been since 2001 (when I attended my first writing conference) that I’ve really studied the craft and focused on trying to get published. I knew God had called me to major in English/Writing, and I had the desire to pursue a graduate degree in Creative Writing; but because I wrote inspirational romances, and because no graduate program I’d ever heard of looked kindly upon any kind of genre-writing, I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do. But I persevered, and because of that heard about the Writing Popular Fiction program at Seton Hill. Not only did my master’s degree allow me to move from a “job” as an executive assistant at a newspaper into a “career” as an editor at a book-publishing company, it also produced my first published novel—Stand-In Groom was my master’s thesis.

I currently have three books out, Stand-In Groom and Menu for Romance (Brides of Bonneterre books 1 & 2) and Ransome’s Honor (Ransome Trilogy book 1) with the third book in the Brides of Bonneterre series, A Case for Love, releasing at the end of January. Book 2 in the Ransome Trilogy, Ransome’s Crossing, will be out June 1.

If you compared your writing style to any other Christian Fiction author, who would it be? Also, how would you rate the romance in your books?
I don’t know that I could objectively compare my style to anyone else’s. But the authors I was reading before getting published whose tone, voice, and storytelling style influenced me and my desire to write were Dee Henderson (the O’Malley series), Susan May Warren (the Deep Haven series) and Linda Windsor (especially her contemporary romantic comedies like Along Came Jones and It Had to Be You).

My stories tend to be light-hearted while still dealing with serious issues like mending broken family relationships, forgiveness, trust, and honesty. As a huge fan of classic romance authors, such as Jane Austen and Louisa May Alcott, the romantic couples in my books tend to hold off that first kiss until near the end of the book—just like in most of those costume-drama movies I love so much. So these are books that are safe for even young teens to read.

In your own words tell us a little about A Case for Love.
A Case for Love is the third and final (for now) book in the Brides of Bonneterre series from Barbour Publishing. After teasing readers with the character of Forbes Guidry for two books, I finally wrote his story—in which he learns he can’t control everything. . .especially TV society reporter Alaine Delacroix! A Case for Love isn’t just a story about two people falling in love, though; it’s a story about learning what it means to be an adult, about learning the true meaning of honoring our parents, and about what it really means to surrender to God’s lordship in our lives.

Though the books don’t have to be read in order, to truly understand Forbes, readers might want to start with the first two books in the series, Stand-In Groom and Menu for Romance.

Blurb-
Welcome back to Bonneterre, Louisiana, for the delightful conclusion to the Brides of Bonneterre series.

The Alaine Delacroix that all of Bonneterre knows is the carefully polished image she puts forth every day on her noontime news-magazine program. When her parents’ home and small business is threatened by the biggest corporation in town, Alaine is forced to choose between her image and fighting for the life her family has built.

Lawyer Forbes Guidry is used to making things go his way. But when he’s asked to take on a pro bono case for a colleague, he’ll learn that he can’t control everything—including his feelings for his new client: Alaine Delacroix.

Alaine’s only option to help her family is hiring Forbes, but can she bring herself to trust the handsome, disarmingly charming lawyer? And will Forbes Guidry be able to make a case for love before losing his job and family? Can both trust that God will present a solution before it’s too late?

What made you want to write this story?
Even before I knew this would be a trilogy, having introduced Forbes in Stand-In Groom as a major secondary character, I wanted to get to know him better, wanted to spend more time with him—wanted to see what kind of woman it would take to break through that “perfect” exterior of his, that ultimate control he prides himself in. So when Barbour asked for a series proposal, I knew that Forbes’s story would be one of the three. It took a little longer to come up with Alaine’s character, the woman who would finally crack that veneer of control, but fortunately she came to me in time to even get her name mentioned in Stand-In Groom and to make her a secondary character in Menu for Romance so that readers could start getting to know her along the way, too.

What research did you have to do for this book?
I got to do some of the most fun research so far when writing this book: I went down to the local CBS affiliate station here in Nashville (WTVF/News Channel 5) to shadow the host of the mid-morning news magazine (Meryll Rose of “Talk of the Town”) upon which Alaine’s show is based. Not only did I get a tour of the studio, but I got to sit in the control room and in the studio while the show was being broadcast live.

Having never worked in a law firm, I also got to put some of my networking skills to work by contacting several writing acquaintances who are also lawyers whenever I had questions about how things would work in the legal world—whenever I couldn’t easily find the answers online.

Who would you pick to play the lead roles if this book was made into a movie?
As anyone who’s read my blog before knows, I can’t write without having first “cast” my characters. I love having the Real World Templates as a basis for not just physical description but for their body language, facial expressions, and physical movements/reactions to things.


In A Case for Love, Forbes Guidry is something of a hybrid of two actors: Julian McMahon, from his days on Charmed, and Gregory Peck from circa Roman Holiday. He’s very handsome and dapper—as tightly in control of his physical appearance as he tries to be with everything else in his life.


Alaine Delacroix is someone else who, in the beginning, is more concerned about her physical appearance—being in the public eye on TV daily as she is. She’s petite and beautiful, half Cajun and half Portuguese. And the template for her is the actress Morena Baccarin (from Firefly/Serenity and V).

What are you working on now or going to write next?
I’m currently writing the first book in my next contemporary series, Love Remains, and as soon as I finish it, I’ll start in on the third and final book of my historical series, Ransome’s Quest. With nine books contracted in under two years, there hasn’t really been an opportunity to take a break between books—which has really been quite a blessing, as it’s kept me constantly writing, constantly “priming the creative pump” instead of getting lazy and letting that creativity atrophy in between projects.

How can readers get in contact with you?
Readers can find me online at:

http://kayedacus.com

http://www.facebook.com/kayedacus

http://twitter.com/kayedacus

What are you currently reading?
Right now, I’m reading Glimpses of Grace: Daily Thoughts and Reflections, a daily devotional compiled from Madeleine L’Engle’s nonfiction. But with a deadline at the end of the month and three-quarters of the book to write, I don’t have a lot of time for reading. I do have several books I’d like to read this year, including catching up on some classics I “should have read” as an English major but never got around to, including some Thoreau essays and Henry James novellas.

Tell us something surprising about yourself that readers may not know.
I don’t know how surprising people will find this, if they’ve spent any time at all on my blog, but with seventeen months to go until my fortieth birthday, I have never been married, never dated, and never been kissed.

If you could be any animal, which would you choose? Why?
Even though they’re my least-favorite animal, I’d have to say I’d want to be a cat. They’re allowed by their owners to do pretty much anything they want to—including sleeping all day wherever they want, ignoring anyone they want to whenever they want to, getting fed at the least little cry, and pretty much having complete control of their home.

FAVORITES:
TV show and/or movie?
My favorite TV show is LOST. I’m currently re-watching the first five seasons in preparation for the sixth and final season starting in February.

As far as movies, my overall favorite of all time is The Philadelphia Story starring Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, and Jimmy Stewart. As far as contemporary movies go, my new favorite is last year’s Star Trek—amazingly enough made by the same people behind LOST.

Place to go on vacation?
Hot Springs, Arkansas. Not only is it fun to visit the old downtown area and go to one of the bathhouses, but it’s also where my parents live. I love to go during the summer when we can go out on their boat from Brady Mountain Lodge, where it’s docked, onto Lake Ouachita and spend the day.

Book this year or month? Why?
I have to say, out of all the books I read/edited in 2009, it would be hard for me to pick only one favorite, so I’m going to have to call it a tie and say that M.L. Tyndall’s The Red Siren (historical romance) and Annalisa Daughety’s Love Is a Battlefield (contemporary romance) are my two favorite books I read. Both authors are such strong storytellers that I was able to shut off the internal editor/critiquer that lives in my brain and usually keeps me from being able to read for pleasure.
What is this book’s release date?
A Case for Love releases February 1, 2010—but it may hit store shelves a little earlier than that (I hope!).

Do you have a link to a place to read the first chapter of this book?

Readers can find a couple of excerpts from A Case for Love on my website at:

http://kayedacus.com/2009/07/27/a-sneak-peek-at-a-case-for-love/

and

http://kayedacus.com/2009/12/21/kissingdayblogfest-entry-a-scene-from-a-case-for-love/

~~~~~
**USA and Canada residents only, please**
Okay readers, here is your chance to win an autographed copy of A Case for Love!
To enter:
*Leave a comment with your name and email address (so I can contact you if you win).

*Please specify that you want to be included in the contest!

*If you want an extra entry, become one of my followers.

*The comment is mandatory. (Please, say in the comment if you are a follower!! It makes my job easier when you do.) You will not be entered unless you leave a comment. If you are already a follower, and then you leave a comment, you will still get two entries in the contest.

*The contest will run from today (Jan. 8) until 10:30 CST on Thursday (Jan. 14). I will announce the winner that night. The winner is always randomly drawn. I will contact the winner on Friday the 15th, and then that person will have one week to reply. If the winner doesn't reply within that time period, I will pick a new winner.

Good luck! Thanks for visiting.

30 comments:

Shelly said...

I absolutely LOVED Ransome's Honor!! I can't wait to read the rest of the books in the series.

Please enter me for this awesome giveaway!

donnyandshelly at yahoo dot com

Shelly said...

I am already a follower on GFC.

donny and shelly at yahoo dot com

collettakay said...

Thanks for the interview and the chance to win this book!

pepsi324[at]yahoo[dot]com

Merry said...

I loved the first two books in this series and I gotta have A Case For Love! Please enter me, thanks for a chance.

I'm a follower.

worthy2bpraised[at]gmail[dot]com

Linda said...

Yes, I'd love to be entered for this book. Love a book with a sassy woman a man can't control! We were made to be a helpmeet, not to be 'controlled.'
I'm a follower.
Thank you for the giveaway!
desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

rubynreba said...

I'd love to be entered.
I follow.
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

Casey said...

Looks good, please enter me, I follow your blog. :)

caseym(dot)writer(at)gmail(dot)com

destrella said...

I read another one of her books and it was great. Would love to see this one! She writes romance so well. I am your follower Carman. :O)

Abi said...

Love to win the book. Thanks
I'm a follower also.

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Virginia C said...

Hi, Kaye & Carman! Kaye, you got me going with that picture of Gregory Peck! He was a wonderful actor with a marvelous voice. I think he is one of the most handsome actors of all time!

Please enter my name in the drawing. I am a follower.

gcwhiskas at aol dot com

Kaye Dacus said...

Hey, everyone! Thanks for entering the drawing and for all of the kind comments.

Sylvia M. said...

Oh, yes I want to be entered into this contest! I loved all three of her other books and am eager to read this one.

Samitude[at]hotmail[dot]com

Lydia M. said...

Kaye Dacus writes great books! Please enter my name into this contest.

lindawn[at]hotmail[dot]com

Sherry Kuhn said...

Great interview. Would love to win a Case for Love.

Thanks,
Sherry
love2stitch(at)hotmail(dot)com

Charity said...

I would love to read this one!! Please enter me:) Thanks!!

esterried[at]yahoo[dot]com

Charity said...

Sorry, I didn't see til after I had commented that I was supposed to do this in the same comment. I am a follower:)

Edna said...

I would love to be entered into the drawing for the book and I am a follower


mamat2730(at)charter(dot)net

The Unsell Family said...

Oh how I would LOVE to win this book! I just finished Stand in Groom and LOVED it! It was my first book of Kayes and has made me a fan! I appreciated this interview.
Blessings,
~Jen Unsell
unsells{at}yahoo{dot}com

The Unsell Family said...

I forgot to say that I am a follower.
~Jen Unsell
unsells{at}yahoo{dot}com

Anonymous said...

Would love to be entered! Am a follower.
jackie.smith(at)dishmail(dot)net

justpeachy36 said...

justpeachy36@yahoo.com

Please enter me in the giveaway.
I am a new follower.

Hope said...

Please enter me, I have been wanting to read one of Kaye's books for a while!
onepilgrim86[at]yahoo.com

Hope said...

I'm a new follower too :)
onepilgrim86[at]yahoo.com

adge said...

I'm sure this book is going to be great, and I don't like cats either. Good post. gasweetheart211[at]netscape[dot]net

MKB said...

I would love to win this book! I have never read these before but I would love to check them out! Kbroderi@msn.com

Anonymous said...

i would LOVE to read this fabulous book....thanks for the opportunity

karenk
kmkuka(at)yahoo(dot)com

Staples said...

Always looking for new books, great giveaway!!

ams7981atyahoodotcom

G.R.I.T.S. said...

Please enter me!
I'm a follower!

raebyuel(@)gmail(.)com

SuperMom said...

Please enter me Carmen!
Thanks!

ladyverlina AT yahoo DOT com

Renee said...

Thanks for the interview with my new favorite author! I am now a follower, and would like to be entered please! : ) potosrose21[@]msn[.]com