Love Remains, Matchmaker Series #1Love Remains, Matchmaker Series #1
Kaye Dacus
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All grandparents want to see their grandchildren happy---especially when it comes to love! So it's perfectly natural that "the matchmakers" would take an interest in putting Zarah Mitchell and Bobby Patterson together when he moves back to Nashville to work for the Tennessee Criminal Investigations Unit. But what if it's Zarah he's investigating? 320 pages, softcover from Barbour.
     

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Kaye DacusKaye Dacus is an author and editor who has been writing fiction for more than twenty years. A former Vice President of American Christian Fiction Writers, Kaye enjoys being an active ACFW member and the fellowship and community of hundreds of other writers.  She currently serves as President of Middle Tennessee Christian Writers, which she co-founded in 2003. Her greatest joy comes from mentoring new writers through this very blog and seeing them experience those “aha” moments when a tricky concept becomes clear.

Favorite Verse: 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)


 

 Our Interview with Kaye Dacus


 

Would you please tell us a bit about yourself?

I write contemporary and historical romances for Barbour Publishing (The Brides of Bonneterre series and now The Matchmakers series) and Harvest House Publishers (The Ransome Trilogy). In 2006, I received a Master of Arts in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University—and my master’s thesis, Stand-In Groom, was my first published novel and a Christy Award nominee. I served as Vice President of American Christian Fiction Writers, and currently serve as President of Middle Tennessee Christian Writers. I love action movies and British costume dramas; and in my spare time, I enjoy getting out and about in my adopted hometown of Nashville, Tennessee.


What inspired the concept for Love Remains, Matchmaker Series #1?
  
As with all of my stories, Love Remains, started out as a “what if” scenario. Almost ten years ago, I discovered a co-worker had been in the Army and stationed at White Sands Missile Range when my father, a retired Army officer, had also been there. So I started thinking about what would have happened if an officer’s daughter had met (and fallen in love with) an enlisted man . . . and then run into this same man many years later, and the idea for Love Remains was born. (And I have to say—there was never anything romantic between me and the co-worker, but I sure am grateful to him for being a fantastic template for the character of Bobby in Love Remains!)


Do you have any background with a crime scene investigation unit?

No. Not at all—but I’ve always been a big fan of police-procedural shows on TV! So I did have to do quite a bit of research on how investigations like the one featured in Love Remains actually works.

What parts of Love Remains, Matchmaker Series #1 are factual?
 
For this series, I’ve chosen Nashville, Tennessee, as the setting—but I did make up several things, like the agencies both Bobby and Zarah work for (the Tennessee Criminal Investigations Unit and the Middle Tennessee Historic Preservation Commission). I was blessed with an invitation for a personal, guided tour by many of the librarians and archivists at the Tennessee State Library and Archives, which houses all of the archives of the state government going back for more than two hundred years, so it’s mentioned in the story, as are other local establishments such as restaurants and landmarks. I actually found it a little more difficult using a real place for the setting than I did using the fictional city of Bonneterre, Louisiana, in the Brides of Bonneterre series. Even though I’ve lived in Nashville for just over fourteen years, I constantly had to stop and look things up to make sure I was getting details correct, instead of just being able to make them up as needed.

 

What is the symbolism for the title Love Remains, Matchmaker Series #1?

Hmmm . . . I don’t really think a lot about symbolism or theme or other literary elements like that when I’m writing. I do try to tie the title into the story, and this book is no different. Love Remains is the title of a country song (recorded by Collin Raye) that I’ve always liked. When I developed the original story idea—that this young woman had fallen in love, had her heart broken, and then years later crossed paths with this first love, the song seemed to fit: was there a chance that first love remained true after so many years?

Of course, then there’s the more literal application of the title: She works for a historic preservation group that works to preserve historic sites and objects. Therefore, she “loves (historic) remains.” (Which I hadn’t even thought of until my uncle pointed it out.)

Do you have a favorite character in Love Remains, Matchmaker Series #1? Why?

My favorite characters in this series are turning out to be the meddling, matchmaking grannies. I was a little leery of writing senior-adult characters, as I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get into the correct mindset to do them justice. But as soon as I started writing from Zarah’s grandmother’s viewpoint, I knew I was going to love this feisty, spunky senior. It’s no accident that I chose Kiki as her “grandma name”—it’s the nickname my girlfriends gave me in graduate school.

How much research did Love Remains, Matchmaker Series #1 take?

I had to do quite a bit of research on how a state bureau of investigation operates and how white-collar crimes are investigated. Fortunately, most of that information can be found online. And I have several friends who are involved in the legal system (lawyers, investigators) who were able to answer questions for me. Also, as mentioned, I was able to spend a day at the Tennessee State Library and Archives learning how that agency works, and I was able to extrapolate some of what I learned there to apply to the fictitious agency for which Zarah works. I also spent a lot of time driving around Nashville and re-familiarizing myself with areas I hadn’t visited in a while—along with spending plenty of afternoons writing in the coffee shops Zarah, Kiki, and their friends frequent.

What was the most interesting tidbit that you learned while writing Love Remains, Matchmaker Series #1?

I learned that during an investigation, the agency can subpoena your bank records without having to let you know that they’re looking at them—that they can pretty much look into your entire life without your knowledge. And while that worked great for the story, it’s kind of disconcerting in real life!

How many books will be in this series?

There will be three books in this series: Love Remains, The Art of Romance, and Turnabout Is Fair Play.


Who are the main characters in the second book in the series?

The main characters of The Art of Romance, are Caylor Evans, a college English professor and romance novelist, and Dylan Bradley, an art professor and, you guessed it, former romance novel–cover artist. In a series in which grandmothers take such a significant role, I have to mention that the characters are named for my grandmothers: Julia Caylor McLellan and Edith Bradley Dacus.

What was your favorite book (s) as a child?

I loved the Laura Ingalls Wilder series, and of those, These Happy, Golden Years is my favorite, the story of Laura and Almanzo’s romance.

 

 

What other new projects do you have on the horizon?

I am currently working on the third book in the Ransome Trilogy, Ransome’s Quest, along with the second book in this series, The Art of Romance. I’m also looking forward to several speaking engagements this fall, including teaching at the American Christian Fiction Writers conference in September 2010. And I’ll be sending proposals for new historical and contemporary series to my publishers soon.

What message would you like your readers to take from Love Remains, Matchmaker Series #1?

I think the title says it all: love remains. We may not always approach it properly, but if based in God, love can both bless and heal us.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I love connecting with readers online. Here’s where you can find me:
http://kayedacus.com
http://www.facebook.com/kayedacus
http://twitter.com/kayedacus

 

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