Humor, Hope, and Happily Ever Afters! Kaye Dacus is the author of humorous, hope-filled contemporary and historical romances with Barbour Publishing, Harvest House Publishers, and B&H Publishing. She holds a Master of Arts in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, is a former Vice President of American Christian Fiction Writers, and former President of Middle Tennessee Christian Writers. Kaye lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where she is a full-time academic editor for a major university and occasional adjunct composition and literature instructor for various colleges and universities.
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Kaye Dacus (first name is pronounced KAY, like the letter; last name is pronounced DAY, like day of the week, + cuss, another word for swearing: Dacus = DAYcuss) is an editor, author, and educator who has been writing fiction for more than thirty years. Although Kaye enjoyed her time in national writing groups (such as RWA and ACFW, where she was honored to serve in several elected positions, including Vice President in 2005) and local writing groups (such as Music City Romance Writers [RWA chapter] and MTCW, which she co-founded in 2003 with three other writers and served as president from 2004–2014), she has found a new writing group home among the faculty, alumni, and current students in the SHU-Writing Popular Fiction program, through which she participates in (almost) daily group writing sprints, a monthly “book club,” and daily conversation with writers across all genres.
Kaye was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; but her family soon moved to Alaska and then, when she was four years old, to New Mexico, where she grew up and graduated from Las Cruces High School. After high school graduation it was back to Baton Rouge for Kaye, to attend Louisiana State University. Leaving LSU without a degree at the age of twenty-one, Kaye moved to Northern Virginia to live with her parents and work in the Washington DC area—which is when she “accidentally” started working in the newspaper industry and realized that words were what she wanted to work with the rest of her life. In 1996, she moved to Nashville, Tennessee; and she has called Music City USA home ever since.
In 1999, tired of being “just an administrative assistant” and feeling the urge to pursue her passion for writing and “working with words,” Kaye made the momentous decision to return to college as a part-time, non-traditional student (in a traditional degree program) while still working full-time at the Nashville daily newspaper. It was at Trevecca Nazarene University that she experienced what she hadn’t found at LSU—supportive, encouraging faculty and fellow students.
In 2001, Kaye “mysteriously” received a brochure in the mail about a “writer’s conference” (she’d never heard of such a thing or known they existed!) at Ridgecrest, near Asheville, NC—an easy drive from Nashville. She mentioned it to her parents, and they surprised her by “giving” her this conference as her 30th birthday gift. (Thanks, Mom & Dad!!!). At this conference, she not only met lifelong friends and mentors, she learned about a new group that had started up for Christian fiction writers—and Kaye joined ACFW (then ACRW, “R”=romance) almost as soon as she got home!
Over the next three years, as she worked 9–10 hours a day, took three on-campus classes per semester, and served as a volunteer, then an elected officer with ACFW, Kaye managed to, for the first time in her life, complete a full novel manuscript. In fact, between April 2001 and November 2003, she completed three full novel manuscripts (while working, attending school, etc., etc.). And entered them into contests. And worked with a writing mentor (Tracey Bateman) for the first time. And found her very first critique partners (Cindy Woodsmall and Marci Burke).
In May 2004, Kaye graduated from Trevecca Nazarene University with a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in Professional Writing.
After graduating, she immediately started graduate school—the Master of Arts (now MFA) program in Writing Popular Fiction at Seton Hill University, a low-residency program that required only two weeks a year on campus. It was perfect. It was like writing conferences, critique groups, and school all rolled into one! In June 2006, she received her MA with her thesis novel, Happy Endings Inc. (which became her first published novel in 2009, re-titled Stand-In Groom).
Professionally, Kaye worked in the newspaper industry for more than a decade (mainly in retail advertising as an administrative/executive assistant) before finishing her master’s degree and moving into book editing in 2006, then academic advising in higher education in 2012, and, finally, finding the perfect job for her, combining both professional passions and becoming an academic editor at Northcentral University in 2015.
Romance novels were among the first books Kaye ever read, so it was natural when she started writing as a young teen that those would be what she penned. Stand-In Groom, in addition to being her master’s thesis, was her fourth complete manuscript. But she has hundreds of files on her computer of snippets and starts and synopses of story ideas dating back to the mid-1980s.
Kaye is an LSU Football fanatic and also loves watching and discussing TV and movies with friends (just ask her about her bobble-head/Pop! figurine collection!). She has a wide variety of interests, from historical costume dramas to Marvel superhero movies/TV shows to “scary” shows like Supernatural and The Walking Dead. She also loves to read, and shares her annual reading challenges and progress on Goodreads.
When time permits, she’ll usually be found traveling to visit family in Arkansas or Louisiana. Her grandmother and parents are her biggest supporters and where she draws her strength and encouragement to stick with it even when the road gets rough. She has one sister (and brother-in-law), five nephews, and a niece, who is a wonderful photographer.
If you made it this far, thanks! 😀