Saturday, April 27, 2019

Interview with Author Debbie Cunningham

Dancing in the Kitchen:
Hope and Help for Staying in Love

What is your book about?
Dancing in the Kitchen is a lighthearted yet honest look at what it takes to build lasting love in marriage, even through adversity. It is stories of couples that have gone through difficulties in their relationship and how they stayed together through infidelity, addiction, infertility, serious illness, seasons of grief or ambivalence, and in an unusual twist even the story of an arranged marriage.

What inspired you to write Dancing in the Kitchen?
As a jazz artist, I’ve been singing to couples for many years. I’ve noticed that couples seem more disengaged from each other. I’ve also watched as the divorce rates have climbed in society, even in second marriages. We’ve walked with several friends who have divorced too and I wanted to do something to encourage people through those hard seasons by sharing what has worked for others. 

How do you hope it will help people?
I hope the stories will empower couples to make some changes to build a deeper connection in their relationship, which in turn can rekindle the lightheartedness they used to have together. I also hope it will help to normalize the struggle that we all have in our relationships from time to time.

What is some good advice for married couples that are struggle during difficult times in their marriage?
Most relationships dissolve because couples stop emotionally connecting. You have to be intentional. It’s important to find ways to have fun together even through stressful times. Go out and do something you enjoy but don’t discuss your issues. If that’s too difficult go out with another couple or a group of friends. Having a supportive community around you is beneficial to sustain you through your struggling seasons. Try learning a new skill together.
Take dance lessons or a cooking class or go golfing or to music and sporting events. When you first fell in love you spent time dating and doing fun things together not paying bills or working through issues with your kids or job. You need to intentionally cultivate that kind of time in your relationship again.

Be mindful of how you react to your spouse. Ask yourself why certain things irritate you and why is that thing triggering such anger or frustration in you? Usually someone doesn’t feel heard or respected or loved in that moment. Or it can be a default reaction from past relationships or wounds. If you need to address an issue with your spouse, don’t do it in the heat of the moment and try using a non-attacking statement. Say, “when you do or say (blank), I feel (blank).”

I also believe in asking God for wisdom through prayer and working to forgive each other daily! And definitely seek out counseling if you can’t seem to make progress on your own.

How challenging was it for you to write the book?
Definitely challenging! I am accustomed to writing songs but this was more difficult because the process was much longer. Writing from my own experience, interviewing other couples and curating their stories took quite a bit of time. Although, not having to rhyme at the end of lines was a nice change!

What advice do you have for other authors?
Don’t self edit when you write the first draft! The first draft is never good but you have to get all that out of your head before you get to the great stuff. Be patient with yourself and get out of your house once in a while to have fun with friends. We writers can be reclusive and friendship will bring new energy and perspective to your soul and your book. Your deadlines are important but you still have to live life.

How is your music tied into your writings?
I wrote Dancing in the Kitchen as an extension of the message in my last album, A Million Kisses. I wrote the songs on that album about the journey and celebration of committed love. I have noticed that most songs on the radio are about falling in or out of love, not staying in it. And after 31 years of marriage, I want to be encouraged to stay in love! It felt a little risky at the time but I was passionate about the message. When I was playing those songs for music industry friends and fans for feedback, many of them commented they thought I should write a book to go along with the album. It quite surprised me but I decided to listen. Glad I did.

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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2019. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.

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