New Albany native Terrance Dye was here recently to sign copies of his latest book, and to publicly thank his family and friends who have supported him for so long.
Dye, who now lives in the Nashville, Tenn. area, is not only an author, but also a professional model and motivational speaker who has devoted much time working with youths.
Dye spoke at the Union County Heritage Museum with his comments live-streamed due to stay-home orders because of the coronavirus.
His homecoming was coincidental in a sense.
While he was working as a consultant at Dillard’s in Franklin, Tenn. someone came up to him and asked if he weren’t from New Albany. It turned out to be former New Albanian Eric Saul, who recognized Dye from his activities here. Since Saul works with the Union County Heritage Museum from time to time, he suggested Dye get in touch with museum director Jill Smith. He did, and their communication evolved into the visit.
“My journey the past 18 years has been one of the most challenging and rewarding times of my life,” he said. “I give all credit and glory to God.”
Unlike some, Terrance had a pretty clear idea of what he wanted to do early on.
“I have seen pictures. My mother started dressing me up when I was six months old,” he said. “My Mom’s been dressing me like this since I came out of the womb.”
That focus on fashion contributed to his modeling, which has included appearing on the cover of a Paris magazine.
He also knew he was a writer at a fairly young age, supported by his mother’s collecting his poems and binding them herself, selling them around New Albany for $3 a copy.
“At first people thought I was crazy, to want to write a book, to be a fashion model,” he said. “God told me all I needed was Him.”
He said his parents got him started on the right path and his sons “made me such a good man.” He also said he had the benefit from friends, including his chief producer, Bryant McCoy, whom he met while working part-time at Pizza Hut years ago.
“I’ve been working with him a long time,” Dye said. “He is a person who really worked to help me.”
But he really credits his mother, Evonne Dye-Grove. “We grew up richer than anyone I know.”
“I have been written up in every paper in Northeast Mississippi several times,” he said. “The media has never turned me away.” That includes area TV stations as well.
He has written five books, the first in 2007. “I’ve invested about every loose dollar I had in it. When you’re following God’s direction how does what anybody else says matter?”
His books include My Conversations with God, Awakening Vol 1, Royalty: The Prince and the Princess, Relationships and Heartbreaks, and Chronicles of Love. They use poetry and short writing to deal with topics such as heartache and faith. “’My Conversations with God’ is writing and poems collectively 13 years in the making of my spiritual journey, of how God revealed my gift of words to express to the world a true testimony of his love and mercy,” Dye said of his latest book.
His first book signing was at Ole Miss at Barnes and Noble. He sold out, and has sold out at several other signings since then.
His books are available from www.lulu.com.
In 2003, Dye was a reporter for Delta Epsilon Chi Association. His first two self-published books, “Royalty” and “Chronicles of Love” gave him local and national recognition from radio, newspapers, and news.
An appearance on the Dr. Bobby Jones Gospel on BET and the Impact Network gave Dye national exposures to over 20 million viewers.
Dye has won numerous awards for his writing talents including “International Who’s Who in poetry,” “Editor’s Choice Award,” and “Shakespeare Trophy of Excellence.” Dye’s work has also been published in several anthologies, which landed him the Noble House Label Pen.
At the museum, he was presented with a plaque in honor of his work with the Booneville Boys and Girls Club by Unit Director Mrs. Jumper.
His course has always been clear.
“A friend of mine was called to preach,” Dye said. “He said God’s got something special for you.”
“There have been angels in my life,” he said. “Somebody helping me when no one said they would.”
Now Dye wants young people to benefit from his experiences.
“Lift up the positive in these communities,” he said. “Lift up the children. Show somebody cares. I want you to know somebody cares.”
Education is the key, Dye believes. “Then you can start to unlock the doors. How can we love God and then hate each other?”
“All you need is faith and to follow God’s direction.”
Model, Museum, New Albany, Terrance Dye, Union County, writer