Who doesn`t love to dance? *grin* Okay there`s people who`d admit to not loving it *cough* my brother being amongst them. But the majority of people in the world would say they loved to dance. It doesn`t matter how good you are. Doesn`t matter what you look like when you do, when`s you gots to dance, you gots to dance! *said in an awful fake posh British accent*
My interest in dance started very early on when I realized people stopped and stared at a four year old me doing the latest dance craze. You could teach me any form of dance and I effortlessly copied it. And then there was my short-lived ballet training, short-lived because my primary school teachers didn`t appreciate my dancing interfering with their classes. Nope, my dance classes weren`t after school since I was part of a special program then tried out by the SA Apartheid government to civilize the Coloured masses *laugh* ha! This was round about the end of the Aparthied era, so don`t feel too sorry for me *wink*
Dance, though not in such a formal setting, became an integral part of my life. I once explained it to a friend as this; when I didn`t dance it was as if my head was separated from the rest of my body. My brain had no clue what my other limbs were doing. I lost grace in movement. I lost rhythm. I would be completely cut off from rest of myself.
A bit drastic *smile* but an apt description for someone who dances as a means of expressing themselves, their whole body becomes a means of communication. Now imagine if that communication became muted. There`s a sense of displacement. Now what happened when you`re better than the average human being in communicating through dance, but you were unable to communicate your talent/creativity because you suffered from debilitating stage fright?
My new heroine, Ashley Solomons, has this problem in Dance of Love my 2nd novel release from Decadent Publishing *huge grin*
Here`s the blurb:
What would you do if you had to audition for the Simon Cowell of a dance company?
All roads lead to Rome when Ashley Solomons embarks on fulfilling her dream to become a world-class dancer. But there’s one person who stands in her way. “It`s a no from me” Antonio Machiavelli.
When Antonio’s auditions for a lead principal end in wintry Cape Town, the last thing he expects is to have more than a knee-jerk reaction to an audition. Ashley not only verbally challenges him, but also translates her fire and cheekiness into an edge of your seat performance.
Can Antonio keep his distance from Ashley? Can Ashley focus on fulfilling her dream of becoming a lead principal? Or will love have its way?
The storyline came to me while I watched Got to Dance but I was missing something, an angle as they say and up came good old vicious Simon on X Factor. Well as they say, the rest was history. I loved imagining Simon as a hellish dance instructor, though I replaced his physical appearance with Vampire Dairies, Ian Somerhaulder.
And because I can *grin*
The challenge of writing Dance of Love lay in the character of Ashley, I`ve never written a heroine that`s so insecure and battled with so much fear, literally a phobia. There were times when I was frustrated with her. I would get up from my laptop, take a walk and berate her for ‘not getting her act together’ *laughs* Like I said, a challenge. But I stuck with her. I needed to show myself I could write someone as opposite from my personality and preference of character as the moon was from the sun.
And something funny happened; my voice/views became separated from the story. I could get to the dance and love *grin* Ashley grew up in front of me and became a true heroine.
I enjoyed writing this story probably because I`ve never fought with a character as hard as I have with Ashley. Every time I tried to move her in one direction, she would pull me back, saying ‘that`s what you would do/say, but not me’. One of my Beta Readers remarked that she didn`t like Ashley, she annoyed her. She seemed at times immature. (Which is a prerequisite for a New Adult novel, btw.) My editor remarked the characters in this story was well-developed, which means there`s progression with the character.
And this was the dividing line. In Falling for Mr. Unexpected, Emma from the first Chapter had a good understanding of who she was. As a reader you expect a functioning adult with a job to have their ‘act together’. Yes Emma was flawed, but on the ‘big’ issues she wasn`t divided. Not like Ashley who didn`t even realize her own sexuality until Antonio came along.
Emma was the modern day Jane Austen`s Elizabeth Bennet who gave her opinion so strongly and who could be wrong just as strongly. Ashley in contrast was still learning she could inhabit a place in the world on her terms. It was wonderful to see her develop her sense of self on the page. I understand the Fannys and Miss Morlands of the fictional world better now *wink*
I hope you`re as excited to learn more about Dance of Love and it`s cast of characters, because I`ll be giving you more info and share an excerpt from the book in another post.