Welcome to my stop on The Strength of Ballerinas Blog Tour! I had the wonderful opportunity to interview the author, so make sure you scroll down far enough to read it and enter the giveaway.
About the Book:
The Strength of Ballerinas by Nancy Lorenz
Age Range: 12 and up
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Sweetwater Books (September 9, 2014)
All Kendra wants to do is dance for the Manhattan Dance Company. So when her family’s forced to move to California, her dreams of auditioning are shattered. Still determined to dance, Kendra faces social isolation and family pressures in her new home. But when she’s diagnosed with a debilitating illness, Kendra must decide which dreams are worth fighting for.
Interview with Nancy Lorenz:
What inspired you to write a book about ballet?
I always loved ballet from the time I was a preschooler until now. I always wanted to wear those wonderful, ethereal tutus. Dancers looked so fairy-like in tulle, as they floated across the stage. Every time I saw ballerinas on television, I told my mother, “I want to do that!”
I poured my heart into my book – The Strength of Ballerinas – my aspirations, dreams, feelings, tunnel-vision goals, but also obstacles. I think though, that my dreams are also those of many, many girls who dream out there. It’s the stardust of it all that makes us aspire and want to interpret the world’s greatest choreography to the world’s greatest music. Whether one makes it or not, the stardust is not only in the eyes; it’s in the blood.
I think that writing about ballet is also in my blood. I did my Masters thesis in graduate school on feminine virtue demonstrated in ballet choreography in the musicals of Americana, such as: Oklahoma, Carousel, and The Music Man. I also got an academic paper on philosophy and the arts published last June (2013) regarding the 1948 ballet film, The Red Shoes. Six months later, my book, The Strength of Ballerinas was published by Cedar Fort Books!
When did you know that you wanted to be a writer?
Again, I knew it from the time I was in grade school. My mother was a writer, submitting short stories to women’s magazines, so I thought I’d try writing too.
I wrote dialogue for my version of the play, Sleeping Beauty, which I staged in my basement. I was writer and director, as well as actress. My sister and I set up chairs, and I charged a nickel per child. I was only ten years old at the time. It was a success in the neighborhood, so I began to work on a “pirate” play. The pirate play was never finished; however, I did write an article – a helpful hint – for a magazine for tweens, and they sent me a check for $25! At that time, I was twelve! I guessed that gave me true writing fever!
When I grew up and worked in network television, I wrote many scripts to submit to TV show production companies. I was a runner up in several script contests, but later, I switched to writing fiction. And here I am today with a YA fiction!
What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
A short answer – chocolate!
What do you like to do in your free time?
Well, I am a teacher, so I do grade a lot of homework. In my real free time, I write, write, and write some more! I also belong to a writer critique group, and read. I belong to Goodreads (Yay!) and am trying to do a book a week but my schedule is a bit hectic right now. I will need to catch up! I also do drama ministries (plays) at church, and love watching good movie musicals and dramas on television and Netflix to relax. I love to cook when I have time, but my favorite activity is to do things with my family.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
If I could have a superpower, I would try to eliminate the suffering of all children, whether it is from hunger, poverty, abuse, neglect, or emotional starvation, lack of love, nurturing, or educational opportunity. It sounds a bit like a Miss America contestant answer, I know, but it is the truth. Children are precious commodities that must be protected, and, they are the future of the earth as well.
If you could visit any time or place, when and where would you go?
I think I’d visit Victorian England. I love Dickens, the time period, the clothes… I love Charlotte Bronte, author of Jane Eyre as well. A close second would be the Regency period (right before the Victorian) with Jane Austen for the same reason. Love those Empire dresses and bonnets!
Other than your own, what is your favorite book of 2014 so far?
I love The Book Thief. For one thing, I love historical novels. Second, the narrator is so unusual. The story is told with a very unusual structure. Markus Zusak uses much more than foreshadowing. The beginning of each chapter tells three or four things that will happen in the chapter before you read it, and I was always amazed that it became true.
I also loved (TFIOS) The Fault in Our Stars, and The Selection as well.
Thanks Nancy! I loved your answers!
Tour Wide Giveaway:
Win a $25 Amazon gift card
Signed copy of the book
Ends Sept 27, 2014