by Grier Cooper
GENRE: Young Adult
Indigo is living the life she’s always imagined at the famed New York School of Ballet. Or is she? Although she hopes she’ll be chosen for the company, her ballet teachers aren’t talking and their silence is confusing.
When Indigo is singled out for a coveted solo she feels her dreams are finally within reach, until she finds out she’s dancing with Felipe Gonzalez, the school’s smolderingly hot rising star. In the days that follow, Indigo questions everything she thought was true and finds herself making surprising choices.
After a fateful piece of paper reveals the truth, Indigo must ask herself the hardest question of all: can she take control of her own future to create the life she wants?
Someone grabs my elbow firmly and I turn to find the new guy leading me to get a spot in line. I scowl at him and then at my elbow. “Um…hi? That’s my elbow.”
“You do not wish to dance?” he says, eyes wide. His accent is silvery, melodic. Also hot.
“Um, no–I mean yes–I mean, you’re grabbing my elbow a little too tightly.”
He drops it like he’s been scalded, holding up both palms in defense. A stray lock of brown hair curls along his temple. “My apologies. Sometimes I forget myself.”
I look at him as I try to appraise whether or not he’s making fun of me, but his face is unreadable. Also I can’t look at it for long or I might get hypnotized. “Riiight,” I say.
We wait in silence, watching the other dancers ahead of us. When we reach the front of the line I see our two reflections–dark and light–in the mirrors that run along the entire front wall of the studio and decide they are complementary. At least it’s nice to have a tall partner for a change; my opportunity to dance with someone my size is limited because I dwarf several of the other boys in the room.
I start to move and feel his hands firmly on my hips. His breath warms the back of my neck and I feel myself flush. Normally I’d take a glimpse in the mirror to make sure my alignment is perfect, but I don’t dare. For reasons I don’t want to admit to myself, I feel nervous and jittery. We face each other and he offers his hand as I come into arabesque. He starts the slow promenade and I chance a quick glimpse at his face. He smiles and I catch my breath. I switch my gaze over to his shoulder and notice that my palm is slick with sweat. I’m so embarrassed I feel heat in the tips of my ears. I pray my face isn’t bright red.
He slides a hand around my waist for the dip and I close my eyes. “Relax,” he says into my ear. “I’ve got you.”
Interview with the author:
- How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing since I was a kid. I kept a diary; the kind with a small lock on it. Trust me, growing up in a house with three younger brothers who got into everything made this necessary. I also loved reading; I devoured books and the library was and still is a favorite place. It wasn’t until high school, when my short story won first prize in the school literary contest (and a fifty dollar check!) that I began to think I might have a future as a writer.
2. How long have you been a published author?
If the aforementioned high school literary prize counts, then it’s been more than thirty years:) My first “real” title was published in 2010.
3. What titles do you have available?
I am currently working on the third book of the Indigo Ballet Series. Wish, book #1 of the series, was released a little over a year ago. Hope, book #2, will be released April 26, 2016, during Bay Area Dance Week. I’m also currently working on audiobook versions of both titles, which will be available later in the spring, through Audible.
4. What made you choose the subject of this book?
Ballet has been a huge part of my life since I was very young and has really shaped who I am today. I left home when I was fourteen to study in New York at the School of American Ballet, and traveled the world as a working dancer. Ballet is a fascinating art form; beautiful, regal and extremely disciplined, yet the world of ballet isn’t something most people get to experience firsthand. I enjoy sharing what it’s like to be a dancer, living in a big city, touring the world with a professional ballet company. There’s a lot of sweat, pain and frustration, and at times, challenges that really test your character. It’s my goal to give readers a glimpse of what it’s like to live that life.
- Do you have any new titles coming soon?
Yes, I do! I’m excited to release Hope, book #2 of the Indigo Ballet Series, on April 26, 2016. Dream, book #3 of the series, is also in the works.
6. What is your favourite genre and why?
Contemporary young adult titles have been a longtime favorite…Close friends insist I have an obsession with high school, and they are probably right. I didn’t go to a normal high school; I went to a performing arts high school with models, actors, musicians and dancers who needed a flexible schedule in order to pursue their careers. Sadly this meant we missed out on some of the fun stuff, like prom. I live it vicariously through reading about it, the next best thing to experiencing it yourself, and I find it easier to relate to real characters set in the real world. I like YA because it focuses on a time in life where huge change occurs. It’s a dynamic and exciting time of life, a time to figure out who you want to be.
7. What, to you, is the most exciting part of the writing process?
There’s a certain point in the writing process when magic happens: your characters take on a life of their own, they say and do things that you, the author, find surprising. It’s as if an unseen hand takes over and you take a back seat and watch things unfold. There have been times where I’ve read over my work and said to myself, “Wow, I can’t believe character X did that. I would never have thought of that,” which is a funny, since the idea came out of my head. But that is where you really see the separation between you and your characters. Sometimes there are surprising story twists and unexpected endings …you just never know what the final result will be until you get there. In that sense, writing requires living on the edge, being comfortable with getting lost, taking that leap of faith and plunging forward through the dark, spooky forest until you see where you end up. It’s a little unnerving at times but it keeps things interesting.
8. If you could co-author a book with anyone, who would you choose and why?
A.S. King, because she is unbelievably clever and her books make me laugh. I also once sent her the wrong email (addressed to someone else!) by accident and she was so nice about it. I get the feeling she’s an exraordinary person so it would be an amazing experience to work with her. John Green, because he is the king of killer opening lines (check out The Fault in Our Stars if you don’t believe me). He’s also one of my favorite authors.
9. Where can readers find you on the web?
I’d love to stay in touch! Please visit my website, www.griercooper.com, for special updates, blog, and musings about dance life.
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AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Grier began ballet lessons at age five and left home at fourteen to study at the School of American Ballet in New York. She has performed on three out of seven continents with companies such as San Francisco Ballet, Miami City Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet, totaling more than thirty years of experience as a dancer, teacher and performer.
She writes and blogs about dance in the San Francisco Bay Area and has interviewed and photographed a diverse collection dancers and performers including Clive Owen, Nicole Kidman, Glen Allen Sims and Jessica Sutta. She is the author of the Indigo Dreams ballet fiction series for young adults and The Daily Book of Photography.
Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00LPUJWSK
Barnes and Noble: www.barnesandnoble.com/c/grier-cooper
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