Saturday, May 29, 2010

Behind the Book -- Dancer in the Shadows

A fan emailed me and asked if I’d blog where some of my books came from, so if you all like this, I’ll keep on doing it.

When I asked her to choose, she asked me to talk about my first book. Yikes! That book came out 30 years ago, meaning I wrote it 31 years ago.

Still, Dancer in the Shadows was my first book and the beginning of my career, so here goes.

Usually you’re told ‘write what you know’. At the time I worked for a personnel agency. But I wanted something a bit more glamorous.

My best friend since high school and I were taking a ballet class at the local night school. We thought it would be a great way to turn graceful. Uh huh. That’s me. Heart of a dancer, feet of a klutz. Still, we both loved the class and I decided I would give my heroine a ballet career and use my friend as the template for the heroine.

I probably rewrote the book three times, because I changed the location, the hero’s name, and even his occupation. I wrote the typical romance for back then. The secret baby plot. Namely, they met, fell in love, married, but their marriage fell apart and she left him, unaware she was pregnant. Then they meet several years later and he has no idea her son is also his.

My dance instructor loaned me books on dance, so I’d know all the correct terms, and I studied up on everything else. And once I felt the book was finished to my liking, that book, and the one I wrote after it, was sent off to Silhouette Books. They purchased both books and my career was born.

Revisions are typical and for a new writer, pretty much a must. It meant that I took the middle of the book, move it to the beginning and the beginning of the book was shifted to the middle as a flashback.

It was my first taste of what goes on in the publishing world and by no means, my last. What I learned back then has stuck with me, although a lot of what I had in the book then wasn’t allowed. I had used the hero’s point of view along with the heroine’s and that wasn’t allowed.

I haven’t read Dancer in the Shadows for many years. I’d probably cringe at my early writing and want to rewrite it. The copy in my bookcase has yellowed pages now, but do you know I still get fan mail for that book and recently a fan wrote me asking where she could get a copy because hers had fallen apart. Since I still had a few copies I sent her a signed copy. Anyone who remembers that far back deserves one!

So that’s my story behind Dancer in the Shadows about a delicate ballet dancer and a hunky hero.


No comments:

Post a Comment