Jan Romes, a wonderful author of romance and women's fiction, invited me to for an interview, which she published on her blog. Here's our conversation:
What inspired you to write Dancing with Air?
For a long time I had this idea of creating a series around the events in the life of a unique family, over the course of several generations. In 1980 Natasha suffers from early onset Alzheimer’s. Set the clock back ten years, and her husband, Lenny, is only beginning to suspect that something is wrong. And when he reflects on their early days, back in WWII, we find Natasha as a young woman at her peak. She is beautiful, brilliant, and most of all ready to meet the challenges that arise during the war years.
The characters had to have not only a compelling voice, but they had to see things in an entirely different light, which would create contrasts and conflicts, as each one of them comes from a different background and has different passions, needs, and aspirations. Dancing with Air is volume IV in this series, but like the previous volumes, it is also a standalone novel, which you can read independently of the others.
Please share an excerpt from the book.
The earth quaked. Casting a look over my shoulder I saw a ripple going through it. Then a big depression was being formed out there, with cracks yawning wide. Before long it became a cavernous crater, maybe a hundred feet deep, threatening to swallow us alive. Its mouth spit up dirt and rocks, only to devour them with an incredible crackling sound as they came tumbling down. There was something eerie about this landscape. It was ravenous. Riding at utmost speed, we kept just out of its lip.
Our escape route took us along the high ground, for a good reason: the explosion broke a reservoir, which sent a volcano-like sea of mud down the valley, engulfing everything that stood in its way.
All of a sudden, the Harley started to spurt mud. Natasha had no choice but to bring it to a halt and then, then something else caught her attention. Pointing at the edge of the newly-formed swamp, she said, “Look!”
Down there, plodding through the shallow end of the sludge was a kid, perhaps three years old, perhaps a bit older. Mud was oozing down his face, his hair.
My legs were banged up but somehow I blocked the pain. Hobbling down I reached him and lifted his frail little body out of the muck. At first, he resisted. Flailing wildly and kicking his feet in the air, he twisted away from my hands.
So I set the boy down and was surprised to feel his little hand wrapping around my finger.
“Don’t go,” he said.
And I said, “I won’t. Promise.”
Where do you get all that energy and passion?
Lol... The simple answer is, I don’t know. I truly enjoy applying everything in me for every task I do, be it writing, creating art, designing my own covers, creating teams around projects such as A Touch of Passion or my newest boxed set, Love in Times of War. I find that when I give it my all, others who take part in my projects are inspired to do the same--and that holds true for my audiobook narrators, for authors who take part in my Facebook events, and for authors in my boxed set. Energy is contagious.
Every day, I am doing the best I can to keep up with the changing landscape of book publishing, learning new tools, reading about different ways to reach out to readers. Why? because of my characters. Having sprung from my mind onto the page, they might die there, pressed between the front and back covers–unless I make it possible for them to spring from the page into your mind.
When your internal batteries run low, where do you like to go to recharge?
The beauty of having my hand (and my heart) in so many activities is that when I tire of one, I pick up another. So for example, say I’ve been writing all day, and can’t think straight or be attentive to what my characters say anymore, I switch gear and design graphics for my team of authors, tailored to each one of them and to the approaching holiday.
I also enjoy swimming, and go to the outdoor pool at least once a week, doing my laps one hour at a time. In sunny days, I love seeing my shadow floating across the bottom of the pool, and wing-shaped ripples forming around my arms.