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Thursday, 1 October 2015

ℚ♫ Dancing in the Sand - Maria Imbalzano

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Dancing in the Sand (, The Wild Rose Press, Inc, 286 pages), a contemporary romance.

Synopsis | Teaser | Author Q&A | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops

A big welcome to Maria Imbalzano, thank you for joining us on BooksChatter.

As we love music, Maria has shared with us her music playlist for Dancing in the Sand - enjoy!

What was the inspiration for Dancing in the Sand?
"I love dance.  I love to watch it in the theater or on TV (“So You Think You Can Dance” and “Dancing with the Stars” are my guilty pleasures).  I love to get out there on the dance floor at weddings and galas, and once I’m out there, I’m not getting off anytime soon.  When I was younger, I took ballet, jazz and tap for years.  So, when I was creating Ava Woodward, the heroine of “Dancing in the Sand”, I decided she should do what I had always wanted to do, although she has the talent to succeed.  Ava attends NYU, majoring in dance and is poised to get a position with one of the major dance companies in New York when she graduates.  Then, it all falls apart. (Sigh)"
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"Ava is an independent woman who does what it takes to get where she needs to be.  She ends up going to law school so she can get a job with security.  While I never went to NYU as a dance major, I did take dance classes in college and beyond.  I also went to law school at Fordham University in Manhattan, putting my third year tuition on my Visa card at 21% interest.  Having lived, gone to school, and worked in NYC for seven years, Ava and I could be soul sisters.  We love the City and dance performances and we both practice law."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover.  Can you tell us about your cover for Dancing in the Sand - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"I wanted a cover with a woman dancing on the beach, alone.  I didn’t want the reader to see her face because I think the reader should have her own vision of what the heroine looks like.  I also didn’t want her to be with the hero.  Dancing in the sand is hard and you need to be strong to push off the ground.  Ava has hurdles in her life that she must overcome.  She is strong and determined and she does what she needs to do to overcome those hurdles.  I searched through hundreds of stock photos to show the cover artist what I wanted.  This cover perfectly reflects what I wanted.  The cover was done by Kim Mendoza."
Why should we read Dancing in the Sand and what sets it apart from the rest?   What makes your book unique?
"I combine several conflicts in my book.  Certainly the romance is key, but my characters also have a legal and moral conflict that they must deal with.  Some of the backstory of Ava and Brian comes through in flashbacks since this is a reunion story.  Not only do they have conflicts that affect their love relationship, but they also have conflicts over their chosen professions.   Ava is an environmental lawyer who represents non-profits suing natural gas drilling companies over fracking and Brian works in his family business – a natural gas drilling company."
Can you tell us something quirky about Dancing in the Sand, its story and characters?
"The premise of this book came to me in a dream.  Young, passionate love exploded over the course of a weekend—the kind of forbidden, secret love.  Horseback riding was involved as well as an accident.  The dream was so vivid and so romantic that I wrote it down the second I woke up.  When I was ready to start on a new manuscript, I started with my dream."
Who would you recommend Dancing in the Sand to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"This is a contemporary romance with some steamy sex scenes.  That said, it is not erotic and I would recommend this book to anyone over 16 who loves contemporary romance."
If you could / wished to turn Dancing in the Sand into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"The heroine would be Megan Fox--long, black hair, violet eyes–classy, sexy.

The hero would be a young Robert Redford, circa “The Way We Were” or “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.”"
What do you like to write and read about?  Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"I love contemporary, single title romance.  I am familiar with the present and as they say “write what you know.”  It’s closer to real life and it’s easier to draw from real life experiences – whether my own or someone else’s.   While I will read historical, I know nothing about that era’s lifestyles and it would take an enormous amount of research and studying to learn it enough to write about it.   I suppose I don’t have enough creativity to write paranormal since I would have to build my own world.   Besides, I don’t like to read paranormal, so I know I wouldn’t want to write it.  Contemporary romance is the place for me.  I love to read it and I love to write it."
What is your writing process?
"I develop the main characteristics of my characters before I start writing.  I start with their physical description and then determine their strengths and flaws.  Many times I will page through a magazine and pull out a photograph of what my hero and heroine look like.   That way, when I want to describe something other than their eye or hair color, I can study the photo, which is a great help.

I am definitely a plotter to the nth degree.  I create an in depth outline which I can pick up at any time and start writing, whether I have fifteen minutes or three hours.  Before I prepare this outline, I come up with my heroine and hero and a very basic story line.  Then I determine the conflicts.  I love notebooks and begin a new notebook with every story.  Once I have the basic story down in writing (a paragraph or two), I start with chapter one and outline the entire book, page by page."
What is in store next?
"I am working on a series called “Weekend Diaries.”  The series is about four high school girlfriends who are now in their early thirties, with each of them going through a life changing event.  The first book, “Changing Tides” is just about done.  The second book, tentatively called “Nicki’s Story” (because I haven’t come up with a better title yet), is done in first draft but needs a lot of work.   As soon as I sync the timelines in the two books and make sure I’m not going to change anything else that would affect the first book, I will send it to my publisher for consideration.  My goal is to make this a four book series."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"My cat, Lucky, who is really my daughter’s cat, but my daughter went off to college and left her, is my sidekick.   She follows me everywhere, especially to my office so she can be with me when I write.   Many times, she is laying on the desk to my right with her paws on my forearm. She even falls asleep when I’m typing (I have no idea how she can sleep while my arm is moving around).   Here is a photo of her in my file drawer, helping me file."

They are helpful like that... Good girl, Lucky!  Thank you for sharing her with us.

Dancing in the Sand - available NOW!

UK: purchase from purchase from Nook UK purchase from Kobo UK purchase from iTunes UK purchase from Google Books find on Goodreads
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