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Tuesday 3 May 2016

ℚ♫ Hope: Indigo Ballet [2] - Grier Cooper

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Hope (, Dancing Poodle Press, 182 pages), a Young Adult Contemporary Novel, book two of the Indigo Ballet series.

Sign up to Grier Cooper's Newsletter to get your copy of book one,  Wish,  FREE!!  Hurry as this is a limited time offer only!

“An extremely touching, heartfelt, and often humorous account of a young woman’s journey to live her passion. WISH reminds us, that despite our obstacles, we can live the life we dream.” – Zippora Karz, Former Soloist, New York City Ballet, Author of The Sugarless Plum/Ballerina Dreams

“Grier Cooper expertly weaves her insider knowledge into this compelling read. Even if you’ve never danced en pointe, you may find yourself reaching for ballet slippers after reading Wish.”
–Charity Tahmaseb, co-author of The Geek Girl’s Guide to Cheerleading

“Grier Cooper’s WISH contrasts the elegant and disciplined beauty of ballet versus a gritty and often violent home life. She handles the topic of alcoholism with poignancy and honesty and choreographs a touching story of art and love.”
–Paula Yoo (Author of Good Enough, HarperCollins)

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

A very warm welcome to Grier Cooper; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

As we love music, Grier has shared with us her music playlist for Hope - enjoy!

What was the inspiration for Hope?
"The inspiration for Hope was the desire to share my love of ballet, which is obviously a primary theme for the Indigo Ballet Series.  My years as a professional dancer shaped so much of who I am in the world today.

Dancers are some of the most disciplined, dedicated people I know; I'm continually in awe of all great artists because beautiful things speak to me and make the world a better place.  I feel compelled to promote the arts because they are a magnificent human pursuit."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"Just like my main character, Indigo, I left home in my teens to study ballet in New York City at the School of American Ballet.  Those years were an amazing time in my life; I worked really hard most of the time but I still had a few spare moments to discover cool things about New York.

New York City School of American Ballet, 1936
I wanted to share what ballet life is like with my readers, so I drew on personal experience to create realistic ballet scenes.  There are other details from my past scattered throughout the book, but I find that books take on a life of their own as you write them.  The world that Indigo experiences took shape on its own as I got further into writing the book.  That's the magic of writing… when imaginary things become real on paper."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover.  Can you tell us about your cover for Hope - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"Since this series is set in the ballet world it had to have a ballet cover and it had to show pointe shoes because everyone loves pointe shoes.  I took the photograph (I previously worked for many years as a commercial photographer) and sent it off to my cover designer, Fiona Jayde of Fiona Jayde Media.

This is the second cover she's designed for me and I love working with her because it's a collaborative process.  We toss ideas and concepts around and then she makes something pretty."
Why should we read Hope and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?
"The Indigo Ballet Series is currently the only young adult ballet fiction series I know of.

Although many people are interested in the ballet world, not many get to experience it for themselves.  I've lived that life myself and wanted to give readers a first-hand glimpse of what it's really like.

Hope is book #2 of the series, and focuses on that pivotal time in a dancer's life when they persist or perish, get a job or choose a different life.  This story that will resonate with anyone who's ever taken a leap into the dark to pursue their dreams.  Hope asks the question: How do you go for your dreams without losing yourself?"
Can you tell us something quirky about Hope, its story and characters?
"The name “Indigo” is actually my secret identity...but don't tell anyone :)  I've been a camp counsellor for many years at this one summer camp, and for some reason all of the counsellors go by camp pseudonyms; names they choose for themselves.  It's a big thing–don't ask me why, it's never been explained– but I don't know most of the counsellors' real names.  This makes for awkward moments if I run into any of them at the grocery store because it feels weird to say, “Hi, Roadrunner, how are you?” outside of camp."
Your secret is definitely safe with us ;-)

Who would you recommend Hope to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?

"I'd recommend this book to fans of contemporary fiction who enjoy stories about turning trials into triumph… and of course, anyone who is interested in dance."
If you could / wished to turn Hope and the Indigo Ballet series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"Director: Sanjay Leela Bhansali.  He makes some of the most beautiful films I've ever seen. Actors: Indigo could be played by Bella Thorne or Shailene Woodley, Demi Lovato would make a great Maggie, Brenda Song as Vivianna, Marco Pigossi as Felipe. Julianne Moore would make a perfect Alexa Damore. Locations: this book is set in New York City, mostly around the Lincoln Center area on the Upper West Side, so it should be filmed on location."
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've always been a huge fan of contemporary YA. It's my favorite thing to read and my favorite thing to write. I find real life to be surprising, and, at times, miraculous. I'm particularly interested in how we evolve, how our thoughts impact our reality and how to live the life we dream about, so these are themes I explore. However, I appreciate good writing in any genre. I love finding books that take my breath away...and I hope to do that for readers, too."
What is your writing process?
"I've been given the honorary title of “cruise ship director” by my family and friends because I'm such a planner. The same holds true when I'm working on a book. Since I'm a visual person, I scour magazines and websites for images that look like the characters and places I'm imagining, and create a huge collage that I post near my desk for reference. I also write character sketches and outline the skeleton of the story before I start writing. I attempt to glue my butt in the chair long enough to finish a first draft. I'll tinker with it some, then have writer friends read it and tell me everything that's wrong with it. This is followed my much hair-pulling, gnashing of teeth, scrawled post-it notes to myself about how and what to change. I edit until I go cross-eyed, then get up and do it the next day, and the next...until I'm satisfied (or as close to that as I'm going to get). Then I hand it over to my editor."
What is in store next?
"Hope is the second book of the Indigo Ballet Series. Book #3, Dream, is in the works, so stay tuned! I'm also working on audiobook versions of all of my titles."
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?
"I still wear pointe shoes from time to time–mostly when I'm coerced by friends in the name of art. And of course I have a's black, my favorite color."
Lovely picture and setting :-)  Thank you so much for sharing it with us!

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