Thursday, 12 December 2013

Interview with Nicole Hurley-More

Today I am interviewing Nicole Hurley More! Welcome and thanks for joining us Nicole.

Thanks so much Amber for inviting me. J

Your book Dancing on Air, is about a ballerina, what drew you to writing about ballet?

My mother was a dancer and much of my early childhood was around old theatres, such as The Princess in Melbourne. I have always appreciated the skill and beauty of the ballet. However after suffering through far more than my fair share of ballet lessons when I was younger, I decided that I would much rather watch it than dance it (sorry Mum).

What is your favorite dance themed movie or television show?

There are quite a few but I really enjoyed Center Stage.

If you could only take one book with you to a deserted island, what book would you choose?

Pride and Prejudice.

How long have you been writing and when did you first know that this was something you wanted to pursue professionally?

I’ve toyed with the idea since high school but I didn’t knuckle down and concentrate on writing until about three years ago.

I'm a disorganised writer, my study looks like something exploded, there's currently a pot over-boiling on the stove, and there's two children in this place somewhere...What would we see if we walked through your writing space right now?

I understand completely. Well, I tidied up my desk this morning and got rid of a sea of sticky notes but it still looks cluttered.

What the one thing you wish someone had told you before you were published?

Persevere and don’t let the naysayers get in your head.

Can you tell us a little about your latest book?

Cinderella meets Swan Lake in a cross-class, Victorian novel about a ballerina, an aristocrat, and the space in between them.

Lisette yearns for freedom, security and love, but none are offered on the run-down stage of The Imperial Theatre. Instead she has hard work, a tyrannical aunt, and the hope of one day becoming a prima ballerina. Dancing on the stage she catches the attention of two powerful men: Lord Gainswith and Lord De Vale.

Lord Evander Gainswith never expected to fall in love, let alone with a woman so wholly unacceptable to his family and his peers. The sinister Lord De Vale covets Lisette's youth and strength, and is willing to pay well for it. Lisette may dance roles in fairy tales and fantasies, but the real world is about to intrude, bringing with it the harsh realities of life for a young girl with dreams of rising above the demimonde.

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London, 1884
Lisette was weightless as she leapt into a grand jeté across the stage. She was free and in that moment her heart soared past the walls of The Imperial Theatre. She landed lightly and began the fouetté en tournant, whipping her leg from fourth position to behind her knee; she created impetus to spin on pointe. After the eight revolutions, she planted her feet and lifted her hand in the air, stopping in front of her aunt. There was a slight wobble in her legs and she tried not to wince. Fixing a smile on her face she prayed that her aunt had not noticed. Lisette had wanted perfection but had fallen short. A trickle of sweat slid its way down the middle of her back, her heart beat rapidly and she tried to catch her breath as her aunt stepped forward. 

            Marie Devoré regarded her niece for a second. Her eyes bore into Lisette’s before she raised her hand and slapped her across the face.

            Lisette’s head jerked to the side as the burning sting radiated over her cheek.

            ‘What was that? A farce...? A comedy perhaps?’

 ‘No, Aunt Marie, I am sorry that I wobbled,’ she said as she looked at the well-worn wooden floor and resisted the urge to cradle her cheek.

            ‘When you finish, the movement must be sleek, clean and set in stone, without any trace of a tremble.’

 ‘Yes, Aunt.’

 ‘Go, out of my sight. Prepare the costumes for tonight’s performance,’ Marie said with a wave of her thin hand. ‘You will practice again tomorrow. Without the wobble.’

            Lisette bowed her head before running off into the wings of the stage. She ran as fast as she could past the burgundy velvet curtains, beneath the scenery fly and the rigging, down the narrow flight of stairs that ran beneath the stage, until she was in the cool and narrow corridor, which led deeper into the bowels of the theatre.

Her cheek burned but it was the sting of failure that hurt all the more. 

Nicole has always been a lover of fairy tales, history and romance. She grew up in Melbourne and has travelled extensively, whilst living her life through the romance of books. Her first passion in life has always been her family, but after studying and achieving her BA in History and Honours in Medieval Literature, she devoted her time to writing historic romance. She is a full time writer who lives in the Central Highlands of Victoria with her family, where they live in the peaceful surrounds of a semi-rural town.

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