Behind The Blog #40; Yelena Black Talks About Love
14 February, 2013
Behind the Blog is a meme to help bloggers connect their life and interests to the content showcased on their blog. The co-hosts, Faye, Kathe, and Melissa will provide a different topic, idea, or question every week that bloggers can relate to themselves and the books, films, or other media they find interesting!
So Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and so this week we would like to discuss Love. This is quite a big thing and it could be tackled from all sorts of standpoints. For this week, however, we would like to look at how falling in love has changed you or your life – or NOT falling in love, as the case may be! Are there any experiences that you’d be willing to share with us?
So today I have the lovely Yelena Black guest posting for this Behind the Blog as part of her blog tour! Hope you all enjoy her words as much as I did!
I think it’s impossible not to be influenced by love. By wanting it, searching for it, finding it, and even realizing it isn’t what you thought it might be—and ultimately the losing/loss of love and the heartache that often accompanies that.
Although I haven’t been in love many times in my life, I have certainly gotten my heart broken, and I have also known the joy of being happy in love. Both kinds of experiences have certainly influenced the person that I am and how I think about life, as well as what I look for in a book or a movie or a song as both a reader/audience member as well as a creator.
When it came to Dance of Shadows, I would definitely say that I drew on an experience that I had in high school of falling for a guy who was super popular and, I thought, a little bit out of my league. The rush of that first crush—of waiting and wondering when he would e-mail me or call me, if he would pass me a note in school or leave one in my locker—certainly inspires how my main character, Vanessa Adler, feels about her first “love,” Zeppelin Gray. There is something incredibly appealing about Zep (he’s handsome, talented, and seemingly into Vanessa) and yet there is also something distant about him and difficult to figure out. He disappears at times, both physically and emotionally (one day he’ll be charming and sweet, the next oddly aloof) and part of Vanessa’s coming-of-age is realizing that first love isn’t necessarily forever love.
I think we have to be very careful who we give our hearts to—our most precious belongings. Is it someone who will treat our feelings with care and respect, or who might be willing and ready to discard them for someone else’s? I realize this sounds a little dark, and I can say that the joy of love has also informed my writing, and that is something that I am exploring in the sequel to Dance of Shadows and beyond—the ideas of redemption and love changing us and the people we want to become. Because really, without love (whether it be from a relationship, friends, or family), why is life worth living?
This Valentine’s Day, I hope you tell someone in your life that you love him or her—and I also hope that you read and enjoy Dance of Shadows!
Yelena Black holds an MFA in fiction from Columbia University. Dance of Shadows was inspired by her love of ballet. As a child, she studied dance and fell in love with the art form despite not having much in the way of innate dance talent. Her talents lay elsewhere—with words and books and storytelling. Though she never pursued ballet professionally, her interests in dance and performing—and in all things dark and spooky—have blended together in her paranormal debut, where she is able to do pirouettes vicariously through her characters. She lives in New York with an aloof black cat.
Vanessa doesn’t believe that her sister is a runaway. She wouldn’t leave her family behind without saying a word. The only way Vanessa can discover the truth behind her mysterious disappearance is to follow in Margaret’s footsteps, but to do so she risks her sanity and maybe even her life . . .
Vanessa Adler is one of the talented few to get a place at the acclaimed New York Ballet Academy. Between backbreaking rehearsals for the school’s production of The Firebird she desperately tries to find out what happened to her sister before she vanished. There are rumors that the pressure of performing the lead role, the same role Vanessa is now rehearsing for, drove her mad. Other girls have gone missing too. Can the role be cursed? Vanessa’s new relationship with leading-man Zep only seems to complicate things further. What is he hiding from her and can she really trust him? Black Swan meets Gossip Girl in this thrilling first book in a new series. Sexy, sinister and full of secrets, readers will be hooked on Dance of Shadows from the first page. Look out for the sequel in 2014.