At Ease was my first title for Orca's Limelights series (the next, High Note comes out in the Fall of 2016). At Ease was lucky enough to be released with two sisters, Raising the Stakes (by Trudee Romanek) and Shimmy (by Kari Jones). The three of us have interviewed one another regarding our writing and the process for these particular books. As well, there is a contest up on Goodreads to win copies of our books (links at the bottom of this page).
Lila has always wanted a career in belly dance, so she is thrilled when she is invited to join Dana Sajala's competitive and prestigious studio. But dancing at the new studio isn't quite what she expected. Dana Sajala is a tough teacher, and Lila finds the constant criticism stressful. On top of that, Lila misses the dancers from her old troupe, and a rift is developing between her and her best friend, Angela, who is not altogether sympathetic to Lila's struggles. Lila has always loved belly dance—the music, the costumes, the choreography—but when she realizes that none of it is as much fun as it used to be, she starts to question whether she has made the right choice.
1) What do you, Kari Jones, have in common with your protagonist?
I have always dreamed of being a dancer. I danced when I was very young, and again when I was in high school, and then I picked it up again as an adult. I love everything about dancing: the movement, the music, the costumes, the dancers. In my dreams I’m a really great dancer!
2) Finish this sentence - “One time when I was performing, __________________.”
One time when I was dancing on a stage in the inner harbour in Victoria, BC where I live, a tall ship sailed right across my line of sight. I love ships, especially wooden ones. It was so beautiful, and it was only when I tripped over my own skirt that I realized my attention had been on the ship, not on my dancing. It took a fair bit of focus to bring my gaze back to the audience and ignore that graceful ship sailing out to sea.
3) Do you follow any rituals when you write, like using the same pen?
I don’t have any really set rituals when I write, but I do like to drink tea. Lots and lots of tea. It can be dangerous having tea pots and tea cups cluttering up your desk, and I have been known to spill tea onto my computer. Oops. Good thing I save my manuscripts in more than one place! I’m more careful now.