Friday, January 16, 2015

Wish Blog Tour - Interview & Giveaway

Hey all, welcome to our stop on the Wish Blog Tour. We had the pleasure of interviewing author Grier Cooper so make sure to scroll down for that, and also there's a giveaway, some awesome prizes to be won! ^_^

(Indigo Dreams, #1)
 by Grier Cooper
Publication date: December 2nd 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

For Indigo Stevens, ballet classes at Miss Roberta’s ballet studio offer the stability and structure that are missing from her crazy home life. At almost 16, she hopes this is the year she will be accepted into the New York School of Ballet. First she must prove she’s ready, and that means ignoring Jesse Sanders – the cute boy with dimples who is definitely at the top of Miss Roberta’s List of Forbidden Things for Dancers.
But Jesse is the least of Indigo’s concerns. When she discovers her mom is an alcoholic, it simultaneously explains everything and heaps more worry on Indigo’s shoulders. As her mom’s behavior becomes increasingly erratic, Indigo fights to maintain balance, protect her younger brothers from abuse, and keep her mother from going over the edge. When the violence at home escalates, Indigo realizes she can no longer dance around the issue. At the risk of losing everything, she must take matters into her own hands before it’s too late.


Interview with Author Grier Cooper

What or who inspired you to become a writer?
I was one of those kids who kept a diary with a lock (necessary when you grow up with three younger brothers, trust me) and often had my nose in a book when I had free time. Something about words always inspired me, the ways they could be put together to describe things and offer insight or take you to other worlds. There's nothing better than discovering books that speak to me through compelling, page-turning stories and superior writing. In my mind these books are pure magic and what I aspire to create.

 Who is your favourite Author & what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I don't have a favorite author, but I have a very long list of brilliant authors I admire (see my list here and here). Writing is an art and as with any other art form I appreciate beauty and creativity, stories that are rich in detail and masterful in their use of language. Top it off by being honest and real and I'm hooked.
What was the hardest part about writing your book?
The beginning! Believe it or not, this is one of the more challenging areas for a lot of writers. Deciding which moment is the pivotal moment that drives the whole story is hard. This is the most important part of the book too–a time when readers are either drawn to the story or toss it aside–so it has to have the right balance of plot, tension and detail in the first few pages, which is tricky.
What was your favorite chapter to write and why?
I enjoyed writing the scenes with the main character, Indigo, interacting with her love interest, Jesse. There's nothing like those sparkly, fluttery feelings you get when you're falling for someone.
What was the most surprising things you’ve learned in writing your book?
I've learned that I'm the kind of writer who needs to outline a book before I start writing. When I wrote WISH I wasn’t working with an outline; more of a vague sketch of where I wanted the story to go. I’ve since learned how helpful it is to outline first–it's much easier to look at things from a big picture perspective before you start writing–you can tell beforehand if the transitions between the chapters flow well and if the story is consistent. I could have saved myself a lot of time and headache.

Also, the actual process of writing a story is a sort of indescribable magic. I don’t think it’s the same for everyone. The only way I can describe it is it’s as if I am watching a movie in my mind. I see and hear everything going on and create the narration. The words flow from somewhere inside of me (my head, my heart, both?) and I write them down as they come. It’s incredibly exciting to have a story take form, even more so if you reach a state where the words just flow, although there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to that flowing state…some days things flow, other days they trickle or drip.
Do you ever experience writer’s block?
I knocked on wood before I answered this...because I don't. Although some days are much more productive than others.
What is the last book you read?
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. I'm not usually into vampires but I absolutely loved this book.

 What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I dance as often as possible. I’ve been a dancer since I was five, although my relationship with dance has evolved over time. When I was young, dance was something I did for fun. Later it became my profession and now I look at it as a sanctuary, a home, a place to move beyond my small self and connect to something bigger. If I can squeeze in some yoga on the side, even better.
I'm a crafty type; knitting, crochet, mosaics, print-making, you name it. I also love to read, travel, hike, spend time with family and friends and cook delicious food.

Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
I have danced professionally with San Francisco Ballet, Miami City Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet so many (although not all) of the ballet scenes are based on real life experiences. My mother was an alcoholic so I have a lot of real-life experience dealing with that issue as well. Even so, when I write I find the story and characters take on a life of their own...they often do and say things that surprise me.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a ballet dancer more than anything...and I worked really hard to achieve that dream. I made the decision when I was ten years old, after my first professional performing experience. I was totally hooked–and everything else in my life took a back seat.
If Hollywood made a movie about your life, whom would you like to see play the lead role as you?
Hmm...tough question. Emma Watson, Dakota Fanning, Gabriella Wilde, or AnnaSophia Robb.
 Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
My advice is this: first of all: dream big! Clarify your vision and make it as real as possible in your mind, using all of your senses. Believe it is possible.Keep your thoughts focused on that vision as often as you can.
In the meantime, work at your craft. Strive to perfect all aspects of what you do and ask for help and support.
When you feel ready to find work develop a solid plan. Make a list of all potential companies or people you want to work with. Cast your net wide and see what comes through. Follow up with everyone you talk to. Even if it takes longer than you would hope keep going no matter what. The difference between those who succeed and those who don’t is persistence.
 Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers and fans?
Thank you! And there's more to come...HOPE, book #2 of the Indigo Dreams Series will be out Summer 2015.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Sensitive, caring, creative.
What’s one thing readers would be surprised to learn about you?
I moved to Manhattan and left my family behind when I was fourteen to attend the School of American Ballet. Not only did my parents allow this to happen, I'm still alive to tell the tale.
What Scares you the most and why?
My own mortality scares me the most. Death is something we don't really understand or talk about so it remains this mysterious, amorphous thing. One of my best friends died this year and it was really a shock. I experienced profound grief and it also brought up a lot of fears around death. No one knows how long they have on the planet and as a parent I feel an acute responsibility to stay alive and raise my daughter...but there are no guarantees.
When was the last time you cried over a book?
I'm such a sap I cry at phone commercials so it doesn't take much to get me to cry–it's become a running joke in my family. I think the last book I cried over was “Jennifer Aniston is My Best Friend” by Leigh Purtill.
Tell us about your first kiss?
I was sixteen (I know, I know...that's old! But keep in mind I was a bunhead and I didn't have time to date)...I was at a New Year's party with a friend and all the guys were hitting on her while I felt like wallpaper. Right around midnight one of the more smarmy ones who had struck out with my friend sidled up to me. Let's just say it was less than memorable. Very perfunctory, no sparks. Actually, it was horrible.

Some quick questions..

 Light or Dark chocolate?
Milk chocolate all the way.
Sunrise or Sunset?
I like both but I'm not always up early enough to catch sunrise.
 Dogs or Cats?
Dogs. We have a Standard Poodle named Coco Chanel (she came with the name–she's a rescue).
Tea or Coffee?
 Favorite Colour?
Black. Much to my family's dismay.

**Thank you so much for answering some of my questions. ^_^


Grier began ballet lessons at age five and left home at fourteen to study at the School of American Ballet in New York. She has performed on three out of seven continents with companies such as San Francisco Ballet, Miami City Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet, totaling more than thirty years of experience as a dancer, teacher and performer.

Her work has been praised as “poignant and honest” with “emotional hooks that penetrate deeply.” She writes and blogs about dance in the San Francisco Bay Area and has interviewed and photographed a diverse collection dancers and performers including Clive Owen, Nicole Kidman, Glen Allen Sims and Jessica Sutta. She is the author of Build a Ballerina Body and The Daily Book of Photography.

Author links



  1. Great interview, ladies! I'll have to check out that Leigh Purtill book I love a good tearjerker! :)

  2. Thanks so much for hosting WISH today! I enjoyed our interview:)

  3. I always wanted to dance. Happy to read about it.

  4. Great interview! Thanks for the giveaway!

  5. sounds like an awesome book!!
    thank you for the giveaway!!

  6. Yay!!! Can't wait to read this one! Thank you so much for the awesome giveaway! :-D


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