Meet Debut Author Stefanie London!

stef 1

Oh, we do love a debut author in the lair!

I first met the delightful Stefanie London at a Melbourne Romance Writers Guild retreat in May 2013 on the coast just outside Melbourne. Annie West and I ran a half-day workshop on characterization. I was immediately impressed with Stef’s talent and professional approach to a writing career. At that stage, she’d received encouraging responses to her submissions to Harlequin Mills and Boon and I wasn’t at all surprised when shortly afterwards, Stef went public with the news that she’d had a book accepted in the KISS line.

Here’s the blurb for her first book, ONLY THE BRAVE TRY BALLET:

Step up, Grant Farley…not your typical ballet student!

stef 2Football pro Grant Farley is nursing an injury and needs to get back into shape—fast. Ballet wouldn’t be his first or even his last choice, but he’s desperate. Enter tantalizingly prim teacher Jasmine Bell—one disapproving arch of her eyebrow and Grant knows he’ll enjoy getting her tutu in a flutter!

But it’s not only Grant’s flexibility that Jasmine’s pushing to the limit! He knows she feels the heat between them, so why won’t she give in to it? Time to convince Jasmine that if she’s brave enough to dance en pointe she can certainly handle a fling with him!

ONLY THE BRAVE TRY BALLET is a July release in North America, the United Kingdom and Australia.

You can find out more about Stefanie and her sparkling romances at her website: http://stefanie-london.com/

stefStef, welcome to the lair! Firstly, can you please tell us about your debut for Harlequin Mills and Boon, ONLY THE BRAVE TRY BALLET?

ONLY THE BRAVE TRY BALLET is a story about two people who’ve worked hard at their dream, only to have it crumble around them. Jasmine Bell is a former professional ballerina who can no longer dance en pointe and Grant Farley is an AFL player trying to shake off his wild-child past. On the surface they seem like complete opposites, but deep down they’re both passionate, hard-working people who find it difficult to trust. They have to learn what it means to be brave in order to regain passion in their lives.

Sounds yummy! What were the inspirations behind this book?

Well, I always wanted to be a ballerina when I was growing up and I studied it for over ten years. But the idea actually sparked when I read an article about football players who took ballet lessons to improve flexibility and prevent injuries. I wondered how they would feel (as professional athletes used to being at the top of their game) being plunged into a completely foreign activity. Would they fight against it? Would they grow from the experience and learn to appreciate what an art ballet is? Our hero, Grant, experiences the frustrations of many new ballet students: sore calves, steps that seem impossible, a lack of balance. Luckily for Grant, his ballet teacher is right there to help him every step of the way.

stef 3What is coming up for Stefanie London?

In October my second book with Harlequin Mills & Boon will be out. BREAKING THE BRO CODE is linked to my debut. This time it’s Elise Johnson, the owner of the ballet studio, who’s mixing business and pleasure.

I’m also making an exciting personal move. My husband and I are setting off to live in Canada, which is a long way from home in Melbourne! But we’re very excited at the prospect of being able to travel and explore what looks to be an absolutely beautiful country.

mrwg retreatGood luck with the move! By the way, Stef is centre front in the picture from the retreat to the left. Stef, we love call stories in the lair. Can you please give us yours?

Absolutely! ONLY THE BRAVE TRY BALLET is the first book I’ve ever written, so I really had no idea how to submit a manuscript or get published. Luckily, I found a competition online which was being run by the wonderful editors of Harlequin KISS. They wanted entrants to pitch their story in a single paragraph, no easy task!

stef 4While my pitch wasn’t selected as a winner, the editors were interested in the premise and wanted to see my manuscript. I was so excited that I accidentally deleted the email and had to trawl through my trash file to find it again! I sent my manuscript off, not thinking it would go anywhere, and after three rounds of revisions (and about eight months) I got a call from the Mills & Boon office in London with an offer of a two book contract. I actually cried when I got off the phone, I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited in my whole life.

Congratulations! Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

There’s so many wonderful pieces of advice that I’ve come across, but these are my top three:

stef 5– Get a support network – writing is tough, it takes a lot of time and sometimes it makes you crazy. You need people around you who will help when things aren’t going well and who will cheer when you do something great.
– Read, read, read – it seems obvious, but it’s so true. Read far and wide, devour your genre like you’ve discovered it for the first time, read outside your genre, read non-fiction. Reading helps to refill the ‘creative well’ and I always write better when I’m reading regularly.
– Look for opportunities – I owe my success to a writing competition, these are a great way to get your work discovered. Getting a request from an editor means skipping the slush pile. Also, look out for editors on Twitter and Facebook, they often write about the things they’re looking for in submission.

That’s great advice, Stef. Do you have a question for the Bandits and Bandita Buddies to get conversation rolling?

Part of writing ONLY THE BRAVE TRY BALLET was fulfilling my childhood dream of being a ballerina. What did you want to be when you were growing up?

1BanditBootyStef has very generously offered a print copy of ONLY THE BRAVE TRY BALLET (international) for a commenter today. So good luck, people!

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Comments

115 Comments

  • Jane says:

    Hello Stephanie and Anna,
    Congrats on your debut release, Stephanie. I love the premise of “Only the Brave Try Ballet.” I remember watching the summer Olympics and dreaming that I would become a gymnast and future Olympian, but I never took lessons. After that I wanted to be an Egyptologist.

    • Thanks, Jane. I always loved the gymnastics as a girl too, but I was too scared of all the flips and tricks! An Egyptologist sounds like ti would be a fascinating career 🙂

      • Stef and Jane, I was in primacy school when Olga Korbut did her turn – that just electrified the world of women’s gymnastics! Everyone wanted to learn how to do that!

    • Jane, and now you’re a world-famous poultry keeper! Or perhaps that should be you keep one world-famous piece of poultry!

  • Jane says:

    Sorry I misspelled your name, Stefanie.

  • flchen1 says:

    Oh MY! Huge congrats on your debut, Stefanie!! I love ballet–I totally wanted to be a ballerina when I was growing up, but got piano lessons 🙂 (As much as I am appreciative now of the results of the hours of practice, it just isn’t the same!) I did start with ballet lessons in college and haven’t looked back 😉 Can’t wait to read Only the Brave Try Ballet!

    • Thank you 🙂 That’s so great that you started talking lessons, it’s such a fantastic workout and great for the muscles.

      I hope you enjoy the story!

    • Fedora, how funny! That’s exactly what happened to me. I wanted to do ballet but there was a piano teacher in town so I did piano! I can’t imagine I’m a great loss to the world of dance, but it’s still a niggling regret that I never had the chance to find out.

  • Susanne Bellamy says:

    Like most little girls, I wanted to be a ballerina and studied for thirteen years. I read all the ballet stories I could lay my hands on, especially the Sadler’s Wells stories. Along the way I changed my mind when I discovered the joys of other languages and for a while, wanted to be an international air hostess. I never reached the minimum height for that and had to move on to other passions and pursuits but I still love everything ‘dance’. I look forward to reading Only the Brave Try Ballet. I still remember the pain of pointe shoes!

    • Thanks Susanne! I never made it to pointe shoes but I did see the ‘behind the scenes’ pain of some of the other girls. It’s a tough gig!

      I really admire the airline host staff, they always look so glamorous no matter what time of day or night it is!

    • Sue, I must have read those Lorna Hill books a million times – there have been new additions to the series since I grew up. I should check them out. Loved Veronica and Sebastian! And there’s a nice romance plot too!

  • Mary Preston says:

    Congratulations on your debut!! It does sound wonderful.

    I think most little girls dream of being a ballerina at some stage. I had that dream, despite never having any lessons. I just know I would have looked more like the hippo in Disney’s FANTASIA.

  • Amy Conley says:

    I grew up during the ’70’s, when most people still expected women to stay home, get married, and take care of the kids and I just knew this was NOT what I waned. Yes, I did want marriage and kids, but not untl my late 20’s or early ’30’s. The laugh was on me though. I had twin boyss as a single mother at 17, gasp! What a disgrace! I did get married when I was 24, and we just celebrated our 30th annivrrsary.

    I have taken many college courses over the years and worked in many different fields, I just can’t decide what I want to be when I grow up. Although for at least the last 10 years or so writing a book, or three has been at the tlp of my list.

  • Congratulations Stefanie! Best wishes of success!
    I think deep down inside I always wanted to be a writer but I was too scared to admit it. So I went on to study law, just to come back to writing. You’ll love Canada!

    • Thanks, Rita! It’s funny how we put off our dreams due to fear – I did the same thing.

      Good on you for coming back to writing!

    • Rita, Canada’s gain is Australia’s loss. I was so glad I got the chance to have lunch with Stef when I was down in Melbourne. Might be a while between drinks.

      By the way, welcome to the lair!

  • Helen says:

    Hi Stefanie

    I have lots of good things about this book and am really looking forward to reading it 🙂 when I was a little girl I wanted to play the piano but sadly that never happened although I did get to do a lot of ice skating which was also a wish of mine and it is where I met my hubby 🙂

    Congrats on the release and have fun with the move

    Have Fun
    Helen

    • Thanks for your comment, Helen! Wow Ice Skating, that was always my favourite thing to watch when the winter Olympics was on. So beautiful!

    • Helen, I didn’t know about you and ice skating. Good on you! I have trouble balancing on two feet, let alone two blades, so I have to say ice skating was never a big ambition for me! 🙂

  • Maureen says:

    Congratulations to Stefanie on her debut novel! When I was growing up I took ballet class for about ten years. Dancing in those pointe shoes hurts. When I was a kid I actually wanted to be a teacher but it lost its appeal when I was older and realized how much work it was.

    • Maureen, I remember the first time I saw pictures of a ballet dancer’s feet and realizing how much pain they paid for my pleasure!

    • Hi Maureen. Yes, being a teacher is a very tough job! My sister is training to be a primary school teacher at the moment and I have a lot of respect for people who do that every day.

  • Quantum says:

    Hi Stefanie and Anna.

    I like the sound of this book. Dancing and Ballet are often considered ‘sissy’ activities by some of my friends —- mostly rugger enthusiasts. But they ignore the high level of strength and athleticism required to do it well so Jasmine definitely knows what she is about. It sounds like a wonderful backcloth for a sizzling romance.

    I’ve always wanted to be a scientist … to study the ways that God screwed the world together.
    I’m still studying the details at a quantum level 🙂

    • Quantum, lovely to see you here again! What a lovely way to describe being a scientist. I guess it’s a little like being a writer – everything is interesting because it feeds those central questions of why the world is the way it is!

    • Thanks for your comment 🙂 I love that so many scientists no matter their field have this innate curiosity. We have to thank them for many of the great things in life 🙂

  • Becke says:

    Stefanie/Anna
    Congratulations on the debut. What a novel concept-jocks and ballerinas! I can see why it sold.

    Your question would imply we grew up! Ah, I had so many phases.

    I guess the one with the longest life was a vet.
    b

    • Becke, I’ve always loved animals so I too had a vet stage. I always thought I’d need a career before I wrote full time. Ha, that came true! Well, if you can call the series of mostly MacDonalds jobs I had, a career, that is! 🙂

    • Thanks Becke 🙂 We definitely need vets – I had to rush our little family dog to them recently after an accident so I have tremendous respect for their work.

  • Amy Rose says:

    Hi Stefanie and Anna 🙂

    Congratulations on your debut release, Stefanie! So excited for you! And what a great call story. I love the premise of your book – a hunky footballer falls for a ballerina! I’m sure there’s lots of humorous banter throughout your story as well as wonderful romantic moments.

    Like many young girls, I loved my ballet and jazz classes, but I never aspired to be a professional dancer. My dream was always to become a writer…It only took me 43 years to get round to it, but I got there in the end!

    Wishing you every success with this book Stefanie. And I’m sure there will be many more wonderful books to come 🙂

    • Amy Rose, isn’t it lovely to see another Aussie on the block? One of the lovely things about wanting to be a writer (unlike a ballet dancer) is that there’s no time limit on when you can start.

    • Awww thanks Amy Rose 🙂 All our journeys to being a writer are so different, but I love the passion this community has. So thrilled to be part of it 🙂

  • Shannon says:

    The women’s movement became big when I was in my tweens and then teens. A few high profile women emerged, most of them lawyers, so that seemed a career. Then there was Woodward and Bernstein, so it seemed so cool to be a journalist. I did major in broadcast journalism in college, but I discovered a love for international relations. And now that’s what I do.

  • sandyg265 says:

    I wanted to be a Vet.

  • Caren Crane says:

    Stefanie, it’s so great to meet you! I loved reading your story and laughed about you deleting the e-mail requesting your manuscript. I have done similar things! 😀

    You know, when I was a little girl, I thought it was terrible that I was expected to want to become anything. I really just wanted to spend time having fun with my family and reading books and making delicious food. And eating it. Naturally, I became an engineer. What?

    The only thing I recall having any real interest in was becoming a research librarian. We didn’t have the Internet back then and research librarians had mystical, magical access to all the information about EVERYTHING. I would have been far happier becoming a librarian, I assure you. I doubt I’ll ever go back to school for anything, but now I would be more interested in doing clinical research if I did. Or maybe informatics. I do love some data analysis! LOL

    • Thanks Caren 🙂 I do love hearing about the careers that people end up taking. I did a business degree at university and spent a few years in the Human Resources and Communication fields. But I would have preferred to be surrounded by books and information all day too.

    • Caren, I remember my father reacting really badly when I said I wanted to be a librarian but you know what? I actually think it’s a job that would have suited me down to the ground. As you know, I adore obscure pieces of information! And books are my lifeblood!

  • PATRICIA M says:

    Excelllent storyline! I wanted ballet lessons, but living on a ranch in the middle of nowhere, that was kind of out. in retrospect, I wonder if the school could have been convinced to offer some. (Our school district was unusually rich.) I did get to take modern dance in college, though. Fun, but yes, a lot of work.

    • Hi Patricia. I’m glad you got the chance to take come classes later on!

    • Patricia, I think modern dance would have been great fun! I’m actually pretty uncoordinated so my dreams of dancing aren’t very realistic, but it’s such a wonderful thing to do, it almost doesn’t matter if I’d be bad at it.

  • Hi Stefanie!

    Welcome to the lair. Funny – I was just looking at the July RWR yesterday, saw the title of your book, and thought – what a great title – and now here you are. Thank you, Anna, for the introduction. The book sounds great! Looking forward to reading it.

    When I was in middle school, I saw a painting at my friend’s house that was painted by her grandmother. It was really nice – and I was inspired that even though the grandmother had passed on, her painting remained. Right then and there I decided I’d be a great painter and have a legacy survive me. While I still paint every now and then, I discovered writing is a lot cleaner (physically, at least 🙂 ). So I’m leaving a legacy with my writing. Yeah – living the slightly altered dream 🙂

    Congrats with ONLY THE BRAVE TRY BALLET. Wishing you fantastic sales – and welcome to North America! You’re going to love it here.

    • Thank you Doona, I’m glad the title caught your eye 🙂

      I love painting too, though sadly have no talent for it. My Dad paints and I had a few of his pieces in my apartment. I agree, the idea of leaving something behind is a great one.

    • Donna, very soon Stef will be much closer to you than she is to me! Love your story about the painting.

  • bn100 says:

    think doctor

  • Welcome to the Lair, Stefanie and congratulations on your debut book! This sounds like such a fun book! Of course when I think football, I think American football and there have been a number of players over the year who have taken up ballet for just this reason!

    What did I want to be when I grew up? Well, I argued a lot and thought being a lawyer would be cool. And I liked science and medicine so nursing was a choice. I loved to sing, so a rock singer was an option for a few years. And I always made up stories.

    In the end I became a nurse then a writer. Batting .500 isn’t too bad! 🙂

    • Hi Suzanne, thank you! I felt bringing a little Australian football to the world of romance would be something a bit different 🙂

      Those are all great options, very diverse too! I take my hat off to nurses, they have such a tough and important job.

    • Suz, that’s actually pretty good! Good on you. I think a lot of people abandon their childhood dreams and sometimes there was something inside them that was actually pushing them in the right direction when they were young.

  • Debbie Oxier says:

    Believe it or not I wanted to be a writer. After watching a remake of the movie Stagecoach, I decided to write Westerns. I was like nine or ten at the time. I have always been a voracious reader and have all kinds of ideas roaming around in my head. Who knows? Maybe one day I’ll get serious and put one down on paper.

    • Thanks for your comment, Debbie. I know a lot of writers that pondered putting the words down on paper for years – I was one of them!

      Sometimes magic happens when let the words flow 🙂

    • Debbie, good luck! If you’ve got all those ideas wandering around your head, I think it would be kind to give them life! 🙂

  • Hellion says:

    In no particular order:

    1.) Horse trainer
    2.) Princess (with horses)
    3.) Vegas Show Girl (loved the sequins)
    4.) Teacher
    5.) Housewife like my mom
    6.) Ballerina
    7.) Actress
    8.) Singer/country artist
    9.) Farmer/rancher (again horses)
    10.) One of those horse riders that perform all those jumps and stuff.
    11.) Bookstore owner
    12.) Librarian
    13.) Solid Gold Dancer
    14.) Daisy Duke

    Admittedly I kinda still want to be Daisy Duke–to drive like that and look like that in shorts?

    • Hellion says:

      I forgot the important one: in 5th grade after our teacher read THE BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA, I realized people could make a living writing stories…and then I wanted to do that.

    • Cassondra says:

      Hellion, I don’t want to BE Daisy Duke, but I’m with you…I wanna look like that in shorts.

    • That’s a fantastic list, Hellion.

      I went through a ‘show girl’ stage…in my head, anyway. Totally agree about looking that good in the Daisy Duke shorts. Sadly that time has passed for me! 🙂

    • Helly, I think you need to be Daisy Duke WITH horses! And a library. That would pretty much cover all your food groups. I loved your list – reminds me a bit of my own! Especially the princess bit!

  • Minna says:

    I wanted to be an astronomist (I’ve always been a geek).

  • catslady says:

    I wanted to be an artist of some kind but although it wasn’t meant to be, my youngest is in that field. And I know someone that does modern dance and ballet and it’s not an easy path.

  • Stefanie, welcome and congrats on your debut! I love to watch ballet though I rarely get the chance. I actually took ballet lessons briefly but was hampered by serious lack of coordination.

    When I was growing up, I wanted to be a fashion designer. I liked to draw clothes. But I changed my mind as time went along.

    • Thanks, Nancy 🙂 I love looking at fashion drawings and I always imagined being a designer would be such a wonderful, creative job.

    • Nancy, I hear you on being uncoordinated. I still love going to the ballet, though. I’ve got tickets for the American Ballet Theatre in September. They’re coming to Brisbane and doing Swan Lake and a triple bill. Can’t wait!

  • Cassondra says:

    Welcome Stefanie, and huge congratulations on your debut!

    How exciting this time must be for you–a release and a move across the world. I have to say that you are a brave woman. Going to live in a place so different from your own takes a lot of courage I think. When I consider the processes of just getting a driver’s license or managing the small details of annual vehicle registration and filing taxes and such, although we do it automatically and without much thought other than a little grumbling over the hassle, it seems like it would be overwhelming for someone who immigrated–just realizing all the bits and pieces you have to get done. I hope your move goes wonderfully and you love it.

    Now the question. I wanted to be a whole bunch of things when I was little, and among them, yes, was ballerina. I didn’t take dance until I got to college, and I wasn’t very good at it then. I think it’s something you have to grab onto when you’re small to really get it. I certainly relate to the sore muscles though. It’s great for flexibility and strength. I also wanted to be a gymnast and a figure skater–all the beautiful dance-related things we see on tv in the Olympics. No ice rink near me and no gymnastics lessons of any high caliber, so no chance of that either.

    I wanted to be a musician and a singer, and I did grow up to do those things. Never wanted to be a writer, but keep coming back to that no matter how many times I walk away from it. :0)

    Wonderful interview, Anna.

    • Thanks, Cassanda. Yes, it is a big move and quite scary but both sides of my family immigrated out to Australia before I was born. Somehow it makes me view the ‘living overseas’ thing as a rite of passage. But I will miss my family A LOT, thank goodness for Skype!

      I really admire singers and musicians, since I have not a musical bone in my body! Sometimes the desire to write gets its hooks in, doesn’t it? 🙂

    • Thanks so much, Cassondra! It’s lovely seeing the warm welcome our Bandits and Bandita Buddies are extending to Stef. A first book is such a special moment!

      Hey, interesting how many of us had ballerina dreams in our past!

  • Kim says:

    Congratulations on your debut. When I was a child, I wanted to be a lawyer or a singer.

  • Deb says:

    Congrats on the release! How exciting!!

    I thought I wanted to be a nurse and even wrote a story in second grade called Nurse Amy. My grandma even made me a little white nurse’s cap and apron for Christmas that year. I grew up to be a teacher, and a mommy. I would have LOVED to be a stay-at-home mom, but our finances just didn’t allow it. :/

    I do need to tell you something that correlates with your book. I took ballroom dancing in college fir a PE credit, and several if the football players were in the class because the coach required one of several dance classes for them. Most of them were clompers and awkward dancers, but some really became quite good by the end of the semester.

    • Deb says:

      Sorry about the auto correct. My Kindle thinks I am stupid or something. 🙂

    • Thanks for your comment, Deb! That’s so lovely that your grandmother encouraged you. My Nan was the one who turned my into the reader I am today, grandparents play such an important role!

      I wish more coaches did that here, it seems to be more common in the US than in Australia. Although we have had a few footy players on our version of Dancing with the Stars, so who knows? 🙂

    • Deb, I wanted to be a nurse but only briefly. The whole blood thing kind of put me off, but I admire those who aren’t bothered by it.

    • Deb, what an interesting story about the football players! I think if you’re judging things like flexibility and stamina in fitness – and you should – ballet dancers are really top class athletes.

  • Donna Flint says:

    I did ballet as a kid…and tap dancing and baton twirling. I always wanted to pursue the tap dancing. I can still remember part of my last tap routine..and I’m 49 years old now. 🙂 Alas, health issues would never let me tap professionally now. I would love to read this book though. 🙂

  • librarypat says:

    I wanted to be an archaeologist. No support at home for that choice – “everything has already been found.” We all know how true that was, especially 50years ago. There were no schools close enough for me to attend, anyway. I had to be content with doing a lot of reading about it.

    • Thanks for your comment! What a shame you didn’t have the support to do what you wanted. Hopefully you were able to read many fantastic books about it 🙂

    • Library Pat, I’ve recently been reading the Amelia Peabody stories. It’s definitely reminded me of the days when I wanted to be an archaeologist too. Although my early dreams didn’t involve dirt or digging! It was only CLEAN archaeology that I was interested in. Snerk.

  • May Pau says:

    A writer but that requires talent and hard work!

  • Lauren James says:

    Hi Stef

    It’s always fun hearing about your journey to publication and as you know, I’m so very proud of you *hugs*. I love this book and I can’t wait to read many more of your stories in the future.

    I wanted to be an architect when I was a kid. I used to sit at the table and draw house plans with a pencil and ruler, including all the furniture and outdoor plants etc. I even started tertiary study for it, but after one semester I knew it wasn’t for me.

    Nothing ever peaked my interest again until I discovered writing. It’s still what I want to do when I grow up LOL

    P.S. You’re the best critique partner ever x

    • awwww thanks, Lauren. We do make a good critiquing pair, don’t we? 🙂

      I think architecture would be so interesting but then I remember those jobs have a lot of math (aka my nemesis) haha

      *hugs back*

      • Lauren James says:

        Yep, lots of math and other boring subjects like construction and timber framing. Bleh!

    • Lauren, lovely to see you here! I’m having a warm and fuzzy flashback to our retreat down in Ocean Grove. It was such a pleasure meeting you girls!

      • Lauren James says:

        Hi Anna 🙂

        I have such fond memories of the retreat. It was so lovely meeting you and Annie who were just a blast to hang out with. Hopefully we’ll meet in person again sometime.

  • Mary M. says:

    Good on you, Stefanie! Congrats on the release! Where are you moving in Canada….it is a big place! I hope it is to Ontario or the Maritimes, much nearer to me than down under!
    I wanted to be an astronaut!And I had enough ballet to know I was not built for it (feet meant for Crocs, not toe shoes) 🙂

    • Hi Mary 🙂 Thank you.

      We’re moving to Toronto, though exactly where in Toronto we won’t know until my husband gets there to scout out locations. I’m very excited!!

      Not many people really have feet for ballet, I empathise because I didn’t have good feet either!

    • Mary, I laughed at the croc shoes rather than ballet pointes!

  • Hello, La Divina Campbell and Stefanie ! What a fun interview. And good on you, Stefanie for seeing a contest opportunity and turning it into a prize! I love the premise of your book. Tough guys taking on ballet is always fun idea. I majored in opera performance and my voice coach insisted ALL of her students – male and female take ballet as she felt it helped us with stage presence and connecting with our bodies.

    I wanted to be two things growing up – an opera singer and a writer. I was fortunate enough to have a career as an opera singer in my 20’s and 30’s. Now I am pursuing my second career. Not published yet, but like you I am taking chances with contests and any other venue to get my books in front of editors and eventually readers.

    Can’t wait to read your book!

    • Louisa, you’re pretty much two out of two when it comes to childhood dreams. Good on you. We love having debut authors in the lair!

    • Thanks for your comment, Louisa. I can’t say I’ve ever met any one else who had a career in opera, what a fantastic opportunity that must have been! Great experience for writing stories.

      Best of luck with your writing!

  • Marcy Shuler says:

    Congrats on your book, Stefanie! The cover is adorable. 🙂

    I always said I wanted to be an Occupational Therapist, but when I found out they each got their own cadaver to dissect…I changed to nursing. LOL The whole nursing class had one cadaver that a teaching assistant dissected and we just had to study.

    • Ugh! Marcy, I’m with you. Not keen on the whole cuddling a cadaver experience! Isn’t that cover gorgeous?

    • Marcy, I don’t blame you for switching!! I couldn’t get past the rats for year 10 science let alone a cadavar.

      Thank for the lovely comment about my cover, I’m thrilled to bits with it 😀

  • Thanks to Stefanie and thanks to everyone who swung by to say hello and wish her well with her debut. Don’t forget to check back to see who won the signed copy of ONLY THE BRAVE TRY BALLET! Good luck!

  • Annie west says:

    Stef, how lovely to see you with the Banditas. I was smiling as I read Anna’s intro about meeting you at that writing retreat. It was a fabulous weekend and I met so many terrific people. I’m so looking forward to grabbing a copy of your debut book and locking myself away with it. It sounds so enticing.

    As for my dream job, I could never settle on just one but an archaeologist was up there pretty high on the list, along with running a bookshop. Obviously I love the idea of uncovering hidden treasure.

    • Annie, strangely I can see you being an archaeologist – not a pretend CLEAN one like me, but a real one!

      Didn’t we have a fun weekend? I met so many nice people over those few days!

    • It was an amazing weekend, definitely something that contributed to me getting to where I am today 🙂

      Bookshop owner would be a double edged sword…I wouldn’t want to sell any of the books haha

  • eli yanti says:

    teacher :). when young i also like ballet but with our money condition, i can’t go to pratice ballet 🙁