Friday, 22 April 2016

A Guest Post by the Author Fiona Harper: 'The Summer We Danced' Blog Tour Stop

As a child, Fiona Harper was constantly teased for two things: having her nose in a book and living in a dream world. Things haven't changed much since then, but at least in writing she's found a use for her runaway imagination.

Fiona lives in London, but her other favourite places to be are the Highlands of Scotland and the English countryside on a summer's afternoon. She loves dancing, cooking and anything cinnamon-flavoured. Of course, she still can't keep away from a good book or a good movie--especially romances--but only if she's stocked up with tissues, because she knows she will need them by the ending, no matter if they're happy or sad.

I am delighted to welcome Fiona to 'The Secret Writer' as part of the Blog Tour for her new book release entitled 'The Summer We Danced'. In the following guest post Fiona lets us in on some of the secrets that has led to her great love of dance and its influence within her latest novel!

Guest Post by the Author Fiona Harper

I've always been a sucker for a dance movie. Strictly Ballroom? Dirty Dancing? Save the Last Dance? Love ‘em all. Maybe it was because the dancing bug bit me as a teenager and I ended up getting a BA in Dance at university but, then again, maybe it wasn't, because I think appreciation of the perfect pairing of dance and celluloid began a lot earlier for me.

I've also always loved a good Hollywood musical. I blame it on the London weather. Too many rainy Saturday afternoons as a child, where I couldn't go and ride my bike outside, so I’d find something to watch on TV. Showing my age here, but since there were only a handful of channels, I’d often stump for a film on BBC2 – and that’s where I first met Fred and Ginger.

Oh, gosh! Where do I start? Fred glides through space like a hot knife through butter and Ginger? Well, she’s beautiful and sassy yet vulnerable and graceful at the same time. Right from the first time I saw 'Flying Down to Rio' I was hooked. I even did a whole project for my Dance GCSE on Dance and The Silver Screen, which included a section on every one of Fred and Ginger’s films, including hand-drawn illustrations.

So, when I had an idea for a story where my heroine was going to dance in a show, who else was I going to turn to for inspiration? I knew Pippa was going to return home to her village with her life in tatters, eager to hide herself away, but I also knew I wanted her to realise she couldn't let shame rule her life and that she needed to regain her confidence. What better way than to literally make her step into the spotlight and dance? To face her fears with everyone watching? And not just that, but she had to learn to work intimately with someone else, rather than keeping everyone – especially men! – at a safe distance.

The dance in question, of course, had to be the iconic one of Fred and Ginger’s from 'Top Hat'. I couldn't think of anything more beautiful and romantic. And, of course, I got to watch loads of Fred and Ginger films and call it work. Could a job get any more perfect?

Book Synopsis

Shall we dance?
After a humiliating divorce and watching her former rock star husband leave her for a model live on reality TV, Pippa is determined to disappear. So she returns to the small Kent village where she grew up to make a fresh start.

Little did she know that would mean saving her beloved childhood dance school or falling for her old school crush Tom too!

If you would like to find out more about Fiona and her writing, the link to her website is given below:

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