Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Circle Dance by Lynne Constantine & Valerie Constantine Interview

About the Book:

Title: Circle Dance
Author: Lynne Constantine & Valerie Constantine
Publisher: Bookbaby
Pages: 261
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Format: Paperback/Kindle/Audible/Nook
Young, smart and beautiful with everything figured out – or so they thought. Born into a prosperous Greek American family, sisters Nicole and Theodora have achieved the perfect balance between the old world rich in Greek tradition and the freedom of life in America.

Nicole’s world spins out of control when she falls for a married senator who shares her heritage and her dreams. The decisions she makes will affect the happiness of those closest to her and will define the woman she is to become.

As Theodora struggles to succeed at her marriage, she seeks the wisdom and council of her beloved Greek grandmother who has been happily married for over half a century. Ultimately she must come to terms with the reality of her own life and take responsibility for the role she has played in deceiving herself.

As the dramatic plot unfolds, the two young women must confront deceit and betrayal and their own shortcomings—while they struggle to preserve the values they cherish.

Set in Baltimore, Annapolis and the tiny island of Ikaria, Greece, Circle Dance provides a view into the lives of a dynamic family that has successfully achieved the American dream without abandoning the customs and traditions handed down through their Greek heritage.

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Book Excerpt:

A black casket, shiny and ornate, sat upon the altar, and pallbearers in dark suits quietly led the mourners to their seats as the church continued to fill.  The chanter’s hypnotic singing droned on.  It was a muggy one hundred and five degrees, but inside the dark sanctuary, cut off and remote from the outside world, it was cool and still.  The air in the Annunciation Cathedral was heavily mingled with the sweet scent of carnations and the burning sting of incense.  Rays of sunlight, muted by tall stained glass windows, cast uneven shadows on the walls of the church.  From the huge pipe organ flowed the somber strains of a Byzantine lament.

About the Author

Lynne Constantine is a coffee drinking, twitter addicted, fiction writer always working on her next book. She is the co-author of CIRCLE DANCE, a family saga written with her sister, as well as the author of several short stories. She is the managing partner of a social media consulting firm & gives talks on the role of social media in publishing. She is a contributing editor to The Big Thrill magazine published by International Thriller Writers (ITW). She likes to run her plots by Tucker, her golden retriever, who rarely disagrees with her.
She recently finished her first thriller, and a second book with her sister. Lynne is now working on a third women’s fiction collaboration with her sister. In her spare time the loves going to the beach, spending time with her family, and reading, reading, reading.
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Valerie Constantine was born in Baltimore, Maryland.  She has always loved books and spent too many nights reading by the light of her bedside lamp until 3 a.m.  (Those were the days when she was able to stay up that late.)  She graduated from Nancy Drew to Shakespeare and went on to study at the University of Maryland where she received a degree in English Literature. She is a contributing editor to The Big Thrill magazine and has also worked with St. John’s College as chair of their Meet The Authors Program. She is an active community volunteer working with a Washington, D.C. organization that fights human trafficking and also as president of Assistance League of the Chesapeake, a philanthropic organization that helps and supports children in need. In her spare time she reads, kayaks and travels.  Valerie lives in Annapolis, Maryland with her husband and Zorba, their brilliant King Charles Cavalier.
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Answers from Lynne Constantine co-author

Where are you from?
 Baltimore, Maryland
Tell us your latest news?

Valerie and I just returned from Thrillerfest in New York where we spent five days with authors from all over the world. It was a fantastic conference, and I had the opportunity to speak on social media and building the author platform.
When and why did you begin writing?
 I have liked to tell stories for as long as I can remember. I didnt actually consider making writing a career until after college and graduate school and working in the corporate world. Even though I was successful,I wasnt satisfied. Valerie and I wrote Circle Dance over nights and weekends and once I started, I never looked back.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

 After finishing Circle Dance
What inspired you to write your first book?

We realized there were few novels about Greek American families. We wanted to leave a legacy for our children and future generations about what it was like to grow up in a close-knit Greek family and in that community. To preserve the customs and traditions brought over from Greece that our children would not have first-hand experience with.

Do you have a specific writing style? 
My writing style has evolved over the years. I used to be a strict outliner. Now I write from a looser outline and let the characters develop and tell the story.
How did you come up with the title?
It was actually the last thing we did. We couldnt figure out what we wanted to call it until the night we went out to celebrate finishing. We were having a drink and talking about it and we kept coming back to the Greek dancinghow at first people are shy to join in but then never want to stop and the circle gets bigger and bigger Thats when we realized Circle Dance was a perfect metaphor for life and the story we were telling.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Being true to your roots and who you are and not allowing current trends and mores to define you. Also that we all make mistakes but if we allow ourselves to find our way back, there is forgiveness and redemption available.
How much of the book is realistic?
The story line is completely fictional but the characters are drawn from family members and have many traits and characteristics that are real. The father in the book is very similar to our own father in that he is very protective and worries about his daughters. His work ethic and personality also mirror that of our father. The mother, is similar in temperament to our own mother as is the Aunt.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
The experience of growing up Greek in a community where everyone knows each other is based on our own experience growing up. The events are fictitious.

What books have most influenced your life most?
Nancy Drew. Those books kept my company in my childhood and fueled my love of reading. Every week my parents and I would go out to dinner at Hutzlers, a large department store in Baltimore. On the way up we would stop at the book section (when those still existed in grocery stores) and he would buy me the latest in the series. I still remember the excitement of tearing into a new mystery and becoming completely absorbed.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? 

David Morrell.
What book are you reading now?
Pretty Girls, Karin Slaughter
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I am always discovering new authorssome that have actually been around for a while that I havent yet read. My tastes are very eclectic, and I like reading all different genres and styles.
What are your current projects?

 I am in final edits on my conspiracy thriller, THE VERITAS DECEPTION, which I hope to find a home for soon. My sister and I are in final edits on our latest womens fiction collaboration-BLACK-EYED SUSANS , a novel about two best friends and the secrets that threaten to destroy them. We are also in the drafting stage of a  yet untitled collaboration which is a psychological thriller.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members?

Social media. I have found a wealth of encouragement and support from friends I have made on Twitter and Facebook. There is a wonderful community of authors to be found in cyberspace.

What would you like my readers to know?

I love to hear from them and I love to interact. I always enjoy participating in book clubs and Im available to do so on Skype so that I can join in anywhere in the world.

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