Ever since I watched Mikhail Baryshnikov perform eleven pirouettes in exchange for eleven roubles, in the 1985 film White Knights, I have dreamed of one day learning how to pirouette. It is even on my bucket list! And now I have finally met the person who said she can teach me (although I told her I may need to shed a few kg's first!!)
Meet the enchanting Kerri Turner, former ballerina, ballet teacher and author of the exquisitely beautiful novel The Last Days of the Romanov Dancers (Jan 2019 - Harper Collins).
Lots of us have overflowing TBR piles and I am no exception. I have frequently gazed at the cover of Romanovs (did I also tell you I have a fascination for the story of the Romanovs?) and finally in December last year I read it.
Such a sweeping story, moments of bliss & love intertwined with moments of desperation and tragedy. The words on the page take you back in time, into the world of the Russian Imperial Ballet. It is a love story set against the backdrop of the Romanovs, the death of Rasputin and the Russian Revolution.
I cried in parts. My heart broke in parts and soared in others. I didn't want it to end as I turned the last page. I loved it.
So you can only imagine how excited I am to pore over the pages of Kerri's brand new release, The Daughter of Victory Lights. I read the sample chapters online prior to release and it didn't disappoint.
So now, I will hand you over to my favourite ballerina, Kerri.xx
Q1: What piece of advice do you wish you'd been given when working on your very first manuscript?
A: That there are all kinds of rejections, and you can generally expect every single one of them at some point. The ones which will hurt the most are the ones where they don’t even get back to you, closely followed by the ones where you know they didn’t read it. But keep going, and recognise that personalised rejections are a positive sign, that ones that come with feedback are worth their weight in gold, and that when someone finally accepts your manuscript all the rejections will have given you the tough skin you need to step into being a published author.
Q2: If you could have written ANY book besides your own, what would it be?
A: That’s a tough one, because I wouldn’t want to miss out on the opportunity of reading the books that I’ve loved! Maybe The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, because I’d enjoy being inside such a creative mind and having fun with all kinds of word play.
Q3: What is the first book that made you cry?
A: Either Little Women or Anne of Green Gables. I couldn’t say with absolute certainty which came first though, as they both feel like books I’ve known and loved my whole life.
Q4: Coffee, tea or ? (what is your favourite drink?)
A: Peppermint tea. Coffee on long days, and gin and tonic if it’s after 5pm on a hot summer’s day.
Q5: What is the next book on your TBR (to be read) pile?
A: I’m generally a ‘mood’ reader, in that when I finish one book I look at my entire TBR pile and pick up whatever strikes my fancy. But I have some good ones waiting there for me, including some Australian historical fiction, a few classics, and a huge stack of Georgette Heyer regency romances.
Q6: Choose one male & one female character from your novel. In a film adaptation, who would you love to see play them?
A: Bee would be played by the burlesque performer Dirty Martini, and Flynn by the actor Oscar Isaac.
Q7: Name one thing you couldn't live without?
Q8: What is your dream holiday destination?
A: So many! I do want to go to New York City at Christmas time to live out my Home Alone 2 fantasies though.
Q9: If you had to choose a career besides writer, what would it be?
A: When I was a teenager I had a secret dream of being an archaeologist. But I also found out from watching The Great British Bake Off that there is such a job as a food historian, and that sounds like a lot of fun.
Q10: Name one debut author/novel you would recommend?
A: The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal. It’s exactly how I like my historical fiction: mesmerising, moving, and completely surprising. I can’t wait to see what she writes next!
'An enthralling story of one woman's determined grab for freedom after WW2 from a talented new Australian voice.
‘PART CABARET, PART BURLESQUE, AND LIKE NOTHING YOU'VE EVER SEEN BEFORE! GENTLEMEN, AND LADIES IF YOU'VE DARED TO COME, WELCOME TO ...
1945: After the thrill and danger of volunteering in an all-female searchlight regiment protecting Londoners from German bombers overhead, Evelyn Bell is secretly dismayed to be sent back to her rigid domestic life when the war is over. But then she comes across a secret night-time show, hidden from the law on a boat in the middle of the Thames. Entranced by the risqué and lively performance, she grabs the opportunity to join the misfit crew and escape her dreary future.
At first the Victory travels from port to port to raucous applause, but as the shows get bigger and bigger, so too do the risks the performers are driven to take, as well as the growing emotional complications among the crew. Until one desperate night ...
1963: Lucy, an unloved and unwanted little girl, is rescued by a mysterious stranger who says he knows her mother. On the Isle of Wight, Lucy is welcomed into an eclectic family of ex-performers. She is showered with kindness and love, but gradually it becomes clear that there are secrets they refuse to share. Who is Evelyn Bell?'
Thank you Kerri for being my February Author Stalker Victim.
The Daughter of Victory Lights is available through leading bookstores and online.
If you would like to find out more about Kerri and purchase her novels, you can find her at: