I’ve always loved ballet. As a young, enthusiastic child I happily attended Ms. Margaret’s ballet school. With age and the realization that I wasn’t really cut out for ballet, I moved on to other pursuits. However, my love for ballet remained. I marveled at the long, lean lines of graceful ballet dancers and the ethereal manner in which they glided across the stage in step to dramatic music.
When I created my heroine, Marissa Nash, I knew I wanted to incorporate ballet into her character. She too develops a love of ballet from a young age, but she has a real talent for dance, encouraged by her grandmother, a former prima ballerina. But Marissa also has a practical side, and after a car accident ruins her chance to audition for Juilliard’s next class, she turns away from dance to pursue a career in accounting.
Even though her day job involves numbers, mergers, and financial portfolios, Marissa doesn’t stray far from her first love. After her grandmother’s death, she takes over management of her ballet school. Marissa teaches young children the basics of dance and celebrates in their triumphs. She even performs, mostly alone and for her own pleasure, but occasionally is persuaded to join her students on stage.
Ballet proves to be more than a passion for Marissa. She uses the control, discipline, and strength from years of dancing to fight her biggest challenge yet— surviving the onslaught of a powerful, vengeful enemy.