Another week, one other debut writer!
This week I’m thrilled to welcome debut writer, Lucy Ashe to The Reading Closet along with her novel, Clara & Olivia, that is because of be revealed 2nd February 2023 by Oneworld Publications! Available to pre-order right here, the quilt and blurb are under CHECK IT OUT!
Hello Lucy, and thankyou for taking the time to go to The Reading Closet! Please might you briefly introduce your debut novel.
Clara & Olivia is a historic thriller set in London in 1933. It is about an identical twin sisters who rehearse for the ballet Coppélia on the just lately opened Sadler’s Wells theatre. But as they rehearse, hazard lurks. Two males, a pianist and a pointe shoe maker, intrude on their lives with their obsessions and wishes.
My debut novel, Clara & Olivia, attracts on my love of dance historical past and my experiences as a ballet dancer. I skilled on the Royal Ballet School for eight years, first as a Junior Associate after which at White Lodge, and I’ve a diploma in dance educating with the British Ballet Organisation. Following a change in profession plans, I made a decision to go to school to learn English Literature at St Hugh’s College, Oxford, whereas persevering with to bop and carry out, and I’m at the moment educating English at a college in North London.
I used to be bought at ‘twins’ and ‘obsession’! Definitely a should add to my 2023 TBR. What is, or could be Clara & Olivia’s tagline?
Black Swan meets The Red Shoes on this perfectly-poised psychological thriller.
An beautiful goose-bumping debut from a former ballerina.
Love it!! I’m actually keen on what drew you to put in writing a novel inside the historic fiction style. Did you intend out to put in writing HisFic or did it simply, occur?
It was once I was a teen in A Level Dance Studies lessons on the Royal Ballet School, taught by the archivist Anna Meadmore, that I developed a fascination for not solely the tales of ballets, but additionally the historical past of their creations. Clara & Olivia is a novel rising out of years of analysis and private expertise and I typically really feel as if I’ve pulled collectively the threads of what I really like most in my life to create my debut novel.
My novel re-imagines the early years of the Vic-Wells Ballet firm at Sadler’s Wells theatre, and the story is immersed in ballet historical past that includes characters resembling Ninette de Valois, Lydia Lopokova, Constant Lambert, Alicia Markova and Nicholas Sergeyev. Frederick and Dora Freed and their pointe shoe workshop play a key function, as does the historical past of Sadler’s Wells theatre itself. I’ve worn a whole bunch of pairs of Freed of London pointe footwear, and I spoke with Sophie Simpson, the senior supervisor on the pointe shoe producer, once I was researching for my novel. It was pretty to listen to that she remembered becoming me for first pair of pointe footwear once I was eleven years outdated on the Royal Ballet School in Richmond Park.
One main inspiration for me was my twin sister. We spent the primary a part of our lives doing all the things collectively: first day of college, first ballet class, first piano lesson. We had been a unit, referred to easily because the twins, and we had a really particular connection. That connection stays despite the fact that our lives are totally different now. And so, in my novel, I’ve been impressed by the connectedness and the bond of twins, Olivia and Clara staying so shut regardless of their lives beginning to take them in several instructions.
That is fascinating. I’ve all the time thought, if I had been to put in writing a novel it will both be tremendous gorey or spicy! Do you’ve got a favorite quote from Clara & Olivia? If so, what’s it?
‘He imagines dancing along with her, the 2 of them arm in arm beneath the celebrities. Silent, in fact, however that’s regardless of. It is healthier that means. She is a dancing doll, his Coppélia, created finally.’
Oooh, im tremendous intrigued! So, subsequent query, if something, what would you want readers to remove out of your novel?
I hope readers will take pleasure in changing into immersed on this planet of ballet, each its glitter and its ache. Clara & Olivia is a novel about obsession and love, in regards to the lengths folks will go to be seen.
I really like that, and I really like that readers xould develop into immersed in a world that they could beforehand, not have identified a lot about. What has been the spotlight, to this point, of being a debut writer?
Two issues. Firstly, each time early readers (such supportive authors and guide bloggers) ship me splendidly form and enthusiastic messages about Clara & Olivia, I can’t cease smiling. Secondly, making connections with different debut writers and sharing collectively our tales, our pleasure, all these thrilling steps to changing into revealed authors.
I guess you’ll be able to’t cease smiling! That is so pretty! What are you most trying ahead to when it comes to your debut journey?
I’m enthusiastic about assembly readers, speaking about my novel, my characters, the historic analysis that went into the guide. Writing the Historical Note on the finish of the novel was a lot enjoyable, and I hope Clara & Olivia will spark new conversations about dance historical past, maybe even encourage new audiences to hunt out dance for themselves.
That appears like there may be a lot to be enthusiastic about, I can’t wait to observe your debut journey! Are there any authors who encourage you?
So many! I can slim it down slightly if I take into consideration the novels that in all probability impressed Clara & Olivia, all for various causes: The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters; The Foundling by Stacey Halls; Burning Bright by Tracy Chevalier; The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry; The Painted Girls by Cathy Marie Buchanan; Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.
Such nice authors, some are on my TBR listing!! Okay, let’s have slightly further enjoyable, within the type of our *FLASH FIVE* questions, prepared?
Tea or espresso? Coffee (Same!)
Sweet or savoury? Sweet (Are we twins?!)
Morning worm or evening owl? Morning chicken (Take that as a nope!)
Standalone or guide collection? Standalone
Are you a plotter or a panster? Plotter
Love these, Lucy! Thanks once more for taking the day trip to be part of this debut writer collection, you’re a star, and we want you the very best of luck in your debut novel journey!