Oct 7, 2017

October Beautiful People!

beautiful books

Hi fellow book nerds! Cait and Sky are finally back with another Beautiful People! Except this month, it's Beautiful Books, in prep for Nanowrimo! I'm so excited so let's just get into it! 😊

What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?

Well...uh...heh...heh...😳. I'm kinda ashamed about this...but I got the inspiration for this series that my Nano project is a part of when I was around 13 and I started watching Dance Moms. Looking back, I'm really embarrassed that I actually liked that show, but it was more about the dance and the friendship between all the original girls that inspired this series than all the ridiculous drama. (I only watched the first two seasons, after that I couldn't handle it.😵) I used to dance when I was little, but my studio didn't have a competitive team, and before I saw Dance Moms, I don't think I'd ever even heard of competitive dance before. I found the idea so fun and intriguing that I really wanted to write a book series about a group of girls who do competitive dance, and their friendship and what they're lives are like trying to balance school and everything, and focus on the actual dancers, not the drama between the moms. I also was inspired to use what limited knowledge from my memories of being a dancer myself all those years ago to help write it. 😊


Describe what your novel is about!

Well, my Nano project, The Clara Wars, is the fourth book in my MG contemporary competitive dance series, FOCUS (Forever Outstanding Creative United Stars.) (Yes I know it's a mouthful but it's an acronym and it's the name of their dance studio so bear with me here...)
The studio is putting on a production of The Nutcracker, a classic Christmas themed ballet, and all of my characters are preparing for it along with all the other things they got going on during "Nutcracker season," Like school, the Halloween dance showcase and carnival, Thanksgiving with visiting relatives, auditions, rehearsals, and a bunch of other craziness. Two of my main characters, Melody and Calista are the main characters of this book, and Melody gets the main role of Clara in The Nutcracker, while Calista is tasked with being her understudy. Calista is hurt that she wasn't picked to be Clara, and struggles with her confidence, disappointment, a little bit of jealousy, and trying to be happy for her friend. 
Melody, on the other hand, is thrilled with having the opportunity to play the most important role, but struggles with a little bit of over-commitment, and stress at school while trying to deal with her dyslexia, a learning disorder.

What is your book’s aesthetic? Use words or photos or whatever you like!

Okay, let me start off by saying, this question was SO FUN! I probably spent too much time on it than I needed to. 😜

Introduce us to each of your characters!

Age: 14
Eye color: baby blue
Hair color: dark brown
Personality type: ESFP
Fave type of dance: ballet
Role in Nutcracker: Clara

Age: 13
Eye color: sea green
Hair color: golden blonde
Personality type: ISTJ
Fave type of dance: Jazz
Role in Nutcracker: flower, Clara's understudy

Age: 14
Eye color: light green
Hair color: dirty blonde
Personality type: INTJ
Fave type of dance: lyrical
Role in Nutcracker: party girl and the Sugar Plum Fairy

Eye color: emerald green
Hair color: light red
Personality type: ENFJ/ISFP
Fave type of dance: Acrobatic
Role in Nutcracker: snowflake, shepherdess, and the doll.

Nicole: (Natalie's twin sister)
Age: 12
Eye color: emerald green
Hair color: light red
Personality type: ESTP
Fave type of dance: hip hop
Role in Nutcracker: party girl, snowflake, and Spanish chocolate.

Age: 13
Eye color: bright blue
Hair color: medium brown
Personality type: ESFJ
Fave type of dance: Jazz
Role in Nutcracker: party girl, snowflake, and the Arabian coffee.

Age: 12
Eye color: hazel
Hair color: dark brown
Personality type: ENTP
Fave type of dance: lyrical
Role in Nutcracker: party girl, snowflake, and a candy cane.

Age: 14
Eye color: electric blue
Hair color: dark red
Personality type: ENFP
Fave type of dance: lyrical
Role in Nutcracker: party girl, snowflake, and a flower.

How do you prepare to write? (Outline, research, stocking up on chocolate, howling, etc.?)

YouTube and Pinterest! Maybe a little TOO MUCH YouTube and Pinterest. 😂😂😂 But I swear it's all for research! And of course stocking up on chocolate doesn't sound like a bad idea either.

What are you most looking forward to about this novel?

I'm excited about writing all the Christmassy stuff and the whole atmosphere of The Nutcracker, and all the rehearsal scenes and describing all the costumes and the sets and everything in detail. It'll be so fun! 😄

List 3 things about your novel’s setting.

Present day
Small town

...I didn't really know what else to put. 😆


What’s your character’s goal and who (or what) stands in the way?

Well Melody's goal is to do the best she can at playing Clara and rehearse as much as she can, but she has been kind of over-commiting and overexerting herself and in the end she faces the consequences of that. 
Calista really wanted to be Clara, and she was crushed and a little insulted that she was only the understudy. Her parents went through a bad divorce a few years ago, and she hasn't talked her mom since. She's been kinda bitter since then, and she deals with a lot of self-worth issues because of that, and she's definitely a perfectionist, so she feels that if she got anything less than Clara, then she wasn't good enough, so really she's standing in the way of herself.

How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?

Melody learns that she needs to learn how to have a healthy balance in her life, and Calista learns that she should be grateful for whatever role she is given as long as she did her best, and just because she didn't get the role she wanted doesn't mean she is the worst dancer in the world. Also, understudies are more important than they might seem. 😉
(And probably some other important points that I haven't thought out yet.)

What are your book’s themes? How do you want readers to feel when the story is over?

The themes are confidence, family, friendship, learning responsibility, and all that cheesy Christmas spirit stuff! 😄

I want my readers to feel all warm and gooey inside like that feeling you get when you eat chocolate chip cookies with your friends by a fireplace and a Christmas tree. 😊 Okay, okay, I'll stop with all the cheesiness now. 😜 It's too early for Christmas anyway. 

Are you excited for Nanowrimo? Or are you terrified? Am I freaking you out with all this Christmas themed stuff? Link me to your posts! And if you want to be my writing buddy if you're doing Nano, you can here! 😃



All credit goes to the authors of the images.
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Ballet Aesthetics:

Cait's Blog:
Sky's Blog: 


  1. This sounds really cool! I've always wanted to read more dance related books (I'm a dancer myself, though I don't do ballet) and it sounds like it'll be good. Good luck with NaNo!

  2. Thanks! The characters in my series do various genres of dance, not just ballet, but since this one is set around Christmas, they're doing the Nutcracker so it's mostly ballet in this one. :)