Off Balance (Ballet Theatre Chronicles Book 1) Review and Author Q&A

9705802You know a book is good when you manage to finish it in just a few days, and that’s exactly what I did with Terez Mertez Rose’s new book, Off Balance (Ballet Theatre Chronicles Book 1). You can enter to win a copy of the book ath the bottom of this post, too!

You may know Terez because she runs The Classical Girl and I interviewed her a little over a year ago as part of our profile series. You can also find her at, and on Twitter and Facebook.

Here’s a nice little summary of the book:

 Alice thinks she’s accepted the loss of her ballet career, injury having forced her to trade in pointe shoes onstage for spreadsheets upstairs. That is, until the day Alice’s boss asks her to befriend Lana, a pretty new company member he’s got his eye on. Lana represents all Alice has lost, not just as a ballet dancer, but as a motherless daughter. It’s pain she’s kept hidden, even from herself, as every good ballet dancer knows to do.

Lana, lonely and unmoored, desperately needs some help, and her mother, back home, vows eternal support. But when Lana begins to profit from Alice’s advice and help, her mother’s constant attention curdles into something more sinister.

Together, both women must embark on a journey of painful rediscoveries, not just about career opportunities won and lost, but the mothers they thought they knew.

OFF BALANCE takes the reader beyond the glitter of the stage to expose the sweat and struggle, amid the mandate to sustain the illusion at all cost.

I loved how the novel brings these two women together as they share the struggles, but also the joys, of the ballet world and I can’t wait to see what book 2 of the series has in store for this world Terez has created. I’d definitely recommend to anyone who enjoys ballet to pick up the book.

I also had the opportunity to ask Terez a few questions about why she wrote the book and what role her own ballet experience played in her writing it:

Why did you decide to write a novel?

My first novel, back in 2002, just sort of wrote itself. Which sounds simplistic, but really, there was a grand sense of something pouring out of me that absolutely had to be put down on paper, and it wouldn’t abate after 10,000 words (I’d thought I was writing a short story) or 30,000 words, or even 70,000 words. I showed up every day, every spare moment, and the story kept pouring out. A part of me was sitting back, incredulous, observing it all happen. Nothing prior to that time in my writing practice had prepared me for that. The second novel, too, came from that same urgent, muse-driven place, suffused with this manic need to get the story down on paper. I will never know where the impulse came from, after years of only writing nonfiction—indeed, having woefully failed at my attempts to produce fiction. I suppose it was a matter of being in the right place at the right time, already committed to a daily writing practice, prepped for it to happen. I am now a firm believer in the adage that the story will come when it’s ready to be told. Or there’s a strong emotional need for it. The writer just has to be ready.

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