May 28, 2019

#BookTour for Bright Burning Stars by @AKSmallWords @algonquinyr #Interview


Synopsis: Best friends Marine Duval and Kate Sanders have trained at the Paris Opera Ballet School since childhood, where they’ve formed an inseparable bond forged by respective family tragedies and a fierce love for dance.

 When the body of a student is found in the dorms just before the start of their final year, Marine and Kate begin to ask themselves what they would do to win the ultimate prize: to be the one girl selected to join the Opera’s prestigious corps de ballet. 

Would they die? Cheat? Seduce the most talented boy in the school, dubbed the Demigod, hoping his magic would make them shine, too? Neither girl is sure.

But then Kate gets closer to the Demigod, even as Marine has begun to capture his heart. 

And as selection day draws near, the competition—for the prize, for the Demigod—becomes fiercer, and Marine and Kate realize they have everything to lose, including each other.


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About the Author:  A.K. SMALL was born in Paris. At five years old, she began studying classical dance with the legendary Max Bozzoni, then later with Daniel Franck and Monique Arabian at the famous Académie Chaptal. At thirteen, she moved to the United States where she danced with the Pacific Northwest Ballet for one summer in Seattle and with the Richmond Ballet Student Company for several years. She’s a graduate of the College of William and Mary and has an MFA in fiction from Vermont College of Fine Arts. When she’s not writing, she spends time with her husband, her puppy, and her three daughters, and practices yoga. Bright Burning Stars is her first novel.

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
My Review: I have been in love with the world of Ballet for years. I think in my next life maybe I will choose one where that will be my path in life.  Dancing!! I have to say that this book was a wonderful debut.  It centers around the competition of dance and with a murder tossed in it was one I couldn't out down.  I will say that readers need to be away of some major trigger warnings that I have added to the go into this one knowing. So please be warned about those.  


This is one title that even with the trigger warnings that I really did enjoy. It was intense and a true depiction of how teens deal with situations that they are tossed into.  I think the take away from this one is one that is also from the movie Center Stage. That yes you can go after what you want.  But when that dream no longer makes you happy maybe its time to find a new one.  

This story pits friend against friend in an intense debut that asks how far will you go to win? 


Go Into This One Knowing: Eating disorders, body dysmorphia, abortion, mental illness,  suicide, substance abuse, mental illness, unhealthy coping techniques , disturbing portrayals of romantic relationships, toxic friendships.







1. How did you write BRIGHT BURNING STARS? All at once or did you outline the story?
I wrote it all at once but multiple times! I’m trying to learn how to outline. Man, is it hard. My brain goes to the creative before the analytical.
2. What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating your characters? Which of your characters do you most identify with, and why?
I think that the most surprising aspect of character building is that it took me years to understand and relate to Kate. I had to spend a long time with her before she finally clicked on the page.
I identify with Marine because M and I both believe that any artistic success comes not from talent but from sweat and grit.
3. What gave you the idea for BRIGHT BURNING STARS?
I wrote a short story titled The Art of Jealousy and then I knew I wanted to write a larger piece.
4. Do you have a favourite scene, quote, or moment from BRIGHT BURNING STARS?
I love the scene where Marine dances to Biggie Smalls and there is a Luc scene I adore but I don’t want to give it away.
5. If you could tell your younger writing self-anything, what would it be?
I would tell her never to forget about the magic of process and to always trust her instincts.
6. What is on your current TBR pile?
The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo, The Meaning of Birds by Jaye Robbin Brown, Wilder Girls by Rory Power, How It Feels to Float by Helena Fox, Heroine by Mindy McGinnis. I’m a sucker for books. I LOVE to read.
7. Do you write to music? If so, what artist were you listening to while writing BRIGHT BURNING STARS?
I usually don’t, but as I was trying to figure Kate out I listened to Unsteady by X Ambassadors and I put on classical piano pieces, literal ballet music, while I worked on studio scenes for atmosphere and rhythm purposes.










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