Ever feel like someone's watching you? Me, too. But lately it's been happening in my room.
When I'm alone.
A friend posted a video of me dancing online, and now I'm no longer Alicia Ruffino. I'm dancergirl. And suddenly it's like me against the world. everyone's got opinions.
My admirers want more, the haters hate, my best friend Jacy, even he's acting weird. And some stalker isn't content to just watch anymore.
Ali. Dancergirl. Whatever you know me as, however you've seen me online, I've trained my whole life to be the best dancer I can be. But if someone watching has their way, I could lose way more than just my love of dancing. I could lose my life.
If you don't have a copy and want to read and join in the discussion on Friday, March 13 at 12:30PM PT, go to Amazon and get it as an ebook!
The book is a fun, fast thrill ride - a real page-turner! But what's really exciting for me is to have Carol Tanzman herself there to chat with us. Here are some things I'd like to talk about:
1. People film everything these days – and in some cases, it’s almost expected (concerts, outdoor performances, speeches). How did you feel about Ali’s video being posted online the first time? Was it an invasion of privacy or an act of admiration?
2. Dancers love to be watched – and so do lots of people. Photos and videos are posted all the time just for the likes. Is that part of our culture now? Is it something that will go away? Will it get worse and if so, how?
3. Did you guess Ali’s stalker? Did you find yourself suspecting everyone as she did?
4. Cyberbullying is a big topic these days. Do you think the concerns are founded or is it simply a more visible way for people to be mean to each other? Is it really a major issue for kids and teens? (and even adults!)
5. Many dancers, like actors, adopt a persona on stage in order to separate themselves from criticism. This seems to be what many people do on social media. But what does that do to our sense of selves? Does that confuse who we are?
6. This book was written and published 4 years ago. Do you think things have changed online? Have people become more or less sensitive to others’?
7. As parents, what should we be on the lookout for? Should we let our kids handle things themselves? As teachers, should we be sensitive to videos that go online from dance competitions or recitals?
And for Carol:
1. Did a singular event inspire you to write this?
2. What was the process? Did you write from experience? Did you do a lot of research?
3. Why did you choose a dancer as your main character? Could Ali have been a musician or performance artist?
4. Social media moves very fast. Is there anything you would update in your book now? Have you seen things change or evolve since the book was published?
5. When you started writing, did you know who the stalker would be? Did you already have an ending in place? How do you write the “red herrings”?
6. Would you ever write a sequel? What would Ali’s next story be?
7. Do you have literary inspirations? Are there mystery writers you like? What are you working on now?