Monday, August 2, 2010

Salley Vickers

Salley Vickers is the author of Dancing Backwards. She has worked as a dancer, an artist’s model, a university professor of literature, and a psychoanalyst.

From her interview with Jonathan Ruppin:

Q. The story interweaves Violet’s past and present. Do you write the two strands separately or concurrently?

A. No, I wrote the strands concurrently, always waiting in the present strand to see what would be thrown up from the past. I had no idea myself what had happened to Violet, or what the nature of the rift with Edwin was. So it was intriguing to find this out as I wrote. I never do know what is going to happen or what has happened in my books.

Q. Dino, the dance host with whom she strikes up a friendship, has a reason to feel guilty about something, but Violet forgives him; is this because her trip is motivated by her own guilt at betraying Edwin the old friend she is going to see?

A. I think it is a bit more complex that that. She has a fellow feeling with Dino – an affinity of damage, perhaps because both have lost, in a sense, mothers. As she thinks later, when considering her relationship with Dino, In sparing others we our selves may be spared. So it is in the sparing of him that she feels herself forgiven. For me that is the key line in the novel.

Q. The cruise ship setting for the book came to you after you gave a talk on the Queen Mary II and took ballroom dancing lessons while on board. Are any of the characters in the book based on anyone you encountered at sea?

A. I...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue