James Therrian was born in Michigan and spent most of his early years in the rainy Northwest before following the sun to Maui, Santa Fe, New Mexico & California. An avid writer, James has attended workshops with Lew Hunter of the famed Screenwriting 434 class at UCLA. James currently lives and writes in San Diego and works with the University of California San Diego.
Tyler: Thank you, James, for joining me today. To begin, would you briefly tell us what your new novel, “Dance of the Heart” is about?
James: “Dance of the Heart” is a love story and a story about attractions. The main character Michael is a successful professional dancer who has a happy settled life, which suddenly changes after the death of his dance partner Margo. Her replacement Elizabeth is totally opposite from Margo, who was a nasty bitter woman. Michael is mesmerized by Elizabeth and falls head over heels for her the minute he lays eyes on her. The problem is that Michael is a gay man in a long-term relationship with his lover, David.
Tyler: James, are you a dancer yourself?
James: No I am not a dancer, but enjoy the ballet and performing arts.
Tyler: Where did you come up with the idea for “Dance of the Heart?”
James: It was an idea I came up with for a creative writing class I took years ago. I wanted to show that everyone is the same when it comes to the heart; no matter who we are or whom we love, we all have similar challenges and choices to make in life.
Tyler: Of course, the book is not just about dancing in its literal sense, but about love and how love can change. I am especially struck by the fact that the main character, Michael, is gay and has a lover, David, but then begins to fall in love with his female dance partner, Elizabeth. Do you think it is possible for a person to fall in love with people of both sexes?
James: Yes I do. Many of us have feelings for people who are inappropriate, be it the same sex, someone who is married, or someone we know the people in our lives would not accept, so usually we just keep our feelings hidden. In Michael’s case, the question isn’t whether he has feelings for Elizabeth, it is can he change who he is for love?
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