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A Conversation with Alli Sinclair, author of “Luna Tango.”


By Simon McDonald, Editorial Manager | simon@thereadingroom.com

Alli Sinclair is Australian-born but spent her early adult years traveling the globe. She has scaled mountains in Nepal, Argentina, and Peru; rafted the Ganges, and rode a camel in the Sahara. She called both Argentina and Peru home for a few years. When she wasn’t working as a mountain or tour guide, Alli could be found in the dance halls perfecting the tango, salsa, merengue, and samba. All of these adventures made for fun storytelling, which is how Alli discovered her love of writing. Fast forward to the present, and Alli is just weeks away from the release of Luna Tango, the first in The Dance Card trilogy, published by Harlequin (MIRA) Australia in August. Check out the interview and read a sample of the novel here.

Alli, congratulations on the forthcoming release of Luna Tango! How does it feel to be weeks away from being a fully-fledged author?
I don’t think it’s sunk in yet! It’s all very exciting but sometimes it feels surreal, like it’s happening to someone else. Perhaps reality will hit when I finally walk into a bookstore and see Luna Tango on the shelves. Just a warning: my squeals of delight are likely to be heard around the world!

On your blog you mention this, seeing your books in bookstores, is a dream 10 years in the making, finally coming true. Were there ever any doubts, and how did you overcome them?
Oh, doubt visited me a lot over the years, but I always shooed it away and invited perseverance and hope to stay instead. I also surround myself with people who believe in me, and I’m blessed to have a wonderful support group of friends, family, and other writers who are my personal cheer squad and have helped me get through the really tough days. I truly believe it takes a village to write a book.

What were the books that inspired you into chasing this dream? Were there any novels in particular that made you think: I want to write something like this.
There are so many books that have inspired me over the years but the ones that appeal most are those written by writers from India and South America. A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth is a fascinating family saga that weaves in historical facts with romantic tragedy, and Isabel Allende’s books have characters with immense depth and richness. For me, there isn’t just one novel that set me on this path as a writer; it’s a culmination of years of reading across various genres and taking inspiration from the stories or characters that appeal to me most.

Your love of dance permeates Luna Tango. In the novel, journalist Dani McKenna delves into the world of tango to expose the decades of lies and deception that threaten three generations of her family. What is it about music and dance you find so inspiring?
When we listen to music or watch dance or study a painting, we bring our own life experiences with us, and this affects how we interpret the art form. Humans are complex creatures, and I find it fascinating how one person can be moved to tears of sadness by a song or dance, yet someone else is taken on a journey of pure joy. This contrast is what inspired Luna Tango as all the characters have a different relationship with the dance and music—some tragic, some blissful, some deadly—and that relationship is dependent on their past and present experiences.

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