My novel, Come Dancing, is about a young woman who works in book publishing, and who meets a famous British rock guitarist. Their relationship is the epitome of the saying, “Opposites attract”. Many readers have commented on how they’ve enjoyed the sizzle and humor in the book, and how the sparks fly off the pages. The 1981 New York City setting intrigues people too!
I began writing Come Dancing in 2009, on the thirtieth anniversary of my arrival in Manhattan. I wanted to describe what it was like in the early Eighties, when the city was still rough along the edges. And when nightclubs like the Palladium, the Roxy, Danceteria, and the Mudd Club attracted a huge mix of people from many different strata of society.
Back then, you could go out dancing and run into just about anyone: actors, politicians, rock musicians. Celebrities weren’t surrounded by bodyguards; the assumption was that if you were allowed into a club, you were cool. No one was going to harass anybody; after all, this was downtown. And there were no cell phones back then. People didn’t walk around with a camera in their pockets 24/7—so if you were famous, you didn’t have to worry about being photographed every time you turned around. That made for a much more open atmosphere, where regular people rubbed shoulders with the glitterati as everyone cut loose on the dance floor. (True story: once I went to a rock concert at Radio City, and three days later I met the lead singer at a party. He was obnoxious!)
I also wanted to write about book publishing before the advent of e-readers and computers, when we were all lugging home 400-page manuscripts every night. As with the music biz, the changes have been seismic. I have been a book editor for over thirty years; for several decades as an acquiring in-house editor in New York City, and now I have my own editing business. Over the years, many people have asked me what editorial meetings are really like—so I’ve included some of those in my novel.
I hope that you’ll enjoy Come Dancing! I love hearing what readers think, so please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m currently working on a sequel, and it’s helpful to hear what readers want to see more of, or perhaps less of in the next novel, which picks up where Come Dancing left off.
Leslie Wells left her small Southern town in 1979 for graduate school in Manhattan, after which she got her first job in book publishing. She has edited forty-eight New York Times bestsellers in her over thirty-year career, including thirteen number one New York Times bestsellers. Leslie has worked with numerous internationally known authors, musicians, actors, actresses, television and radio personalities, athletes, and coaches. She lives on Long Island, New York.
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About Come Dancing
Title: Come Dancing
Author: Leslie Wells
Publisher: Allium Press
Release Date: June 8, 2014
Julia is a book-loving publisher’s assistant. Jack is a famous British rock star. “Opposites attract” is an understatement.
It’s 1981. Twenty-four-year-old Julia Nash has recently arrived in Manhattan, where she works as a publisher’s assistant. She dreams of becoming an editor with her own stable of bestselling authors—but it is hard to get promoted in the recession-clobbered book biz.
Julia blows off steam by going dancing downtown with her best friend, Vicky. One night, a hot British guitarist invites them into his VIP section. Despite an entourage of models and groupies, Jack chooses Julia as his girl for the evening—and when Jack Kipling picks you, you go with it. The trouble is … he’s never met a girl like her before. And she resists being just one in a long line.
Jack exposes her to new experiences, from exclusive nightclubs in SoHo to the Chateau Marmont in Hollywood; from mind-bending recording sessions to wild backstage parties. Yet Julia is afraid to fall for him. Past relationships have left her fragile; one more betrayal just might break her.
As she fends off her grabby boss and tries to move up the corporate ladder, Julia’s torrid relationship with Jack takes her to heights she’s never known—and plunges her into depths she’s never imagined.
With a fascinating inside look at publishing, this entertaining story of a bookish young woman’s adventures with a rock superstar is witty, moving, and toe-curlingly steamy.
Praise for Come Dancing
“Leslie Wells brings to life all the eclectic, edgy style of New York City at the dawn of the 1980s as she spins a story of spine-tingling romance and the complex issues that can threaten a relationship. Through her effervescent writing style she catapults the reader into a world of excess and indulgence, while delving into some honest and heartfelt struggles along the way. … Come Dancing is a love story with lots of heart and plenty of heat.” —Casee Marie, Literary Inklings Book Reviews
“5 Blushing Stars!! Come Dancing is quite the story. I loved this story and could not put it down. I got lost in the story, imagining the rock stars and their groupies partying it up, while finding themselves and falling in love. Opposites certainly do attract and make for an explosive time! You will love the many layers of Jack; you will also want to smack him at times too. Julia will have you rooting for the underdog and wishing she had a better clothes fund :) Through it all, the many naysayers and people out to split them up, they make it work! Fate seems to finally take its stand and allows for this fairytale story to end the way it should—hot, sexy and combustible!” –Kellie, Blushing Divas Book Reviews
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