Sassy's X-Mas Bash - Lesa Howard! Interview & Giveaway!

Don't forget, head on over to our kick off post to enter our huge Christmas giveaway! You just might be the lucky winner for a $10 Amazon gift card and 1 out of 13 YA books!

Title: Phantom's Dance
Author: Lesa Howard
Genre: Young Adult, Romance
Release Date: April 6th, 2014
Publisher: Boot in the Door Publications

BUY LINKS: | Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository |
Christine Dadeys's family uprooted their lives and moved to Houston for her to attend the prestigious Rousseau Academy of Dance. Now, two years later, Christine struggles to compete among the Academy’s finest dancers, her parents are on the brink of divorce, and she’s told no one about her debilitating performance anxiety and what she’s willing to do to cope with it.

Erik was a ballet prodigy, a savant, destined to be a star on the world’s stage, but a suspicious fire left Erik’s face horribly disfigured. Now, a lonely phantom forced to keep his scars hidden, he spends his nights haunting the theater halls, mourning all he’s lost. Then, from behind the curtain he sees the lovely Christine. The moldable, malleable Christine.

Drawn in by Erik’s unwavering confidence, Christine allows herself to believe Erik’s declarations that he can transform her into the dancer she longs to be. But Christine’s hope of achieving her dreams may be her undoing when she learns Erik is not everything he claims. And before long, Erik’s shadowy past jeopardizes Christine’s unstable present as his obsession with her becomes hopelessly entangled with his plans for revenge.

#1. What was your favorite thing about writing Phantom's Dance?

That really has two answers. First, any Phantom story always feels epic to me. And I love that feeling. Second, I think I really enjoyed the research into a ballet dancer's life. I found it fascinating and had no idea the kind of hard work and dedication it takes. In the end, though, it's like anything you want to do, even writing. If you want it bad enough you are willing to sacrifice for it.

#2. Did you ever want to give up on it? 

I did give up on it! At one point it collected dust on the virtual shelf of my laptop. But with the help of my critique group partners, I managed to figure out what was missing and feel pretty happy with how it went in the end.

#3. Do you listen to music while you write? 

Absolutely. Mostly it was ballet scores, in particular the Dance of the Knights from Romeo and Juliet. It became my Phantom's theme song. To me the piece sounds dark and foreboding, which really suited him. Somehow current music didn't work. I couldn't get motivated by it. Again, I think that's because the story felt epic to me. So I needed music that didn't fit any certain era of time, rather it fit a mood.

#4. What are three things your reader doesn't know about your book, Phantom's Dance? 

1. My phantom was older than he is now, like Gaston Leroux's original. But I changed it to a man nearer Christine's age.
2. The phantom Erik was going to be a hip-hop dancer who hid behind a hoodie and aviators. 
3. The book didn't really turn out how I'd anticipated, the way I thought it would. As the character Erik developed, I had to make some choices I hadn't seen coming. This made it different than many of the other retellings. 

#5. What is your favorite thing about Christmas? 
The music. It's timeless and can cheer up the dreariest of people.

#6. Do you have any upcoming projects? 

Yes, I'm developing the plot to a New Adult novel in which one of the characters, the protagonist's love interest and the book's male lead, uses a wheelchair. Here's its one line summary:

Tired of being her family's meal ticket, a young woman determines to break free of her derelict family and their unscrupulous ways.

Thank you so much, Lesa for being a part of this Christmas Bash! 

I'm delighted to get to participate. Merry Christmas and Happy Reading to everyone.

I'm not the typical author. I didn't always enjoy reading or writing. 
While in school, I found it to be a chore I'd just as soon skip. I would rather have been daydreaming, my favorite past time.

It wasn’t until I grew up and didn’t have to, that I realized reading was fun. I soon discovered that reading fueled my daydreaming. So, remembering a short story I'd written in high school, I began imagining expanding that story into a book.

 Before long I found I had loads of ideas for not just the short story but other books and stories as well. Fast forward a few years, a lot of studying about writing, practicing my writing, studying some more, taking classes from people who knew what they were doing, studying and practicing yet more, and ta-dah, author! In the same way I had learned I loved reading, I learned I loved writing, too. It’s just that writing is a lot harder than reading.

                                                       Connect with Lesa Howard! 

                                             | Website | Twitter | GoodReads | Facebook |

Happy reading!


  1. Hi, Ms. Sassy aka Talina! Thanks so much for organizing this Christmas Bash. And more than that thanks for asking me to participate. I'm honored that you read and liked my novel, Phantom's Dance. Happy holidays to you and all your fabulous followers!

    1. Hi Lesa! Thank you for joining in on this bash! It was so much fun having you! :) I hope to read more work of yours in the future. Happy holidays!


Thanks so much for stopping by!

Latest Instagrams