Shakespeare, Southern Africa, Spiritual connections, emotional aspects and more add up to make Judy Croome's book a melding of thought processes across many layers of life: ancestral, colonial and philosophical ...
|"On the Prowl" - original art by
Fuz Caforio (c/o Judy Croome)
In this Question and Answer interview Judy gives us more background to her wonderful novel "Dancing in the Shadows of Love", which allows us to explore the world that is Southern Africa, to gain a greater understanding into our humanity ... enjoy!
Judy has kindly offered you a GiveAway ... details to enter are at the end of the post ...
Tell us a little about your novel “Dancing in the Shadows of Love”
In the haunting “Dancing in the Shadows of Love,” three emotionally adrift women fight to heal their fractured worlds. Not everyone can be a hero. Or can they?
Buoyed by touches of magical realism, this story is a spiritual one and, while remaining remarkably areligious and boldly atmospheric, explores the sacrifices people make in the pursuit of a love that transcends everyday existence. Lulu’s quest, and that of Jamila and Zahra too, is to find the divine love that will fulfil their hopes and save their souls...if they can recognise the masks of those who seek to lead them astray.
And you can read reviews or watch the book trailer or read an interview with the cover artist Wenkidu or read chapter one and find out about the quotes I used .
All the chapters in “Dancing in the Shadows of Love” begin with a quote from a Shakespearean play. With the exception of the last chapter’s quote, which comes from the comedy “Love’s Labour’s Lost”, all the other quotes were from tragedies. Was this just a coincidence?
There’s very little that’s coincidental in this story. Each quote sets the scene for the chapter to follow. I want this story to show people that, no matter how bad things get, there is always hope. So the quote “Charity itself fulfils the law, and who can sever love from charity?” (Love’s Labour’s Lost, Act IV, Sc iii) summarises one of the main themes of the novel: compassion, which is the highest form of love, can heal many things wrong in this world.
Isn’t that a naïve outlook? That love solves all?
I prefer “optimistic” or “positive reinforcement” to the word “naïve.” There are so many novels (and movies and songs) which reflect humanity in all its petty meanness and deep depravity. If people are only shown how bad things are, how will we ever reach the highest good we’re capable of? It’s about time someone wrote a story which showed the way things can be, if ordinary people start living in hope rather than living in fear and despair.
In a recent interview author Judith Mercado quoted Zahra, one of the three main characters in “Dancing in the Shadows of Love” who, in the novel, said, “We are lost, and I was aware that the glimpses we have of love, a transcendental love that is sacrosanct, are reserved for the privileged few.” How do you define transcendental love?
Transcendental, or Divine, Love is an a priori human potential that exists within all of us, irrespective of our culture or religion or life circumstances. When we find within us that capacity to overcome our subjective hurts and emotions; when we can reach out a helping hand to others, across all the external barriers and differences that separate us, and all the pain and suffering of our own secret wounds, we transcend our humanity and reach our highest potential as human beings.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once said, "If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man's life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility." When we’re hurting or angry or betrayed, and we can still find the inner strength to tap into that a priori compassion within our soul to disarm our hostility towards others, then we have made the dream of transcendental love a reality.
|Masvingo, near Zvishavane, Zimbabwe
Zahra, lost in her despair, does not realise that this love is available to all of us…if we choose compassion instead of hatred; peace over anger and forgiveness over revenge. And, as Zahra finds out, this love is not reserved for a “privileged few” but is accessible to ordinary people, like me and you, who want to make a difference in the world.
Tell us a little about yourself
Born in a little village called Zvishavane in Zimbabwe, I’ve spent most of my life in South Africa. My diverse career path has had me working as a waitress in a steakhouse; as a bartender in an English pub (to earn money to pay for a hot air balloon ride for my Mom and myself!); and as an accountant, which was my career for many years.
Always fascinated by evolutionary astrology, I resigned as Chief Financial Officer for a large accountancy firm when I got married, and spent the next decade dabbling in writing novels, while studying and practising evolutionary astrology.
I loved helping people through crisis times in their lives, but two years ago, I was so drained from all the emotional counselling, I decided it was time to follow my own destiny and concentrate on my dream of writing fiction. So…here I am!
What natural talent would you like to be gifted with?
The Mozart family on tour:
Leopold, Wolfgang, and Nanneri.
Watercolour by Carmontelle, ca 1763
If I could choose a talent, it would be to write music like Mozart.
Where can we connect with you on-line?
Four random commentators will win one of 2 Paperbacks and 2 eBook editions of “Dancing in the Shadows of Love” offered by author Judy Croome.
- Leave a comment with your email address.
-Only one edition per winner
-Please mention what edition you would like to win if your name is drawn
- Ends (8 October 2011)
Judith Mercado's blog
NB I've put word verification back on ....
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories