7 Questions with Vanessa Torres

1. If you could travel back in time, (assuming there’d be no risk to yourself or changing the course of history) where and when and why would you go?

I love this question! And yet, it’s so hard to choose. Off the top of my head, I’m going to say the 1950s. I love the fashions of the time. I am a sucker for dresses with the cinched waists and circle skirts. The dance world was riding on the coattails of the 40s swing movement, melding with the dawn of rock and roll. Because I am so into music and dance, I imagine I would’ve lived on the dancefloor in the 50s.

2. Your book is set in 1983 Minneapolis. What fascinates you most about this time period?

I lived through the 80s, so it was super nostalgic to write The Turning Pointe. Almost every character is inspired by someone I once knew. All the businesses in the book were real places at one time, places I used to hang out in. I am drawn to the time period because growing up in Minneapolis, the music scene in the 80s was changing and heavily influenced by Prince and his Minneapolis sound. I feel very lucky to have witnessed it first-hand.

3. What elements of this time period do we still see today?

I feel like 80s fashion came back several years ago and never left. Those high-waisted jeans, people! I should’ve kept all my clothes, I swear. Let’s hope the ratted bangs stay in the past though.

4. What kind of insights do you think young people from this time period have?

The digital movement was just starting to happen. I remember feeling like the world was on the brink of getting a whole lot bigger. And it did. That aside, with the lack of cell phones and such, we had to forge friendships and intimate relationships face-to-face. People were more conscious of how much words could hurt with the inability to hide behind a profile photo.

5. Is there an historical tidbit that didn’t make it in the book, but is super interesting?

Hmmm…The Turning Pointe tackles a lot of issues of the time, but I wish I could’ve included more movies of the 80s. The kind we had to go to the video store to rent along with the VCR on which to play them. ☺  And though some did not age well and are a bit cringy, there are so many great 80s movies that are still fun to watch today.

6. What’s your favorite historical fiction (any age!)

I don’t really have a favorite. I love reading about other decades. My historical TBR is huge.

7. What are you working on right now?

I am working on my second book, to be released in 2023. It is another YA novel but will be contemporary. I can’t say too much about it yet, however, I will share that it draws inspiration from my other job as a firefighter/paramedic.

Visit Vanessa’s website, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads.


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