Spotlight, Author Interview & Giveaway : Dancing in the White Room by Ute Carbone

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Book Blurb & Info

Dancing in the White Room

Ute Carbone
New from Turquoise Morning Press
Contemporary Women’s Fiction

Dancing in the white room is slang for skiing or boarding in deep powder snow. The dancer is PD Bell, one of the best extreme skiers on the planet. Mallory Prescott, the woman who lives with him and loves him, is used to Bell’s exploits. A patrol woman at Whiteface Mountain near Lake Placid, New York, Mallory is no stranger to risk. But this time Bell is taking on the West Rib of Denali, highest and most dangerous mountain in North America. It’s a descent that has never been done, though it’s been tried. Five years ago, Bell had tried it. The attempt nearly killed him. Five years ago, he promised Mallory he wouldn’t try it again. 

Over the six weeks in which he’s gone, Mallory begins to question her relationship with Bell. Does he really love her? Is he in it for the duration? What has loving him cost her? Mallory’s life choices are thrown into stark relief when her daughter Emily takes a terrible fall. Together with her life-long friend Creech Creches, she must work her way through a maze of uncharted territory at a hospital miles from home.

Dancing in the White Room is the story of the love we keep, the price we pay for that love, and the forgiveness it takes to hold on to what is precious.

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Hi Ute,

Thank you so much for sitting down with Toot's for an interview. If you don't mind, I have some questions for you about your new book Dancing in the White Room and your process for our budding authors as well as fans.

So first off, Dancing in the White Room Questions.......

In your own words, what is Dancing in the White Room about?

It’s set in and around skiing—all the main characters are professional skiers. But really, it’s a love story. Mallory and Bell have been together for seven years and, while Bell (an extreme skier) has gone off to attempt a ski descent that no one has yet achieved, Mallory questions her relationship with him and if it’s worth fighting for. It was a challenge to write a love story where one of the lovers isn’t present in real time.

How did you come up with the title of the book and can you tell us its significance?

I went through several names that didn’t quite work—one I remember was “cloud splitter”. Mallory and Bell live in the Adirondack high peaks, and have a view of Mt. Marcy which is the highest in the state. The Native American name for the mountain is Tawahus, which means cloud splitter. I liked the idea (and the title), but it didn’t really fit the book as a whole.

Then, while researching, I ran across the term “Dancing in the White Room” which is a slang expression that means skiing in powder so deep you can only see the snow around you. It felt perfect, because it worked both literally—a lot of the skiing Bell does could be described this way—and figuratively as a metaphor for Bell and Mallory’s relationship.

Is Dancing in the White Room a standalone book or will it be part of a series?

It’s a standalone, though I have an idea for writing a linked book that would center on Creech, who is a secondary character in this book. It’s just an idea at the moment, and I haven’t sat down to write anything yet.

What was your favorite scene to write for either your hero or heroine in Dancing in the White Room?

A lot of the scenes between Mallory and Bell are written in flash back, but I loved writing their love story—I particularly like the scene where they’re already living together and Mallory gets pregnant. The pregnancy is an accident, and at first Mallory doesn’t want to tell Bell about it at all (she’s thinking about an abortion). In the end, she can’t go through with terminating the pregnancy and when she tells Bell, he goes to the spare room and tells her they can paint it yellow, and then kisses her. There’s this sort of acceptance of the situation, he isn’t angry or upset—he loves Mallory and lets his actions speak for him.

What was the hardest scene to write?

The hospital scenes. There are several scenes where life hangs in the balance. To get the emotional resonance right, I had to put myself in Mallory’s shoes. It wasn’t a fun place to be.

What's your favorite line or quote from this book?

I like the one where Mallory describes a video she and Bell made when they visited New Zealand, because it kind of sums them up—

The mountains of New Zealand serrate the skyline. The powder’s waist deep.

Bell, his skis arching out, makes a smooth S line that tracks behind him like a vapor trail. And I follow in his wake, carving a trail of my own, until there are two hieroglyphs, side by side, indenting the virgin snow.


Do you recall how your interest in writing originated and what made you decide to pursue it as a career?

I’ve always loved to read and I love stories, so I guess it should come as no surprise that I ended up writing them. I didn’t set out to be a writer, though. When my kids were small, I started writing poetry. I discovered a love of words—and from there I started writing fiction, short stories at first that kind of grew into novels. I think, in writing them, I discovered who I was.

What inspires you to put the pen to paper or fingers to the keyboard?

I bribe myself with coffee and chocolate, LOL. Honestly, though, I don’t think I could not write—it’s become a part of who I am. And I have a lot of stories to tell, there are lots of characters in my head that want a turn.

What are some of the elements in/of your writing process?

I write all my first drafts out long hand. I like the physical connection of pen to paper and it also forces me to really examine what I’ve written, because I’ve got to translate my scribbles into real words and sentences on my laptop.

Are you a Plotter or a Panster?

I am a confirmed pantser. Though I guess you could call my handwritten first drafts big messy outlines.

Have you released anything under a different pen name, and if so, is there any difference between them?

No, I keep everything under my own name. For better or worse. My work all falls under the broad category of ‘women’s fiction’, though there’s a range of stuff—Some, like Dancing in the White Room, is more serious contemporary, but I also write romantic comedy and historical.

What's next for you?

Right now, I’m working on a historical novella series that is set in and around clipper ships in the 1850’s. It’s an ongoing story, with each novella being an individual story but also part of a bigger whole story. I’ve got three parts, or about half, of them done—the first two are available for download, the third comes out in April. I’m currently writing part four.

I also have another comedy coming out this summer. And, as mentioned, I’ve got some ideas for another ski-themed story, though that will have to wait until after the series is done.

Is there anything you’d like to add or say to your fans?

I hope you love reading my books as much as I love writing them.

Personal questions......

Now I know this is like asking you to choose between your own children, but out of all your amazing characters, who is your favorite and why?

I don’t know if I can answer that, the others all get jealous if I chose one! I love Mallory’s best friend, Creech, which is why I want to hang out with him some more in another book. I’m really into the hero, Anton, and the heroine, Lenora, of my historical at the moment, probably because I’m spending a lot of time with them. Mandy, the main character in the summer-release comedy ( called Confessions of the Sausage Queen) is a lot of fun to hang out with.

Are there any of your stories or characters that hold a special place in your heart?

Blue, the little girl from my first book, Blueberry Truth, has a warm place in my heart. White Room has a special place, too, because skiing was a big part of my life when I was growing up, so it reminds me of that time.

If the book had to have a theme song, what would it be?

I have a playlist for all my books, and Dancing in the White Room’s playlist has a lot of very diverse stuff on it. Probably, over all, the theme would be “Shotgun Down the Avalanche,” an old Shawn Colvin song.

Can you describe for the readers a perfect day or date for your couple from Dancing in the White Room?

They’re very outdoorsy, so they love going out skiing or hiking.

Lastly, let's steal an idea from the magazines.....What 5 things do fans not know about you and 5 they don't know about the book?

Can I combine them?

I wrote about skiing because it was an important part of growing up for me. My parents owned a small restaurant on the access road to a small ski area in the Adirondacks.

Though Bell and Mallory are both pretty fearless when it comes to skiing, I’m not.

I was on the ski patrol when I was in college, and that’s where a lot of Mallory’s patrol stuff comes from.

Some places have a special place in my heart. Lake Placid, where the book is set, is one of them.

I originally set out to write Dancing as a short story. The story kept getting longer and finally I had to face up to the idea that it wanted to be a novel. (I’m glad it did.)

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for taking time to answer some questions. Congratulations on the new book and I can't wait for everyone to read it!

Author Info

Ute (who pronounces her name Oooh-tah) Carbone is an award winning author of women’s fiction, comedy, and romance. She and her husband live in New Hampshire, where she spends her days walking, eating chocolate and dreaming up stories.

Books and Stories by Ute Carbone:
Blueberry Truth
The P-Town Queen
Searching for Superman
Sweet Lenora
The Lilac Hour
To The Wind

For more about Ute and her books, Please Visit:
Web page:

Ute is giving away a total of 3 ebook copies, winner’s choice of any of her current books, 
including Dancing in the White Room.
~To Enter~
Please fill out the rafflecopter below


  1. Great interview. It's always fun to learn more of the story behind a story and the story behind the author. Can't wait to read this one, too.

  2. Great interview!