A Conversation with Marcia Cebulska, Author of Watching Men Dance

This month on my YouTube channel, She Persists Book Club Author Series, check out my interview with Marcia Cebulska, author of the novel Watching Men Dance (Flint Hills Publishing, 2020).

During our conversation Marcia shares:

  • The inspiration behind her novel
  • How she defines the adventurous woman
  • How she approached the research process and one of the surprising things she learned

*If you enjoy this interview, be sure and subscribe to my channel where I interview an author each month, exploring their work, their experiences and their writer’s journey.

**And, if you love to read women-centric historical fiction as much as I do, please join the She Persists Book Club on Facebook — this is the perfect time as we prepare to make our next book selection! 

Watching Men Dance Story Summary

“She is a wanderer; he will not fly. She is a city girl; he prefers a bison ranch. She grew up in her father’s Greek restaurant; he dances at powwows. Ava and Jesse travel  life together in a turquoise pickup truck, feasting along the way. They settle, raise children, cheat, gamble and fight with great gusto. When Ava leaves to travel around Greece like a female Odysseus, their bonds are tested.”

About Marcia Cebulska

Marcia Cebulska has received the Dorothy Silver Award, the Jane Chambers International Award, and other honors for her playwriting and screenwriting. Her dramatic work has been performed at thousands of venues worldwide and aired on PBS. Marcia’s guided journal, Skywriting, was published in 2019. Her first full-length work of fiction was launched in September of 2020, entitled Watching Men Dance.

My Review of Watching Men Dance

With Watching Men Dance, Marcia Cebulska has crafted a distinctly American tale bringing together first and second generation immigrant characters with an enlightening tour into Native American culture and experiences.

The story, which is set in the 1970s and 80s, begins with Chicago-native Ava, a first generation American who is part Greek and part Polish, who falls in love with Jesse, a Kansan, who is part Native American, Ukrainian and British. Together, they create a life together against the backdrop of a country engaged in many of the same racial, gender and cultural issues relevant today.

I appreciated the realistic complexity of the characters and felt the twists and turns while following the harrowing odyssey Ava embarks on. She rekindles the sparks of her adventurous spirit, all but snuffed out beneath the layers of a life filled to the brim with commitments and responsibilities. Many women will recognize this quandary — the ever present to-do list and family obligations that so often usurp the quiet, flickering flames of personal interests and passions.

As a resident of Kansas, it was fun to read a book with recognizable landscapes and towns. I especially enjoyed learning about the history of Haskell University, a Native American college in Lawrence, KS,

I’ve never read a book quite like this one. It was refreshing to read a story that takes place mostly in the Midwest yet offers a global adventure with a fascinating, passionate and diverse cast of characters.

One of my favorite quotes from Watching Men Dance

“Winter makes you pale. Winter makes you glum. Winter makes you eat every bit of chocolate within a square mile even it means stealing from your own children. Winter makes you turn on all the lights and leave them on all night. Winter makes you impatient. Winter makes you want something, anything, new to begin.” ~ Marcia Cebulska, Watching Men Dance

Your turn! What’s a book you read recently that you loved?

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