Saturday, December 13, 2014

0 Jaye Robin Brown, author of NO PLACE TO FALL, on getting out to have fun

What book or books would most resonate with readers who love your book--or visa versa?

The comp that I used when querying was Sara Zarr’s Story of A Girl and I think that still holds true. No Place To Fall is kind of gritty at times and Amber’s life isn’t easy. Some authors who I admire in contemporary are Nina LaCour, Sarah Dessen, Holly Cupala, Robin Constantine, and Emery Lord, to name a few. I would think if readers like contemporary, these might work.

How long did you work on NO PLACE TO FALL?

I’m a consistent drafter, and first drafts typically take me between 8-10 weeks. I write almost every morning for an hour or so and manage to get in, on average, 7k words per week. Then I usually go through one revision on my own, call in my first line reader, then revise as she reads, then on to a beta read or two, and now that I’m agented/editor’ed, on to one of the two of them. I probably wrote/revised the draft of No Place To Fall that my agent signed, in about 9 months. Then my editor and I worked on it for another six months before it went on to fun things like copy edits and first pass pages. I realize that’s not a compartmentalized time line, but publishing doesn’t really work like that.

What did this book teach you about writing or about yourself?

That I’m more tenacious than I realized. I had a couple of pretty major revisions and though it would have been easy to curl into a ball and stay that way, I didn’t. I pulled myself up (after a weekend of horse back riding and forgetting about it) and got to work. And miraculously? I managed to make it through!

What do you hope readers will take away from NO PLACE TO FALL?

That small-town girls from Appalachia have dreams as big as anyone else. And just because your family screws up, or you screw up, it doesn’t have to mark your future actions and choices. Oh. And that banjo players can be super cute!

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?

One of the biggest things we can do as writers is continue to live our lives. It’s hard to bring anything to your stories if your entire worldview is the bright screen of a laptop. Get out. Have fun. Take classes unrelated to writing. One of the best things in my life was a couple of years when a group of my friends had a sort of challenge. We would search for the most interesting and unusual places and experiences to share with each other. It got us off our beaten paths and into parts of our surroundings we might not otherwise have experienced. All of that stuff is great fodder for storytelling!


No Place to Fall
by Jaye Robin Brown
Released 12/9/2014

Amber Vaughn is a good girl. She sings solos at church, babysits her nephew after school, and spends every Friday night hanging out at her best friend Devon’s house. It’s only when Amber goes exploring in the woods near her home, singing camp songs with the hikers she meets on the Appalachian Trail, that she feels free—and when the bigger world feels just a little bit more in reach.

When Amber learns about an audition at the North Carolina School of the Arts, she decides that her dream—to sing on bigger stages—could also be her ticket to a new life. Devon’s older (and unavailable) brother, Will, helps Amber prepare for her one chance to try out for the hypercompetitive arts school. But the more time Will and Amber spend together, the more complicated their relationship becomes . . . and Amber starts to wonder if she’s such a good girl, after all.

Then, in an afternoon, the bottom drops out of her family’s world—and Amber is faced with an impossible choice between her promise as an artist and the people she loves. Amber always thought she knew what a good girl would do. But between “right” and “wrong,” there’s a whole world of possibilities.

Purchase No Place to Fall at Amazon
Purchase No Place to Fall at IndieBound
View No Place to Fall on Goodreads

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Jaye Robin Brown, Jro to her friends, lives on a fourteen acre farm in the mountains  north of Asheville, North Carolina. She is fond of dogs, horses, the absurd and the  ironic. She truly believes laughter and music are the best medicine. When not writing you can find her in the art room of the high school where she teaches.

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