Monday, April 11, 2016

WILL'S STORY by Jaye Robin Brown - Interview and Giveaway

WILL'S STORY, the companion novella to NO PLACE TO FALL, by Jaye Robin Brown is available now! I had an opportunity to meet Jaye on her book tour last year and she mentioned a banjo playing heartthrob, she sold me on her book. That banjo player is Will and now we get to learn his side of the story! 

Today I am pleased to host JRo (as she is called by her friends) for the WILL'S STORY Tour.
Check out the Q&A and then enter to win JRo's books!
We have 2 tour wide giveaways - one US only and one international!  

Welcome JRo!

What are some of the books that make you fall in love with reading?
    As a little child, I loved the classics MAKE WAY FOR DUCKLINGS and Tasha Tudor's CORGIVILLE FAIR. Both had these wonderfully detailed illustrations that really transported you into another world and I would spend hours poring over the pictures. I knew (and still know) those stories by heart. Some of the books I read in school that I remember making an impact on me were WATERSHIP DOWN, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, and THE SCARLET LETTER. They carry a common thread of injustice and man against a bigger humanity machine. I think high school was when I really started to grasp that fiction could teach you as much about life as non-fiction. 

    As a writer for young adults, I tend to be inspired by smart dialogue and stories that make me cry or swoon. Some of the writers I think do it best are Jandy Nelson, Emery Lord, Laini Taylor, Nina LaCour, though there are many others and I could be listing here all day.

    What is the best piece of writing advice you ever received?

    Find the heart of your story. 

    Writers love the written word, and as a result we (or maybe it's me I'm talking about) can easily spin into a new direction, a side plot, a character, that isn't really necessary for the trajectory of the tale you're telling. I'm a pantser so I often don't know all of the themes in my novel until I'm finished with a 2nd or 3rd draft. But, once I've figured that out, and figured out the essence of what I'm trying to say, it's important to make sure the entire novel flows in that direction.

    What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

    Be kind to yourself. The novels you're grabbing off the shelves at the library have been through many, many, many revision rounds, at least three with a professional editor and copyeditor. Don't compare.

    Also remember, your path is your path. It may seem like everyone around you has found a perfect CP or landed an agent or sold a book after a week on submission, but it's not that way. They've hit their own roadblocks and hurdles you can't see on social media. So if you find yourself getting scritchy that things aren't happening fast enough or that you'll never reach your goals, take a step back and make it all about the writing again. Focus on your words and your story and let the rest fall away.

    Have interests outside of writing. Writers need to live to be able to bring words and insight to the page. As introverted as we are, it's important to get out there to see how the world interacts and moves and flows so we can bring our perceptions to the page. That's your voice!

    Tell me 5 things about yourself.

    These questions are always so hard. I find myself thinking, "Do they want funny things? Do they want biographical things? Bookish things? Out of all the things in all of the universe I can only pick five. They better be fantastic." Gah. I've paralyzed myself. Okay. Here we go. I'm going with things I've never told in an interview before.

    1. I've never been able to do a cartwheel. Ever.

    2. I have a signed copy of To Kill A Mockingbird. It's a 20th or 25th anniversary edition. My uncle got it for me when he went to Harper Lee's hometown for the event. 

    3. I've worked at two bookstores in my life. One was an antiquarian bookstore in Atlanta, and Whoopi Goldberg came in with her publicist one night. We closed the shop for her and I ran her credit card for her purchase of a first edition Uncle Remus book. She's tiny and very nice. The other store was also in Atlanta, a large independent bookstore now closed, and I worked in the coffee shop. I loved people watching at that job and got my first insight into what it's like as both a superstar author at a signing (Anne Rice - line wrapped all through the store) or a relative unknown (sad little trickle of book buyers). I feel like it prepared me for the latter ;) and gave me something to aspire to in the former!

    4. I'm an obsessive list maker. You'll find scrawled lists that say things like, "Hardware, Bank, Write, Dogs, Elizabeth, Phone" all over my house and desk at work. Occasionally one of the items will be marked through or have a check mark next to it. I don't trust my brain to keep my schedule!

    5. I drive a Mercedes. Granted, it's 15 years old, but man do I love my car. It's 4 wheel drive and a station wagon that can hold about 10 bags of horse feed. I got it after saying goodbye to my 22 year old Toyota Camry (which was still driving fine!). That's one of my main pieces of advice to my students upon graduation. Never waste your money on a new car. You can buy a great car for cheap if you're willing to find one at least 10 years old.

    No Place to Fall 
    by Jaye Robin Brown

    Published December 9th 2014 by HarperTeen
    Summary: 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.

    Will's Story: A No Place to Fall Novella 

    by Jaye Robin Brown
    Published April 5th 2016 by Epic Reads Impulse

    Summary: Will McKinney is a bad boy. At least, he used to be. After nearly getting arrested for some poor decisions involving prescription drugs, Will has been trying to turn over a new leaf. Well, it’s that or suffer the wrath of his father, the judge. Will's starting to get his life in Sevenmile, North Carolina, in order. He’s applying to colleges. He's dating the most popular girl at school. And he recently discovered a love of playing the banjo and performing in front of a crowd. But it's that same love of music that draws him to Amber Vaughn, his younger teenage brother's best friend. Now Will finds himself wondering if he just might really be a bad guy because even though he's got a girlfriend, he can't stop thinking about Amber.

    Will’s Story is a companion novella to Jaye Robin Brown's young adult debut, No Place to Fall, and perfect for fans of her novel and newcomers alike.

    About the Author
    Jaye Robin Brown, or Jro to her friends, lives and writes in the mountains north of Asheville, North Carolina. She's in awe of magic and beauty, and is a stalwart champion for the underdog, both human and other. When she's not writing, you can find her in the art room of the high school where she teaches, or on her small farm hanging out with her dogs, cats, and horses.

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    - US ONLY-


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