Why Will’s Story?
Jaye Robin Brown
When you write a novel, your characters become a part of your extended family. They’re a little bit you, a little bit the people you know, a little bit of your imagination. So when I finished NO PLACE TO FALL, it was sad to say goodbye to Amber and Devon and Will and all of the others and let them travel out to the readers. Because that’s how it happens. When your book is published it’s no longer yours, it’s the readers, and sometimes what they react to is surprising.
In the case of NO PLACE TO FALL (spoiler alert) a number of readers had strong reactions to Will cheating on his girlfriend. I probably shouldn’t have been surprised, but I was. I mean, I knew Will. I knew his heart. I knew the history between he and Amber Rose. But you know what? It wasn’t on the page so the reader didn’t know.
This is how WILL’S STORY began to percolate. I wanted to give him his day in court, so to speak. I knew his heart was true. I knew he was a good guy underneath that mistake-making teenage boy.
The story follows some of the same time line as the novel so we can see things through Will’s eyes, but it would have been derivative if that’s all it had to offer. I wasn’t sure how I would add in new scenes while also staying true to the original book. But as the writing happened, the stories came forward. Will’s relationship with his own music, his sometimes fractious relationship with his father and how that came to be, and also more of his relationship with his brother Devon. And of course, the all important “what was he thinking!” when it came to the two Ambers.
I hope I redeemed him. Because to me, Will McKinney will always be a nice guy. I hope you think so, too.
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.
No Place to Fall by Jaye Robin Brown
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.
(please note that one is specifically US ONLY and the other INTL ONLY)
– US ONLY-
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