What has Jaye Robin Brown’s journey to being a published author been like? “Magic and dreams. It’s incredibly surreal. I mean, when I really think about the fact that HarperCollins is my – my! – publisher, it’s mind blowing.”
Brown’s debut novel, No Place to Fall is “twangy, romantic, and heartfelt,” according to Brown. It centers on Amber Vough, a good girl forced to choose between her family and her dreams.
The inspiration for No Place to Fall was something close to Brown’s heart.
“The place I live, the students I teach, and the idea of having a dream bigger than your circumstances. That feeling of longing, of knowing you’re made for greatness, but being a little bit humble and a lot clueless as to how to get there,” said Brown.
Though she loves to sing, she… can’t.
“That’s why I gave Amber the voice I’ve always wished I had.”
Not being able to sing hasn’t stopped her from singing, though. Another thing she enjoys? Listening to music.
“I tend to lean toward indie rock and alt country – favorites on the playlist now are Girl In A Coma, Shovels And Rope, Jim White, The Black Keys, The Avett Brothers, and local bands like The Honeycutters and Underhill Rose. I also love singing along to Lucinda Williams, Emmy Lou Harris, Patsy Cline, and Patty Griffith.”
As is the case for many authors, No Place to Fall was not the first book Brown attempted to get published.
“I had a first agent and a first book on submission that didn’t sell, but with my agent Alexandra and No Place To Fall, it all clicked. It typically takes me 9 months to a year to write a novel, which was the case with my debut. I started querying in June and signed with Alexandra in August. By September I had an offer, in October I had a deal. I think that’s relatively fast,” said Brown.
Brown’s experience has been made easier with the support of the OneFour KidLit group, which she was introduced to through a fellow 2014 debut author.
“My book sold in October of 2012 and shortly after I announced, Julie Murphy (author of Side Effects May Vary), reached out to me, telling me about the group. The most helpful part of the group is our behind-the-scenes forum where we post questions, exciting news, confusion, and basically muddle through this amazing process together,” said Brown.
Though the journey to publication can be wrought with ups and downs, Brown says she really can’t think of any part that’s been crazy.
“My sale to pub date has been pretty long, so I’ve never been rushed at any stage. I did do a pretty major edit round over the summer, I guess to someone outside looking in, that probably looked insane!”
No Place to Fall was sold to HarperTeen as part of a two-book deal. Though she can’t say much, Brown did have a few details to share concerning her next book.
“My second book is another stand-alone contemporary. Since my editor and I are still working out the details on that one, I’ll just say it’s about grief, family, a serious girl, and a beautiful boy who operates a popsicle truck with his mother. It’s set in Savannah, Georgia.”