I am thrilled to introduce you to my dear friend Paige Crutcher. She is a gifted woman in so many respects - both as a writer, a journalist (she works for Publishers Weekly) and a yoga teacher. When you hear me mention my guru, this is who I'm speaking of. She's given me so much, and I'm so excited to be able to pay back just a bit by sharing her HUGE news - her debut novel, THE ODYSSEY OF FALLING, came out on Tuesday! This book is so fantastic, a really meaty, important, beautifully written YA novel about the journey of a young girl named Odd. I can't recommend it highly enough. And Paige's journey to publication is a study in perseverance and strength. I admire her so much. Without further ado...
Set your music to shuffle and hit play. What’s the first song that comes up?
Pale Blue Eyes by The Velvet Underground.
It’s haunting, comforting, and somehow seductive. It sets the stage nicely for writing about the magical and complicated (and sometimes horrible) world of being a teen – and tapping into that time in your life when all the firsts are experienced and everything feels huge. Because it really kind of is.
Now that we’ve set the mood, what are you working on today?
Well, my book released today, so I’m working on not wigging out. Because it’s a pretty surreal feeling to acknowledge that something I made is now out there in the world, for anyone to read. I feel rather naked, and vulnerable, so I’d say today I am working on channeling my brave.
Then I’ll be revising my new contemporary YA novel about a group of misfits in the 90s who reinvent themselves as renegade Merry Pranksters.
What’s your latest book about?
The Odyssey of Falling is about a girl named Odd who finds her recently deceased best friend’s journal, and decides to do the bucket list tucked inside the pages. It’s about loss, hope, getting into trouble, and falling in love. It’s about growing up and growing into who you are meant to be.
Where do you write, and what tools do you use?
My laptop, my hands, and occasionally a really awkweird grimace. I write at my desk, at the kitchen table, in bed, on the couch, on a box, by a fox, wearing socks. I am horrible at routine, and prefer to have alternate views of the world as I slip into a story one.
What was your favorite book as a child?
Anne Rice’s Memnoch the Devil. I read it when I was thirteen or fourteen and it has stayed with me. The language and imagery are gorgeous, and the book made me think. It gave me an escape, and mesmerized me, but it also made me really think about the world, God, and how I viewed it.
What’s your favorite bit of writing advice?
Trust your characters. It can be really hard to trust yourself if you look at writing from the perspective that you’re in control, or the puppet master pulling the strings. If, instead, you trust your characters and acknowledge that the story is their own – and that they know what to do -- I find it’s immensely freeing and a heck of a lot of fun.
What do you do if the words aren’t flowing?
Watch Buffy? Usually I go for a walk, talk plot hiccups with my critique partners or husband, and come back to the page. I put on really angsty indie tunes and get the hell out of my own way. Once I stop fighting myself (or listening to the mean little inner critic), I find story is right where I left it.
What would you like to be remembered for?
For being a damn fine writer, and one hell of a friend. As someone who loved well, made a difference in the lives she encountered, and had a passionate and wonderful love story. And if it’s not too much to ask, I wouldn’t mind being remembered as a super hero. Peaceful Paige—the girl who spread hope.
Paige Crutcher is a journalist for Publishers Weekly, a yoga instructor, and a voracious reader. She lives outside of Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband, two small dogs, her overactive imagination, and a houseful of books. The Odyssey of Falling is her first book. You can learn more about Paige at: paigecrutcher.com
More About THE ODYSSEY OF FALLING
Meet Odd. Audrey “Odd” Ashworth is an exceptionally bright girl with a sympathetic heart. She’s in the top 4% of her class. She’s obsessed with getting into Manhattan School of Music, committed to following the “signs” the universe delivers, and infatuated with the boyfriend of her recently deceased best friend.
Life is a little strange for Odd.
Until she finds her best friend’s diary in her crush’s car, and decides to do the bucket list tucked inside the pages. As Odd seeks closure and a way to honor her friend, she discovers there’s nothing wrong with a little strange, especially if it helps you discover who you were meant to be. Along the way, Odd falls into trouble, adventure, and finally love.