Will's Story Tour: Jaye Robin Brown Interview & Giveaways

Welcome! Welcome! 

For today's stop for the Will's Story tour, I had a very important Educator perspective question for Jaye Robin Brown. See what JRo has to say about being a Teacher and Writer.

Teaching and Writing – How does that work?

Can I say I loved being given the topic of how my teaching affects the creative process of writing? Both are things I’m passionate about and both are things that require a tremendous amount of dedication. So their co-existence is a bit of a marvel.

However, that said, I feel that my time with my students is a bit like living in a 24/7 story generator. When I write, particularly as someone far from her own teenage years, I check in constantly to make sure I’m not putting too much of an adult lens on my characters. I watch my students. Listen to my students. Engage with my students. And though I never lift a person whole cloth from life to the page, there are certainly pieces, mannerisms, and turns of phrase that make their way from classroom to creation.

I’m also fortunate because I’m the visual arts teacher. I think creativity feeds creativity and in guiding my students through that discovery process for themselves, it helps me with my own. It also works my hands as well as my head and I think when we can engage more of our own senses, that helps keep the creative juices flowing.

One negative impact of teaching on the creative process is time. As any teacher knows, the teacher life can consume. You could spend every waking minute thinking about your students, your classroom, and your program. I often think the whole old-fashioned model of spinster schoolmarm was there for a reason. Total dedication to other people’s children. But this is not then, and I feel like I’m a better teacher when I can bring a fuller experience to my students. And writing is one of those. So though it is sometimes nice to fantasize about full-time writer life, this is my reality. Which means I’ve learned to be disciplined and structured. I have a set time every morning (early, early, early!) and then the weekends. Evenings I’m usually too wiped out from the classroom.

And if I’m honest with myself, the structure and discipline of my job makes my writing better. In Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, BIG MAGIC, she has a chapter on writing and a day job. This quote resonated: “There’s no dishonor in having a job. What is dishonorable is scaring away your creativity by demanding that it pay for your entire existence.” As teachers, I think we are doubly lucky, because our job IS as creative as our writing.

So, write on fellow teachers! You are some of the most creative individuals out there.
by Jaye Robin Brown
Published December 9, 2015 by HarperTeen
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.
by Jaye Robin Brown
Published April 5, 2016 by Epic Reads Impulse
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.

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.

There are 2 giveaways happening during this tour. There's a US only giveaway and an International giveaway. Please take notice!

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