Saturday, December 2, 2017

{Blog Tour} THE CHAOS OF STANDING STILL by Jessica Brody—Author Interview + Giveaway

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The Chaos of Standing Still
by Jessica Brody

Over the course of one chaotic night stranded at the Denver airport, Ryn confronts her shattered past thanks to the charm of romance, the uniqueness of strangers, and the magic of ordinary places in this stunning novel from the author of Boys of Summer.

Ryn has one unread text message on her phone. And it’s been there for almost a year. She hasn’t tried to read it. She can’t. She won’t. Because that one message is the last thing her best friend ever said to her before she died.

But as Ryn finds herself trapped in the Denver International Airport on New Year’s Eve thanks to a never-ending blizzard on the one-year anniversary of her best friend’s death, fate literally runs into her.

And his name is Xander.

When the two accidentally swap phones, Ryn and Xander are thrust into the chaos of an unforgettable all-night adventure, filled with charming and mysterious strangers, a secret New Year’s Eve bash, and a possible Illuminati conspiracy hidden within the Denver airport. But as the bizarre night continues, all Ryn can think about is that one unread text message. It follows her wherever she goes, because Ryn can’t get her brilliantly wild and free-spirited best friend out of her head.

Ryn can’t move on. But tonight, for the first time ever, she’s trying. And maybe that’s a start.

As moving as it is funny, The Chaos of Standing Still is a heartwarming story about the earth-shattering challenges life throws at us—and the unexpected strangers who help us along the way.

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Age Group/Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
 Publisher: Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster
Purchase: Amazon • B&N • Kobo • iBooks • IndieBound

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with Jessica Brody


LM: What inspired you to write The Chaos of Standing Still?

Jessica: The book, as you read it now, is actually not the book I started writing. Originally, I just wanted to challenge myself as a writer, to see if I could write a rom com set in an enclosed setting and have the two characters believably fall in love in only 24 hours. So I set out to write a book about two teens who meet while trapped in the Denver airport during a snow storm. And although all of that is still in there, something interesting happened as I starting writing.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, a new character appeared. Her name was Lottie. She was unlike any character I’d ever written. She was vivacious. She was bubbly. She spoke her mind. She was funny. And she was very, very dead.

I had no idea what to do with that. Dead Lottie was definitely not in my original rom com outline. But once Lottie was unleashed into the story, everything changed. It was no longer a cute, fun rom-com about a girl getting trapped in the Denver airport and falling in love. It soon became so much more than that. It became a story about a girl who lost her best friend and has been unable to let her go. Literally. Lottie is trapped inside Ryn’s head, still talking to her, still guiding her in death, just like she did in life.

So the story quickly morphed from a carefree, cute rom com to a rom com with this extra layer to it. A layer of unresolved grief. A topic I’d never touched before in my career.

LM: Describe your main character, Ryn, in five words!

Jessica: A planet out of orbit.

LM: Tell us a behind-the-scenes story about this book!

Jessica: Well, here’s more of a “fun fact” about the book but it’s one I love to tell people. The “Secret Starbucks” that the characters visit in the Denver airport actually exists and many Denver locals don’t even know about it.

I lived in Denver and flew in and out of the airport for more than 5 years before I found out there was a Starbucks hidden deep within the B terminal. I always thought the Denver airport was mysteriously a Starbucks-free zone. Au contraire. It’s about a half of a mile away from everything else, you have to walk into practically another time zone, but it’s there. And I still meet local Denver residents all the time who have no idea it exists. So I decided I HAD to make it a location in the story. If for no other reason than to enlighten people who fly through Denver and have a serious Starbucks craving.

LM: If this book had a theme song, what would it be?

Jessica: Despite the fact that, in the book, Xander literally serenades Ryn in the airport food court, singing “Eternal Flame” by the Bangles at the top of his lungs, this is not theme song of the novel. Although there is some thematic connection between that song and the story, that song is more featured in the book for fun.

I would definitely say the theme song of this book is “Let Her Go” by Passenger. In fact, it’s quoted at the beginning of the novel.

Well you only need the light when it's burning low 
Only miss the sun when it starts to snow
Only know you love her when you let her go.

Yup, that definitely embodies Ryn’s journey.

LM: What did you consider the most challenging part of writing The Chaos of Standing Still?

Jessica: You would think, given that I’ve never written about grief before, that that would have been the most challenging aspect of the story. But actually, that part just poured out of me. Like I, too, had some unresolved grief to deal with and this novel was my therapy. That part surprisingly came really easy to me.

I guess I would say that keeping the location of the novel from feeling “claustrophobic” was a bit of a task. Since it is a single location story, I had to be careful that the book didn’t feel cramped. Like everything was happening in the same place, which could get boring. So I tried to move my characters around the airport as much as possible. Fortunately I’ve spent a lot of time in the Denver Airport. I know every nook and cranny of that place. It was fun incorporating some of the lesser known locations into the story (see question number 3 above!)

LM: Tell us what you enjoy doing when you aren't writing!

Jessica: Um, I don’t understand the question. I feel like I’m always writing. LOL.

Okay, but seriously. I do love to travel and spend time with my dogs. We have a four-year-old golden retriever who has LOADS of energy and needs so much exercise and activity. So I’m always on the hunt for new things to do with her. Just this month, I found an indoor pool for her to swim in during the winter months! (Picture below)
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Jessica Brody knew from a young age that she wanted to be a writer. She start-ed self “publishing” her own books when she was seven years old, binding the pages together with cardboard, wallpaper samples, and electrical tape.

After graduating from Smith College in 2001 where she double majored in Eco-nomics and French and minored in Japanese, Jessica later went on to work for MGM Studios as a Manager of Acquisitions and Business Development. In May of 2005, Jessica quit her job to follow her dream of becoming a published author.

Since then, Jessica has sold over twelve novels for teens, tweens, and adults including 52 Reasons to Hate My Father, The Karma Club, My Life Undecided, and the three books in the Unremembered trilogy, the first of which is currently in development as a major motion picture by the producers of The Vampire Academy, Zero Dark Thirty, Life of Pi, and Slumdog Millionaire. In 2016, she will release two new contemporary novels, A Week of Mondays (August) and Boys of Summer (April), and in 2017, her debut middle grade novel entitled, Addie Bell’s Shortcut to Growing Up, will hit bookstore shelves. Jessica also writes books for the Descendants: “School of Secrets” series, based on the hit Disney Channel Original movie, Descendants!

Jessica’s books are published and translated in over twenty foreign countries. (Click here for a full list of foreign sales and publishers.) She currently splits her time between California and Colorado.



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Huge thanks to Jessica for answering my questions so thoughtfully!

Readers, please continue on for giveaway details! ~


a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thanks so much for stopping by! Happy Reading!

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