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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Blog tour: "A Part to Play" by Jennifer L. Fry (Interview)

Welcome to our stop on the Virtual Book Tour of "A Part to Play" by Jennifer L. Fry from YANR Blog Tours.

1. Tell us 3 things about yourself that readers would not be able to find online. 

I've been with my husband for nearly 15 years, ever since my senior year of high school. He's my first (and only) love, and I knew I wanted to marry him by the time I got home from our first date. The actual wedding was a mere eight years later.

All of my high school friends thought I was going to major in writing in college, but instead I majored in Art, and started off my career as a graphic designer - then got my teaching credential and now I teach Art. So writing has never been a profession for me (until now).

I'm actually a native born Texan, but I think of myself as a California girl (where I've lived for the past 22 years).

2. Tell us a little bit about your book "A Part to Play" and why readers should check it out. 

A PART TO PLAY is about a teenage actress, Lucy, who loses her sister in a car accident. Because her parents can't cope, they send her off to a performing arts boarding school. Consumed with grief and unable to focus on her school work, Lucy quickly finds herself with failing grades, and on the verge of being expelled. Her saving grace becomes the mysterious music drifting through the school's old heating system. As she searches for the source of the music, she slowly reconnects with the parts of herself lost in the tragedy of her broken home life. And then she meets Chris, the talented but tormented musician, and is swept into an intense relationship...

A PART TO PLAY is worth reading because it's a captivating, emotional journey - a sort of reimagining of Phantom of the Opera.I think teenage girls will be enraptured with the bittersweet romance between Lucy and Chris, and relate to these ordinary characters in extraordinary circumstances.

3. What inspired you to write "A Part to Play"? 

The initial inspiration for my book came from the emotional journey I wanted my main character to take. I wanted to explore how lack of self-belief creates a reliance on others for validation. Lucy has always had shaky confidence - she takes every perceived failure as evidence that she has no talent. But when she loses the people who validate her including her sister and her parents, she is completely lost. From there, I thought of one of my favorite stories, the Phantom of the Opera, and used what I considered the most exciting parts to develop a plot that would help Lucy focus on something new, something that inspired her enough to help her find her way out of the haze of grief.

4. What was your favorite scene to write in "A Part to Play"? 

When Lucy first meets Chris, the mysterious musician. I was so excited when they finally came together, and I couldn't wait to find out what happened. I didn't fully know how it would go until I was actually putting words to paper.

5. If you could one of your characters from the book, who would you be and why? 

While I am probably the most like Lucy, my main character, I've always wished I could be as spunky and cool as her friend Isa. Isa doesn't care what any one thinks about her. She goes to her own beat, she's fearless. And she's got style.

6. What does a typical writing day look for you? 

When I am working on a novel, I have a specific number of words to write and a scene to work on for the day. Ideally, I write in the morning before anything can get in the way, and I close my email and turn off my phone so that I am not distracted. I sit somewhere comfortable, usually the leather chair in my library or on the couch in the living room. And I like to have a cup of tea with me. If I am having trouble with a particular scene, I will reward myself for writing a certain number of sentences by taking a drink of my tea. Silly maybe, but it helps keep me motivated. I usually only write for 2-3 hours, and again that's when I am working on a novel.

7. How do you overcome writer's block? 

I tell myself - it doesn't matter how good it is, or how much sense it makes. You just have to put this many words down. The inner critic is the biggest block I have, so if I allow myself to write something even if I don't think it's very good, then I can usually move past the block. I have endless words in my head, so I always have SOMETHING to write. It may not be the right thing for the scene I am working on, but it keeps me in the flow of writing. If the block is really bad I will get up and do a small chore, like the dishes or fold laundry - just so I can clear my head. Sometimes I will move where I am sitting. But I always force myself to return and finish the goal I set for myself that day.

8. When you're not writing, what are your hobbies and interests? 

I own a business teaching after school digital art classes, so between writing, promoting my book, and everything that goes along with running my business, I find myself with little time for hobbies. I do enjoy taking my dogs out for adventures, reading, movies, and hanging out with my best friend (aka my husband).

9. What is up next for Jennifer Fry?

I hope to finish writing my second book within the next year, and I also hope that my after school business will continue to grow, and eventually maybe the combination of those two things will be enough to support me so I don't have to get a "real" job.

A Part To Play
by: Jennifer L. Fry
Publishing Date: 8/10/12
Publisher: Rogue Phoenix Press
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Pages: 261

When fifteen-year-old actress Lucy Carter loses her older sister in a car accident, her mother shuts down and her father can’t hold the family together. Their only choice is to ship Lucy off to the Edmond School for Performing Arts. But boarding school is no cure for Lucy’s grief. With failing grades, wooden stage performances, and curfew violations, Lucy is threatened with expulsion. For the once talented Lucy, it feels as though she has nowhere to turn.

One night, Lucy hears mysterious music drifting through the school’s old heating system. The music leads her to a troubled but passionate songwriter whose brilliance gives her the strength to perform like never before. Yet their intense relationship puts Lucy in a precarious position: if she follows her muse, will she lose herself? And if she breaks it off, can she stand on her own again?

Jennifer L. Fry is a writer, artist, and teacher in Marin County, California, where she lives with her wonderful husband, two adorable dogs, and orange tabby cat. Though she has been writing since she was young, A Part to Play is her first novel. 


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