I have a very special guest on CABR today – Jasinda Wilder 😀
She’s the author of the fantastic New Adult (NA) books, Falling Into You and Falling Into Us.
Trust me when I say these are great reads.
Even if first-person narrative ins’t your usual style, you will fall in love with the characters in these books.
What’s more, Jasinda is giving away trade size paperbacks of FIY and FIU (one each) to two lucky winners on CABR 😀
Note: You must have a US mailing address to be eligible.
What inspired you to write the “Falling Into” series?
Well, Falling Into You was initially inspired by real life events. A student of mine lost her boyfriend in a tragic accident much like the one described in chapter 4 of FIY. I originally intended that to be a standalone book. I had zero intention of ever writing a sequel, and i was vocal about that from the very beginning. I just couldn’t–and wouldn’t–put Nell and Colt through any more drama.
They’d been through enough, and another book would just be too much, for me, and for them. But, in the months following the release of FIY, there was such widespread demand for more story, that I knew I had to come up with something. Falling Into Us was my compromise. It let me accomplish several things. I tried to give my amazing and ravenous fans the epilogue and HEA for Nell and Colt that they’d been demanding, while allowing me to tell a fresh new story with new characters and new events.
Tell us about book 1, “Falling Into You“
It’s not really book 1 and book 2, except in that they’re loosely a series. They’re not chronologically subsequent. Falling Into You is about a girl, Nell, who falls in love with her life-long best friend, Kyle.
There’s a horrible accident when Nell and Kyle are 18, and Kyle is killed. His loss is devastating for Nell, and she doesn’t know how to cope with the pain and the loss, and she goes through hell on her way to healing.
Part of that process is discovering love in a very unlikely place: Kyle’s estranged older brother, Colton, who has been through his own version of hell. Together, they heal each other and learn that sometimes love chooses you, rather the other way around.
What is book 2, “Falling Into Us“, about?
Falling Into Us is a parallel book to the original. It begins simultaneously, following the lives of Nell’s best friend, Becca, and Kyle’s best friend, Jason.
We follow Becca and Jason through their lives, experiencing first love through their eyes and watching them deal with the loss of Kyle and Nell’s struggle with that event. Becca and Jason both have their own drama to deal with, ranging from domestic abuse to stuttering and everything in between.
Songs play an integral role in both books, particularly book 1. Did the songs inspire certain scenes or while writing, did particular songs come to mind?
The music is part of the books. Certain scenes are obviously paired with certain songs, and in those cases the music in inextricably interwoven with the scene. They occurred together, rather than one inspiring the other or vice versa.
What is your favourite scene from “Falling Into You” and from “Falling Into Us”?
It’s really hard to pick a favorite scene. That’s like asking me to pick a favorite child. Every scene is my favorite. I could list top favorite scenes by category, meaning favorite emotional scene, favorite sex scene, etc, but that would take up a billion pages.
One of my favorite scenes from Falling Into You is in chapter 8, where Colt forces Nell to face her pain once and for all.
As if she’s struggling with every fiber of her being not to sob, teeth clenched. I can almost see her rocking back and forth, or curled into a fetal position.
I’m through the door and cradling her in my arms in the space of three heartbeats. She fits on my lap, against my chest, in my arms so perfectly. She’s shuddering, trembling, every muscle flexed. I brush her hair back with my fingers, cup her cheek, feel the tension in her jaw. The noise is coming from deep inside her, dragged up from the bottom of her soul. It breaks my heart. Wrecks me.
“Nell. Look at me.” I tip her chin up, and she jerks away, burrows against my chest, as if she wants to climb between my ribs and nestle in the spaces between my heart and my lungs. “Okay, fine. Don’t look at me. But listen.”
She shakes her head, and her fingers grip my bicep so hard I’ll have bruises later. She’s crazy strong.
“It’s not okay,” I tell her. This gets her attention; it’s not what she was expecting. “You don’t have to be okay.”
“What do you want from me?” Her voice is ragged, desperate.
“I want you to let yourself be broken. Let yourself hurt.”
She shakes her head again. “I can’t. If I let it out, it’ll never stop.”
“Yes, it will.”
“No, it won’t. It won’t. There’s too much.” She judders, sucks in a fast breath, and shakes her head in a fierce denial. “It’ll never stop coming out, and I’ll be empty.”
She tries to climb off me, and I let her. She tumbles off the bed, falls to her hands and knees on the floor, scrambles away, and stumbles into the bathroom. I hear her vomit, retch, and stifle a sob. I move to stand in the doorway and watch her. She’s got her forearm gripped in clawed fingers, squeezing so hard trickles of blood drip where nails meet flesh.
Pain to replace pain.
I step in front of her, take her chin in my hand, and force her to look at me. She closes her eyes, jerks away. The sight of her blood makes me panic. I can’t watch her hurt herself. I wrestle with her hand, but she won’t let go, and if I force her, she’ll only hurt herself worse.
I need to know what’s driving this girl. What’s devouring her.
“Tell me.” I whisper the words to her, rough and raw in the unlit bathroom, gray dawn filtering through dirty glass.
“That’s not enough.”
I sigh deeply, glare at the top of her head. She feels it, finally looks up at me with red-laced eyes. Sad, haunted, angry eyes.
“Don’t fucking lie to me, Nell.” The words are grating and too harsh. I regret them, but keep going. “Tell me.”
“No!” She shoves me back so hard I stumble.
I love this scene because it really shows Nell’s desperation, and Colt’s willingness to do whatever it takes to get past her walls. They’re both so vulnerable in this scene, and we can’t help but love them for it.
A scene I really love from Falling Into Us is from chapter 15.
I love this scene for similar reasons as the previous excerpt. Becca’s desperation is palpable. You can feel it. You can see her with her phone, trying to find some scrap of memory of her brother to hold on to, and you just break for her. And you love Jason for the compassionate way he helps her through it.
I would speak to her, some normal interaction such as asking her if she knew where my watch was; she would walk away silently and return with the watch rather than telling me. “Yes” or “no” questions would be answered with a shake or nod of her head. Sometimes she would simply not answer. She would stare at me almost blankly, as if she hadn’t heard me.
I never once found her writing in her journal.
Eventually, I couldn’t take it anymore. I found her sitting on our bed, knees drawn up, Kleenex in one hand, her phone in the other. She was scrolling through her pictures frantically, her thumb swiping across the screen over and over again, and with each photograph she bypassed, her features grew more and more panicked.
I sank onto the bed beside her, sitting cross-legged with my hands on her knees. “Becca? Are you looking for a specific picture?” She nodded without looking at me. “Which one?”
She then did something I’d never seen her do: She signed. I’d heard her say once that when she was really young she used sign language if she couldn’t express herself in verbal speech, but she’d abandoned the use of sign language by fourth grade.
I didn’t know sign language, not even the alphabet. She’d formed an “L” with her right hand, starting near her forehead and drawing it downward to her right hand, which was held as if pointing at me, or a number one.
“I don’t…I don’t know sign language, baby.”
She just shook her head and kept scrolling. I tried to take the phone from her, but she jerked away from me, turning in place so she was facing away. I watched over her shoulder as she scrolled, picture after picture blurring past on the screen, snapped selfies, pics of her and me, her and Nell, random things. Then she reached the end of her photo album on the cell phone, the image bouncing but not swiping. She swiped at it repeatedly, as if unable to comprehend that it was the last picture. She moaned, a high-pitched whine in her throat, and slammed the phone down on the bed, but then immediately picked it up and tapped the blue and white Facebook icon, brought up her photo album in the Facebook app and began the process of frantically swiping through the pictures.
“Becca, honey, talk to me. What are you looking for?” She made the same sign, over and over again, L-shaped right hand brought down from her forehead to her pointing left hand. “I don’t know what that means, Beck. Please, talk to me. Please.”
She shook her head and kept going through her Facebook pictures. When she reached the end of those, she whimpered through clenched teeth and pressed the phone screen to her face, shoulders shaking. Then, with a burst of inspiration, she logged back into Facebook and brought up Kate’s profile page and found her pictures.
That’s when it registered. “Ben? You’re looking for pictures of Ben?” She nodded, rocking in place in time with her scrolling thumb.
Kate had taken down every single picture of Ben from her page. There wasn’t one, not a single photograph of Ben. Becca screamed out loud and threw the phone across the room, where it smashed against the wall, putting a hole in the drywall and cracking the screen.
I gathered her in my arms and pulled her against my chest. She thrashed in my grip, screaming, pounding on my chest hard enough to cause pain.
“I-I-I-I doh-don’t-don’t n-n-n-nnnn…don’t remem-mem-mem…remember what he luh-luh-luh-looks like. I don’t r-r-r-rem-rem-remember!” She shook in my arms, trembling violently.
That was the most she’d spoken in more than a week.
“We’ll find you a picture of him, okay? I’m sure your parents have one. We’ll get one. I’ll go there right now, if you want.”
“Everyone’s forgotten hi-hi-him,” she whispered. “Eev-eev-even Kate…and m-m-mmmm-me. Everyone. He’s guh-guh-gone, like he never w-w-wwww-wuh-was.”
“You remember him, honey. You do. You remember what he was like. You remember who he was.” I had her wrapped tightly in my arms, and she’d stilled, barely breathing now. “When my grandpa died, I had this same fear. I loved Grandpa so much. He was Mom’s dad, and he was my favorite person in the whole world. He lived up north, between Grayling and the Mackinaw Bridge. He had, like, twenty acres. He had horses and dirt bikes and all this awesome stuff. I’d go up there for weeks at a time during the summers, and he’d let me do whatever I wanted. We’d go hunting and fishing and four-wheeling, and I’d stay up till midnight every night. Then one day he died. All of a sudden, just gone. He had a heart attack and died, just like that. I cried for days. Dad kicked the shit out of me for crying, but I didn’t care. I loved Grandpa, and he was gone. Then, like a month after he’d died, I had this panic attack. I couldn’t remember what he looked like. I thought it meant I didn’t love him, or that I’d forgotten about him. It was the only time Dad was anything like helpful. He told me you have to forget what they look like. Otherwise, you can’t learn to live without them. Forgetting is your brain’s way of telling you it’s time to try and move on. Not forget who they were, just…keep living.”
What’s next for you?
Well, Stripped is available for preorder now, and will be live August 16. I’m excited about that one. My husband Jack has a book coming out in September, and we have a two-part series planned after that. We have titles planned to keep us writing halfway through 2014. We aren’t slowing down anytime soon.
Favourite snack while writing?
If you could spend the day with anyone in history, who would it be and why?
That’s a hard one. I’d love to spend the day with someone like Jane Austen or Emily Bronte. Those women were groundbreaking authors. They smashed the barrier that had long kept female writers out of the public sphere, and it’s to them, and others like Charlotte Bronte and George Eliot and Mary Shelly, that I and my peers owe our careers to. Without their daring to write and publish their books despite convention and tradition, I wouldn’t be where I am.
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I wasn’t always in love with Colton Calloway; I was in love with his younger brother, Kyle, first. Kyle was my first one true love, my first in every way. Then, one stormy August night, he died, and the person I was died with him.
Colton didn’t teach me how to live. He didn’t heal the pain. He didn’t make it okay. He taught me how to hurt, how to not be okay, and, eventually, how to let go.
Nell Hawthorne is in love with her life-long best friend, Kyle Calloway. Their young love is invincible and life is full of promise; then one night Kyle dies suddenly in a tragic accident and Nell is forever changed. She meets Kyle’s older brother Colton for the first time at the funeral.
They both struggle to move on with life as best they can. Years later, they meet again in New York City, and Colton realizes that Nell has never really gotten over Kyle’s death. She seems to be harboring a deeply rooted pain, a heavy weight of guilt and regret.
He knows he shouldn’t get involved, but he can’t help himself. Trust doesn’t come easily for either of them, and they both have demons. Together, they learn the purpose of pain and the meaning of healing, and the importance of forgiveness.
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A stand alone, parallel novel to the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling Falling Into You.
THE STORY YOU THOUGHT YOU KNEW…
When Kyle Calloway died, he took a part of Nell with him. She wasn’t the only one left to pick up the pieces, however; Kyle’s death left a gaping hole in the hearts and lives of his parents and his older brother Colton, and ultimately broke the will of the girl he loved.
THE STORY YOU NEVER IMAGINED…
Becca de Rosa is Nell’s best friend. When Kyle died, Nell was so devastated that no one could reach her, not even her best friend Becca. As she tries to help Nell through her grief, Becca’s own life is thrust into turmoil, and everything she knows is changed.
Jason Dorsey asked Nell out the week after her sixteenth birthday, but that date never happened. Instead, he ended up going out with Nell’s best friend, Becca. He had no way of knowing, then, how that one date would send him on a life-long journey with Becca. He had no way of knowing the tragedies and triumphs he would experience, or that in Becca, he might find the love of a lifetime.
THE HEARTACHE YOU’LL NEVER FORGET…
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jasinda Wilder is a Michigan native with a penchant for titillating tales about sexy men and strong women. When she’s not writing, she’s probably shopping, baking, or reading.
You can often find Jasinda drinking sweet red wine with frozen berries and eating a cupcake.
CONTACT THE AUTHOR:
Website | Facebook – AuthorJasindaWilder | Twitter @JasindaWilder | Goodreads |