Monday, November 27, 2017

Welcome to the FFBC: THE CHAOS OF STANDING STILL by Jessica Brody-- Interview + Giveaway!!

The Chaos of Standing Still

by Jessica Brody
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: November 28th 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary


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 brialliantly 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.


Favorite Book?


Favorite TV show?


Favorite movie?


Your Favorite Song?


Favorite Food?


Name 3 fictional places you would move to in a heartbeat.

Hogwarts – DUH!
Westeros (but let’s wait until John Snow destroys all the White Walkers, m’kay?)
Riley’s “Head”quarters from Inside Out 

Who is your perfect fictional boyfriend?

Prince Nicholas from The Royal We 

Favorite Quote?

“Every worthwhile accomplishment, big or little, has its stages of drudgery and triumph: a beginning, a struggle, and a victory.” – Mahatma Gandhi

What do you find yourself “Fangirling” over?

Well, a few months ago Sophie Kinsella followed me on Twitter and I’m pretty sure she could hear my “squeal” all the way across the pond in England. 

If you could meet one author, dead or alive, who would it be?

Jane Austen. She’s my hero.  

Something to say to our Book Addicts?

In a world of constant stimulation and digital distractions, thank you for keeping reading alive. 


Hello Jessica! We are super excited to have you in our FFBC tours.
Could you tell our Book Addicts a little bit about THE CHAOS OF STANDING STILL?

Absolutely! Thanks for having me on the site! 

THE CHAOS OF STANDING STILL is the story of two teens who meet while trapped inside the Denver Airport during a massive blizzard. The whole book takes place over the course of twenty-four hours as both Ryn and Xander struggle to deal with personal tragedies that have been holding them back. 

Can you describe Ryn and her personality? What would you say is the best thing about the main character in THE CHAOS OF STANDING STILL?

Well, I guess let me start with the title. THE CHAOS OF STANDING STILL actually comes from the second law of thermodynamics (a physics law) which states that any system if left unattended or isolated will eventually result in Chaos. I heard someone talking about this law and I immediately thought: Oh, like grief. 

If you don’t deal with grief—if it becomes an “unattended system” it will result in chaos in your head and in your life. 

Ryn is the result of that idea. 

For the past year, she’s been struggling to cope with the death of her best friend—who died in a car crash exactly one year ago today. Except she hasn’t really been coping at all. She’s been keeping herself numb. Refusing to move on. Refusing to let go. Refusing to cry. Refusing to even read the last text message her friend Lottie sent her. Because, in Ryn’s mind, as long as that text message is unread, as long as there is still something unsaid between them, Lottie is somehow still alive. 

Essentially Ryn is like a lost planet. A planet that used to revolve around a brilliant, beautiful sun. And when that sun died and Ryn sort of just spun out of orbit. Into chaos. 

How did you come up with the story? Did you find inspiration in any other story/movie/show and how has this affected your writing?

It’s funny because I set out to write a rom com. Two teens who meet and fall in love while trapped in the Denver airport during a snow storm. And that’s all still in there, except something interesting happened as I was writing the book. 

I started writing the story I had set out to write and it was going really well. But then suddenly, out of nowhere, this 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 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 (although all of that is still in there.) But 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 theme of unresolved grief. 

Tell us your favorite quote from THE CHAOS OF STANDING STILL.

Oh God, that’s hard. I am so proud of this book. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever written before and there are many lines that I’m proud of, but most of them require more context to fully understand. 

But here’s one I especially like that I hope stands on its own. 

That’s the thing about Homes. After you lose the things that make them worthy of a capital H, all you’re left with is an empty, lowercase house. 

Is there a specific scene that you had the most fun to write?

Yes! There’s a scene in which Xander literally serenades Ryn in the airport food court, singing “Eternal Flame” by the Bangles at the top of his lungs It was a scene I never planned to write. It just came out. And I had SO MUCH FUN writing it. At first, I worried, I would have to cut it. Legally, you can’t print song lyrics in a book without licensing the rights from the songwriter. But I loved it so much, I hired a lawyer to reach out to the company that represents the songwriter and licensed the lyrics so I could print them in the book. I just couldn’t bear for the scene not to be included. 

If you had to pick one song to be the Theme Song for THE CHAOS OF STANDING STILL – Which one would you pick? 

Haha, despite my answer to the above question, my answer is NOT “Eternal Flame” by the Bangles. 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

Imagine that we get to see your book on the big screen (how awesome would that be?). Who would you pick to play your characters? (It can be anyone – famous or not)

Man, I’m SO bad at this question. I’ll tell you that as I was writing the book, I had Willow Shields from The Hunger Games pinned to my inspiration board for the character of Ryn and Bella Thorne pinned for Lottie. But I think I’ll just let the Hollywood people handle that! (Fingers crossed!) 

Is there any recommendations you could give your readers to be in the “perfect mood” to read THE CHAOS OF STANDING STILL (specific music, snacks…)? 

Ooh, that’s an excellent question. Well, how about I just give you a few songs from my CHAOS writing playlist? I don’t actually write to music but here are some songs that got ME in the mood for writing the book. Maybe it’ll help YOU get in the mood to read it!

Long Night by the Corrs
Fix You by Coldplay
All of the Stars by Ed Sheeran
Collide by Howie Day
Wide Awake by Katy Perry
Grapevine Fires by Death Cab for Cutie

As for snacks, I would say “airplane food” but um…gross. Maybe some hot spiced cider to stay warm in the snow storm? 

What’s next for you? 

Oh, wow. So much fun stuff coming up! I have three books coming out in 2018! My next young adult contemporary will be out a year from now. We haven’t yet released the title/synopsis yet, but stay tuned for that soon. I’m just finishing the revision now. I also have a new middle grade coming out next fall called BETTER YOU THAN ME (it’s a Freaky Friday-esque Body Swap story between a famous twelve-year-old TV star and her biggest fan.) And finally, I have a how-to plotting guide for novelists coming out called SAVE THE CAT! WRITES A NOVEL, all about plot and plot structure! 

And then in 2019, I’m returning to sci-fi with a new series! The first book is called  A SKY WITHOUT STARS and it’s a sci-fi retelling of Les Misérables by Victor Hugo, set on another planet in a distant solar system.  

So exciting! 

Thank you so much for everything, Jessica!


Jessica's interview answers blew me away!!  I loved learning about how she got to put a licensed song into her book.  That was a neat behind-the-scenes story.  I also thought her description of Ryn and where her character came from was super interesting!!  I am now more pumped than EVER to read this book!!

Jessica Brody knew from a young age that she wanted to be a writer. She started 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 Economics 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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1 comment:

  1. Even those who haven’t experienced a devastating loss like Ryn’s will relate to her struggle: feeling stuck between moving on and holding on. Ryn’s one year/one night journey to find her new normal is funny, insightful, empowering, and filled with heart.