The Odyssey of Falling by Paige Crutcher
Release Date: November 4th, 2014
Meet Odd. Audrey “Odd” Ashworth is an exceptionally bright girl with a sympathetic heart. She’s in the top 4% of her class. She’s obsessed with getting into Manhattan School of Music, committed to following the “signs” the universe delivers, and infatuated with her recently deceased best friend’s boyfriend.
Life is a little strange for Odd.
Until she finds her best friend’s diary in her crush’s car, and decides to do the bucket list tucked inside the pages. As Odd seeks closure and a way to honor her friend, she discovers there’s nothing wrong with being a little strange, especially if it helps you discover who you were meant to be. Along the way, Odd falls into trouble, adventure, and finally love.
We All Matter
By Paige Crutcher
I wrote The Odyssey of Falling because I wanted to write a book about how it’s okay to make mistakes. We are all beautiful messes, and the journey of growing up is hard. I think doubt and loss and fear afflict teens (all ages, really), and I wanted to say to those teens struggling: it’s okay to screw up, it’s okay to get messy as you discover who you are.
Because we aren’t chained to the past or to the secrets we make. There is always hope, we only have to lean into the universe to find it.
Odd’s voice has been with me for a long time. In some ways, she’s shades of the girl I was growing up. She’s a fighter, a seeker, and occasionally she’s really misdirected in her actions. She winds up in the strangest of shenanigans and has questionable taste in boys. But she has heart, she loves deeply, and she means well.
The parts of Odd that are not me (and there are A LOT of them) grew organically. It’s a funny and wonderful thing, putting the pen to page, or in my case, fingers to the keys. The characters find their own voice once I stop thinking and trying to direct them. The inmates eventually take over the asylum, and as the writer I only have to keep up.
One of the best “tricks” in my writer toolbox is interviewing my characters. As a journalist, I’ve interviewed a lot of authors over the past six years. I culled the various ways the authors I interviewed get to know their characters and stories, and tried out the various methods until I found the ones that worked for me.
We all have different processes, and I discovered asking questions – sometimes silly ones, occasionally hard ones – to the characters like they were friends or interview subjects garnered the best results.
It might sound strange, but I think doing this shows my characters they matter. That they don’t have to be perfect for me to want to get to know them. Which is kind of what THE ODYSSEY OF FALLING is all about.
Odd isn’t perfect. Her friends are a delicious group of misfits and beautiful weirdoes. But they all matter. Just like we all do. We are all on an odyssey of falling into who we are and who we will become.