How to Protect Yourself from a Fall
by Laurelin Paige
If we’re talking about avoiding a bad fall (is, then I guess I’ll say that while I like to think critically about issues and decisions, I do let my gut intuition steer me quite often in day to day life. I have faith, I believe in signs, and I heavily trust the advice and opinions of my closest friends and family. I think I worry less about screwing something up and making a mistake, and more about feeling confident that if I make a terrible choice, that I hopefully made it for the right reasons, if that makes sense.
For my characters, protecting themselves from a fall usually means shutting out any kind of close, interpersonal connection that isn’t vetted as 100% safe. It means being totally analytical and ignoring the parts of them that scream out to try something different–just this once. It’s also the reason that as they grow in the arc of my stories, they have to be willing to do things that are really scary and wild and unprotected–like trust someone, or listen to their inner voice, or let go of control in a situation.
For a character like Emily in First Touch / Last Kiss, she spends her youth in a hard-knock-life sort of situation, constantly stumbling along from one bad situation to the next, trailing along in her best friend Amber’s footsteps. The two of them just pick themselves up over and over again, relying on each other to get through. Emily wasn’t worried about protecting herself in that cycle, because it’s what she was used to–it’s what she’s embraces as normal. It’s only after that person she loved more than anything, Amber, turns her world upside down that she became truly vulnerable as she scrambles to protect herself while figuring out the answer to the questions, “Who am I, by myself? What do I want more than anything?” When Emily shows up in Reeve’s life, she definitely falls for him, and in that free fall she struggles so wildly because she has to build her own inner voice that isn’t just Amber telling her what to do. She has to get to know herself and her own desires before she can figure out how to protect herself from outside forces and (hopefully) land safely in the end.
Click here to get hold of your copy of Last Kiss.
A huge thank you to Laurelin and Ella at Little Brown.