Introducing Author Jennifer Hubbard

“It was dangerous to stand under the waterfall, but some kids did it anyway, and I was one of them. The water pounded my mind blank, stung my skin. It hit my naked back, chest and shoulders so hard I couldn’t think. That water could knock me over, force the breath out of me, pin me to the rock, and I knew it.
“But I kept doing it.”

This is how my book, Try Not to Breathe, begins. It’s pretty much how it always began, even in the first draft: with a boy under a waterfall, driven there by—what? I kept writing to find out.

I soon discovered he was going to tell a story I’d long wanted to tell: of coming back from the brink of suicide, of putting a life back together. And yet he would not tell that story alone. Another character found him at the waterfall, a girl who was seeking answers about her own father’s suicide. Her search for answers led her and the main character, Ryan, to psychic readings, and on road trips, and smack up against the challenges of their own secrets.

When Ryan decided not to die, he still had to learn to live. That was what the story became.

Jennifer R. Hubbard ( is the author of the contemporary young-adult novels Try Not to Breathe and The Secret Year. She is on Twitter @JennRHubbard.

Apryl Baker

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