Holly Dorren can’t breathe. Think. Feel. Her cousin is dead. Nothing will bring him back. And nothing will ever make her whole again.
In the days following Larry’s funeral, Holly begins to reflect on the childhood they shared. She looks for answers in both the past and the present, convinced that understanding his fascination with death might somehow allow her to cope with his absence. She doesn’t want to disappear, but already she’s fading away from the life she’s led.
Holly knew her cousin better than anyone, she was his best friend, and yet there is still a great deal she cannot accept in their relationship. In him. In herself. She doesn’t know how to move on without him, but refusing to accept his death carries it’s own devastating price.
Tell us about this story.
STEADY IS THE FALL is a story about family relationships. It takes two cousins, Holly and Larry, who started out as friends together and over the course of time because very different people. Holly is trying desperately to make sense of Larry’s fascination with death. She thinks understanding will save her from the pain she is in after Larry’s suicide.
What living person do you admire most?
This is a really difficult question. I think I have about six for every category (books, movies, and whatnot) . I think in life though it would be my mom. She is strong and silly and the one person I trust beyond all else. I love her dearly. She will likely cry when she reads this, but it’s true.
What is your most prized possession?
A stuffed animal (dog) I’ve had since I was five and the necklace I wear with the French word for “write” engraved inside.
What talent would you most like to have?
I have always wanted to be able to draw. Sadly, I am a stick figure person. Being able to draw would be amazing though. I’ve also always wanted to be double jointed. It just looks really awesome.
Who is your favorite fictional character of all time?
There are many, but I would have to go with Pippin from Lord of the Rings. My favorite characters always die and Pippin was the first one who ever lived. He is innocent and good and means well but is also rather funny. I adore him.
Who’s the favorite character that you created?
All of them. Seriously. At this moment I am particularly fond of a character in the novel I’m currently writing, but I can’t really talk about that. The most fascinating character I’ve ever written was the bellhop in a short story I wrote called Care. In this novel, my favorite is probably Larry.
What’s your idea of perfect happiness?
Writing in Jane Austen’s English countryside. That is an ideal though. In reality, it would be writing fiction full time in a small house in the forest by a lake. My dog would have to be there too. Her name is Phoebe and she is small and adorable and very fond of cheese.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
My nose. I’ve never liked the shape of it. I would also like to remove my anxiety. I get terribly anxious over little things, or even nothing. It is really frustrating and I would like to not worry so much.
Emily Ruth Verona is the author of the novel Steady Is The Fall. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and Cinema Studies from the State University of New York at Purchase. She is the recipient of the 2014 Pinch Literary Award in Fiction and a 2014 Jane Austen Short Story Award. Previous publication credits include work featured in Read. Learn. Write., The Lost Country, The Toast, and Popmatters. She lives in New Jersey with a very small dog.