The Air He Breathes: Author Interview with Brittainy Cherry

The Air He Breathes was chosen as the BingeBooks February 2021 Book Club read. As part of the book club, author Brittainy Cherry did a live chat and interview with readers and host Alessandra Torre. it was a fantastic half-hour event followed by smaller private discussions by readers.


If you're interested in a future BingeBooks book club, visit and join the connected group here.



Here is the full transcript of author Brittainy Cherry's live chat about The Air He Breathes:



Alessandra: Hi, everyone. We're going to let the room fill up but welcome to Binge Books. My name is Alessandra Torre. I'm here today with Brittainy Cherry and we're going to be talking all about The Air He Breathes. So I'm so excited to have you guys joining us live with Brittainy. And if you will mute your mics as you come in and if not our helpful team will mute them. And as we go, we're going to chat live with Brittainy for about 30-minutes. Answer your questions that you've posted in the Binge Books Group, or you can ask them here. So all you need to do if you want to ask a question is just use one of the reaction buttons to raise your hand. And if you don't know how to do that, don't worry. You can always post your questions in the comment section. And then Kristen, I'll be calling on you. Perfectly. I can see them pop up now. So we'll be calling out those questions and letting you ask your questions live if you raise your hand.

So first let me welcome Brittainy Cherry. I'm so excited to have her here. Brittainy is a New York Times best-selling author. And Brittainy, you want to just introduce yourself and tell them a little bit about the type of books you write. Most of the readers here are very familiar with you already, but I'd love you to just introduce yourself.


Brittainy Cherry: For sure. So I'm Brittainy Cherry. This is my eighth year come August. So I've been publishing for eight years. I mean I still don't know what I'm doing most of the time, but I love it. I write contemporary romance with some new adult tossed in there and the few young adults every now and then. And yeah, that's pretty much it. I write very emotional reads, I think I would say, and I sprinkle in a little humor. But I like the break hearts and then fix them.


Alessandra: I love that. And it's funny. Brittainy and I started around the same time publishing and it was funny the other day I was doing the math. I'm like, "Oh my gosh, how has so much time passed since I started in 2012?" So it's crazy when you think of how much the industry has changed. And you have a new release. So do you want to just take a minute and tell them a little bit about that book? So if they enjoyed The Air He Breathes, which of course everybody did, they can find out about that novel.


Brittainy Cherry: Yeah, for sure. So my newest release is called Eastern Lights. It came out last Wednesday and it's part of my Compass Series, but it's a complete standalone. You can read it and not be lost at all. And Eastern Lights is a story about destiny and fate. Connor, the hero meets Aaliyah on a crazy Halloween night and they connect and she just had her heartbroken. So she's not in the best place and Connor is a fixer. He wants everyone to feel good. So in order to make Aaliyah feel better, he says, "I bet you, I can make you fall in love with me within five hours." So they explored New York all night long, building this connection, and then they go their separate ways after that. Two years later, they meet up and she is engaged to his new business partner and then the drama comes and all that jazz.


Alessandra: I love that. And that is in the Compass Series and The Air He Breathes is in the Elements Series. Is that correct? Are the other books in the Element Series connected in terms of characters?


Brittainy Cherry: No. They're not connected at all. They're all standalone. So no connecting characters in the Element Series. In the Compass Series, we follow each character, and you kind of meet them in each book. But The Air He Breathes and all the books in the Elements are complete standalone.


Alessandra: Okay. But you were very smart with the titling because the titling is all, yeah, Elements. So I like that.


Brittainy Cherry: It was really hard to get one for The Gravity of Us for the Earth Element. I'm like, I don't want the word earth in my title.


Alessandra: Or dirt. Yeah.


Brittainy Cherry: That doesn't sound really romantic.


Alessandra: [Unclear 04:29] their heart. Yeah. I can see that being a struggle. So we've got some great questions. The first one is kind of, how did you come up with this story? Was this something you wanted to write a story about two people who had experienced loss or how did this book kind of come to be?


Brittainy Cherry: Yeah, that's a fun question. So I wrote this book after my first ever international book signing. I went to Brazil and at that point, I was just going to give up on writing. I was done. But then I went to Brazil got inspired and I remember coming back and reading this story about two people who lost the love of their lives and somehow found their way to each other. I'm like, "Wow. What if I wrote a story about two people who went through the biggest heartbreak and found a way to love again." Because I love the idea that you can have more than one grand love in your life. And that was something I wanted to explore with this. That's how the era came to be.


Alessandra: I love that you didn't diminish their past relationships. You know, I mean, it never felt like these relationships were competing with those. It was they could have those loves and really, truly be in love with those people and then also fall in love again. So that was something I really liked. Just one way.


Brittainy Cherry: Yeah. I think that was important to me when I was creating these characters. I didn't want like, their former loves to be these awful terrible people who the reader is like, "Oh, we're happy they're not with them." But I wanted them to be a different kind of love, you know. Like the love Elizabeth had with her former was different and special in its own ways. So I wanted to show that you can fall in love again in many different ways.


Alessandra: And I know you wrote this book a while ago, so this next question might be kind of hard to answer. But the question is what was the most difficult scene to write and do you remember? Because I think this book pubbed in 14? Fourteen or fifteen, is that right?


Brittainy Cherry: Fifteen.


Alessandra: Yeah.


Brittainy Cherry: I think one of the hardest scenes to write were the flashback scenes when he was finding out that his son and his wife passed away. Like when he was visiting the graveyard and they were trying to sell him like blankets for the tombstones and he was just very heartbroken. Those were probably the heaviest scenes. And also with Elizabeth, there's one scene where she goes into her husband's, her former love's closet and lays in his clothes, and cries. And I remember writing that, I'm like, "I really hope no one ever has to do this because it's so sad." But I remember my grandfather because when I wrote this book, my grand mom passed away a few years before. And in that book, you see the white feathers everywhere. That's like what happened with my grand mom. I would see fathers everywhere. But I remember my granddad couldn't clean up the closet because he was so heartbroken. And these are things I never even thought of people having to go through. So writing them, it was very hard to go there because I know there's someone out there dealing with that kind of stuff.

Alessandra: Well, I thought you did a really great job of demonstrating it. I've never experienced a really deep loss of someone close to me. But it felt very authentic in terms of what they would go through and what they would experience. So yeah. My heart kind of went out to you writing it because I was like, "Oh my gosh, Brittainy must've really gone through something." I mean, it just felt very visceral and real. So yeah.


Brittainy Cherry: Yeah.


Alessandra: But in a good way, it did bring all the fields, so that's good. And this next question is kind of along the same lines, but a little different. So The Air He Breathes was optioned by Passionflix. So it will be made into a movie. So congratulations on that. And the Passionflix family is amazing. I know they're going to just do a standup job with this. But as I was reading, I couldn't help but think about that, you know, when like, oh, are they going to film this or how are they going to film this next scene? So are there any scenes that you're really excited about seeing, you know, come to life on screen or that you're worried about seeing come to life on screen?


Brittainy Cherry: Yeah, I feel like I'm worried about the whole innate ending with Tanner and everything, how it all kind of spirals out of control towards the end. I'm just curious how they're going to do that. But I am excited to see the scenes where he interacts with her child because I think they're adorable together. And I just wonder how they're going to, like, I wonder about so much. Like how they're going to cast it? Who they're going to choose? How they're going to work with a younger child? So I'm excited to see those scenes for sure.


Alessandra: Yeah. When they filmed Hollywood Dirt, we didn't have any kids at all on scene and we had animals. So we had to deal with like animal regulations and that sort of thing. But I know with kids like there are hours they can work and can't work. And it's amazing to see some of the talents. I watched the audition for the kid in ET when he was trying out for ET and just the way he could turn on emotion was crazy. So I can't wait to see who plays Emma. And I think that's going to be really heart-tugging moments like between the two of them because that definitely softened me up to Tristan. I knew he was going to be a good guy from the beginning. You know I mean you have to expect that he isn't going to be a jerk the whole time. But...


Brittainy Cherry: Wouldn't that be funny if he was just a jerk the whole time and I was like the end?


Alessandra: Yeah. The end. Well, when you had the dream scene with the Hulk in the green room, I didn't realize it was the dream at first. I was like, wow, this book is really going in an interesting direction.


Brittainy Cherry: [Unclear 10:43].


Alessandra: So I was so happy that he did not have a green room.


Brittainy Cherry: [Unclear 10:49] Me too. But yeah, that was a part two I love because it is a heavier book, but I love sprinkling in some little moments of funny. Like with her best friend, like just to ease up on how serious it is, because that's how life is, you know. You have really serious things going on, but there's always something that can make you laugh or bring humor back into the darkness. So that was important [Unclear 11:15].


Alessandra: And it was really, I know we're not alone in this. I'm sure you hear it all the time, but in the reader group on, sorry, a lot of people were talking about Faye and how much they loved her and her character, because like you said, she was a really great levity bringer when you combined it with everything else that was going on and she was perfect for that. I can't imagine the book without her. I can, but it would have been much heavier. So I love her character. Did she ever, I mean, she doesn't need her book because we kind of saw a hint of her happy ending, but I didn't know if you've ever thought about writing a book with her character.


Brittainy Cherry: Yeah. I thought about writing many side characters because in my books the side characters’ kind of have their own backstory and you see glimpses of it. But when that came around, I already committed to the other three books in the Element Series. So I was like why would I even write this, but also I get really worried about writing side characters because I want to do their story justice. Like I wouldn't want to take away from the joy that she had in the air and create something that isn't good enough for her. Do you know what I mean?


Alessandra: No, that makes perfect sense. I understand that entirely and you don't want to write a book just to write a book. You want to, like you said, give them proper weight. I was heartbroken when she got her heart broke the first time, because she had let someone in, you know, and I saw someone else comment about this online. So I was really glad that in the end there was a hint of, you know, of a happy ending. So one reader says, I love this scene where Elizabeth saw that Tristan was covered with tattoos from Great Works of Children's Literature. As a reader, I assumed these were the favorite books he read to Charlie. Did you consider adding a chapter in the book where Tristan explained to Elizabeth the story behind his body art?


Brittainy Cherry: I feel like after you publish a book and you probably went through this too, like after it comes out, when you publish, you're like, this is great and I'm happy with it. Then you publish, you're like, well, I really should have done that. I really should have gone down this line. But that's just being an author, I think. But there are a lot of things like that that I would have liked to explore. I would have wanted to explore more moments too, with him interacting with, like Tanner, like just a little bit to see their push and pull. I'm like that would have been so good to build that up a little more. So with the tattoos. Yeah. I would've loved to dive deeper or even have him read some of those books to Emma, you know, all these ideas.


Kristen: I think we got our last question in. I think we're ready to go into breakout rooms. Thank you very much, Brittainy. We appreciate it so much.


Speaker 5: Thank you so much, Brittainy.


Brittainy Cherry: I appreciate you all so much. Thank you.


Speaker 6: We love the book.


Brittainy Cherry: Thank you. I hope you all have a great day and hope to talk again. Bye.


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