Not My Fault by S.B. Frasca
As a multi-platinum, award-winning songwriter, the most rewarding part of S.B. Frasca’s career has been commiserating with young hearts to shape raw, relatable emotions into words that can be sung at the top of your lungs. So is it any wonder that her debut novel, Not My Fault (BookBaby), evokes those very same feelings?
This coming-of-age YA novel tells the story of Hy, a victim of bullying who turns to street art as a way to cope with his everyday struggles. With its searingly honest portrayal of bullying and other teen issues, Not My Fault is a cathartic read that will make readers of every age feel seen.
We got a chance to talk to Frasca about the importance of a creative outlet and how she hopes to inspire others with her work.
Q: While you’re more than familiar with writing music, this is your first novel. What compelled you to write Not My Fault?
A: I love that creativity can bleed and lead in different directions. Words and emotional expression are obviously threads, but I keep myself entertained by finding new platforms. I’ve also really been informed by visual art, the impetus for the storyline. This novel dared me to tug on heartstrings without the surge of a melody. It challenged me to hold both my own interest and the interest of others longer than three and a half minutes. Here’s hoping I succeeded.
Q: How would you describe your protagonist, Hy?
A: I trust readers will find Hy to be somewhat enigmatic yet personally relatable. I was honored this shy, talented teenager allowed me to tell such a vulnerable story, and I promised both of us I’d do my best to maintain a modicum of privacy. So to find an authentic voice, I discovered that sometimes true dimension can come from circumvention, with the results feeling more original. Note: dimension and circumvention aren’t words I would ever rhyme in a song, but I’m definitely not afraid of quirky, unconventional grammar.
Q: You have an illustrious background of songwriting with some incredible credits and collaborators. Did your work on children’s music for Disney and other projects influence how you see the social dynamics of Hy and his peers in Not My Fault?
A: No, I’m just really immature. Kidding, not kidding. For better or worse, the young heart is such a rich playground. I strive to express raw, amplified feelings in an honest, direct and hopefully fresh way. But even though my writing was connecting with teens way before I was raising two of them, it may not be a coincidence that this novel happened at this point in my life. I’ve got a front row seat at the moment.
Q: Was there a particular scene that you found particularly challenging or rewarding to write?
A: The bullying was difficult to stomach, especially in the cafeteria. I had a visceral reaction to channeling some long-buried first and second-hand school experiences for these scenes, but probably a good thing for authenticity. And all was right in the world when Hy was able to turn the cafeteria back into a safe space. So, yeah, there’s the rewarding part.
Q: What do you hope readers take away from Not My Fault?
A: To be insecure is to be human. But if there is a creative focus, a way to distract and redirect frustration into something beautiful or meaningful, it’s a gift. Both empowering and healing, it can even open the doors of empathy for the people projecting their insecurities on others. Art in its many expressions can truly change, even save lives.
Q: What’s next on your list, if you can tell us about it?
A: Yes, very exciting. A rising Pop star with all the trimmings. Obviously right in my wheelhouse. Stay tuned.
As a multi-platinum, award-winning songwriter, the most rewarding part of S.B. Frasca’s career has been commiserating with young hearts to shape raw, relatable emotions into words that can be sung at the top of your lungs. Sabelle’s songs appear on a multitude of albums, compilations, and Film & TV soundtracks; and she’s won ASCAP/BMI, Dove, Songwriter Hall of Fame and Parents’ Choice awards. Raised by visual artists, it was understood that art in any form makes life worth living. Her first novel, Not My Fault, is a Hy-five to that! Sabelle now lives in her own head alongside her husband, two tolerant teenagers and two really needy Labradors. She doesn’t want any part of the ‘mom jeans’ thing.
Publish Date: June 6, 2023
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult
Author: S.B. Frasca
Page Count: 272 pages