Monday, June 6, 2011
Crush Control Blog Tour Q & A
I recently posted my thoughts on Crush Control. Now I am happy to post a question and answer with author Jennifer Jabaley. I enjoyed hearing more about Jennifer's process as a writer!
Q: I always love to hear the background behind books, such as what inspired them. For example, while reading Crush Control, I was wondering if someone you know has unique eyes just like Willow since I noticed that you are also an optometrist. I was also wondering whether A Midsummer Night's Dream inspired the plot or if it was more of a natural fit after you had already thought of your idea. I love it when books weave in plots from other literature that in some ways mirrors what is happening in the book. Can you share a little about the process of how Crush Control came together?
A: Yes, I am an optometrist and I have seen patients that have unique eyes like Willow's. The clinical term is 'coloboma' and it is when the iris is mishaped and leaves a keyhole shaped pupil. I did have one patient who was very much bothered by the appearance of her eyes and I wound up fitting her in colored contacts to masquerade the appearance of the pupils. But sshhh! don't tell Willow there's a way to hide it :)
When I was originally discussing the idea for CRUSH CONTROL with my editor, I said something of the effect of using hypnosis 'sort of like a love potion' and my editor said that it reminded her of MSND. And honestly, I barely remembered the plot to that play so right after hanging up, I went online and started researching MSND. Immediately I recognized the opportunity to use Shakespeare's play as the perfect backdrop and inspiration of sorts for Willow's use of hypnosis. So I began to weave the English assignment throughout the plot to use the Shakespeare play as a dangling inspiration for Willow. Naturally, she didn't look to the chaos in MSND to realize chaos would ensue in her life as well!! I'm glad you liked it!
Q: When reading Crush Control I appreciated that characters did not necessarily fit into their stereotypical roles, which was refreshing, making them seem all the more like individuals and developed characters. What have you found to be helpful when developing your characters?
A: Oh thank you, that's a nice compliment. First and foremost, I try to make my characters fascinating. If the characters are commonplace, the story gets boring. I try and make the audience identify with the characters and I've found that most often, when I'm reading, I'm in tune with the character's desires and problems. For a teenage audience I think most all can identify with the need of wanting to belong, of wanting to be loved and of finding their place in the world.
Q: One of my other blogs focuses on trying to find balance between different roles. I noticed that your site talks about trying to "manage optometry, writing and motherhood". What advice do you have for other writers trying to carve out time for writing - whether it is adults balancing careers and motherhood or younger writers balancing school and extracurricular activities?
A: You know, for me, the majority of 'writing' happens in my head. What I mean by this is ideas inspire and plots come together while I'm playing at the park with my kids. Or characters develop as I'm observing the behavior of patients at the office. So by the time I do have that precious hour or two to get down my thoughts on paper, they pour out constructively. I'm hardly ever staring at a blank sheet of paper/blank computer screen. So my advice is take notice in things around you. Scribble notes down when an idea strikes you. Even though we are all so over-scheduled and over-booked, if we can carve out a small bit of time each day and have our thoughts ready to purge, you can manage to creatively accomplish your task little by little, day by day.
Q: Even though I have not written a book, I typically have ideas for different types of writing in my writer's notebook. I imagine that you have many thoughts running through your mind as well. Have you decided on (or are you already currently working on) your next writing project?
A: Right now I'm in discussion with my editor for my next project. Fingers crossed!!!
Thanks so much for hosting me on your blog! I really appreciate it!