Today I have the honor of introducing Jennifer Jabaley's second young adult novel - CRUSH CONTROL. Perhaps you recall my interview with Jennifer when her first book came out, LIPSTICK APOLOGY. She's become quite prolific and I had to ask her more questions about her latest title and writing book #2...
Q. CRUSH CONTROL is now your second title after LIPSTICK APOLOGY. How does it feel to be a bona fide writer on a roll?
A. It feels fantastic!! When LIPSTICK APOLOGY debuted, I was forwarned that often debut books are given a shelf life of about three months. But something fantastic happened - Lipstick has been a 'word of mouth' book - so sales have picked up and been steady long after its debut and therefore most bookstores still carry it - almost two years after its release. So I think the thing I'm most excited about is seeing my first book and my second side by side on the shelf - something I never thought would be possible.
Q. How was writing a second book different from your experience of writing your first?
A. Writing CRUSH CONTROL was an entirely different experience from writing LIPSTICK APOLOGY. When I wrote Lipstick, I wrote it on my own, sold it and then went through extensive revisions under the guide of my editor. However, I was fortunate enough to be contracted for CRUSH CONTROL just based on a pitch proposal. So from the very start, my editor was involved. I turned in an extensive outline and my editor right away caught a few problem areas. Voila - that saved me a whole bunch of time. By the time we finalized my outline, the plotting was so thorough that ultimately the actual writing time was much quicker.
Q. Hypnosis plays a large role in CRUSH CONTROL. What was the inspiration for that and can you tell us more about it?
A. Everyone wants to know where I came up with the idea of hypnosis for this book and here's the true story: My daughter was almost two and still not sleeping well through the night. I know, ridiculous, right? :) One night I was so tired but she was wide awake. I rocked her back and forth and in my delirium, I jokingly said, "you are getting sleepy. SLEEEEEEEPY!" I thought how nice it would be if I could hypnotize her to go to sleep for real. Then I started to think how nice it would be to be able to hypnotize my kids to do whatever I wanted. Then I thought, hmmmm, can you imagine what a teenager would do if they had the ability to hypnotize people......
Q. I love that Willow, the main character, may have had hypnosis skills from a very young age, which lends a paranormal edge to your story. Can you talk about that and how it's affecting the book's placement in the marketplace?
A. Right now the teen market is so swamped with paranormal and also dystopian and soon it will be inundated with sci/fi. But you know, that's just not me. I don't tend to read those genres and therefore I certainly would not be able to write for the trends right now. In order to make my sweet, somewhat wholesome writing stand out in such an edgy market, I think it's important to pair my tendency to write romantic comedies with an unusual hook. My first book had the unusual idea of an apology left on a tray table in a plane crash and this book, hopefully, will hook readers with the idea of using hypnosis to control circumstances.
Q. You're turning into quite the prolific writer and I of course I want to know what's in the pipelines and how you see your future as a writer?
A. Well, we are "in discussion" right now for a third YA, so cross your fingers :) There was almost a two year gap between my first and second books and my future goal would be to attempt to close the time gap between the release of CRUSH CONTROL and a third book. Now that my daughter IS successfully sleeping through the night (no hypnosis, I promise!) perhaps I'll be able to accomplish that! :)
In case you're interested, I recently filmed this author video that talks a little about CRUSH CONTROL, the fictional setting and inspiration.
Q. Thanks so much and congratulations! e