Today we have an interview with the author of Crush Control, Jennifer Jabaley.
Short bio from her website:
Born in New York and raised in Bridgewater, New Jersey, Jennifer Jabaley is a graduate of James Madison University and Southern College of Optometry. She began writing in 2006 and tries to manage optometry, writing and motherhood. She lives in Blue Ridge, Georgia with her husband and two children.
Did you know you always wanted to write?
Honestly, no. I always loved to read but career wise, I concentrated more on my strengths in math and science. But after I had my son and was only working part time, I started getting this crazy itch to try and write a novel. (Maybe it was sleep deprivation!!) Interestingly, I never told anyone (other than my husband and sister) that I was attempting to write a book for fear that people would think I was insane. But when I finished and got an agent then sold my first book, I eagerly announced the news to everyone. And surprisingly, most people were like, “I can see that – you’re such an animated story teller.” So there you go.
What are some things we can expect from Crush Control that you enjoyed writing and sharing with us?
Well, I had to do some research on how hypnosis worked and it was really interesting. Then, I decided to be accurate, I really needed to witness actual hypnosis. So I booked a trip to Vegas and went to see a show. It was so much fun and entertaining but also really sealed the idea in my mind that hypnosis actually does work. So I hope that all my research lends itself to an authentic portrayal of hypnosis for both entertainment and use in changing habits.
Can you relate to any of the characters in Crush Control?
I absolutely can relate to certain aspects of the main character, Willow. I won’t say I’m a control freak (although my husband and close friends might ) but I definitely have a tendency to want to organize and plan things in my life. I’m not one of these spontaneous, fly by the seat of my pants girls. No. I need to iron those pants first and pre-book my flight and pack a bag (overpack is more appropriate) and check the weather. . .
I also relate to the character of Mia. Mia is a classic overachiever and can be hard on herself. I do find myself feeling guilty if things are not perfect. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve relaxed quite a bit. If someone shows up at the house unexpectedly, I don’t freak out if there’s laundry piled on the couch and I don’t feel guilty if I serve guests food that I bought pre-prepared. I did feel a little bad that I bought cupcakes from the bakery to bring for my son’s school birthday party – but they loved them! I didn’t have time to bake, I was planning his party for the weekend! See, I still have to justify a little to myself…it’s a problem. I’m working on it.
What were top 5 songs that got you going when writing Crush Control?
I can not listen to music while I’m writing – I find it distracting. I can block out the TV, but music seeps into my brain and before I know it, I’m singing the lyrics instead of writing. So, I’m not one of those authors who has a playlist that I listened to while writing. That said, music definitely influenced certain parts of CRUSH CONTROL. From the very beginning, I knew I wanted to write a book about hypnosis, but I was unclear exactly where the hypnosis would play in. Then I was driving one day and zooming across the dial on satellite radio and I landed on the seventies channel (don’t judge!! some of the tunes are catchy!) The song ‘You can do magic’ by America was playing. “You can do magic. You can have anything that you desire. Magic. When you hypnotize; with your eyes; a heart of stone; can turn to flames.” And suddenly it hit me. If a teenager could hypnotize people, OF COURSE they would use that ability to make someone like them!!
Also, when crafting Oompa, the dog, I knew I wanted to give him some crazy post traumatic stress behavior after the big move. When thinking of something that would instantly remind the dog of his old Vegas home and calm him down, I just automatically thought of all the Vegas shows. Last summer, when I was writing this book, there was a big hoopla that it would be Cher’s last Vegas tour. So I decided to pick Cher songs that would naturally make Oompa remember his home in Vegas. I spent a lot of time walking around the house singing, “Do you BE-LIEVE in life after love?” My kids wanted to kill me.
Finally, since Max is a drummer, music is his life. I knew I wanted to give him a song that would perfectly epitomize his relationship with Willow. I spent a lot of time searching for the perfect song that portrayed friends that become romantic involved. I debated between several choices but ultimately I picked Taylor Swift’s “You belong with me” because I felt like Taylor Swift so perfectly captures the longing for one friend to desperately want the other friend to realize that they belong together.
If you could write a book with another author, who would it be and what would it be about?
Hmmm. That’s a really great question. There are so many wonderful authors out there and right now several projects are happening with YA authors grouping together. What I think would be really unique and fresh would be to pair together with an adult author and write a book that had an adult character point of view alongside a teen character. It could be written in such a way to have crossover appeal to both audiences. In that vein, I’d love to pair with one of my favorite adult women’s fiction authors like maybe Sophie Kinsella or Emily Giffin or Marian Keyes….oh to dream!
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