Thursday, August 13, 2009

Interview with Jennifer Jabaley

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. Her first book Lipstick Apology, is now available.

1. Emily is plaugued by four words that her mother wrote. How did you find the inspiration and the emotions for writing it?
The inspiration for this story came from a phone conversation with my sister. She was leaving to go on a trip and it was the first time she was leaving her children. She was very nervous and kept calling me and giving me instructions 'in case the plane went down'. After the seventh or eighth call it became comical and I said to my husband, 'if the plane goes down she'll whip out her lipstick and scribble the kids' bedtime routines for me.' And suddenly it was like, 'wow, that's a good idea for a book - what if someone seriously DID have something they needed to say and their only option was a note on a tray table?'
Finding the emotions to write the story was a bit more difficult. I think my natural personality leans more toward the light and comical side. The original manuscript had a lot more grief at the beginning - but my editor (as well as several other readers) all agreed that the story really took off after the grief, once she arrived in NY and things could be a little lighter. So we chopped the first three chapters that were originally set in PA.

2. What was the most difficult thing for writing Lipstick Apology? What was the easiest part?
The most difficult, by far, was achieving the right tone. As I said above, my natural style tends to be light and breezy but this story required some sadness. It was difficult to balance. The easiest part, for me was the dialogue. I've been told I have a good knack for writing dialogue, which is such a nice compliment, but really, I think it's just because me and my best friends like to gab so much!

3. What was it like being a Deb?
Awesome! The Debs have been an amazing source of information, inspiration and friendship.

4. Do you have an advice to those that writing their first novel?
Persistance pays. Seriously - you just have to committ to the whole project - there are so many steps and so many opportunities to get discouraged (finishing the manuscript, finding an agent, having an editor buy your project). But you just have to committ to the whole experience and not get frustrated if one step of the process takes a lot longer than the other. One of my favorite quotes: "Many of life's failures are poeple who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up." - Thomas Edison

5. What are some of your favorite Young Adult books?
It's so hard for me to select favorite books! How about authors - some of my favorite YA authors are Sarah Dessen, Meg Cabot, Megan McCafferty and Sarah Mylnowski.

6. Other then reading and writing, what do you enjoy doing?
Most of all I enjoy my family and friends. I love to take walks - one of my favorite things to do is push the stroller at this beautiful park near my home and talk on the phone to my sister or friends. I love tennis, but haven't played on a competitive team since my son was born. I love to paint - oils, acrylics and watercolors - I've painted all the cute/fun paintings that decorate my kids' bedrooms. I love to travel (especially to the beach) but it's more difficult to do with two young kids.

7. Is there anything that you would like to add?
I would like to thank you and all the wonderful readers and bloggers who have given me and LIPSTICK APOLOGY so much promotion and support. It has made my experience as a debut author wonderful!


  1. Okay, I'm intrigued. What were the four words?!? I must find out! "I'm sorry," is too short, and, "I'm super duper sorry," doesn't seem appropiate so I guess I'll have to read it. :D

  2. I read your review and I now what the four words were, but now I must know why she was so sorry! XD


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