Jolene Stockman is a brilliant new author with 'Total Blueprint for World Domination' a self help manual aimed at teenagers already available, and her first novel 'The Jelly Bean Crisis' to be released on August 1st 2012. Both books are a fantastic and witty read and I want to thank Jolene for allowing me to review them and for taking the time to answer a few questions for me. Welcome to the page Jolene!
Q:-‘The Jelly Bean Crisis’ is a very unusual title for a book, which came first the idea or the title?
J.S The idea for The Jelly Bean Crisis came first. I wrote the book as a kind of antidote to the massive pressure that can come when you’re a teen. You’re making life-changing decisions, right when you’re trying to figure out who you are. For me there are usually three ways to eat candy: you can wolf it down (and sometimes, that is totally the way to go!), you can eat your favourites first (live in the now!), or you can eat them last (delay gratification!). I love the idea of changing the way you live your life to match the way you eat your candy.
Q:-You say when you were young you were the ‘shy kid’, and you took steps to change your life when your lack of confidence threatened your dreams. What were those dreams and what steps did you take to overcome your shyness?
J.S My school report cards all include a version of, “Jolene is too quiet.” “Jolene needs to speak up.” Being shy and / or introverted can be (a really valuable!) part of who you are, but it can also make life difficult if you want to put yourself -or your work- out in the world. When I fell in love with filmmaking I felt sure it was my calling. But I found out pretty fast that my shyness didn’t gel with the in-your-face film school students that I worked with. Dreams crushed, big time.
I did a heap of different things to find ways around my shyness – but the two things that worked best for me were: joining Toastmasters (a super-supportive public speaking organisation), and getting a job in a video store (where I used my passion for movies to learn to speak with people while making eye contact..!). I think it’s important to be who you are, but also to know that your strengths can work for you instead of against you!
Q:- ‘Total Blueprint for Word Domination’ is a motivational self help manual. When I read it I felt it contained information that would help people of all ages, why did you decide to market it specifically for teenagers?
J.S Thank you so much :) I’m getting awesome feedback that people of all ages are using the book, which is so unexpected and sooo awesome! I aimed it at teenagers because when I came up with the concept for the book, I was a teenager. I think the book has that edge-of-everything kind of feeling that you have when you’re a teenager. And the super cool thing is that we’re all on the edge of everything – no matter what age we are!
Q:-Random question!…..(I am asking 10 authors this question to see how many agree to it!):- If I asked you to include the phrase ‘A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.’ somewhere in your next novel would you?
J.S Teehee, can’t you totally see that character? I will let you know when I do it!
Q:- I am eager to see more of your work, have you any plans in the pipeline for either another novel or another non-fiction book?
J.S Yay - you are so cool to say that! The sequel to Total Blueprint for World Domination (Guide to the (U)niverse) will be next, and another fiction after that. I’m so excited, writing is totally my red jelly beans!
Q:- Do you read a lot if so who is your favourite author?
J.S I read as much as I can, but not as much as I’d like (I bet you’re the same!). My favourite author ever is probably Roald Dahl – his wicked humour totally spoke to me as a child (and still does!), but authors and books are totally like food – you can jump into whatever you feel like. So Malcolm Gladwell and Dr Suess are my meat-sub how-awesome-and-weird-is-life guys, Elmore Leonard and Amanda Hocking are my favourites for popcorn books that read like film, plus there is so much kick-ass candy YA out now: Veronica Roth, Ann Brashares, Kiersten White, Scott Westerfeld, Carrie Ryan, Laurie Halse Anderson (and I’m finding new favourites all the time!).Yay Goodreads!
Q:- You are a master of ‘neuro linguistic programming’. What is that?
J.S It’s the study of communication and human behaviour, how we interpret language to design our lives (yay!). Learning NLP is another great way to pick up strategies for overcoming shyness (if that’s what you want to do!).
Q:- Moral dilemma:-You are in a shop/store buying milk when a man carrying a baseball bat comes in and demands the shop owner gives him the contents of the till/register. Although you have never met him, you recognise the man as the husband of one of your long term co-workers. You have seen many photographs of him while sharing lunch with her and you are only 99% sure it is him. Do you tell the police?
J.S Hmm, I think with these questions the best idea is to put yourself in the other person’s place. So if it was my husband? I would totally want my co-worker to tell me. He or she would need to word it carefully, and bring a heap of chocolate, but I would definitely rather know (and would try super-hard not to do the whole shoot-the-messenger thing!)
Quick fire questions:-
a) Summer or Winter? Winter
b) Hugs or Kisses? Hugs
c) Cake or Ice-cream? Ice cream
d) Book or Film? Yes!!!
e) Night on the town or Quiet night in? Quiet night in :)
Q:- What one question do you wish I had asked you during this interview but didn’t?
Question: What’s next for The Jelly Bean Crisis? Answer: The book launches on August 1, and there’s a blog tour August 6-11 ( Sign up here) I’m so excited, and so grateful for the opportunity to be here, thank you so much Jane and Lindsay!