Blog Archive

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

World Domination in a Fun Way - Author Interview with Jolene Stockman

My interview today is with Jolene Stockman who is an award winning writer, speaker, and an staffer for Girlfriend Magazine Australia. She is a Master of Neuro Linguistic Programming, and one of the youngest in the world to achieve the Distinguished Toastmaster Award. Jolene lives in New Zealand and I get to interview her here about her first book.

Your first book, Total Blueprint for World Domination might make people wonder if you are some power-crazed megalomaniac. Tell my readers what this book is really about.
Total Blueprint for World Domination takes you from this very moment to your greatest dream. It supports you in designing your dream world – the perfect world for you, and shows you the steps to make it happen!

What makes you an expert to write a life-planning book for teens?
I began writing the book as a teen, and as I hit challenges on the way to my perfect world I became even more certain that the book would make a difference. Everyone deserves to have a voice in their head saying, “Everything is possible!” I went on to tackle shyness to start my own business and overcome my fear of speaking.

What were your writing credits prior to writing this book?
By the time the book was complete I was a qualified technical writer and scriptwriter working in the industry, although it was a slush-pile query and book proposal that ultimately landed me my agent.

How do you motivate teens to focus on their long term future as opposed to their friends and the current trends?
I think one of the tricks to balancing long and short term goals is to find ways to blend them. The more you can connect your current world to your future one, the more passionate you can be about creating the world you want.

What is your writing designation for Girlfriend Magazine?
For Girlfriend Magazine, I take the tips and tricks from my book and advise on subjects like career planning and motivation. While I do think everything is possible at any age – there’s a special kind of oomph and power to being a teenager!

Your bio says you are a “Master of Neuro Linguistic Programming,” What exactly does that mean?
Neuro Linguistic Programming is the study of communication and human behaviour, how we interpret language to design our lives. I love learning about how brain works and how we can use it to make our world more fun and effective!

You’ve now also written a second book which is YA fiction entitled, The Jelly Bean Crisis. Is the book more on the serious side or a fun read?
After working with me on my first book, my former agent (Jessica Regel, JVNLA) suggested I jump into writing YA. It was a big change for me (and a huge learning curve!) but I had a lot of support – and inspiration! The Jelly Bean Crisis follows a driven teen who gives up her perfect life to try and uncover her passion. It’s a fun, contemporary read – but hopefully it sets off some sparks for readers in their own lives!

Do you feel more comfortable writing fiction or non-fiction?
My comfort zone is non-fiction (my day job is writing educational and training materials), so non-fiction is much faster for me. But there is definitely something magical about fiction, something creative and connected and AWESOME! I really love being able to bounce between writing styles, it means I’m always coming into projects fresh.

Did you self-edit or hire someone else?
Being an editor myself I tend to self-edit fairly viciously, and I also get several professional editing rounds before a book goes out. When I’m reading, typos and mistakes really throw me, so I want to avoid that experience as much as I can for my readers. Fresh eyes (especially professional ones!) are always good.

Once you wrote the book how did you go about looking for a publisher and or agent?
I already had an agent when I wrote The Jelly Bean Crisis, so I was lucky enough to be able to pitch the idea and outline first, and to have a good deal of support. Once I decided to go independent, it was still an incredible amount of work – but the delicious-buzzing kind that comes with doing what you love.

What has frustrated you the most in the publishing process?
Some of the most frustrating aspects of publishing are also the coolest – particularly the fact that I have so little control. I can’t control what people read, what they like, or what they say. Luckily, I can always control the work that I do, and my own responses to the world – so I try to focus on that! 

What have you found the most rewarding – outside of seeing your book in print?
Ooh, easily the best-most-exciting, oprah-cry-inducing, heart-poundingly-awesome part of this journey for me, is when I hear from readers. I have cried more over readers than I ever did over rejections (and yay for that!).

What surprised you the most about the publishing process?
In the last few years, the whole process has gone from glacially slow to super fast. I am constantly surprised at the evolution. Writers and readers have so much more power and responsibility now. It’s intimidating, but really, really exciting, too! 

What has been the most productive promotion that you’ve had with marketing your book?
I’ve been lucky enough to connect with some amazing (read: smart, gorgeous, savvy, sweet, hard working) book bloggers and reviewers. Book bloggers are the powerhouses of book promotion now.

And you know what I love about that? I love that it’s so organic. Book bloggers build their reputations on honesty and hard work – and often they do it simply because they love it. So, if they enjoy a book and share their feelings, it means so much more to readers than an ad or even a giveaway.  

Writing seminars are always telling us about building a marketing platform. What have you learned from using social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and others?
In what can be quite an isolating career, social media sites offer us both an unprecedented opportunity to connect with readers and other writers, and (duh!) a phenomenal time-sucker. Social media is just like real life: be yourself, be true to your word, and be kind. I’m still figuring out how to balance everything time-wise, but zipping around the world through satellites and cables? Yep, still pretty magic to me!

What is the best advice you’ve received on writing? Or what is the best advice you could give other aspiring authors from your experience?
I love writer advice! Basically anything that says, “Do it, do it now!” is good advice. My advice? From my blog post... Being a writer is a dream. It’s a top-of-the-bucket list, thing-to-do-before-I-die, can’t-believe-I-get-to-see-it-on-a-bookshelf dream. You are doing something that people aspire to. Even when the blank page is taunting you. Even when the twenty-third rejection rolls in. Even when you’re squishing rewrites in with a million other things. You are part of something amazing. Feel that with all your heart. Know that it’s true no matter what. You are a writer.

If you'd like to learn more about Jolene and her writing, here are several options...
Website       Goodreads         Facebook      Amazon          Blog             Twitter  


  1. The Jelly Bean Crisis is on my TBR list after learning about it on Heidi's Rainy Day Ramblings. I really enjoyed this interview and learning about her publishing process. Also, it was fun to hear her thoughts on social media. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I love the cover of this book. Very clever