Today I have an interview with Jacqueline Abelson, author of the YA book Hear.
What’s your favorite part of writing a book?
My favorite part would have to be establishing a character’s dialogue. I try my best to make the characters in my story have a very distinct but relatablevoice that my readers could recognize. My main focus is to always have the dialogue match the character’s personality. I know that my main character, Charlotte, is a cynical teenager who always has these sarcastic or snarky comments that really detail her personality. Also, as a teenager myself, I would be surrounded by people who are either older or younger than me, and listen to the way that they speak. For teenagers, they have this certain dialect in which they use simple descriptions to tell their story, while adults use a bigger portion of their vocabulary, but they mainly describe their day with verbs rather than detailed descriptions. So, I think that whenever I’m writing a story, I always pay very close attention to the speaker’s voice and dialect, because whatever words you put into your character’s mouth will overall outline your character’s personality in the end.
Did you base any of the characters on real people?
I did. My main character, Charlotte, was based off of a woman named Jessica Stone, who (like Charlotte) also suffered from the same disease. There is also a character, named Mel Gaukler, who is Charlotte’s boss. Mel, is the type of character who is pushy, but she’s pushy not because she’s mean, but because she wants people to perform their best. That character was inspired by my Spanish teacher. My teacher had this way of convincing people in our Spanish class to do their best in any given situation. And yes, like Mel, she was a pusher, but in the end our vocabulary and our sentence would improve dramatically, and it was all thanks to her. So Mel has this overall quality bringing the best out of people.
How long did it take you to write the book?
In total, it took me four years to complete the entire novel. One year to write–up the first draft. Three years of intense edits, and finally one year of formatting the novel as a whole. It wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be, but the outcome was worth waiting after all those years. I was pleased in the end.
What input, if any, did you have in the cover design?
I didn’t have that much input into the cover design. All I knew, was that I wanted a cover that had something to do with a violin, since that is the instrument that my main character plays. A wonderful man by the name of Richard Sedivy designed the colorful cover of my novel. It was he who put together the eye–catching, array of colors and who contributed the most effort in giving a face to my novel.
About Jacqueline Abelson
Connect online: Goodreads
Jacqueline Abelson was born in Pasadena, California, and attends Mount Holyoke College.
Lots of people can hear, but how many really listen?
At the age of 17, Charlotte Goode has issues. Serious issues. Despite countless surgeries, her parent’s panic attacks, and a well-meaning oncologist, a rare genetic disorder means Charlotte must live with recurring tumors. Life isn’t supposed to be this way.
And just as Charlotte is learning to cope, she gets some devastating news: Tumors are growing on her auditory nerves. But, the necessary surgery will leave her completely deaf.
With the operation scheduled in a month, Charlotte prepares herself for a world without sound. A world without the violin she loves, without her best friend’s laugh, and even without her boss’s irksome tone. Charlotte’s on a mission to take it all in, while trying to hire a band to play a benefit concert. Will it be The Bond Boys or Lennox?
Counting down the days until everything goes silent, The Bond Boys’ lead singer, Ron Cam, sweeps Charlotte off her feet. He’s pure charisma. Then there’s Matthew Lovelace of Lennox , who captures Charlotte’s attention with his music and “that” voice. What will she do?
Time is running out. Charlotte must find a way to leave the hearing world on a high note without missing a beat.