Raincoast Teen Blog
Crystal Allen is the Children's Book Publicist at Raincoast Books. She lives in beautiful Vancouver, BC with her 3 year old daughter, husband and their 4 pound Yorkie. She is also the owner and designer of Lilikoi Lane, a Vancouver based custom shirt company. You can find her on facebook at http://www.lilikoilane.info/
Crystal has been doing a wonderful job promoting I'M NOT HER to Indigo/Chapters and the amazing Independent Bookstores in Canada!
I asked her to be the first participant in the IF I TELL FIVE. So without further ado, here we go!
JG: Are you good at keeping secrets? Why or why not?
CRYSTAL: I am, and I'm not. I'm definitely not the girl who is going to run around blabbing your secret to the whole wide world, but if I know something really big I have a hard time keeping it in. Usually if someone tells me a huge secret that I just can't keep to my self I will tell my husband (who is probably the best secret keeper alive!) or my friend Amy, who lives in Colorado and who I have never actually met face to face and knows none of the same IRL (In Real Life) people who I do so even if she blabs no one would find it very interesting since they don't know the people in question. I think it's important to be able to have someone who you trust to confide your secrets to. It's not healthy to keep them all bottled up and to yourself.
I find myself using the same techniques sometimes if it is not the kind of secret I absolutely must keep. My husband never gossips, hates it actually so he's a good person to share with. Or I'll do the tell someone who doesn't know anyone involved and don't mention names. I worry about bursting too. ;) Now...let's talk forgiveness. Do you easily forgive friends for their mistakes? What is something you could never forgive a friend for?
CRYSTAL: My sister and I are 3 years apart. Growing up we would get into huge, monumental fights constantly and then we would have forgiven each other 5 minutes later. Now that I'm grown up it always confuses me when people hold things that they are upset about inside and hold a grudge about it. If you are upset, let me know you are upset, let's have it out and then hug and make up. I'm a pretty forgiving person. I can't think of any friend that I have had a fight with that I'm still mad at so, yes, I would say I forgive friends for their mistakes.
As for something that I couldn't forgive a friend for, I am fiercely protective of my family and friends. I can forgive people for things that they do to me but if someone were to do something that really hurt my daughter or husband, that would probably be harder to get over.
Wow. I admire your candor and totally get the protective thing. All right, so let’s just go ahead and stereotype you for a moment, okay? Okay! What kind of a teen were you, as in what “group” did you associate with? (cheerleader, Goth, nerd, jock , loner etc.)
CRYSTAL: Funny enough I didn't really fit into any of those categories. I was the type of girl that tried to be friends with everyone. I had friends that were in the "popular" crowd but I definitely wasn't one of the popular girls, I had friends who were in the "theater"group and I took a pretty heavy schedule of drama classes but again I definitely wasn't a theater girl. I had friends who were nerds, jocks, "the bad kids", artsy, etc but I don't think I fully fit in with any of the groups and I kind of bounced back and forth from one group to the next. I guess I was just me.
Great person to be. Yourself. Good advice to teens and beyond!
Okay. Now that we're thinking like teens, can you describe your fave teen outfit?
CRYSTAL : I started working at a restaurant as a hostess when I was 14 years old. I had a HUGE crush on the prep cook who was 5 years older than me. We became very good friends and eventually started dating after I graduated from high school. When I was 16 years old my Mom bought me a red dress to wear to a wedding and it ended up becoming my Christmas Party dress. It was my first real "grown up" dress. It fit my body perfectly, had just the right amount of cleavage and was a bold color choice. Everyone noticed the girl in red. I was wearing that dress the first time my crush and I slow danced together at the company Christmas Party and when I left the party at the end of the night he kissed me (on the cheek, daringly close to the lips). The dress made me feel very glamourous and like a girl out of a book. It still makes me smile when I think about it.
You were MUCH cooler than me. I would have been terrified of a boy 5 years older than me that I had a crush on! So, if you could go back to high school knowing now what you didn’t know then, what is one thing you would change? What do you wish you could have told your teen self?
CRYSTAL: This was a tough one for me to answer. My first thoughts were the typical "that the way things are in high school really don't matter once you grow up", or to try and "buckle down and get better grades". Honestly though I don't think either of those things would have changed anything in my grown up life.
So I think it would be this: "Crystal, I know that things are really rough between you and your mom right now. You guys will get through it. One day she will be your best friend, the person who you confide your secrets in. She will make huge sacrifices in her life so that she can help take care of your daughter. The two of them will have a bond that you weren't lucky enough to have with your own grandmas. Play nice and know that the two of you will get through it and be stronger for it."
Aw. That is SO sweet. I know Mom/Daughter relationships can be REALLY tough during teen years. Actually the Mom/Daughter relationship in IF I TELL is really a tough one, but the main character tries to deal with it the best she can. Not always easy though.
Thanks so much CRYSTAL for stopping by and sharing your wonderful answers! I look forward to working with you soon on IF I TELL!!