Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Author Chat: Mandy Hubbard

We have with us today author Mandy Hubbard!
Mandy Hubbard is the author of Prada & PrejudiceYou Wish, and five other to-be-published novels for teens. She is also a literary agent for D4EO Literary, where she represents authors of middle grade and teen fiction. She is currently living happily ever after with her husband and young daughter in Enumclaw, Washington.

-What made you decide to write your first novel instead of just keeping the idea to yourself?

I was hanging out on Fictionpress.com, where a lot of amateur writers post stories chapter-by-chapter. I decided I wanted to join in the fun, because everyone reviews each others work and is really supportive. I wrote my first five or six novels for that site!

-What was your inspiration for your newest novel, 
You Wish?
I was thinking of stories in which characters get their most fervent wish or desire—and then I started to think about how sometimes our wishes change as we grow up. I was falling asleep, late one night, while thinking about how if I got one of my childhood wishes, I’d probably have a life-sized MY LITTLE PONY. The idea snowballed from there, into the idea of giving a girl ALL of her childhood wishes. 
-Which do you prefer writing more, young adult or adult novels?
YA, definitely. I love adult romances because they’re meatier, steamier, thicker, but at the end of the day, I’m always drawn back to YA. First love, finding yourself, etc, is just timeless, to me. And YA has enjoyed such an explosion that it’s never been a better time to write it.
-Do you have any interesting writing quirks or habits?
Hm. I wish I could be eclectic and unique, but not really. I do make myself weird, asterisked comments in my drafts as I go, though. Like, “Too bad this isn’t funny.” And “Yick, that chapter hook stinks.”
-Which character from any of your novels do you resonate most with and why?
Ann, my main character in BUT I LOVE HIM, probably hits closest. Her desire to forgive over and over even when she shouldn’t is something I used to do. 
-How did the title and cover of You Wish come to be?
My publisher gets all the credit for that! I never titled it myself at all. I pitched it to my agent/publisher as a three 
paragraph pitch (we were searching for a great idea to fulfill the second book in a two book contract). They loved it and immediately asked me to write it. My agent named it THE GHOSTS OF BIRTHDAYS PAST which I loved. My editor suggested YOU WISH, which is probably a little snappier.
yw_coverIt’s the only book I’ve ever written which I never suggested a title. 
On the cover, my editor asked me if I had any ideas/input. I scoured some stock photo sites and found a striking photograph of a cupcake with a black background and smoke swirling from a blown-out candle. I immediately emailed it to my editor.
Turns out she had found the EXACT same photo and had JUST emailed it to the art department. They used it for inspiration, brightening it up, adding a pony, and spelling the title in the smoke. 

-In your opinion, what are the most essential elements in any great story?
Killer characters, a great voice, and strong tension. 
-What are some of your favorite books or authors?
ANYTHING by Jennifer Echols; One Night that Changes Everything by Lauren Barnholdt; Amaranth Enchantment by Julie Berry, The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams…. I could go on and on.
-What’s up next for you book-wise? Any new books we might want to look into?
I have two coming out next year! A dark literary contemporary book called BUT I LOVE HIM, written under a pen-name (Amanda Grace) and my first Paranormal romance, RIPPLE, about a siren who accidently kills the only boy she’s ever loved.
-Anything else you’d like to add, Mandy?
Nope! Thanks so much for having me!! 

Thank you Mandy! Be sure to check out Mandy's novel Prada and Prejudice, as well as her new books, You Wish and Ripple.