Today I’m excited to welcome Mandy Hubbard, debut author of the YA novel, PRADA & PREJUDICE, which releases this Thursday, June 11th!
I’ve read Mandy’s blog since she was an aspiring author, and I’m so glad that a sweetheart like her is getting published. She also grew up on a farm, which immediately earns my respect! Mandy generously agreed to answer my questions; I love her advice for young writers …
1. What type of books did you read as a teenager?
I was stuck on THE SADDLE CLUB until I hit about 13 or 14, which was sort of embarassing since they are targeted for 8 years old and up. After that I read R.L. Stine, and then moved up to romance and suspense–the stuff written for adults. YA has exploded in recent years– I wish I had had this many options to choose from! I love YA today and how much it has grown from things like Sweet Valley High, which always seemed too sweet and simple for my taste.
2. How old were you when you started your first novel, and how long did it take you to finish it?
In my teens, I didn’t have the slightest inclination to become a writer. My brother is an artist and I used to joke that he soaked up all the creative genes in our family. When I was 20 years old, I found a site called Fictionpress.com, and signed up for an account. After a few weeks of working up the nerve, I began posting my first novel online, one chapter at a time. I’ve written dozens of novels and stories since.
3. What education or preparation shaped you into the author you are today?
A formal education can be really great for a lot of people. In my case, I kind of hated english class, especially when it focused on poetry! Instead I read voraciously– almost 100 books a year. Writing books is a little like training for the olypmics– you can’t expect to be the best right off the bat, but with a lot of practice you’ll steadily improve. Swap books with other writers and critique one anothers work. Revising is a huge part of writing, so don’t ever think your first draft is perfect. Mine never are!
4. If you could give your teenage self one piece of writing advice, what would it be?
I just wish I had written at all as a teen! If I had the opportunity, I would send myself a link to fictionpress.com. On that site, everyone is a novice. It’s so easy to think you’re not a good writer if you only read published books—because those have had professionals help develop them, and they are final drafts. At fictionpress, everything is a work in progress. You have to start somewhere!
5. Tell us about your debut novel, PRADA & PREJUDICE.
It’s about a fifteen year old girl named Callie who trips in her Prada heels—and wakes up in 1815. Soon she takes on the identity of Rebecca, a visitor from America. As Rebecca, Callie learns to shed her old fears and become outgoing– to speak her mind. But as she soon learns, life in 1815 isn’t so easy: the 19 year old Duke of Harksbury is unbearably arrogant (and way too attractive) and his cousin Emily is doomed to marry a man thirty years older than her.
6. How can readers learn more about you and your books?
My website! www.mandyhubbard.com. On the homepage I have links to my myspace, facebook, blog, and twitter, so I’m always accessible somewhere if they have questions!
Thanks for your time, Mandy, and good luck with the release of PRADA & PREJUDICE—I plan to buy it this weekend! Be sure to check out Mandy’s website if you have questions!