Thursday, October 21, 2010

Guest Post by Mandy Hubbard

authorphoto Bio from Mandy's website
Mandy Hubbard is the author of Prada & Prejudice, You 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. 
 -My topic for her was taken from your questions a while back on my blog: How you write:  What inspires you? Do you write when the mood strikes for set number of hours? By hand or computer? How did your fictionpress writings help you? What about being in publishing business?
Mandy's answer:
Hi Brandi! Thanks for having me at your blog. J
I would say that there are two types of writers out there: those who consider themselves to have a “muse”, who say their characters talk to them, who need to feel inspired (or they have writer’s block) in order to be productive, etc…..and then there are writers who are more mechanical and business-like about their writing.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with either type, but I am most definitely the “mechanical”  type. I’ve never totally understood the idea of writer’s block—if I don’t like the scene I’m writing, I can give it a junk ending and write the next chapter and just fix it later. I write more quickly if I have deadlines looming or whatnot. And if I need an idea, I actively brainstorm and look for ideas, rather than waiting for one to strike.

My inspiration for being a writer is my love of books—I am absolutely, totally enamored by them! It is actually reading which got me into writing. There is a site called, and I discovered it before I ever wanted to write. I just liked being able to find fun, exciting new stories and then reading them for free. I read on that site for months before I started to think, “Hey, I know! I could add my own work too!” And I did just that, for nearly three years without ever wanting to be published. So I truly credit Fictionpress with turning me into a writer.

I abhor writing by hand. Firstly, I hate my handwriting, and secondly, I can only write a paragraph or two before my hand cramps. I am honestly not certain I would continue writing if computers ceased to exist—probably because I’m more of a reviser than a writer so my book would have to be rewritten over and over if I couldn’t just move paragraphs around and add in descriptions and such.

I tend to write wherever I can cram it—during a 30 minute train ride, while eating a sandwich, or after my daughter goes to bed. I rarely get long stretches of uninterrupted time until its after 9pm, and then it lasts until I’m literally falling asleep while typing.

I think being in the publishing business does change your writing in some ways. For one, there are deadlines. They’re great motivators. J But it also means you can’t sit and play with your book and move things around just to see if they look better. It means I don’t always have the opportunity to ‘sit on’ a book and let it stew and run it through Cps and go back again. I have a very limited amount of time to make a book the best damn book it can be, and then I have to let it go and hope it measures up. In contrast, my debut novel, PRADA & PREJUDICE, was in its 11th draft by the time it hit shelves. It can be a little scary realizing something goes from idea to advance reader copies in six months.

On the flip side, though, that’s a reflection of the career I’ve chosen. Many writers don’t like to sell on proposal. They want to write the whole book and then share it with their editor. They may choose to have a book come out 1-2 years apart.

My goal from the get-go was to be a two book per year author. I knew I could do it, and I set out striving toward that from day one. 2009, my debut year, I had on book, This year, I had a book and a novella. In 2011 and 2012, I will have two books. I’m thrilled by that, but it also means juggling like crazy. It means selling proposals and still needing to write the rest of the book in 2 months.

I’ve learned a lot about how I operate as a writer, and it helps me know what I want to commit to.
As of right now, I’m loving every crazy minute of it! 

Mandy's newest book:

 You Wish
Kayla McHenry’s sweet sixteenth sucks! Her dad left, her grades dropped, and her BFF is dating the boy Kayla’s secretly loved for years.  Blowing out her candles, Kayla thinks: I wish my birthday wishes actually came true. Because they never freakin’ do. Kayla wakes the next day to a life-sized, bright pink My Little Pony outside her window. Then a year’s supply of gumballs arrives. And a boy named Ken with a disturbing resemblance to the doll of same name stalks her. As the ghosts of Kayla’s wishes-past appear, they take her on a wild ride… but they MUST STOP. Because when she was 15? She wished Ben Mackenzie would kiss her.
And Ben is her best friend’s boyfriend. 
My review is here

Connect with Mandy:
Her blog
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  1. Thanks for an interesting interview - it was good to meet Mandy. I was especially interested to read of just when she made time to write as I know that lots of authors force themselves to write so many hours a day and make time to do just this.

  2. Haha. I hate my handwriting, too, and it becomes eligible after I have written a single page of my notebook.

    I love Miss Mandy Hubbard's books, I am glad to know she has an upcoming books.

    Thank you, Brandi for this post! :)

  3. I adore this guest post! She's inspiring for young aspiring authors like myself :)

  4. This is such an interesting post for aspiring writers. It's amazing how some authors can just write and write, while others experience writer's block. Thanks for stopping by Mandy :D


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