Monday, August 03, 2009

Interview with Mandy Hubbard!

Today, we have an interview with Mandy Hubbard, author of PRADA & PREJUDICE. This is her first book, but I think we can expect many more in the future! And now, here's Mandy!

It's a novel for teens about 15 year old Callie, who buys Prada heels to impress the popular girls--but then trips, hits her head, and wakes up in 1815.

What was the inspiration behind your idea?
I really love the time period, but novels set in that era are a little harder to identify with. A teen in 1815 would be worrying about finding a good husband, not a boyfriend! So I combined my favorite elements in reading: a modern character and a historical setting.

How long did it take to get from the initial idea to a completed novel?
If by "completed novel", you mean the one you read today, 3 years. If you mean the first time I thought it was complete, a couple of months. As it turned out, I was wrong. Very, very wrong.

How long did it take to find your agent?
Surprisingly, the agent was the easy part. I signed my first agent based on a partial of a book called THE JETSETTERS SOCIAL CLUB. We were together nine months when I decided to leave her, and that was a super scary decision, but it wasn't what I thought it would be. I queried immediately, and within three weeks signed a new agent. As it turned out, nothing else would go that quickly or easily-- it took nearly two years and over forty rejections on two novels before I sold my debut.

How often do you write, and how much do you write in one sitting?
This varies tremendously. I generally write at least six days a week, at least a half hour at a time. In a day, I can write 2,000 to 5,000 words (my record is 8,000). I almost never get to carve out three or four hour blocks-- I write during my train commute, during my lunch break, or after 9pm, when my daughter is in bed. Turns out you can write a whole novel in 20-30 minute increments.

How did you get in to writing for young adults?
That first agented novel, THE JETSETTERS SOCIAL CLUB, was originally about four twenty-something girls. My first agent asked me to rework it as a YA. Ever since I did that, everything else has been YA.

What are you working on now?
I'm writing two projects at the same time-- my June 2010 novella for Harlequin (this one is for adults) and my Summer 2010 YA book. I'm SUPER psyched about the YA and I think it'll really appeal to fans of Prada & Prejudice. I can't announce the details yet, but I hope to soon!

Are you a planner, or do you write by the seat of your pants?
Mostly seat of my pants, but this is slowly morphing. My editor is really amazing at piecing together the elements of a good book and making it the best that it can be, so if I provide her with an outline before I start, she can steer me in the right direction and ask the right questions. So I am trying super hard to start planning more!

Are you a paper person, or the computer-only-type?
I kid you not, I don't think I would write another book if I had to hand write it. I hate, hate, hate hand-writing things. Computer only, for sure!

What does your writing space look like?
I have a spare room at home, with hardwood floors and green and tan painted walls. The furniture is all black ikea furniture, except my bright blue rolly chair. I do have a huge blowup of my Prada & Prejudice cover, too! It keeps me motivated.

How much do you read, and what are you reading now?
I seem to average about 75 books a year. The last book I read was FAIRY TALE by Cyn Balog. She's my critique partner, and I hadn't read Fairy Tale since she wrote the first draft, back in 2006. It was so much fun reliving the story and seeing what she'd done with it!

Thanks so much for joining us today!

To see more of what Mandy is up to, check out her website at, or her blog at For a chance to win a copy of this book, go here and follow the instructions to enter!


Kelly Polark said...

Great interview! I like how she writes in the half hour to hour increments. That is very encouraging to writer moms with busy schedules!

Stephanie said...

I'm going to add Prada and Prejudice to my list! Sounds really fun!

Very encouraging interview....I am a write at home mom too! I get lucky that my osn loves to he takes a good nap everyday while my older daughter is in school...2-2-1/2 solid hours of writing time! Woo Hoo!!! But summer has been a challenge..... :)

Nayuleska said...

This sounds like a fun book! I love historicals :) Going on my ever growing list.

Great interview too - and goes to show, you don't need large spans of time for writing a novel.

cleemckenzie said...

Yeah! Another super interview. I admire her for those writing hours and half hours. I find that so hard to do.

Danyelle L. said...

I found this book a couple weeks ago and fell in love. Her voice is amazing!

PJ Hoover said...

I've heard such great things about this book! I'll have to pick it up.

Unknown said...

This is def on my to-read list. I love the concept and can't wait to see what she does with it!

Kelly H-Y said...

Great interview! Just the title alone is enough to draw me in!

Angela Ackerman said...

Great interview. That's so amazing how you can write in such small bites of time--way to go!