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.
Since this blog is about offering inspiration to writers and artist, my first question for you is, do you have a favorite quote?
The first quote that really helped me was,
“Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best.” – Henry Van Dyke.
I pinned it above my computer in 2005, when I first started querying. That way if I ever felt “not good enough,” I could look up at it and realize that it’s okay if I’m not the very best, that I still have a place somewhere, and my voice deserves to be heard.
What’s your favorite piece of advice you like to give writers trying to follow in your footsteps?
My blog’s tag line is: “A published author is an amateur who didn’t quit. Don’t quit.”
That pretty much sums it up. I put that tag line up sometime in 2007 or 2008, before I got my deal, and it’s stayed there ever since.
Your book Prada and Prejudice has been flying off the shelves. It is now in its fifth printing, this is a huge accomplishment. Congratulations! When you first started writing it, did you have moments of self-doubt? If so, how did you keep going?
Thank you! And yes, of course, I think we all have doubts from time to time. Prada & Prejudice weathered so many rejections and revisions I wanted to hurl it out the window more than a time or two. But at the end of the day, I still believed in the story. Luckily, my agent did too, so we just kept trying and trying and trying, and eventually it worked out.
There’s no secret or tip I can give you to make it easier, or make the rejections sting a little less. Just remember they are part of this business—forever more–and if you view them as an inevitable part of things, it gets easier. Because even after the deal, there will be someone on amazon tearing your novel apart, or one of the chains will decide not to carry it at all… you just have to have a thick skin and believe in yourself above all else.
What did you want to be growing up? Now that you’re an author/agent did this come as a surprise?
I wanted to be a veterinarian for pretty much as long as I can remember. I grew up on a dairy surrounded by animals, so it made sense.
Well, until I “assisted” one of the vets that stopped by weekly, while he performed surgery. About the time he was pulling the stomach out of the cow, I almost passed out. I remember saying, “it’s getting dark around the edges…” and then rushing away on wobbly legs. I ran into him last summer (more than 10 years later!) and he looked right at me and said, “It’s getting dark around the edges!” I couldn’t believe he remembered.
Needless to say, being a vet wasn’t in the cards.
I kind of stumbled into the writing thing in 2003, but it’s become an overwhelming passion. I can’t get enough!
Who has been the biggest influence on you in your writing career? What have they done to encourage you?
I thanked Lauren Barnholdt in my acknowledgments for Prada & Prejudice. Any time something happened that I didn’t understand or that just frustrated the heck out of me, I’d email her, and she was always around to help. Other than her, my critique partner, Cyn Balog, has been absolutely instrumental in this journey. We met before either of us had agents or publishing deals, and now we have 11 books between us. Every curve and hill on this road has been shared with her!
If you could pick one word to describe yourself, what would it be?
I guess I would pick tenacious. Dictionary.com describes it as persistent or stubborn. I’m one of those two.
WOW! Thank you Mandy. If you would like to find out more about Mandy Hubbard please visit her site here.
And congratulations Mandy on, You Wish hitting shelves everywhere August 5th, 201o!