Mandy Hubbard – PRADA AND PREJUDICE
So excited to announce our first author interview. Huge Thank You to Mandy Hubbard, for allowing us to interview her.
What inspired you to write about this theme?
I think most of us can identify with not fitting in. I was definitely shy and insecure in high school, so it was an easy theme to write about!
How did you come up with the title?
The original title was really terrible—“How to Snag A Duke (And other things I learned in school).” My agent pretty much said it sucked. So I’d been thinking of new ideas and ended up in a bookstore where I saw a book called “Pride and Petticoats”. And that’s when I realized that with a time travel, I should do something old-meets-new. The title Prada and Prejudice came to mind before I even made it home that day.
Did you help design the cover?
Not really. My editor sent over a preliminary version and my agent and I both talked about it and had some small requests. They did a photo shoot and sent me an email with three new images. I got to pick my favorite, and that’s the one that ended up on the cover. The other ones had tighter jeans and different heels.
Are there any similarities between you and Callie?
We’re both blonde and klutzy (true story: my middle name is Grace. Irony abounds)…and I definitely have some insecure moments, but I think as I’ve gotten older I’ve become more outgoing. Callie is definitely a teen version of me, not the current one.
Did you use any personal experiences in the story?
Um… not really. Ha. It’s really pure fiction. Of course I use my background to create the details in fiction—I know how to ride a horse, so of course I’m going to use that background to create the scene—but I didn’t take any actual things that happened to me as a plot point.
Did you get to fly to London for “research”?
Sadly, no. Callie has gone where I haven’t. I used google to find a map of downtown and made up the hotel. I also found pictures of a real Prada store. Someday, when I finally get to London, I’ll have to take a picture of myself in front that store!
How old where you when you began writing stories?
20. I honestly never wanted to be a writer/author as a kid. I told everyone my brother (who is an artist) “soaked up all the creativity in our family.” Go figure that I’d end up being published.
About how long does it take you to write a book?
The first draft, 4-8 weeks. But until the moment my editor says I can’t touch it again, it remains a work in progress and I go through many, many rounds of revisions, line edits, copy edits, etc.
What do you read in your spare time, any books you would recommend?
There are sooooo many good books, here is a list that is no way inclusive of all my favorites:
Romance: THE SEASON by Sarah MacLean
Funny: A Match Made in High School by Kristin Walker
Heartbreaking: The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Typing “The End” just means you’ve finished your first draft and you can now begin your second. Find critique partners or a group, and work at perfecting your craft.
I’d never, not in a million years, send my editor something until I’d been through it several times.
Did you plan on being a YA author?
No. Since I was in my 20s when I started writing, my characters were too. But as it turns out, writing a college-aged protagonist is really tricky—publishers like it to be either YA or adult, nothing in between. My agent asked me to age them down, and I’ve written YA ever since.
Are there any authors that have inspired you?
Lauren Barnholdt has definitely inspired me over the years—she’s prolific, but her books are really fun and commercial, and that’s the sort of career I’d love to have.
When naming your characters, do you give any thought to the actual meaning?
Wouldn’t that be cool if I said yes, and then had all these reasons for the names? I actually just choose names off the top of my head and go with it. Sometimes I change them if they don’t seem to be jiving, but usually it’s just the first name I come up with. For my 2010 YA, the three main girls are all named after one of my cousins. (Kayla, Nicole, Janae). Although I should probably tell them that, huh?
If you could collaborate with another author on a book, who would it be?
Actually, the one author I wanted to collaborate with—Cyn Balog—I did it. We have a co-written novel that just started submissions. I would have loved to have written a Saddle Club book, though—those are ghostwritten and I was obsessed with them for so long, it would have been cool to write one. Sadly, they stopped publishing them a few years ago.
Do you have another book coming out soon?
I have two releases in 2010.
Summer 2010 I’ll have another YA out, though the name/subject is top secret for now.
My other release is a NASCAR romance novella for Harlequin titled DRIVEN, about a twenty year old (female) mechanic who falls for a pit crew member on a rival team.
Do you have a favorite author?
Yeesh, am I only allowed to pick one? Lauren Barnhdolt, Ally Carter, Alyson Noel, Sarah MacLean, Carrie Ryan, Jennifer Brown, Kat Martin….I could go on and on!
On your website, it mentions, looking for a Backstreet Boy fanfiction… care to elaborate?
Erm, no? hehe. Just kidding.
I was really into them in high school, and had two friends who were as well. We even made up choreographed dances to some of their songs. Anyway, my best friend was so obsessed with A.J. that she talked about him like he was this real person she hung out with and it used to get on my nerves. When I finally told her to shut up about it, she started ripping all his pictures out of her binder and said, “Fine! You want me to stop talking about him? I won’t mention him for a whole week! You’ll see how shallow I am!”
We still quote that sentence back at her and have a good laugh. She’s the one who introduced me to fan fiction because she used to get all these newsletters with stories in them. So I was looking for that when I ended up on Fictionpress.com, the website I started out writing for.
You can find our review of Prada& Prejudice- here