Tip of the Day: PRADA AND PREJUDICE releases on June 11! Check the blog all week for more debut author interviews.
This week at Author2Author, we're chatting with authors whose novels release in early 2009. I spoke to Mandy Hubbard, author of PRADA AND PREJUDICE, releasing this coming June. Doesn't that title sound delicious? And check out this fun jacket-type copy:
To impress the popular girls on a high school trip to London, klutzy Callie buys real Prada heels. But trying them on, she trips…conks her head…and wakes up in the year 1815! There Callie meets Emily, who takes her in, mistaking her for a long-lost friend. As she spends time with Emily’s family, Callie warms to them—particularly to Emily’s cousin Alex, a hottie and a duke, if a tad arrogant. But can Callie save Emily from a dire engagement, and win Alex’s heart, before her time in the past is up?
This is such a great hook, isn't it? I asked Mandy some questions about her writing:
1. Time travel and Jane Austen's England! I'm so looking forward to reading this. Did you read Jane Austen as "research" and what was your favorite Austen novel?
Prada & Prejudice definitely involved research ... my favorite part was watching the movies for visual ideas-- Vanity Fair, Pride & Prejudice, Becoming Jane... I put the movies on and kept a notebook and scribbled silly notes that made sense only to me (such as Neckcloth->PEACOCK!!). As you can guess, Pride & Prejudice is defintiely my favorite Austen novel. There's just something about Mr. Darcy! I mean, Edward is great, but in 200 years are people still going to be head over heels for him? Mr. Darcy takes the cake.
2. You spend time on Live Journal and Verla Kay's Blueboards encouraging other writers (and we appreciate it!). What inspires you to connect to other writers online?
I think a big reason for me is that it took so long to get my deal. I got an agent in January '06 and my deal in June '08-- over two years. Rejection is so tough and it seems almost impossible at times. The hardest part is seing people get agents AFTER me and then sell very quickly ... and yet it turns out its quite common to take a year or more as an agented writer to land that deal-- and I wanted to be sure others knew that just because they didn't sell overnight didn't mean they wouldn't sell . . . everyone has their own path.
[Kate's note: That's just so motivated by niceness. I love it.]
3. As opposed to encouraging ... what do you find the most discouraging part of the writing process? Not the business part of it, but crafting your stories.
The hardest for me was doing a revision and having an editor feel I went the wrong direction. The idea that I spent hours upon hours on something and they didn't think it had improved was tough-- but a second editor completely disagreed and felt it had "come a long way," so that made it easier. It really is hard to be subjective about your own work.
[Kate's note: It's a good reminder, too, of how subjective editors can be.]
4. The launch date for PRADA AND PREJUDICE is June 11. Does it feel like it's years away or coming up too fast?
Years away! I seriously am dying for it to be on shelves already. I was lucky in that it is almost exactly 12 months from the day I got the call to the day it releases-- some writers wait two years or more-- but it still seems like it will never get here!
[Kate's note: Ha, I think I'd feel like this too!]
5. Would you be willing to give us an inside scoop on what you're working on now?
Currently, I'm working on DAIRY PRINCESS, which is due out Summer 2010, about a tomboy who enters a pageant-like competition in order to win the prize money and save her family's dairy. It's really fun to write because I grew up on a dairy farm.
OK, now I have two books to look forward to! Check out Mandy's website at www.mandyhubbard.com to learn more about her novels. And thanks for talking with me, Mandy!
Tomorrow Emily interviews another debut author, Jessica Burkhart. Get your new book scoops all week long here, peeps!
-- Kate, Miss Perfecting the Pages