Author Interview with Kirsten Hubbard


Kirsten Hubbard is a 27 year old travel writer, who has written two books-Like Mandarin and Wanderlove.
Like Mandarin is coming out on the 8th of March this years and Wanderlove in the Spring of 2012 (a very loooong wait!). 
I found Like Mandarin on Goodreads and Wanderlove on Kirsten's blog, and i LOVED their synopsis. I missed the give-away of Like Mandarin on her blog,so i shall just have to wait for it to come out to get my won copy!! I featured her book on my Waiting on Wednesday post and she commented and i got super excited and emailed her for an author interview. 
This is my first ever author interview and i still haven't gotten over the excitement..

  Mandarin Ramsey sounds like a fun, fearless free bird character, how was she born?

Mandarin is sort of the manifestation of all the girls I was ever fascinated with, and the qualities I found intriguing. When I first created her, all I knew was how she seemed to Grace – how Grace saw her (beautiful, shameless, carefree, wild…) Writing Like Mandarinwas a process of discovering the girl behind her actions.

   Are they any male protagonist in the book? The synopsis makes no such references, it sounds like an all-girl adventure book..

All-girl adventure book! I like that. No, there isn't a male protagonist in the book, though there are a number of supporting male characters, ranging from Grace's friend Davey (poor Davey! He's definitely the protagonist of his own story, offstage), to Mandarin's bartender father, to the many nameless men Mandarin "dates".

     Why did you pick the YA genre to write a book for?

The excitement!

Actually, I started my first (unfinished) novel when I was 20 or so, and it just made sense to write about the age group I still remembered so well. In the years since, I've only grown to adore writing for teens more. It really is such an exciting, transitional time of our lives, where the firsts are everywhere and the freedoms are new and the feelings are more intense.

 Did you have a moment when you just want to give up on the book?

I never wanted to give up, exactly, but I did shelf the first version I wrote for a couple years. I knew I needed to overhaul it, but the idea of it daunted me. It took writing another book (Wanderlove, which will be my second novel published!) before I was ready to tackle the massive revisions, and had the wisdom to know what I wanted to change.

  Are they any similarities between Mandarin (from "Like Mandarin") and Bria from ("Wanderlove")?

Not at all! I'd be really reaching if I tried to find any. They probably wouldn't have much to say to each other. There are more similarities between Bria and Grace – both are trying to be someone they're not. Grace is a lot more timid and naive than Bria, but most of that has to do with the differences in their ages (Grace is 14, Bria is 18).
Which fictional character would you like to meet someday?

Lolita is my favorite book, but I'd like to save Dolores Haze.

   7 random things about yourself..
  1. My favorite young adult books are Feed by M.T. Anderson and Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta.
  2. I have a fraternal twin sister.
  3. I was voted Most Talented in high school, but for drawing, not writing.
  4. If tattoos lasted a year or two, I would have tons. 
  5. I played water polo for three years in high school. I was okay.
  6. When I was 13, I ran an AOL-based a Smashing Pumpkins fan newsletter called Children of the Pumpkin Patch. (How embarrassing. At least it wasn't for Hanson.)
  7. I have a dog named Sky. He's a boy. Everyone thinks he's a girl, though.
  To aspiring travel writers such as myself, any wise words of advice?

Always search for the details other people overlook, the beauty in unexpected places. But that's advice for any writer. As for becoming a published travel writer – you have to do some traveling first, so you have stories to start with. Then, begin with local publications and online travel magazines. You might have to write for no or little pay to get clips, but limit it to just a few pieces. Too many writers write for a pittance and it's a shame.

 Which is your favorite travel destination?

This one's so hard. I'm particularly in love with the Lake Atitlan region of Guatemala, and the islands of Belize. So I wrote a book that takes place in both! That's Wanderlove.



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