Name: Jennifer R. Hubbard
Debut Group: Class of 2k10
Debut novel: The Secret Year
THE SECRET YEAR by Jennifer R. Hubbard (Speak, December 23, 2010)
PJH: Okay, so it’s been 2 years since you graduated from your debut class. Personally, I miss the heck out of knowing what my classmates are up to. So give us the low-down. What have you been up to in the last few years? New books? New degrees? New pets? What has been going on, and what do we have to look forward to from you in the future?
Jenn H: In the past two years, I've had short stories published in Hunger Mountain, Cricket magazine, and an anthology called Truth & Dare (Running Press, 2011). My second novel, Try Not to Breathe, just came out in January. It's the story of a sixteen-year old boy who's recovering from a suicide attempt. He befriends a girl who’s visiting psychics to try to reach her dead father.
TRY NOT TO BREATHE by Jennifer R. Hubbard (Viking, January 19, 2012)
PJH: If you could summarize to a debut novelist the best part of being a member of an author group like the “Class of” groups, what would you say?
Jenn H: Debut-author groups have been enormously helpful to me. There's the practical information we share: where to order bookmarks, how to get an author photo taken, when to expect ARCs, etc. There's the networking: the conferences I heard about because of 2k10, the group signings I became part of. But most of all, there's the emotional support, the sense of community from knowing people who are going through the same things you are, at the same time. There's so much uncertainty in publishing. There are so many ups and downs. It's important for new authors to know how common these feelings are, to know they're not alone.
PJH: Though I absolutely loved being a debut author, I’m really thrilled with all the experience I’ve gained since. What advice would you give to those who are debuting now? What do you wish you had known when you started out?
Jenn H: So much of navigating the post-publication world is trial and error. What works for one person may not work for another author (or even for that same author with a different book). I guess I would just say: Find your way, trust your gut, try new things (understanding that not everything will work), and don't forget to relax and have fun.
PJH: In addition to writing the next mega-million bestselling novel, what do you want to accomplish in the next five years? Do you want to write five more books? Get your black belt in Kung Fu? Walk the Great Wall of China? Let’s hear it.
Jenn H: Publishing is changing so fast that I honestly don't even know how to set goals that far in advance. I want to finish the book I'm now revising and then go back to another project I've started, where I'm playing with format and POV. I'd like to do more of that, experimenting with the way I tell stories. In the personal arena, I'd like to have more free time and more writing time. I've been looking at how I might manage that in a year or two.
PJH: Anything else you want to add? Five reasons to read your book? A picture of your writing space? How you celebrated when you signed your contract? Your choice!
Jenn H: Strangely enough, these open-ended questions are always the hardest. So here's a random picture of my cat, Scout (attached).
PJH: Thank you so much for being here! And good luck with everything in the future!
Jenn H: Thank you for hosting me!
About Jenn: Jennifer R. Hubbard lives and writes near Philadelphia. She is a night person who believes that mornings were meant to be slept through, a chocolate lover, and a hiker. She has written short fiction as well as the contemporary young-adult novels The Secret Year and Try Not to Breathe.
Thanks for helping me celebrate former debuts! And if you are a former debut and are interested in being featured, check out this post here!