Monday, March 1, 2010

     Join me in welcoming Mandy Hubbard. YA author and agent for D4EO Literary Agency representing authors of young adult and middle grade fiction. 

Leave a comment for Mandy and you will be entered in the give away for Mandy's book, Prada & Prejudice. And as always, you gotta be a follower. That's it, no other requirements. So without further ado, here's Mandy. (^_^)

 Mandy I want to thank you for popping in to visit with us today. 

As a child what was your most favorite book?
Are we talking when I was *really* little? I was obsessed with The Little Critter picture books. Would put an entire stack of 20 or so next to my bed and read them until I made it to the bottom. Then I went to sleep. 
 If someone told you that you could offer one morsel of writing advice to your fellow writers, what would that be?
Give yourself permission to write crap. Crap can be fixed. I think too many people want to write a book but never do, because they delete everything. Just get it written, don’t worry about getting it right. That’s what revisions are for!

 How long did it take you to write, revise, submit, and get published? How many rejections did you get?
The Short Version: Started writing in 2003, my debut novel hit shelves in 2009.
The Longer version: I dabbled for a few years. I started the first draft of Prada & Prejudice in 2006, the year I signed my agent. It took 9 drafts and 26 rejections before we received two offers in 2008. It took another round of revisions, plus line edits, before the book hit shelves in 2009.

Do you write every day?
I do something *publishing related* every day, whether it’s writing, revising, copy edits, reading queries, critiquing, etc. I’m aiming for a two-book-per-year schedule, which means I’m constantly juggling between projects at different stages.
Aside from that, I recently became a literary agent, so I’m constantly on the hunt for new and exciting projects. That means lots and lots of reading.

What’s the most amazing thing you have learned throughout this writing journey you are on?
Honestly, the most amazing thing to me isn’t a trade secret or tip for publication or a skill—it’s just realizing I’ve finally found my passion in life. The publishing industry has become my greatest love (after my family!), and I’m so glad I found it!

You have two books coming out in 2010. Tell us about them.
YOU WISH is my next release for teens—it features a cynical teen who gets everything she’s ever wished for—even that life-size My Little Pony she wanted when she was six, a lifetime supply of gumballs she wished for when she was eight, etc. The wishes MUST STOP before she get the last wish—for Ben Mackenzie to kiss her. Because Ben is her best friend’s boyfriend. 
Mandy, you recently joined D4EO Literary agency.  Which came first? The author or the agent?
 I've been a writer much longer than an agent. But even as a writer, I was fascinated by the business side of things. I think some writers hate the biz side of writing. I love it. I've spent the last several years devouring everything I could find-- publisher's marketplace deal listings, agent blogs, etc. Agenting is a natural fit for me and my interests.

What is the most important thing a writer needs to know about writing a query letter?
 I see a lot of queries where the writer seems to think it's necessary to "explain" their novel-- they list plot points, characters, etc. You do NOT have to give us a full picture of the novel. We just want you to hook us. Intrigue us by focusing in on the most interesting character or aspects of your story.

What is the most important question an unagented writer needs to ask an agent who is interested in their book?
I don't think there is any one question-- but it's important to talk to the agent on the phone and ask LOTS of questions. What are her plans for the book? Does she have ideas for where to send it? Does she want revisions? Who else does she represent? What is her style-- is she the hand-holding type or will she only relay information on a need-to-know basis?
Many websites have whole lists of questions to ask a prospective agent. I think Agentquery or has a good list.
 Chocolate or Peanut butter?  Both! Mixed together! But if I can only have one, I want chocolate. In the form of brownies. MMMM, brownies.

 Thank you so much  for agreeing to be interviewed. I love reading Prada and Prejudice and I look forward to reading Driven and You Wish too. 

 Okay, I will not be answering comments, because I don't want to mess up the numbers for .  (^_^) Thank you for stopping by.


  1. Wow, great interview, Robyn!!

    Mandy, awesome getting to know you! I love that you advise authors to see writing crap as part of the writing process. :)

  2. This interview was fantastic! The book sounds really good too, so I can't wait to put that on my list to read!

    I have to say thank you for saying "write crap" because when I am writing sometimes I know it's crap and I told myself it doesn't matter, and it's nice to just hear that reinforcement!!

  3. What a wonderful interview! I'm so new to this. I love being able to read these interviews and get to know the agents a bit better. Now I'm wishing I wrote YA! Mandy sounds like she would be such a fun person to work with! :D

    Thanks, Robyn. You are wonderful!

  4. Thanks, Mandy for offering your thoughts. As with the other commentors, I agree that the part about letting yourself write crap is good advice. Gotta start somewhere! :)

    Congrats for your success!

    Thanks for sharing your interview, Robyn!

  5. What a cute cover! My daughter would love this book (my oldest daughter, that is.) The other two are still reading the Little Critters :D

  6. Pertinent questions and honest answers. Listen and learn, the voice of experience speaks.

    Great interview.

  7. Great interview--thank you Robyn and Mandy! YOU WISH sounds awesome. :)

  8. Great interview. A big thanks to Mandy and Robyn. I loved hearing about Mandy's journey to publication. Thanks for sharing.

  9. I can't wait to read You Wish. Thanks for the peek into your thoughts, Mandy!

  10. Great interview, thanks for sharing it! Have a good week, all!

  11. thanks for the interview and give away - what fun! And, yes, I take the advice to 'allow yourself to write crap' very literally. lots and lots of crap written over here ;) I laugh, but it's really true!

  12. Thank you for the brilliant interview and the giveaway! There aren't a lot of authors who are also agents, so it's very interesting to hear from Mandy's perspective.

  13. Great interview, Robyn! I also try to do something writing/publishing related every day. It's hard to find time to do both all the time. It's also wonderful to find out what our passion in life is!

  14. Congratulations, Mandy, on all three books and on your new agent status. : )

    I think the writer/agent combo is an interesting one, especially considering the fact that you know what it's like, as a writer, to be querying in the first place, and to be waiting on news regarding ones manuscript.

    I snuck over to Amazon and read the first pages of Prada and Prejudice -- it's wonderful! No wonder people love your book.

    I have no doubt you'll bring that same magic to the arena of agenting.


  15. Great interview! Lots of good information.

  16. Awesome interview ladies! The title for your book hooked me instantly!

    I fall into that category that is a little fearful of the business side of things, that's why I pray for the right agent to walk along side me.

  17. Awesome interview! I find it fascinating that Mandy's both a writer and an agent. I *just* got Prada and Prejudice myself (I'm only on Chapter 3) and am loving it!

    (PS: Please don't enter me in the contest since I got a copy!)

  18. Nice interview. I just got an agent in NYC on my first query. The title of my book is called Lessons from the Monk I Married (also the name of my blog). This interview is helpful to me because I have a lot of questions for my agent. Thanks for the interview.

  19. Great interview and info! I think being an agent sounds so awesome!!! (except for the sales part...oh, and the math... lol)
    These are great tips. Thanks so much for sharing and I hope you find some wonderful authors to rep!

  20. Wow! I'm amazed that anyone could do agenting and authoring at the same time! Especially with a two-book a year schedule! That would seem like a full time job, since I'm doing one book a year and that seems full time! I think I feel the same way about the writing business--it's such a passion and it feels wonderful to be doing something I absolutely love!

  21. What a wonderful interview. Thanks, ladies! Mandy sounds as awesome as her books!

  22. I'm so late on commenting, but it's a great interview!!!!!


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