Monday, January 30, 2012

Author Interview with Amanda Grace

How different is it writing more serious novels like But I Love Him and In Too Deep in comparison to your lighter fare under the name Mandy Hubbard, like You Wish? Do you write one type of novel followed by the other, or do you get into a mood and write several more serious books in a row?

I usually have to switch back and forth to accommodate deadlines. I wrote the initial draft of BUT I LOVE HIM just a couple of weeks before PRADA & PREJUDICE sold, and then I had to dive back into that. I don’t have much trouble alternating on two extremes, but when they’re a bit closer (RIPPLE is also serious) it can be harder. Sometimes I don’t even realize I’m using the wrong character names and have to do a find and replace.

Most often, authors tackle the subject of rape from the perspective of a survivor in a way that demonizes the rapist, what made you want to take on this issue in such a unique way? 

I’m really fascinated by character who choose to lie, for one reason or another. HARMLESS by Dana Reinhardt is a book like that. Two girls lie about what they were doing one night to avoid getting caught for something fairly minor—but their lie spirals. I know books like this one can be frustrating for the reader—telling the truth is such an obvious choice, and right for moral reasons. It’s fun to explore a character who makes the wrong choices.

Have you ever experienced a rumour spiraling out of control?

Hmm. Certainly not to this extent. I was misunderstood, in general, in high school. I was shy and awkward but desperately wanted others to think I was effortlessly cool, and the result was not talking to a lot of people but pretending I didn’t care, and that made people actually think I was a snob, at times. It’s so easy to be misunderstood in high school, when we don’t have the life experience to see beyond the surface.

Getting Caught, a novel that you co-wrote with Cyn Balog, was recently published in ebook only format. What made you go this route as a traditionally published author? Can we expect anymore e-book releases from either Amanda Grace or Mandy Hubbard in the future?

Getting Caught was such an insanely fun project for me to write, and Cyn and I had a blast working together! It’s contemporary, fun, and centered around friendship, which is a hard sell in this market. We decided to explore the ebook-only idea because I think that’s just the best platform for a book that might be considered “too quiet” to break out in traditional publishing.

What are you reading and writing habits like?

If I’m not on deadline, I tend to write about an hour a day, alternating between fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants, my fingers can barely keep up with what’s spewing out, and sort of tinkering and re-reading things. I definitely discover the story as I go, even when it is plotted out in advance. Twists and turns present themselves as I write. For reading, I tend to fill most of my reading time with full manuscripts. I tend to feel guilty knowing writers are oh-so-patiently waiting for my response, and then pulling open a published book and reading that instead. I went from reading about 75 books a year to more like 25 when I became an agent.

What are some of your favourite books you've read so far in late 2011/early 2012?

Right now I am reading A NEED SO BEAUTIFUL by Suzanne Young and loving it. I’m really excited to dive into BITTERSWEET By Sarah Ockler next. Earlier this year, I fell in love with REVOLUTION by Jennifer Donnelly. And I had the pleasure of reading another e-pubbed amazon book, CROSS MY HEART by Katie Klein, and it’s freaking amazing.

Amanda Grace is a pen name for Young Adult author Mandy Hubbard (PRADA AND PREJUDICE, YOU WISH). She lives near Seattle, Washington, with her husband and young daughter. She is also a literary agent for D4EO Literary Agency.

Thanks so much to Amanda/Mandy for stopping by In The Next Room! To learn more about her novels, including In Too Deep, stop by her website. Click here to read my review of Ripple. Click here to check out the other stops on this tour.

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