Thursday, January 21, 2010

Book Launch: The Secret Year

I'm excited to be able to introduce Jennifer Hubbard, whose January debut novel, THE SECRET YEAR, is attracting much attention.

Congratulations on the publication of your novel, THE SECRET YEAR. I can't wait to read it! Can you tell us a bit about the story and what inspired it?

The synopsis is: After his secret girlfriend's death, seventeen-year-old Colt finds the notebook she left behind, but he is unprepared for the truths he discovers about their intense relationship.
To me, the book is largely about the consequences of a secret relationship: what it gave to the participants, and what it cost them.

It sounds like a wonderful premise. How long have you been writing for children/teens? Have you written other books or is this your first effort?

I wrote and published literary short stories for years, but I kept reading YA novels. Finally, I had the bright idea that I should try to write YA novels! I did sell a short story for children, “The Skateboard War,” to POCKETS magazine. That was my first publication in the children’s market. But I really love the YA novel and hope to stay with this form for quite a while.

Can you describe your path to the publication of THE SECRET YEAR?

I worked on it for a couple of years, along with other projects. Some very positive feedback from a critiquer at a conference led me to do one more revision and then seek an agent. I signed with Nathan Bransford of Curtis Brown, who responded very strongly to the manuscript and has been a joy to work with. He brought the manuscript to Viking, and the people at Viking have been great as well. Along the way, I also joined forces with groups of other debut writers (first Debut2009 and the Class of 2k9; then, when my publication date was moved to 2010, the Tenners and Class of 2k10); they’ve helped me navigate my debut year.

So the support of writing colleagues is crucial. That's certainly my experience. Do you have any other advice for beginning writers?

Read a lot, and write a lot. Take classes, go to conferences. Keep reading and writing.

Can you tell us something about your personal life – inspirations, plans for the future, goals, etc.?

I always want to value the writing for its own sake, never to let the external rewards overshadow the internal rewards.

That's a lovely bit of advice! Do you have any new writing ventures underway?

Yes, but I don’t like to talk about projects until they’re finished. It drains the momentum!

(I agree!) Do you have a website where readers can learn more about THE SECRET YEAR?

I also blog at and I’m on Twitter as @JennRHubbard.

Thanks, Jenn!


Denise Jaden said...

Great interview Janet (and Jenn!) I can't wait to read the book!

Leah said...

Great interview. I especially love the reminder about never letting the external rewards overshadow the internal rewards.

RKCharron said...

Hi :)
Thank you for the interview with Jenn and thanks to Jenn for sharing. I liked learning more about her & her writing. All the best,

Anonymous said...

Very nice. I am reading this one right now. And, people, let me tell you, it's GOOD! Jenn, I especially connected with your advice for writers to "Read a lot, and write a lot."

Bonnie J. Doerr said...

I hadn't thought about Jenn's reference to losing momentum when one talks about a project in progress. I think maybe she's on target. It's like giving little pieces of the story away bit by bit.

The Secret Year is going to be a read to remember. I'm sure of it.

Lauren Bjorkman said...

I've been dying to read this for so long! Great interview.

Anonymous said...

Very nice interview. I enjoyed reading Jenn's perspective on writing. And, of course, I can't wait to read the book!

Jame said...

Yeah! Never tell your story, except to the page! Right on.

Thanks Jenn and Janet!

Janet Fox said...

Thanks for coming by, everyone! I bought The Secret Year this morning and can't wait to read it myself.

holly cupala said...

I've been watching this book with great interest - terrific interview, Janet!

Shannon Delany said...

Terrific interview and very good thoughts from Jenn about the rewards writing should bring!

Janet Fox said...

Thanks, everyone! Already drawn into this book!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for hosting me, Janet!

Jennifer Hubbard