Friday, November 16, 2012

A Natter with Indie YA Author: Sara Hubbard

A couple of months ago, I signed with a wonderful indie publisher, Etopia Press. Asides from the thrill and excitement of knowing my first YA title - Obscura Burning - would soon be released (December 7, so excited!), I also got to meet some amazing new authors. Sara Hubbard is one of them. Her recently released book - Blood, She Read - is a fantastic paranormal romance for fans of books like Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Boys. You can read my full review of Sara's lovely debut over here.

First a little about Sara:
Sara Hubbard is the author of young adult books. Her debut novel BLOOD, SHE READ recently released and is a NEORWA Cleveland Rocks winner and a RCRW Duel on the Delta finalist. 

Sara was born in Australia to British parents, but has lived in Nova Scotia, Canada for the majority of her life. She began writing when she was ten years old; and her poetry earned her a spot as a young author in a local competition. After that, she moved on to writing short stories about a group of crime-fighting preteens called the Super Sleuths. She loved the time she spent writing, but took a detour from it when she began junior high. She quickly became distracted and preoccupied by all things social, like hanging out with friends and dating boys... And she spent an awful lot of time on the phone.

After high school she completed a degree in business, a graduate diploma in human resources and recently completed her degree in nursing. She didn't return to writing until about four years ago, after the birth of her two children. When she's not procrastinating, she spends her time mothering her two children, writing, and working as an RN in the military.

But chatting to Sara in 140 character increments on Twitter just wasn't enough, so I asked her to sit down and answer a few of my questions about her life as an author and avid reader.

1. Tell a little about yourself, what you do when you’re not writing, what are your aspirations for the future?
I am a registered nurse with the military. Currently, I am doing a rotation in a local emergency room. It’s a little chaotic there and a little bit stressful, but very satisfying. In the future, I hope to lessen my hours as a nurse and spend more time writing. I love nursing, but writing is my passion. 

2. When and why did you start writing?
I wrote as a child, but I kind of moved away from it as a teen and as a young adult. I didn't return to it until after the birth of my two children. Becoming a mother was a huge adjustment for me since I hadn't spent much time around babies before--like ever. And I had a bout of depression as well after giving birth to my first. Writing helped me to escape from the stress of my life and allowed me to take some time for myself. Since I began writing again, about five years ago, I've never been happier or more relaxed. 

3. If you could only read one book over and over again for the rest of your
life, what would it be and why?
Oh, gosh. I have a lot of favorites. I've read the Twilight books multiple times and my most recent fave is Beautiful Disaster by Jaime McGuire. But if I have to pick one book, it would be a classic. Pride & Prejudice. Cliché, I know, but I love the story. 

4. Give us some back story about Blood, She Read, where and when did you write it?
I began writing Blood, She Read in the spring of 2011. I was in my third year of nursing and I found I couldn't get my main character, Petra, out of my head. I wrote it during the day, sometimes in class, and late at night. I had major writer's block when I reached the 20,000 word mark and it took several months before I got back on track. Then, I wrote the remainder of the book in like five or six weeks. 

5. What inspired your story? 
A vivid imagination? In my head, I kept seeing this scene of a young girl with a gift, watching through the stair rails as a man came to her house and begged her mother to let the girl read his fortune. I imagined his wife being sick and him wanting answers. Obviously this doesn’t happen in Blood, She Read, but the idea for the book kind of morphed from this one scene.

6. What was your favorite part of Blood, She Read to write?
There is this one scene in the book where Petra is covered in a concrete-like concoction meant to heal her and her mother whacks her with a mallet to get the stuff off once she’s healed. It was kind of twisted, kind of fun, and I smiled the entire time I wrote it. It really spoke to the perverse nature of her mother.

7. Your book's going to be made into a movie, who would you cast in the main roles?
Oh my God!!! My book is going to be in a movie! LOL. Wouldn’t that be awesome? For Petra, I would absolutely cast Emma Stone. For Finn, I would cast Ben Barnes, and for Tommy, I’m thinking Kellan Lutz with a Mohawk.

(Not a bad looking cast, Sara. When is this movie being released?)

8. Are you a Pantser or Plotter? Why?
Complete plotter. I hate rewrites, and I find the more you plot, the less you have to edit. Also, if I know what is coming next it helps to prevent writer’s block which is seriously awful.

9. Do you have any tricks to your trade, bottomless coffee, a magic pen, a special muse?
Hmm. I don’t know. I drink a lot of Diet Pepsi. But I think the best thing I ever did for my writing was to join a writer’s group. I belong to Romance Writers of America and my local chapter is Romance Writers of Atlantic Canada. They’re amazing and always willing to help and teach me in every way they can.

10. If you could be any fictional character for a day, who would it be and why?
Great question. I can think of many characters I’d like to be, but I think I would choose Sookie Stackhouse from the Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse novels (True Blood on HBO is based on them). I am in love with Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsguard) and I want to have his vampire babies. :) Plus, how cool would it be to live in a world where fairies, werewolves, and vampires lived?

Huge thank you to Sara for taking time away from writing to have a natter with me. Be sure to check out Blood, She Read. I think I need to reread it just so I can picture Ben Barnes as Finn :)

Seventeen-year old Petra Maras lives a charmed life—but only in the magical sense. Her absentee father is a criminal, her mother is emotionally dead, and everyone at her new school knows she comes from a family of witches. All she wants is to be normal, but this is impossible given her family. When a cop approaches her and asks her to use her psychic abilities to help him solve a murder she is unsure if she should say yes. Magic has brought her nothing but grief, but in the end she agrees, thinking it might help make up for all the horrible things she did in her past. She sees the scene of the crime but can’t hear a name or see a face. This proves problematic when the main suspect decides he wants to date her.


  1. Great interview, ladies. Writing can be a very calming and healing thing. Glad for it. Good luck with this publication, Sara...and sneaking to have Eric's vampire babies :-)

  2. I'm reading this book now and loving it! Great stuff! Can't wait for the movie version now, too. :p


  3. Enjoyed this interview. Congratulations on your book. I think the movie would be great too!