Many thanks to all of you who commented and emailed in reply to my last blog! Your suggestions really helped me frame my thoughts. I have completed my response to the Writers’ League of Texas interview and pasted it below, just so you’ll have closure on the subject for a worry-free weekend.
Those of you who are familiar with my selection for the deserted island question will find the title of this post witty and appropriate. The others will be confused. To you, I say: the title of this post is witty and appropriate. I encourage you to read the books (no, the movie doesn’t count at all) one day when your mindset is to explore and to giggle, perhaps on a beach but hopefully not a deserted one.
WLT: In what genre(s) do you write?
JH: Most people would probably identify the genre of The Achievers as young adult thriller.
WLT: What authors would you like to have coffee or a beer with and which beverage?
JH: If you’re offering, may I please have a beer with Gillian Flynn? Before I started my novel last spring, I hadn’t thought much about the craft of writing fiction except in the case of Gone Girl. The way she pieced that plot together with varying techniques was genius! I was eager to see how she would handle the screenplay, and bam, she nailed that too. I’d love to hear about her process in developing both and the differences between them.
Forgive my changing the rules on you here, but the appropriate beverage with my next author would undoubtedly be tea. Jane Austen wrote with tremendous intelligence and insight during a time when women were expected to have little of each. It’s always exciting to chat with ground breakers to hear what makes them tick.
Other authors I’d like to hang out with include Stephen King, Tana French, Larry McMurtry, Winston Churchill, Ian Fleming, Stephen Ambrose, JK Rowling, Tom Wolfe, James Clavell. The list could go on and on. Beers for everyone!
WLT: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what book would you want to have with you to keep you sane?
JH: This question stumped me for days, and I’m still vacillating. There are so many factors to consider—it’s not just a favorite book. I’m stranded, presumably forever, with no other books on the horizon. I’m by myself with no other entertainment forthcoming. Which book will keep me most closely in touch with my humanity? Which book will provide a wide enough range of emotional touchstones to serve as my only human contact? Which book will be sufficiently long to keep my interest upon infinite rereading? Which book has enough depth to feed me something different each time I read it? Which book could possibly contain the only words I will read for the rest of my life?
I put this question to my blog readers and heard some intriguing suggestions and persuasive arguments. In the end, however, I went with the book that makes me laugh far more than any other (levity is needed on a deserted island, right?) and is about as interesting as a book can be—The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I find Douglas Adams’ brand of relentless, profoundly exuberant imagination to be inspiring. And I’m going to cheat a little because I’m claiming the entire collection of the series which I possess in a single volume and will henceforth pack every time I board a boat.
WLT: What have you learned from your association with the Writers’ League?
JH: When I embarked on this journey, I knew pretty much nothing about the business. I kind of thought I’d write my book, send it off to some agents, make some edits and joyfully receive a box of beautifully bound compilations of my meticulously chosen words while the checks regularly appeared in my bank account. I didn’t want to hear anything to the contrary until I had completed the first draft. Thankfully, I finished in time to attend the 2014 WLT conference because it adjusted my expectations a lot, thereby reducing the shock of reality.
Writing is a solitary pursuit, but the business is most definitely not. The conference taught me what it requires, but the WLT workshops and resources teach me how to go about it so that it’s not quite as daunting. Knowing that there are others out there who have been and are going through the same processes and have paved the way for me is comforting. Learning from their experiences is invaluable. I have taken these steps in a very specific order and at my own pace, and it seems that every time I look up to move forward, there is an email from WLT announcing a class on how to go about it. It’s kind of eerie, actually, how y’all seem to know what I need, when I need it!
WLT: Where do you see your writing taking you (or you taking it) in the future?
JH: See second sentence of answer to preceding question. Complete and repeat, over and over. I haven’t given up the fantasy entirely.
WLT: Is there anything else about you that you would like to share with the world? An opportunity for blatant self-promotion!
JH: Having completed the edits of my first novel The Achievers, I hope to find just the right agent who will usher it through to publication so that I can concentrate on the remaining books of my American Dream trilogy. Meanwhile, I’m blogging about my experiences as a newbie novelist at www.jenniferhubbswrites.com. I invite you to subscribe to my blog and to follow me on Twitter @jhubbs1 where I will report on the steps along the way!