I had the opportunity to talk (via email) with YA author and literary agent Mandy Hubbard yesterday. Mandy is the author of PRADA & PREJUDICE, and she is an agent with D4EO Literary Agency. Mandy’s next YA title, YOU WISH, is scheduled to hit book stores near you August 5, 2010.
Hi, Mandy. Why don’t you start by telling us a little bit about YOU WISH.
- It’s about a cynical teen who, on her sixteenth birthday, wishes that “Every birthday wish she’d ever made would come true. Because they never frickin’ do.” The next day she awakes to a life size My Little Pony. Every day, a new wish arrives. But she’s desperate to stop them before she gets to the last one–for Ben Mackenzie to kiss her. Because Ben is her best friend’s boyfriend.
Wow! So no vampires? As an agent, what holes do you see in the YA market, and did you write YOU WISH with a mind for filling a hole?
- I think there is a ton of paranormal/fantasy right now, and that can be hard to break out with. YOU WISH is a lighter, more reality-based book (although certainly the wishes would have to be considered fantasy . . . ). That said, I just write the books I’m most interested in writing, and hope the market supports that. I do happen to be working on a paranormal romance next!
It seems like you’re in touch with your audience. What are your thoughts about YA writers asking teens to be their beta readers? Did you have any teens read your book during the editing phase?
- I’ve never had a teen read my book, at least not before its on shelves. I guess if you worry you’re out of touch with your demographic, that would be a good thing to do. I generally just have critique partners–people who are also authors who know how to analyze story lines and plot arcs and characters.
Thanks for the time, Mandy. And good luck with your launch! If you are interested in reading more of Mandy’s insights in the MG/YA publishing world, check out her blog on the State of the Market.