HOW SHE WROTE IT …
Author: Jeanette Hubbard
Genre(s): Humorous crime / suspense fiction
Started writing her first book in her: teens
Published her first book at age: 61
Publisher: Promontory Press
Titles to date: 2
Where to find her: JeanetteHubbard.com
Books available at: Amazon.com & Barnes & Noble
What motivated you to write your first book?
Fear. I wanted to be a writer from my early teens. I would start stories, maybe only a chapter or two, and never finish.
When I hit the age of sixty, my life took a radical, 180 degree turn. During the recession I lost my job and my prospects were not rosy. I decided I could find a dead-end job or I could use my time to do what I’d always daydreamed about doing. I sat down and wrote a book.
How much planning do you do before you start a new book?
That first book? I started without much of a plan. I wrote about a hundred pages and decided that I didn’t like the direction I was going. I threw it out and made an outline. I re-wrote that outline about a dozen times. I finally finished it and put it in a drawer for about a year before I showed it to anyone. During that year I wrote another book and did that one mostly by the seat of my pants. The third book I wrote an outline and mostly followed it. I’m firmly convinced that for a mystery/suspense writer you need an outline if you don’t want to waste a lot of time re-writing.
How do you feel about that first book you finished?
I took that book out of the drawer this past year and gutted it. I’ve attended several writer’s conferences and workshops in the last few years and I’m beginning to get a feel for what the book needs. I’m nearly done with the first completed draft of this re-write and I feel like I might have a book, (it’s a thriller), that I will feel proud about.
Would you rather write only one book (that sells a million copies) or write until you’re out of stories?
First, I will never be out of stories. I wake up with stories in my head and until dementia takes me I think I always will.
Second, I’m 66 and there are so many things I want to do and not a lot of money to do them. I’d love to sell a million copies of just about anything. Maybe not ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’, but who knows?
Your worst review?
Oh yeah. This guy, older I think, really didn’t like the first book, ‘Secrets, Lies and Champagne Highs’. And he went on for great lengths about it on Amazon. Paragraph after paragraph dissecting it. I’m amazed at his persistence. When I don’t like a book I put it down and move on. I don’t expect everybody who reads my books to like them. I’ve had enough positive feedback to feel good about my books and my writing. A really good review can wipe out a bad one.
What’s your best writing advice?
From Robert Dugoni in a workshop he did for either the Willamette Writers Conference or Left Coast Crime.
“There has to be something at stake.”
You can’t have just a series of scenes where this happens, then that happens, etc. You need to give the reader a reason to keep turning the pages.