I had the pleasure of meeting Jenny Hubbard at the Virginia Festival of the Book and wanted to ask her a little bit about herself and the background for her novel, Paper Covers Rock, which is a William C. Morris Debut Award Finalist. I think you’ll enjoy getting to know Jenny and I’m sure you’ll enjoy her book! By the way, her next novel comes out next year….
Who or what has been the greatest inspiration for your stories?
My students. I taught English (high school and college) for 17 years before I retired to write full-time.
What’s an important “nugget” that you’d like readers to take away from your book?
It’s not too late to be your better self.
What helps you write?
How do your ideas come to you?
Often they come from The New York Times, especially the science and obituary sections.
How long have you been writing?
Ever since I could hold a pencil.
How much of your book is autobiographical?
What happened to Miss Dovecott did not happen to me. But I did teach fifth-form English at a boys’ boarding school for ten years. And I did encounter students who wrote as well as Alex.
Do you have a favorite quote or bumper sticker?
The one bumper sticker on my car says “Don’t Postpone Joy,” which is the motto of Laurey’s Restaurant and Catering in Asheville, NC.
Why should kids read books when there are so many other things to do?
To slow themselves down and revel in the beauty of solitude. Life can get way too fast and way too noisy.
Now for some fun questions:
Tea or coffee? Flavor? Milk or sugar?
Irish Breakfast Tea or Assam. With milk.
Fall. Least favorite: Summer.
Can you deal better with wind or rain?
Wind. But both are romantic in their own ways.
Deciduous or evergreen?
What’s always in your fridge?
Favorite comfort food?
Chicken pot pie.
Chocolate or some lesser nectar of the gods?
Fresh grapefruit juice.
Food you’d rather starve than eat.
Cat or dog?
Flats or heels?
Natural fibers or synthetics?
Jeans or fancier?
Jeans, especially my white ones.
Short hair or long?
New York Times crossword puzzle, and a simple dinner with my husband in the back garden. Then a post-dinner walk with our dog to the neighborhood ice-cream shop.
Paris in winter.
Favorite board, card, or computer game?
Favorite sport or form of exercise?
Walking. Or, if I were better at it, ballet.
Language in which you’d most like to be fluent.
Country you’d most like to visit.
Skill you’d most like to acquire.
A Broadway singing voice.
Favorite musical instrument.
You’re going on a book tour: Plane, train or automobile?
Train, all the way.
Topic you’d most like to write about.
Birds. Trees. Birds in trees.
Topic you think most needs writing about.
The complicated nature of family.
Author you’d like to meet.
Question you’d ask that author.
When might you be able to come over for tea?
What gives you spiritual guidance and inspiration?
What most surprises you about our current culture?
Rampant cheating in schools–and everywhere else.
Some favorite movies?
Sideways. Rear Window. The Secret of Roan Inish.
Thanks, Jenny! It has been great getting to know you!