I love the premise of Like Mandarin. And I love Kirsten Hubbard :) – she’s a traveler, and I love to travel! I wanted to share my love with the rest of you, so here you go…!
IceyBooks: Describe Like Mandarin in 7-9 words.
Kirsten Hubbard: Beauty, badlands, Wyoming, windwinds, wild girls. Jackalopes
IB: Where did you find the inspiration for Like Mandarin?
KH: I’ve always been fascinated by ultra-intense female friendships, especially those with a lopsided power balance, and an undercurrent of danger. Setting-wise, I was inspired by the tiny Wyoming badlands town where my mother grew up – both the rugged, barren beauty, and the small-town dynamics, so different from the Southern California suburbs. And child beauty pageants are just insane – have you seen Toddlers and Tiaras? My goodness.
IB: If you could be any character in Like Mandarin, who would you choose and why?
KH: I’d probably choose Grace. She struggles a lot, but I think great things are in store for her.
IB: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
KH: I draw pictures of all my characters. I chew way too much Trident Tropical Twist. I have trouble sitting still. I have a fraternal twin sister, who is smarter than me, but I’m one minute older, so there. I still prefer hostels over hotels, and feel itchy when I’m not planning a trip abroad. My favorite band is The National. They’re brilliant. I’ve sporadically drawn a butterfly in the cook of my hand for 13 years now, and once I gotten written up for it when I was working as a hostess in a restaurant.
IB: What’s your favorite hobby (besides reading and writing)?
KH: Since travel isn’t really a hobby, I’d have to say art. I love to draw. I also love to cook — mostly funky hippie vegetarian New California cuisine. And I’m just starting to get into steampunk jewelry-making. Random. But awesome!
IB: What was the most recent YA novel you read? Did you like it?
KH: As I type this? Tessa Gratton’s Blood Magic. It’s amazing – dark and literary and so romantic.
IB: What’s your favorite color? Favorite food?
KH: Favorite color is a toss-up between red, like my camera, laptop and tea kettle, and that almost-violet shade of blue, like the hoodie I am wearing. Favorite food? That’s tough. I’ll go with Peanut Butter Puffins. Not just for breakfast!
IB: What do you like most about nature – the sky, trees, the earth..?
KH: BABY ANIMALS.
IB: Are you currently working on another novel? Is it related to Like Mandarin?
KH: I’m finishing the last of my revisions on my second novel, Wanderlove (unrelated to Like Mandarin), which will be published by Delacorte/Random House in spring 2012. It’s about an 18-year-old girl named Bria who masters the art of escaping the past on a backpacking trip through Central America – with help from a dive instructor named Rowan. You can read more about Wanderlove on Goodreads.
Thanks for taking the time to tell me and my readers a little about yourself, Kirsten! Kirsten Hubbard’s debut novel Like Mandarin releases tomorrow, be sure to pick up a copy!