Interview with Kirsten Hubbard — Author of Like Mandarin

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 HubbardKirsten 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.
Like MandarinIB: 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..?

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! 


Hafsah Faizal is a YA author, designer, and blogger. Her designs have graced the sites of New York Times bestselling authors, bloggers, and more. She resides in Texas, with her family.



  1. Reply


    March 7, 2011

    Great interview! I love her picture and envy that she travels :) I'll be sure to check out her book!

  2. Reply

    Lauren M

    March 8, 2011

    Haha! Baby animals for the win!
    I'd love to see some of Kirsten's drawings–it's so cool that she draws her own characters!
    I can't wait for Like Mandarin! I've heard such good things! :)

  3. Reply

    Julia :)

    March 8, 2011

    I'm definitely looking forward to reading Like Mandarin! Thats awesome that the author likes art and draws pictures of all her characters. Now I want to see her art. :P Her next book sounds really interesting too.

  4. Reply


    March 8, 2011

    I'm really looking forward to this novel. I've heard nothing but great things about it. :)

  5. Reply


    March 8, 2011

    Thanks for the giveaway!I am excited for this book!

  6. Reply

    Book Sp(l)ot

    March 8, 2011

    How can you not want to read a book where 'Jackalopes' is one of its descriptive words?

    This has been on my TBR list for a while and I'm so excited it's out now :)

    Thanks for posting the interview.

  7. Reply

    Danna (Friendly Reader)

    March 15, 2011

    I can't wait to read this! That's pretty cool that the author is creative in art too.

  8. Reply


    March 15, 2011

    I enjoyed the interview. LIKE MANDARIN is on my TBR mountain. I also enjoy books about female friendships b/c the dynamics are so fascinating.