EXTRA CREDIT INTERVIEW WITH REBECCA HUBBARD:
Today Rebecca J. Hubbard joins LitPick for an Extra Credit interview! Rebecca is a marriage and family therapist and an author. Her first book, The Gift, is published by Ravenswood Publishing.
Do you have a solid outline before writing, or do you usually get ideas as you go along?
I often have a basic idea of what the story is about. Then usually the story develops as it is written. To me, it feels like I am on a journey with my characters, and I never really know what is going to happen next. It’s kind of funny to be surprised by your own story, but sometimes what I think will happen doesn’t. Usually this is because what I am writing is not going to work for the story or is not true to the character. If I have an idea that does not fit with a character, I may have to create a new character, which can be hard to do. I get attached to my characters and their points of view. Sometimes I ended up having to start the story all over because of these changes.
Has someone you knew ever appeared as a character in a book (consciously or subconsciously)?
Well, not consciously. But with how the brain works, it is highly likely that people and other beings from my life have snuck into my writing. I don’t really know how I’d keep them out!
What do you do when you get writer's block?
In general, if I am trying to write something and the ideas won’t come, I sometimes switch up my genre or my point of view. For example, I write a poem instead of a story, or I might explore a different character than the one I was working on. But sometimes I just have to get away from the computer and go sit somewhere quiet and enjoy nature and my four legged buddies. When I stop trying so hard is when the ideas come.
If you could live in a book's world, which would you choose?
Oh, this is such a hard choice! As a child I would have readily said Louis L’Amour’s old west, but now I would say Hogwarts!! Oh, I would love to be a young witch running the halls, casting spells and drinking butterbeer!
What is your favorite book-to-movie adaptation?
Honestly, I have never read a book then watched the movie and said, “Wow!” Most of the time I am sadly disappointed. The Harry Potter movies have come the closest for me. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe comes in a very close second.
If you could have lunch with one other author (dead or alive!), who would it be?
I think I would want to have lunch with Edgar Allen Poe. I have been fascinated with his work for most of my life. I love the way he paints with words and builds a story. I can still feel my heart thumping as I read “The Tell-Tale Heart.” I know for a fact lunch would not be BORING!
Wild Card Question: The topics you write about and the work you do aren’t easy to deal with. What do you do for fun and to relieve your stress?
I write! Seriously, writing has a way of helping me process all I hear and see. It gives me a safe place to put all my feelings and thoughts. I also read, garden, play guitar, draw, paint, listen to music, play with my dogs and horses, ride my horses and take long naps.
Rebecca, thank you for visiting LitPick. We have enjoyed getting to know you better!
SIX MINUTES WITH REBECCA HUBBARD:
Horse lover and author of The Gift, Rebecca J. Hubbard, is visiting LitPick for Six Minutes with an Author! Rebecca is a master’s level licensed marriage and family therapist who works with traumatized children and their families. In addition to being an author, Rebecca works full-time as a clinician and supervisor at Spirit Reins (https://spiritreins.org), providing Natural Lifemanship, trauma focused equine-assisted psychotherapy for children and families suffering from complex trauma.
How did you get started writing?
I started writing when I was in the fourth grade. I needed to express feelings that were too big to talk about and to explore and understand what was going on around me. Writing helped me do that in a safe way. Once I started writing I haven’t stopped. I mostly write short stories, poetry, and therapeutic books to help children heal from trauma.
Who influenced you?
My papa, my great aunt, and my teachers, Ms. Junelle Gambs and Lynne Gates, were huge influences on me and encouraged me to write. I have never tried to emulate other authors, perhaps because I never saw myself as an actual author. If any author has influenced me, it is Torey Hayden. I love the way she captures her characters and makes you root for them. In my adulthood I have focused on writing stories and poems to help other people understand children who have experienced traumatic events. I try to convey what my characters are feeling so people can better understand the character and have more compassion and understanding toward them and each other. I want children to know they are not alone.
Do you have a favorite book/subject/character/setting?
I love books that paint pictures in my mind and ones that make me think. I have read these books numerous times: Little Women, Hold Autumn in Your Hand, Man O’War, Catcher in the Rye, All Things Great and Small, One Child, Riley’s Luck, Rebecca, The Way the Crow Flies and Jumping Mouse. My favorite book is To Kill A Mockingbird. I have read it too many times to count and I am never bored. My all-time favorite characters are the Sacketts from Louis L’Amour’s books. I have read everything he has ever written.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to be an author?
Practice writing every day and write about things you are interested in or know about. Try to describe a person, an animal, or the landscape and make it come to life. Play with words. But most importantly have fun, and let writing fill your spirit.
Where is your favorite place to write?
When I lived in North Carolina my favorite place to write was at my kitchen table because I could look out the window and watch the deer play in my yard. Now that I am in Texas I do not have a favorite place to write. I guess for me having access to nature is the most important part of having a favorite place. The only way I have that currently is being out at the ranch, Spirit Reins, where I work. I can go there on the weekends if I want to and sit under a tree and watch the horses play. The ranch may become my new favorite place.
I start many of my books on “Notes” on my iPhone. I write while I am waiting in line or at an office waiting for an appointment.
What else would you like to tell us?
Do not let anyone tell you that you are not good enough or that you cannot do something that you have the desire to do. Believe in yourself. Ask for and receive feedback from those you trust. When I was younger I saw a picture of an eagle flying. The caption said, “The only limits are those of vision.” I believe that is true. I hope you soar!
Rebecca, thank you for visiting LitPick for six minutes! Thank you very much for all you do to help children and their families. You are an incredible woman!