Young Adult literature authors Jenny Han and Jenny Hubbard visited Meredith College on April 16, 2014. Hubbard is the author of And We Stay and Paper Covers Rock, and Han is the author of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and Burn For Burn.
Both of the authors attended Meredith College. Jenny Hubbard is a 1987 graduate, and Jenny Han attended Meredith for two years before transferring to UNC-Chapel Hill. They returned to campus to answer questions from Meredith students about their writing careers. The afternoon conversation about writing was sponsored by the Colton English Club and the Meredith Department of English. Meredith College offers a popular young adult literature course each semester.
Han and Hubbard were asked where they get ideas for their novels.
“My ideas come to me as images, and I work from that picture,” Hubbard said.
Han said ideas come from a variety of sources. “I get ideas sitting on the subway, seeing an ad or hearing a name … talking to a friend or in a dream,” Han said.
The authors also talked about their love of reading.
“I always loved to write and always loved books, but I didn’t know it was a viable career option until I took a class on writing for children,” Han said.
Hubbard knew from an early age she wanted to write, announcing her intention to her kindergarten class. “I always loved to read,” Hubbard said. “I came to writing through my reading.”
Hubbard, who studied English and theatre at Meredith, talked about how her theatre training influences her writing.
“I’m interested in making dialogue as realistic as possible,” Hubbard said. “Theatre helps with that, and also with book presentations.”
The authors also talked about the challenges of writing as a profession. Authors are encouraged to be on social media and to tour with their books in order to make a connection with their readers.
Han said she tells aspiring writers to “really enjoy the time before you get published, when it is still a dream … nothing ever touches that high of finding out for the first time your book will be published.”
Hubbard and Han also held a joint reading at Quail Ridge Books on April 16.