Monday, February 28, 2011

Vlog Interview: Kirsten Hubbard, Author of Like Mandarin!

How excited was I when I found out Kirsten Hubbard was doing vlog interviews?!?  Kirsten is a debut YA author.  Her upcoming book, Like Mandarin, releases on March 8th, and I have been looking forward to it since I first heard about it in October. Check out what I asked Kirsten and her answers in the video below! 

I also had a fifth question that Kirsten answered. Unfortunately, there was a technical glitch and it didn't make it onto the vlog.  However, Kirsten wanted to make sure we had an answer, so she sent it along:

Mandarin isn't a name you hear too often.  How and why did you pick that name for this particular character?

When I was 13 through 15, I was obsessed with unusual names. I also kept journals, and for every volume, I'd invent a girl, who I'd draw comics about.

Check out the great pics of Kirsten's HS journal that she sent along. . .

The last girl, in the volume where I finally tapered off, was named Mandarin. Specifically, Mandarin Amanda Day, which I did not recall until I opened that journal just now. Anyway, I never forgot how much I loved the name, and when I created the character, it popped back into my head. Another of my journal girls was named Starling – now the name of a character in Wanderlove. Hopefully, I'll get the chance to use the others!

Ah, Kirsten, I was obsessed with names, too!  I was determined to name a daughter Avalon because I thought it was the Coolest. Name. Ever.  Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing some of your writing and traveling experiences with us!  I love hearing about adventures, and congratulations on your upcoming release!

Anywho, I hope all of you check back here tomorrow when I will post a review of Like Mandarin!  If you would like to see to see the rest of stops on the Teen Scene's Like Mandarin Tour, go here, or you can visit Kirsten's blog, as well.

by Kirsten Hubbard
Realeases on 03.08.2011


It's hard finding beauty in the badlands of Washokey, Wyoming, but 14-year-old Grace Carpenter knows it's not her mother's pageant obsessions, or the cowboy dances adored by her small-town classmates. True beauty is wild-girl Mandarin Ramey: 17, shameless and utterly carefree. Grace would give anything to be like Mandarin.

When they're united for a project, they form an unlikely, explosive friendship, packed with nights spent skinny-dipping in the canal, liberating the town's animal-head trophies, and searching for someplace magic. Grace plays along when Mandarin suggests they run away together. Blame it on the crazy-making wildwinds plaguing their badlands town.

Because all too soon, Grace discovers Mandarin's unique beauty hides a girl who's troubled, broken, and even dangerous. And no matter how hard Grace fights to keep the magic, no friendship can withstand betrayal. (from GoodReads)


  1. Good interview.
    This sounds like a really good book.
    I do the same with names I have a little notebook that when I see or hear an interesting or unique name I'll write it down.

  2. Great interview! I love that Kristen Hubbard is also a travel writer. I think it would be an amazing job.

    Can't wait for Like Mandarin to hit stores :)

  3. Great review! I am so interesting in reading this book.

  4. I love the sound of this book, and I love that she had a sketch book with character comics about the names haha that is SO awesome :)

  5. Loved the interview vlog! :) It may be windy where she is but at least it looks warm! Palm trees!

  6. What a fun way to do an interview! It's so fun to actually see the authors instead of just reading their answers. This is one I'm really looking forward to reading, and I agree, Mandarin is a very cool name. I quite like Avalon as well, I love the unusual names, maybe because my name is Jenny and that's boring:)

  7. @AngelicNytmare I did that all the time in HS - never my own name, but the name I wish I had or that I would name a daughter - it passed many a dreary minute :)

    @Nic I hope it releases in Aussie the same day that it does here!

    @Savy - thanks Savy - I hope you pick it up.

    @Melissa I loved that she passed it on to post - how cool is it that she kept it - I think I destroyed mine in a feng shui attack!

    @Jacinda Ohhh yes, but after you read the book, you'll know she is very use to wind, but perhaps not palm trees.

    @Jenny I agree! I jumped at the chance for this one! I would do a vlog occasionally, but I am self-conscious. And Jenny's a great name - I wanted to be a Jenny so badly when I was little - immortalized in Forrest Gump, right?


  8. I'm really curious to see your review. I haven't heard a whole lot about this book, but I think that's awesome that Kirsten did a vlog interview, and that she sent you along some pictures of her sketch book!

  9. I love that the author shared her book from when she was younger - and she came up with some awesome unique names. I will definitely be adding this book to my TBR. And yes, I am officially out of my rut :)