Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Warm Welcome to My Friend, Marsha Hubler!

Would you like to win one of Marsha's books? Make sure to leave a comment and your email address. Now on to her interview:

How long have you known that you were a writer? Did you receive a clear “call?” Or have you just loved writing all your life?
I guess I’ve always had the “write” gene in me. As a young person, I had several teachers who encouraged me from elementary school through college. I always loved writing, especially poetry, short stories, and articles, but life got in the way, and I didn’t start seriously trying to be published until the early 1990s. In 1991, my first sale was a short piece about one of our foster daughters. A Christian woman’s magazine bought the “Bus Kid” article for $30. I was so excited, I felt as though I had won the lottery. I still have a copy of that first check on my “FAVORITES” wall in my office to remind me from whence I came and how God has blessed my writing.

That would be inspiration to keep writing! Smile. What is the genre you write in? Would you explain what it is?

I have dabbled in the genres, or “divisions,” of poetry, articles, short stories, ladies’ Bible studies, nonfiction helps book for homeschoolers, juvenile fiction, and now I’m working on an Amish/Mennonite fiction series for adults. My eight girl/horse tween books, The Keystone Stables Series from Zonderkidz, have been my best sellers.

How do you spend your writing days? Do you set goals to reach a certain number of words per day? Can you give us a general idea of how long it takes you to write a novel?

If I can park “life” for a while, my best time to write each day is from ten to 2 pm. I don’t set goals other than that of finishing a manuscript. Last fall, I had an agent request the first completed Amish fiction book in my “Loves of Snyder County” series, which I had only three chapters written last October. Writing steadily, but not every day, I was able to finish the 53,000-word manuscript by the end of February.

You recently had a book published. Would you take this time to describe it to us? How and where can readers buy your books?
  • I have 13 books in print, the most recent a tween mystery, THE SECRET OF WOLF CANYON, published by Sonfire in Galax, VA. Horse lovers would also love the Keystone Stables series, which has main characters that deal with juvenile delinquency, blindness, deafness, Down syndrome, and the death of a close friend.

On the lighter side, they’d enjoy RICKIE RIDES TO THE RESCUE and for the six-to-ten-year-olds, THE SECRET OF THE BATTY

Ladies serious about their prayer life would like DRAW ME CLOSER LORD.

Those thinking about homeschooling or just starting the tremendous task would glean from my 20 years of experience with homeschoolers by reading YOU’VE DECIDED TO HOMESCHOOL; NOW WHAT?

Readers can buy all my books at my website, and most are on Amazon or at any bookstore. Most of the books can be ordered if they are not on the shelves.

Oh, my. You have an impressive list of books! Tell us, what is the spiritual message in your books? What can readers expect to get from reading them?
All of my books either present the plan of salvation or challenge the reader to live godly lives for the Lord Jesus.
Do you ever feel like giving up? Most people don’t understand the stress, the work, and the joy of being a writer. How tenuous becoming a writer is. Do you care to share how it feels, what discouraging/encouraging times you’ve gone through?

Of course, it’s always discouraging to get rejection letters, and even after the success of 13 books, I still get rejection letters. But I have a burning desire to write for the Lord’s glory. I love the process of creating characters and thinking, “What if?” So, whether I am accepted for publication or not, I MUST write. I feel it is a direct calling from the Lord.
Who’s inspired you the most?
I would have to say that Jesus has inspired me the most. He’s the AUTHOR and finisher of our faith. I’m also impressed with the writings of Paul in the New Testament. As far as contemporary authors, I’m always reading the genres in which I write. So it’s hard to name any specific ones other than Nancy Rue (juvenile fiction), and right now I’m reading Amish fiction by Suzanne Fisher. Other writer friends inspire me, as well. Once a week a few of us try to get together at a local café and just sit together for several hours, sip coffee, and write on our laptops. It’s a great way to hold yourself accountable.

Nancy and Suzanne are great writers! Would you explain how you “chose” (or were chosen by) a publisher? Do you just go “inny, minny, miny, moe?” Now, that you’re published, can you sit back and relax from the success you’ve experienced?

I’ve had five contracts with publishing companies and two with agents. All but one came from meeting the editors or agents at writers’ conferences. I can’t express how important it is to “get out there and mingle” with our creative crowd.

As far as “success,” that is an abstract term. In the Christian book market, there is very little money for the author. I received an advance for some of my books, but it was no way near any amount to be able to live on. My royalties for the rest of the books are pittance. So, in the Christian book world, “success” only means that you have, maybe, a recognizable name to a small group of fans and admirers. It’s only your big names like Tim LaHaye and Beverly Lewis who get the million dollar advances.

Do you mind telling us some of your likes and dislikes? Hobbies, interests? Where would you like to travel if you could?
  • I love reading the Bible. You couldn’t make up stories better than those that are recorded in those holy pages.
  • I also love Christian music and play it often in my home and in the car.
  • I like quality time to think and write.
I dislike most of what’s on TV today. I watch mostly Fox news and old reruns of Murder, She Wrote or old “happy ending” movies.

I have several hobbies: playing the organ (church organist), reading, of course, playing Scrabble online, gardening, and billiards. I love horses, but I only ride them vicariously in my horse books anymore.

I’d love to travel to Israel, Hawaii, Alaska, and Austria.
Would you give us your blog or webpage so everyone can check it out? Anything else you’d like to share? Promotional information?

I love to hear from other writers and Keystone Stables fans. Visit me at any of these sites.
All anyone wants to know about my writing, my passions, and my books can visit my website and three blogs. I’m also on Facebook, Twitter, and several other social networking sites.

I will be at The Montrose Christian Writers Conference, Montrose, PA, from July 24th to the 29th.

Thanks, Carole!

Thank you, Marsha, for visitng!
Readers, for a chance to win her book, please leave your email and a comment!


Linda Glaz said...

You're so right about conferences. So important to a writer's career.

Donna Alice said...

I'm always on the lookout for good book for kids! I'll be sure to check these out.

Kathryn Page Camp said...

Linda took my comment, but it bears repeating, anyway. Conferences enhance a writer's career in so many ways, they are worth many times the money.

Mozi Esmé said...

I'd be interesting in adding this to my daughter's library!

Amanda Stephan said...

Love this post! Wow, 20 years experience with homeschoolers? I'm currently working on 18 years of the same experience... ;)

Your books sound wonderful ~ I'm so glad to have an opportunity to read about you!

Y'all are going to think I'm nuts, but I haven't been to a writer's conference yet. Because, truthfully, I'm terrified! Ooh yeah, way out of my comfort zone. But I've noticed God taking me more and more out of it lately, so perhaps I'll get to one before long. (As long as I bring my stress pills, a brown paper bag, and my teddy bear aka: hubby; I should be all right.)

Thank you for the opportunity to win!
amanda38401 at gmail dot com

Penny Zeller said...

Marsha, my daughters LOVE your Keystone Stables series and have read them many times over.

I really enjoyed reading your interview and I appreciate you writing wholesome books for our children. Keep writing!

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