Blogaversary Day 31- Interivew with Jenny Hubbard

And We Stay
by Jenny Hubbard
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: January 28th 2014
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When high school senior Paul Wagoner walks into his school library with a stolen gun, he threatens his girlfriend Emily Beam, then takes his own life. In the wake of the tragedy, an angry and guilt-ridden Emily is shipped off to boarding school in Amherst, Massachusetts, where she encounters a ghostly presence who shares her name. The spirit of Emily Dickinson and two quirky girls offer helping hands, but it is up to Emily to heal her own damaged self.

This inventive story, told in verse and in prose, paints the aftermath of tragedy as a landscape where there is good behind the bad, hope inside the despair, and springtime under the snow.

Paper Covers Rock
by Jenny Hubbard
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: June 14th 2011
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At the beginning of his junior year at a boys' boarding school, 16-year-old Alex is devastated when he fails to save a drowning friend. When questioned, Alex and his friend Glenn, who was also at the river, begin weaving their web of lies. Plagued by guilt, Alex takes refuge in the library, telling his tale in a journal he hides behind Moby-Dick. Caught in the web with Alex and Glenn is their English teacher, Miss Dovecott, fresh out of Princeton, who suspects there's more to what happened at the river when she perceives guilt in Alex's writing for class. She also sees poetic talent in Alex, which she encourages. As Alex responds to her attention, he discovers his true voice, one that goes against the boarding school bravado that Glenn embraces. When Glenn becomes convinced that Miss Dovecott is out to get them, Alex must choose between them.

Hi Jenny! Thank you so much for celebrating our blogoversary with us. We are truly happy to have you in our blogs today and specially for this event. I bet our readers are going to love it!

Paper Covers Rock was my first book, actually. (It came out in 2011.) Both of my books feature protagonists who find themselves trapped in situations from which they must extricate themselves. They are introspective teenagers, soulful and smart, who struggle with being true to themselves.

I can think of no life I’d rather have. I have dreamed of this life for years and years, a peaceful one full of challenges that keep my mind sharp and my heart inspired. The best thing is that I can be with my dog Oliver all day long. He sits next to me as I write. Writer’s block? No problem! Oliver and I head out for a walk, and by the time we return, I’m good to go again.

To Kill a Mockingbird or The Great Gatsby or Catcher in the Rye (Don’t you know that this is an impossible question for a writer to answer?!)

Fitzwilliam Darcy

Nature on PBS

The Sound of Music 

Someone to Watch Over Me,” by the Gershwin brothers

Rufus Sewell (alive, please!)

“June Hymn,” by The Decemberists

Columbine. April 20, 1999. This is why I set the book in 1995, first because I wanted to place it in a time before school shootings were, I’m sad to say, common. Before they were America’s national tragedy. If I had set the book in 2013, there would be less impact. I wanted the “why” to linger and loom, which is the reason I chose not to tell any of the story from Paul’s point of view and another reason I set the action in 1995: before email, before texts, before Facebook. This way, Paul leaves no trail that a newspaper reporter, a parent, a girlfriend, could follow. This is a story of aftermath, of how to survive, of the silver linings—if we can even call them that—of tragedy. The mystery of why Paul did what he did will always be with Emily Beam, but she learns how to live with that mystery.

They are similar in a lot of ways. (See previous answer.) They feel things very deeply and use poetry as a way of making sense of what overwhelms and confuses them. They have dry senses of humor that they sometimes use to protect themselves. What makes them different from the rest of their peers is that they are extraordinary observant, which is, of course, what makes them such good poets. 

“This is the challenge: to stay. To stay true.” (And We Stay)

First of all, I’m grateful for your optimism. For And We Stay, I’d choose Saoirse Ronan to play Emily Beam and Mia Wasikowska to play Emily Dickinson, should the writer of the screenplay choose to embody the famous poet. I’ve got to be honest: there is no famous actor who could pull off Alex Stromm in Paper Covers Rock. We’re going to have to depend on a seventeen-year-old unknown—lanky, dark-haired, and shy, with a lot going on behind the eyes.

“Read to your heart’s content—though if you are a reader, the heart is never content.” (My favorite quotation from Paper Covers Rock)

Jenny lives with her husband, a high-school math teacher, and Oliver, their rescue dog, in Salisbury, NC. For 17 years, Jenny taught English at the high-school and college levels. Now a full-time writer, she volunteers as a literary tutor with the public library just around the corner from her home. She also manages a summer theatre company, St. Thomas Players, and is teaching herself how to write plays. Most days, you can find Jenny at her desk with Oliver by her side. The two of them enjoy late-afternoon walks around the neighborhood. Oliver likes to chase the squirrels.


  1. Great interview! To Kill A Mockingbird is my favorite novel.

    1. Yes! I really enjoyed To Kill a Mockingbird as well. It was one of my favorite books that was required reading in High School. I hope to do a re-read of it again as an adult to see how it affects me now that I am older and more mature (well I hope I am at least hahah)


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