1. How long have you been
I’ve always loved writing
and I’ve been writing for over 20 years. I wrote my first book
between 1986 and 1988 (but it was nowhere near ready for
publication). I began submitting seriously around 2000.
2. What convinced you to
get started on your first book?
I was sitting around
talking with my sisters and cousin. We all loved to read
Harlequin romances and I said, “One day I’m going to write for
Harlequin.” Everyone laughed, but I was deadly serious and
determined to make my dream come true one day, so I started
3. What challenges did you
face in becoming published?
Whew, how much time have
you got? Succinctly, it took me a long time during which I
overcame challenges of balancing a full-time job, family and
finding the time to write. I also learned to deal with
disappointment as my submissions returned with “thanks, but your
story’s not quite right for us at this time” before finally
reaching my goal of being published by Harlequin. I experienced
many rejections, did numerous revisions and rewrites, but I’m
here to tell you that perseverance and faith do pay off.
4. Did you ever imagine
that you would become a published author? What did you do when
you got THE call?
I always knew I would be
published and by Harlequin. I never doubted that and I never
gave up on that dream.
When I received “the call” it was from Alex, Kimani’s Assistant
Editor. We had been emailing each other for months and I had
already revised my manuscript at his request when he emailed and
asked if I’d be available for a call later that day. My heart
started beating furiously as I typed my response telling him
that yes, I would be home and waiting for his call. Well,
several hours later when he called, I tried to maintain my cool,
which was very hard to do especially when he said those
wonderful words, “We’d like to offer you a publishing contract.”
Inside, I was screaming and jumping up and down, but I managed
to keep it together until I got off the phone and then I jumped
up and down, shrieked in joy and proceeded to call everyone I
could think of to tell them I was going to be a published
5. What has been the
response to your debut release so far?
It’s been amazing! I’m
thrilled and humbled by the wonderful reviews I’ve received from
readers who have taken the time to email me, post on my FaceBook
wall or tweet me on Twitter. It’s an indescribable feeling to
know that others like my story and characters—so much so that
everyone has been asking for a sequel to THESE ARMS OF MINE
featuring Derrick and Alesha’s best friends, Cam and Angela.
6. What are some of your
favorite authors, genres, and/or books?
Romance is my favorite
genre (contemporary, paranormal and romantic suspense). Some of
my favorite authors are: Sandra Brown, Nora Roberts, Brenda
Jackson, and Stephen King.
7. What are some of the
things you like to do in your down time?
LOL, down time, what’s
that? Usually when I’m not working at my “day job”, I’m writing.
I enjoy watching movies (horror & sci-fi), reading, spending
time with family and going to casinos (I love playing slot
ABOUT THESE ARMS OF MINE
1. Tell us a bit about
THESE ARMS OF MINE?
It’s a reunion romance
about two people who met, were attracted to each other, but were
pulled apart by bad choices and circumstances. When they’re
reunited two years later, Alesha needs a huge favor from Derrick
(whose heart she broke years before) and Derrick wants some
long-denied answers and maybe even a little revenge from the
woman he thinks needlessly nearly ruined his life.
2. What was your
inspiration for this, your debut effort?
I love a really good love
story. I wanted to write a simple boy meets girl, forces tear
them apart and fate brings them back together type of novel.
Alesha and Derrick’s story contains all of those elements. It’s
just a good old-fashioned love story.
3. Do you have any favorite
characters or scenes that you wouldn’t mind sharing or providing
a little more insight on?
I love all my characters,
but if I have to pick one it would be Derrick because he was a
true gentleman, an alpha male with a good heart who wasn’t
afraid to admit that he had feelings. He was sexy, romantic and
truly cared about Alesha. Of course, I loved Alesha’s
selflessness, loyalty and compassion and even though she was a
little misguided in her actions at times, she tried to do what
was right. Cam, Derrick’s best friend, is also a favorite
because he was such a good friend—very supportive and funny. He
didn’t let Derrick get away with trying to minimize his feelings
for Alesha and Cam is just an overall good guy; he’s the best
friend we all need.
The first scene where
Derrick and Alesha meet again is one of my favorites because
there’s so much internal and external emotion going on for both
of them. You can tell that these two people are attracted to
each other, but carry scars and pain that hopefully make you
want to keep reading and find out what happened in their past
and what their future holds.
4. Did you face any major
challenge(s) writing this particular story? If so, what were
After I had written and
submitted my story, I waited anxiously to hear back from Kimani.
Several months later, I did and they liked my manuscript, but
asked for a rewrite, which I was happy to do. I really changed
Robert’s (Alesha’s brother) character and motivations, which led
to some major changes in interactions between Alesha, Derrick
and Robert in the book. I had to cut a couple of really good
scenes with Robert and Derrick and between Robert and Alesha
because they simply didn’t fit the story anymore and that was a
5. How have readers
responded, so far, to THESE ARMS OF MINE?
They’ve been very
supportive and complimentary—simply fantastic! The best thing
since getting “the call” has been receiving so many wonderful
emails, tweets and FaceBook posts from readers about These Arms
ALL ABOUT THE FANS
1. What’s next for you? Do
you have any upcoming releases or projects you are working on?
My second Kimani novel, OUR
FIRST DANCE, will be released on June 19, 2012. I have several
proposal submitted to Kimani that I’m waiting to hear back on.
I’m also outlining a paranormal romance and romantic suspense
novel, as well as working on the outline/proposal for Cam and
Angela’s book (sequel to These Arms of Mine).
2. Do you have any reader
events coming up (book signing, tours, etc.)?
I’m in the process of
scheduling a Barnes & Noble book event/signing for June to
coincide with the release of OUR FIRST DANCE, but the date’s not
definite yet, so watch my web site and FaceBook pages for
3. How can your readers
stay in touch with you?
They can find me by my full
name (Judy Lynn Hubbard) everywhere. I love to talk with
readers, so please feel free to contact me anytime. Here are
4. What advice or
encouragement do you have for aspiring authors?
Never give up—no matter
what. Keep writing and believing in yourself and in your work,
because if you don’t think you have what it takes to be
published, how can you expect anyone else to?
The staff of
Romance in Color would like to thanks Ms. Hubbard for taking the time out
to be our guest.