Author Spotlight: Susan Lubner
|© Nicole LeBlanc|
Oct. 26, 2018
We are excited to feature picture book and middle grade author Susan Lubner and her middle grade novel, LIZZY AND THE GOOD LUCK GIRL (Running Press Kids Nov. 2018). Enter to win a signed copy of the book and a plush cat in a sweater!
|cover art © Pascal Campion|
Tell us about yourself and how you came to write for children.
When I was a young girl I made funny rhyming birthday cards for my family and little books that I stapled together and illustrated. In college, I took a writing course and my professor encouraged me to submit my stories to a collegiate magazine. I published two and one of them won a best prose award. That gave me a boost of confidence and I continued taking writing courses, even after college. When my oldest daughter was two (almost 24 years ago) I saw a poster in a bookstore for a children’s writing course. I had never tried writing for children but at that time in my life I sure was enjoying reading picture books! I signed up for the course and that’s how it all began.
Congrats on LIZZY AND THE GOOD LUCK GIRL. Tell us about it and what inspired you.
Thank you! Lizzy is twelve and lives with her Mom and Dad above their diner in a small town in Maine. After a tragic car accident involving her family, Lizzy remembers something she heard earlier that day and in retrospect is sure it was a warning sign that something bad was going to happen. Lizzy starts believing there are signs everywhere and if she can figure out what they are trying to tell her she can avoid bad things from happening.
One day while searching for a stray cat, Lizzy and her BFF cross paths with a young runaway that they try to help. Lizzy notices a four leaf clover drawn on the girl’s hand. Convinced it’s a sign that the girl is good luck, Lizzy hides her inside her home believing she can protect her family from another tragedy. LIZZY AND THE GOOD LUCK GIRL is a story about family, love, friendship, and cats in sweaters. But at the center of it all, it’s a story about the awesome power of hope. I was inspired to write the book because of my own experience with loss when I was Lizzy’s age. Her story is very different from mine, but I, too, found looking for a sign that everything would be OK was a helpful way for me to cope during a difficult time.
Was your road to publication long and windy, short and sweet, or something in between?
It’s sort of been a mix of all of that! I started writing children’s stories in earnest around 1995. It took a long time before I sold my first story to Spider Magazine in 2003 and it wasn’t published until 2006. Shortly after that first magazine sale I sold my first picture book (published in 2005) and my second and third picture books soon after (2006 and 2008). But there were long stretches, too. I published a few more pieces in children’s magazines but it was four years before my next book, my first MG novel, THE UPSIDE OF ORDINARY, was released in 2012. LIZZY AND THE GOOD LUCK GIRL is my second MG novel and it will be released on November 6, 2018.
What other projects are you working on? Any new books coming out?
I finished a middle grade novel this summer that just went out on submission. So, fingers crossed!
What are the one or two best things you did for your career?
Definitely connecting with my writers group and my agent Linda Epstein. My critique partners and I have been critiquing together for over twenty years. We really know each other as writers very well and their support and feedback has been invaluable.
What is one thing most people don't know about you?
I love cooking shows! Top Chef, Chopped, Beat Bobby Flay…cooking is an art and I’m always amazed at how these chefs create something in such a short time and under such pressure.
Where can people find you online?
Susan Lubner penned her first picture book Fredfoot the Frog by the second grade. Although it was not published, she did receive a ‘great job!’ sticker from her teacher. Eventually, Susan published three picture books (Abrams) and the middle grade novel, TEH UPSIDEOF ORDINARY (Holiday House). Her stories have also been published in Spider Magazine and Highlights for Children. LIZZY AND THE GOOD LUCK GIRL (Running Press Kids) will be released on November 6, 2018.
Susan grew up in Bangor, Maine, but lives with her husband David and dog Bailey in Massachusetts. They have two grown daughters. Read more about Susan and her books at www.susanlubner.com.
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