Everything Novel: Two Debut Authors Share What Drove Them to Publish

Last month at DeadDarlings, we were lucky enough to speak to two authors about their debut works. Ladee Hubbard told us about what led to The Talented Ribkins (Melville House, 2017) and Arif Anwar shared how he wrote The Storm, (HarperCollins/Simon & Schuster May 2018).



Ladee: What did it take to get The Talented Ribkins sold and onto the bookshelves?

Persistence and dedication. I couldn’t have written The Talented Ribkins if I had not learned to respect my own voice and recognize the value in what made it unique—even if others did not. Toni Morrison was my thesis advisor when I was an undergraduate and taught me a great deal about writing, but we had not been in contact for several years when I finally did sit down and write a novel. 


Read more about Ladee Hubbard and her novel-writing process.



Arif: You have an impressive background in international education and public health. What inspired you to write a novel?

I always loved being a reader and it wasn’t until in my early thirties that I thought that writing could be enjoyable. I’m not one of those people who knew they were going to be writers since they were kids. I learned to write fiction first by reading a lot, of both writers that I admired and those I didn’t, so I’d know what not to do. I thought I knew enough about writing fiction to be dangerous when I first started, but over the last five years, I’ve come a long way by just writing a lot. It also helped that I’m part of a fantastic writer’s group in Toronto called First Page, a group of really talented writers so have helped improve my work immensely. And there was, of course, the invaluable input from my agents and editors.


Read more about Arif Anwar and his novel-writing process.

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About the Author

Dead Darlings is devoted to celebrating the novel, from the process of creation through revision, promotion and publication. The authors, alumni from GrubStreet Boston’s Novel Incubator, have gathered to provide support for all novelists: aspiring, developing or successful. Writing is best when it has the support of a community, when novelists share their experiences.

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