Reading Matters

Charlotte novelist Webb Hubbell: A few nosey questions before his weekend appearances

Charlotte’s Webb Hubbell has published his second novel in just a year’s time. Last spring, it was When Men Betray (Beaufort Books), his first Jack Patterson thriller. Now here’s his second, Ginger Snaps, set like the first, in Little Rock, Ark.

You’ll have two chances to hear Hubbell read from and discuss the new novel this weekend.

At 6 p.m., Saturday, he’ll give a free public reading at the Main Library, 301 N. Tryon St.

From 2-4 p.m., Sunday, he’ll read at Park Road Books, 3941 Park Rd., Park Road Shopping Center.

I caught up with Hubbell last week and popped a few questions:

Dannye: Here’s one heck of an opener: “An axe crashed through the solid oak front door.” How many opening sentences did you write before you settled on this one?

Hubbell: That sentence was revised 15 or 20 times. The opening sentence you always end up working on and working on. You never know if you’ve got it totally right. I re-wrote that a bunch.

Dannye: What suits you about a first-person narrator?

Hubbell: It just comes naturally. I think part of it is that I am, like most lawyers, a natural storyteller. At least for me, first-person comes out best. It’s like my voice.

Dannye: Your first novel, When Men Betray, came out just a year ago. Now here’s your second novel, another Jack Patterson thriller. Was it a lot easier to write than your first?

Hubbell: I consider myself a speed demon. I’m working on the third right now. Second one was easier because I knew not to get bogged down in going off the path and telling long stories. But the first one was easier because I was just telling stories I’d made up all my life.