Interview with Kristin O'Donnell Tubb

Kristin O'Donnell Tubb

Kristin O' Donnell Tubb's novel, Selling Hope, garnered great reviews, including a star from Booklist, who said, "Tubb deftly ingrains a thoughtful ethical question into the story, but never overdoes it in this bouncy tale populated by a terrific cast of characters". She lives in Tennessee with her family.


Autumn Winifred Oliver Does Things Different (2008)
GoodreadsAmazonThe Book Depository
Selling Hope (2010)
GoodreadsAmazonThe Book Depository
The 13th Sign (2013)
GoodreadsAmazonThe Book Depository


Confessions of a Readaholic

Find Kristin


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Hi Kristin! Thank you so much for stopping by the Books That Glow: YA & MG 2013 Event to answer some questions about you and your book :)

First question...Describe your book in 5 words– GO!

Zodiac, voodoo, mystery, fantasy, zeal :)

How did you come up with the idea for The 13th Sign?

When I was younger, I read my horoscope every day. Mine, my friends, my parents – it was fun, the possibility that you birthdate somehow shapes your personality, somehow predicts your future. I had the idea to write a story based on the zodiac, but when I started researching it and found out about the "missing" 13th sign, Ophiuchus, I knew I had my story.

Your book revolves very much around the Zodiac much research had to go into creating this novel?

A lot – and I loved it! Research is one of my favorite stages of writing; I could get lost in it. I researched the history of the zodiac (it is believed that it started with the Babylonians around 2,000 BC!). I also studied each horoscope sign and their main attributes (the picture on the RIGHT shows the "wheel" I used while writing 13TH SIGN.) But I also studied personality theories and stages of grief, because those things applied to the main character, Jalen. It was all so fascinating! I truly love learning new things and writing fosters that.

If YOU want to learn more about your 12-sign horoscope, your 13-sign horoscope, and which horoscope sign you ACT like, I invite you to take THE 13TH SIGN quiz! It's fun – hope you enjoy! :)

What in your opinion is the hardest thing about writing a book?

Every book has its own challenges, I think. With THE 13TH SIGN, the challenge was to make each of Jalen's confrontations with the twelve horoscope signs interesting and unique, while ensuring that Jalen's story was not lost. With my last novel, SELLING HOPE, the challenge was to write a likable con artist. If there was one, single hard thing about writing a book, I think writing would be much, much easier! :) Instead, part of writing each book is to find out what *that* story's challenges are, and then overcome them.

Did you always want to be an author growing up?

Yes! But I knew for sure when I wanted to be a writer in sixth grade, when I had the amazing opportunity to interview my favorite writer, Madeleine L'Engle, by telephone. When I told her I wanted to be a writer, she didn't scoff or laugh. Instead she said, "Good for you! Keep reading and you can do it." I was – and still am! – totally hooked. :)


Early Bird or Night Owl? Night Owl!
Mountains or the Beach? Beach for family, mountains for writing. :)
M&Ms or Skittles? M&Ms (Me too!)
Ice Cream or Frozen Yogurt? Frozen Yogurt (ditto :D)
Cats or Dogs? Ooo, I have one cat and two dogs, but my instinct is to say dogs. (Sorry, Brody Kitty!)

Aw... That was mean of me to ask the last question :(

What music do you like to listen to?

Just about everything! I don't listen to music while writing, usually, but I do while revising. I listened to a lot of jazz – specifically Trombone Shorty – while revising THE 13TH SIGN to try and get that jazz undertone of New Orleans laced in.

If THE 13TH SIGN was to become a movie, who would be apart of your dream cast?

I really stink at popular culture (NERD ALERT! ;-)) but here goes:

Jalen: Selena Gomez, maybe? It needs to be someone who can pull off both broody and hyper-excited.
Ellie: AnnaSophia Robb (the girl who will play Carrie Bradshaw on The Carrie Diaries)
Brennan: Eesh... Freddie Stroma? (Though I personally love Michael Cera and will watch any movie he's in. :) )
Gemini: someone *like* Angelina Jolie, but not Angelina Jolie. :)

Great cast choices! I'm a fan of Michael Cera myself :D

When you're not writing, what can you be found doing?

Playing with my kids, reading, drawing, or spending way too much time on Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest. (Friend me! I'm at, and

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers out there?

Read! Just like Ms. L'Engle told me – reading is the single best way you can figure out what you like, what you don't, and WHY. Also, I'd suggest an awesome, supportive critique group (I am very, very blessed to have mine) who is serious about writing.

What can we expect from you next?? :D

A barrage of emails, since I'm waaaaaay behind in answering them! :) I just finished a story called Island of Superstition, and I'm co-writing my first YA with my fabulous critique partner, Courtney C. Stevens, called Open the Windows. I love what I do, and I hope I can do it for a long, long time.

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Thank you so much to Kristin for answering all those questions! Be sure to check out the quiz– I took it and here are my answers!

My tradition sign is: Aquarius (Feb 12)
My 13 zodiac sign is: Capricorn
Sign I act like: Scorpio

Woah, all completely different! Definitely interesting to see :D

Click HERE to take the quiz!

You should all totally read The 13th Sign– I loved it! Here's a little more about the book:

What if there was a 13th zodiac sign? 

You’re no longer Sagittarius, but Ophiuchus, the healer, the 13th sign. 

Your personality has changed. So has your mom’s and your best friend’s. 

What about the rest of the world? 

What if you were the one who accidentally unlocked the 13th sign, causing this world-altering change—and infuriating the other 12 signs?  

Jalen did it, and now she must use every ounce of her strength and cunning to send the signs back where they belong. Lives, including her own, depend on it.

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