In an office in her Detroit home, Sylvia Hubbard writes stories set in her city.
“I tell stories of romance and suspense from Detroit,” she says. “My style is you never know what’s going to come next.”
Kind of like life.
Sylvia’s own story reads a bit like a novel. It begins when she was a little girl, who had a penchant for lying. Her mom wouldn’t stand for it.
“She would make me write down my lie and come back and tell her… so my pain became my pleasure and I just loved writing stories.”
And before she even knew what romance was…
“We were in the library one day and that was one of the passionate Fabio covers and I said, ‘alright I want to write this book,’ I read it and I was like ‘oh I can do this, and of course I didn’t know what I was doing.’”
But that changed over time, and eventually this single mom of three faced the challenge of getting her books published.
“Pushing letter after letter to publishers and getting rejections. And then I said ‘I’m gonna do this on my own, I’m going to be an author-preneur and just start publishing my books on my own.’”
To date, she’s self-published some 40 books, many of which are now sold on Amazon. She also holds monthly literary workshops to help other authors navigate what can be a frustrating storyline.
"We help writers get to their publishing, marketing or literary goals," she explains. "And whatever they need, we try to network them with publishers, editors, even writers' groups."
During chapters of her life, Sylvia’s book income was all she had. She’ll never forget the cold winter not long ago when she and her kids were living in a foreclosed home.
“It was like 40 below and there was no furnace, the pipes were frozen. But my kids and I were like ‘we can do this, we can survive and we did.’”
But then the house burned down. That’s when her Habitat for Humanity chapter was written.
“We finally worked the sweat equity off, we paid the down payment, and we bought a house from Habitat,” she says.
While her book income today pays a lot of bills, Sylvia has another full-time job.
“Because I’m a mom, and braces need to be put in, glasses need to be put on. So I call it my benefit job, but this is more or less my grussle, my hussle and my love.”
Her story's message
It’s a love that’s teaching her kids about pursuing their own passions… a promise she made when she first became a mom.
“I made that promise that I wasn’t gonna be hypocritical and say follow your dreams, follow your goals, I wanted to be able to show her if you follow your dreams and your goals, you can reach where you want to be.”
In other words… you can create your own happy ending.