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Friday, December 26, 2008

Interview With Courtney Summers

If anyone has been reading my update section at my sidebar, you would have noticed the line, "interview with Courtney Summers" posted up there quite some time ago. Well guess what! It's here! So I'd love to introduce the awesome Courtney Summers!

My review can be found here.
To purchase your own copy of Cracked Up To Be go to Amazon

What were some inspirations for your book?
The book was definitely inspired by the question, "What is the worst thing you've ever done?" And it was also really inspired by people--girls in particular--who aren't afraid to tell it like it is, especially at the expense of being seen as nice. I really, really wanted to write a female character who was incredibly abrasive and basically mean--before and after a traumatic experience--and see if she could carry the story I had in mind.

What was hardest part of the novel to write?
From the end of page 126 all the way to page 128. I gave away everything too soon and it took me a little while to realize it, which = days of stalled writing, which = frustrated Courtney!

What motivates you to write?
I love telling stories, plain and simple. :)

Do you listen to music while you write?
Yes! I love to listen to music while I write. It really locks me in, and if I have to leave a scene partway through writing it, I can come back, put on the song I was listening to while I was writing it and it helps me get back into the headspace I need to continue writing.

What is on your current playlist?
I've had the Twilight soundtrack and score in constant rotation, Beyonce has gotten some play time (If I Were a Boy is AWESOME--that music video is fierce, in my humble opinion), some Lily Allen (is her new album out yet???), lots of Matthew Good (The Audio of Being)...

How has the road to publication been?
It's been a total adventure--a really fun rollercoaster ride that I feel incredibly fortunate to be on.

Do you think bloggers helped a lot in publicizing Cracked Up To Be?
YES. Oh, yes, definitely x 1,000. I'm so grateful to book bloggers like yourself who have taken the time to point people in the Cracked Up to Be's direction. From Waiting on Wednesday posts to reading the book, to reviewing it, to giving me the opportunity to be interviewed (thank you for this interview, Yan!)--it all helps in getting the word out. And when you take into consideration that there's no shortage of YA novels out there, and that many reviewers are inundated with reading material, I realize I'm not entitled to any blogger's time, so I definitely don't take it for granted when they decide to give their time to my book, regardless or whether or not they like it in the end. I really appreciate it. Book bloggers rock!

Do you read the reviews?
I do. I don't comment on them, though, because I worry I could inhibit any potential discussion.

Do you like the cover of Cracked Up To Be? If not, what would you have changed?
I love the cover! I wouldn't change a thing. There's so much green on it, and I have a mad love affair with the colour green so it's all good.

Do you have any future books planned?
Yep! My next book, Some Girls Are (title may possibly change), will be coming out in Winter 2010. It's about vicious nasty mean girls. Fun times, fun times.

...and this random question because I simply adore Bailey...

Are you a cat or dog person?
Neither! I am a bird and degu person. :) But if I had to choose, a dog person definitely.

What are some of your favorite books from 2008?
I Know It's Over by C.K. Kelly Martin. It's a brilliant, breathtaking, HEARTBREAKING (all in capitals!) story about saying goodbye even while certain unexpected events are holding you together and the prose is just knock-you-off-your-feet amazing. It's the kind of book you want to hug when you're done reading it because it's just that good. Skin Deep by E.M. Crane is another one that got me--it's this very, very intense novel about a painfully shy girl trying to find her place in the world and every time you read a page you can feel your chest getting tighter and tighter--it's really beautifully written. Violet Raines Almost Got Struck By Lightning by Danette Haworth was the absolutely sweetest book I read this year and Violet one of the most memorable protagonists. Soulless by Christopher Golden was AWESOME zombie fun, and I'm a big zombie fan so that's high praise.

What are some books that you can't wait for in 2009?
One Lonely Degree by C.K. Kelly Martin, Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler, The Line by Teri Hall, Far from You by Lisa Schroeder (which is out now, but, like Cracked Up to Be, is technically a January 2009 release), The Book of the Maidservant by Rebecca Barnhouse, Flash Burnout by L.K. Madigan, Handcuffs by Bethany Griffin (okay, that's a December 2008 release, but I won't be able to get to it until the new year so I'm putting it here!) and Evermore by Alyson Noel, to name a few.

What are some of your all time favorite books?
Anything Robert Cormier has written has a guaranteed spot as one of my favourite books of all time. The man is a genius. My all-time favourite book that I read this year is In the Miso Soup by Ryu Murakami. But warning: In the Miso Soup is not a YA book and it has some EXTREME gore in it that's not for everyone but--it. Is. Amazing. Quiet, suspenseful, unputdownable. A dark and gritty look at loneliness and the human condition. I adore that book like crazy.

How big/extensive is your book collection?
Big enough that I need more bookshelves and, consequently, some (okay, a lot) of my books have found a temporary home in my closet until I can make this happen. *shame*

Got any new books from the holidays? Gave any away?
I was gifted the Twilight series. Which is awesome. It has brought me much joy. I ended up giving away a lot of copies of Cracked Up to Be this year!

What is biggest accomplishment of 2008?
Definitely seeing Cracked Up to Be in print.

What was the most memorable moment this year (besides getting your book published) to you?
Selling Some Girls Are was a very memorable moment. The book was really tough to write, and it came off the heels of a difficult time.

What is your funniest moment?
Uhmmm. Sometimes (okay, all the time), when I go through a drive-thru with someone, I say naughty words while they're placing their order in hopes that one of these naughty words will slip INTO their order. For example, "I would like a bacon double buttburger," or whatever. I do this because I guess drive-thrus bring out the obnoxious jerk in me? Anyway, it FINALLY happened this year when, at the Tim Horton's drive-thru, I got the person next to me (who shall remain nameless) to order an 'Ass Cap'. Technically, that wasn't *my* funniest moment but I found it hilarious and since I was directly responsible for it, I'm gonna say that counts.

Your New Year's resolution?
I don't do the New Year's resolution thing, really. Less chance of me breaking them that way!

What is your position with carolers? Love them; hate them; a strong desire to throw rocks at them?
LOVE THEM. We have a distinct lack of Christmas Carolers around these parts, but how can I begrudge/throw rocks at someone who wants to bring a little holiday cheer to the land? Keep rockin' it, Christmas Carolers!

Give her a round of applause people! Now go out and buy a copy of her amazing book! I command thee to!

Courtney's website, blog, goodreads

I would love some critiques on this interview. What could have been done better? Some of the good, or the bad? Be on the lookout for some more interviews!

Sidenote: the reason I wanted to ask about the carolers was because my friend had told me that she would be caroling this holiday. I had asked her to stop by my house that evening...so I can throw rocks at her from my window. She gave me this look so I quickly added that I'll draw little pink hearts on the rocks though! She just gave me this weak awkward laugh...of course she never did show up during the holidays to sing. I love carolers, don't get me wrong! It was just something I said to ease the boredom of which is called pre-calculus.

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