Sunday, August 12, 2012
Authors ARE Rockstars: Courtney Summers
I am beyond thrilled to host one of my favorite authors ever today, as part of the Authors ARE Rockstars tour: Courtney Summers. My first book of hers was Cracked Up to Be, which I really enjoyed and ate at me in the right way. Then I read Some Girls Are, and I was gutted, stunned, and basically a mess. I stayed up way too reading before forcing myself to go to bed, and got up way to early to finish. This is hands down one of my favorite books ever, and has everything that I adore in a book: a strong hook, raw emotions, a less than perfect ending, and absolutely stunning characterization. That book is what really made me love Courtney Summers, and put her as an autobuy author for me, and I have to admit, of all her stuff, this is one is still probably my favorite, because of the depths it goes to, the turns it takes, and just how potent it is.
So now that I've talked about why I think she rocks, let's get to the interview with her!
I think readers are rockstars, so the feeling is mutual. :) Robert Cormier is a huge source of inspiration for me! I love how his main characters pushed against reader expectations, like in The Chocolate War (and especially its sequel, Beyond The Chocolate War), where no one was the hero, and who you chose to root for kind of said more about you than the book.
What was your inspiration for becoming an author? Your website mentions that you’ve been writing since the ripe old age of one but you didn’t write your first novel until you were eighteen. Would you mind sharing what it was about? And what were the other two novels you wrote that weren’t published about?
You have dabbled in quite a few creative pursuits throughout your life – singing, acting, photography, music – before finally settling on writing. Aside from writing, which was your favorite? And why?
Probably photography, since I still pick up the camera every now and then. I loved it because I loved creating stories, setting up scenes--all reasons I love writing, too.
What is your favorite part about being a writer? Is it creating the characters or world? Is it being able to get lost in your imagination? Or is it something else?
The writing! Which can also be my least favourite thing about it too. :) But there's just something so amazing and exciting and satisfying about having an idea and putting it on paper and seeing how it comes out--because it's never usually exactly how you thought it. At least that's the case for me.
Of all your books, which was your favorite to write? Which was your most challenging? And which is the character you most relate to?
My favourite book is always the one I'm working on. So at some point or another, all of my books have been my favourite. :) All of my books are challenging in their own ways, but branching into a new genre with THIS IS NOT A TEST made for a slightly more nervewracking writing experience than usual. I don't relate to one of my characters more than others--I think I relate to all of them a little. Whether I want to or not!
Most of your books have been contemporary stories. Your latest release, THIS IS NOT A TEST, has a contemporary feel, but it’s much darker (in that it has an end-of-the-world scale) and there are zombies. What inspired you to change up the setting so drastically for this book? What did you most like about the non-realistic element of the zombie apocalypse? What did you find the most difficult part of adding zombies to the mix?
I have always loved zombies so writing about them was always a matter of when and not if for me. I think my favourite thing about exploring the zombie apocalypse was how to make that non-realistic aspect about it feel realistic and true (although it's up to the reader if I pulled that off!). The most difficult part of adding zombies to the mix was letting go of what other people might think. Being a huge zombie fan, I went in wanting to please every zombie fan but it's just not possible to please everyone.
How would you describe THIS IS NOT A TEST in ten words or less?
Six teens trapped in high school during the zombie apocalypse.
This or That questions
Contemporary or Zombie Apocalypse?
Depends on my mood!
Happily ever after or happily never after?
Depends on the story. ;) (I'm cheating, I know!)
Write at night or write during the day?
Write in silence or write with music?
Write by hand or write by computer?
Love triangle or soul mates?
Zombies or Unicorns?
28 Days Later or 28 Weeks Later?
28 Days! So much better.
Characters: Flawed but redeemable or fatally flawed?
Another cop-out answer: depends on my mood and the story.
In a battle who wins: Zombies or Mean Girls?
Mean girls. Zombies would have no chance.
So there's a look into Courtney, and her books, and how awesome I think she is. If you haven't read her books, trust me, you need to. Her fifth book, All the Rage, is hitting shelves in 2013, so you should join me in the waiting for more from this talented author!
Posted by Kari Olson at 11:24 AM