Monday, February 17, 2014

Interview with Debut Author Courtney C. Stevens

1. When did you first start writing, and was there something in particular that inspired you?

I published my first poem in second grade and my love for creative writing continued to grow when I discovered short stories in high school. Several assignments ended up being published in local newspapers and then I won a Scholastic Arts and Writing Gold Award for fantasy my senior year. That helped me decide to pursue a degree in journalism.

Until I changed my major.

For the next ten or so years, I wrote non-fiction bible studies, devotionals, songs, and short scripts.

In 2009, I woke up from a particularly vivid dream that captured my imagination. It was a unique setting, and I was so curious that I sat down and tried to describe it. Then, I NEEDED to know what happened next.

That’s how I decided I wanted to try for a full-length novel.

2.What first attracted you to your genre when you began writing?

That first full-length novel wasn’t contemporary realistic fiction; it was fantasy. I read fantasy, adventure, dystopic books, and that’s what I thought I wanted to write. When I was between book one and two in that series (that will never resurface), I had an idea about an interracial romance in the south. I wrote a few paragraphs, and I was totally hooked on first person contemporary. This was my voice.
I’ve had a few flings with fantasy since (because I love it), but I don’t have a talent for it.

3. In regards to your own characters, who is your favorite to write and why?

Bodee is my favorite. Although Gerry, from The Blue-Haired Boy, is a close second. I love their sincerity and I-will-love-you-in-spite-of-you attitude.

4. What other genres (besides your own) do you enjoy reading?

I read mystery, fantasy, dystopian, science fiction and historical. Most of my choices in the last six years have been young adult, although I’ve read several middle grade series and a few adult stand-alones. The only genre I haven’t dipped into is paranormal. Not because I wouldn’t like, but rather because of time. One of these days, I’m going to dive in.

5. As a reader I know how difficult it can be to name a ‘favorite’ book, would you mind listing your top three? (Past or present authors)

Top Three:
1. Winger by Andrew Smith
2. I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

6. What are some ‘must haves’ when you sit down to write?

Music. Diet Coke. A room that’s not too cold. And, I must be funny dressed, unlike every other writer in the world who works in theirpjs.

7. If you became trapped as a character in a book or series, which would you choose and why? (Any book, any series, new or old)

I’ll give you a guy and a girl.

1. Hermione Granger (Harry Potter series). She’s kind, cunning, still alive at the end, has a boyfriend and a best friend who are worth dying for, and I believe she’s a very good friend.

2. Ed Kennedy (I am the Messenger). He’s an underachiever on a journey to become someone who matters. He’s good to his dog, his friends, strangers, and he even manages to love people who are difficult. This is very admirable to me.

Faking Normal:
Release Date: February 25, 2014
An edgy, realistic, and utterly captivating novel from an exciting new voice in teen fiction.

Alexi Littrell hasn't told anyone what happened to her over the summer. Ashamed and embarrassed, she hides in her closet and compulsively scratches the back of her neck, trying to make the outside hurt more than the inside does.

When Bodee Lennox, the quiet and awkward boy next door, comes to live with the Littrells, Alexi discovers an unlikely friend in "the Kool-Aid Kid," who has secrets of his own. As they lean on each other for support, Alexi gives him the strength to deal with his past, and Bodee helps her find the courage to finally face the truth.

A searing, poignant book, Faking Normal is the extraordinary debut novel from an exciting new author-Courtney C. Stevens.

Find the Author:
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