Author Interview: Courtney Summers

Greetings and Salutations Internet! Today I have a very special treat for you. The absolutely amazing and wonderful Courtney Summers has taken time out of her busy schedule of writing, picture making and zombie plan planning to answer some questions for my humble space on the interwebs. For those of you who don’t know Courtney has written two super amazing books Cracked Up to Be (2009, my review) and Some Girls Are (2010, review 1, review 2) both of which have blown me away. Her third book, Fall For Anything will be out in stores on 21 Dec 2010 and I for one CAN NOT WAIT.
GFY: First off…tell us a little about you? 

CS: By day, I am a mild-mannered Canadian young adult author. By night, I am a mild-mannered Canadian young adult author in a cape! Because sometimes I like to wear a cape while I write novels and blow a fan on me so the cape billows so there is an illusion of movement…

GFY: Dude…I think everyone should wear a cape. Just think of all the sparkly goodness that could be spread.Note to self: look into buying a cape.  

Please describe your latest (or upcoming) release in as few words as possible. (Bonus points if you can do it in 5 words or less!)

CS: Dead dad, sad girl, photography. (Fall For Anything comes out December 21st 2010 from St. Martin’s Press.) 

GFY: Words can’t even begin to describe just how excited I am for FFA! Seriously. And the cover…its just so filled with awesome. Maybe my fave of yours yet. (That is until the next CS cover is revealed I am so fickle in my affections…lol). Also…you win a gold star for meeting the challenge of 5 words or less! Hee!

When you finish writing a book who reads it first? 

CS: My agent and a few very close critique partners, and of course, my editor. But no more than that. I don’t like too many cooks in the kitchen, so to speak.

GFY: Those lucky few cooks!!

Which line do you find more difficult to write? The first or the last? 

CS: They both get equal amounts of angst. Maybe the first line gets slightly more angst because it sets the tone.

GFY: When you write, which comes first title, plot or character(s)?

CS: It depends on the book! With Cracked Up to Be, it was definitely the characters. Parker came to me fully realized. With Some Girls Are, it was the general concept. With Fall For Anything it was a combination of both. And with what I’m working on now, plot first, then characters. Titles never ever seem to come first for me though, ever.

GFY: Titles may not come easily, but they sure are worth the wait. All have been so filled with win so far. 🙂

Which of your characters is most like you? Are any based on real people?

CS: I’m not sure! I think all of them retain little pieces of me, but I’m not saying which pieces! 🙂 None of my characters are based on real people. Well–maybe that’s not true. My sister and a few of my friends have made cameos in my books. Those characters are based on real people.

GFY: If we were able to take a peek at your nightstand, what book(s) might we find there?

CS: Right now, you’d find a couple of Archie comics (two Betty & Veronica Double Digests!), Battle Royale by Koushun Takami, which I’m slowly re-reading, and the second volume in the Complete Calvin & Hobbes.

GFY: I used to love reading Calvin & Hobbes…aw…who am I kidding. I STILL love Calvin & HobbesI also really need to make time for Battle Royale. I keep hearing about it and just need to sit down and read it.

What’s something that made you laugh out loud today?

CS: This comic by Kate Beaton:

GFY: What is the book that you most want to read again for the first time?

CS: The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier, hands down. The experience of reading that for the first time was mind-blowing. He just got it, everything.

GFY: This is a book that I’ve been hearing a lot about lately. Mainly because its a book that is frequently challenged. But after your endorsement, I’ll definately have to make a point of adding it to my bookshelf now.

What’s a book you’ve been a book bully for? (ie one you’ve liked so much that you practically beat people over the head just to get them to read it)

CS: The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier! And also all of C.K. Kelly Martin’s books. If you don’t know C.K. Kelly Martin’s stuff, then I don’t know you.

GFY: You have been a bad author and annoyed your editor so much that you’ve been sentenced to spend 100 days with a werewolf. The werewolf is not to be killed, how do you spend the time?

CS: I actually have an anti-werewolf clause in all of my publishing contracts, so this would never happen! Also, why can’t I kill the werewolf? I’m totally killing the werewolf. I’m sorry but that’s just the way it is. They mismanage your finances, you know.

GFY: *sighs* The werewolf isn’t to be killed since it is a punishment. Hence why you must spend time with the werewolf. I am also not sure I believe you on this anti-werewolf clause…no wait…I take that back…knowing what I know about you it doesn’t surprise me in the least. There is probably mention of zombies in there somewhere too I am sure.

GFY: You’re trapped on a desert island, which swoon worthy book character would you want with you? (there are no ages on this island so that isn’t a factor. Also please say the book he/she comes from as well, thanks!)

CS: Severus Snape from the Harry Potter series. Yep.

GFY: OOOOHHHHHH good choice!! I love Snape…and best of all being a wizard he can congure up all the things you need to make the island all comfy cozy.

GFY: You have been selected for Survivor: Author Edition. How far do you think you’ll make it before you are voted off the island? Who would you like to see as your competitors?

CS: What! Despite the fact that I have no survival instincts, hate anything that remotely resembles camping and lose my mind if I start any morning without coffee, I think it is safe to say I would never be voted off the island. I would leave in the car with the other Survivor (or other TWO survivors depending on if it’s a final two or three) and then we would wait until the reunion show in New York where I would be awarded a million dollars, I assume. As for who I would like to see as my competitors? I am not sure, but I am pretty sure Heidi R. Kling HAS to be one of them.

GFY: What will your first meeting with Jeff Probst be like?

CS: Terrifying. For me. Who could not be intimidated by the greatness of Jeff Probst? I am still shaking from the day he said hello to me on Twitter!

GFY: The Zombie Apocalypse has started, do you have a zombie plan? Can you share your it with us? And if you could have any of your characters with you when the Apocalypse starts, which one would it be? Why?

CS: I have a zombie plan. It is AMAZING and FOOLPROOF and for these reasons, I regret to say I cannot tell you what it is. If anyone got wind of it, I’d have to think of a new one. But I will say , I think I would want Kara from Some Girls Are to be with me in the zombie apocalypse. She is vicious. I have a feeling that could come in handy. Or work horribly against me.

GFY: I think that Kara would be an amazing choice. That girl can probably kick serious zombie butt….and if she gets too out of control you can just toss her to the hordes and wipe your hands of the whole mess.

GFY: Can you share with us anything about your current project(s)?

CS: Nope. 🙂 I wish! Book 4 is in very tentative, very early stages. All I can tell you it that is’ in the works and I’m excited about it.

GFY: I’m excited too…I am a FAN FOR LIFE of your writing. Any parting words?

CS: Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Gail! I appreciate it.

GFY: Thanks for stopping by Courtney! I really loved seeing your answers.  I hope that everyone did as well. If you haven’t read anything by Courtney Summers yet then I strongly urge that you do. Her books never cease to amaze me.