November 17th, 2008

Lucy Woodward, happy

Interview: Courtney Summers

With her debut novel Cracked Up to Be coming out in a matter of weeks, Courtney Summers - writer, photographer, actor, and volcano enthusiast - is excited and scared. Though her nerves are understandable, I don't think she needs to worry; I found Cracked Up to Be to be quite impressive. (Read my full-length book review.)

Since reading the book, I've gotten to know Courtney via the wonders of the internet. We have discussed our current projects, our past productions, and our favorite books. We've also discovered a mutual admiration for sparkly objects. I got her to read Soulless by Christopher Golden; she taught me about degus. Interviewing Courtney was fun because it was pretty darn similar to a regular conversation with her - except for the fact that I was asking her all of the questions, of course.

When did you first know you were a writer?

I wasn't born a writer, but I always liked telling stories. So for me, it was a matter of nailing down the medium that would best allow me to do that. I dabbled a lot -- I wrote, I acted, I wanted to direct, thought about becoming a cinematographer, and then I was *sure* I would be a photographer. When I was 18, I wrote my first novel. It was a mess, but I was totally hooked. That's when I knew I was a writer.

Cracked Up to Be, your debut novel, will be published at the end of December. When considering its imminent release, how do you feel?

SCARED. All in capitals. But it's a good, healthy scared. Like, 'five minutes before curtain!' -- that kinda scared.

Did Cracked Up to Be ever have a different title? A different impetus? A different reveal?

For the longest time, Cracked Up to Be was called The 'Notice Me' Girl because I started writing it in an old Word file that was about that girl, I guess (I wonder what happened to her!). Then it had another title that embarrasses me, so just think up something ridiculous and we can say that was it.

Cracked Up to Be was always motivated by the question, "What's the worst thing you've ever done?" And that question -- and the answer -- informed everything Parker did and kept the momentum going. I didn't know how the reveal would happen until I wrote it, though, which is weird because it's the most important part of the book and there were so many ways it could've gone down. Collapse )

Visit Courtney's website, drop by her blog, and pick up Cracked Up to Be upon its release on December 23rd. You won't be sorry.

This is the first of five interviews I conducted for this year's Winter Blog Blast Tour, a week-long series of author interviews being held at various blogs. Read my other 2008 WBBT interviews and consult my complete interview archive.

Monday's WBBT schedule:
Lewis Buzbee at Chasing Ray
Louis Sachar at Fuse #8
Laurel Snyder at Miss Erin
Courtney Summers at Bildungsroman
Elizabeth Wein at Finding Wonderland
Susan Kuklin at The YA YA YAs

Check out this year's full schedule.

Related Posts at Bildungsroman
Book Review: Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers
Book Review: Fall For Anything by Courtney Summers
What Makes Courtney Summers Smile
Book Review: This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers