Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Author Uncovered: Courtney Summers

Hi guys! Today I have Courtney Summers here today! She's the author of Cracked Up to Be and Some Girls Are. Both of which are fantastic books! You can see my review of Cracked Up to Be here and my review of Some Girls Are here.

Climbing to the top of the social ladder is hard--falling from it is even harder. Regina Afton used to be a member of the Fearsome Fivesome, an all-girl clique both feared and revered by the students at Hallowell High... until vicious rumors about her and her best friend's boyfriend start going around.

Now Regina's been "frozen out" and her ex-best friends are out for revenge. If Regina was guilty, it would be one thing, but the rumors are far from the terrifying truth and the bullying is getting more intense by the day. She takes solace in the company of Michael Hayden, a misfit with a tragic past who she herself used to bully. Friendship doesn't come easily for these onetime enemies, and as Regina works hard to make amends for her past, she realizes Michael could be more than just a friend... if threats from the Fearsome Foursome don't break them both first.

What's the worst thing you've ever done?

When "Perfect" Parker Fadley starts drinking at school and failing her classes, all of St. Peter's High goes on alert. How has the cheerleading captain, girlfriend of the most popular guy in school, consummate teacher's pet, and future valedictorian fallen so far from grace?

Parker doesn't want to talk about it. She'd just like to be left alone, to disappear, to be ignored. But her parents have placed her on suicide watch and her counselors are demanding the truth. Worse, there's a nice guy falling in love with her and he's making her feel things again when she'd really rather not be feeling anything at all.

Nobody would have guessed she'd turn out like this. But nobody knows the truth.

Something horrible has happened, and it just might be her fault.

How did you come to write about such contradicting/controversial issues?
Truthfully, they just happen to be the kind of things I am interested in writing about! When I read a novel, I want to be pushed, I want to be forced to respond, whether positively or negatively. I never want to walk away from something feeling indifferent about it. I don't want people to feel indifferently about what I've written either--I want them to be pushed too. Whether or not I succeed at this will always depend on the reader, but wanting to push is what drives each sentence forward.

Parker is a unique character... Is she based on anyone?
Thank you! Parker is not based on anyone I know personally. I don't base my characters off of the people I know. Parker was inspired by my interest in writing an abrasive female character.

Did you have to do any research for CUTB and SGA?
Cracked Up to Be and Some Girls Are were not research heavy. When Some Girls Are had a different ending, I had to look into some legal stuff (can't get specific because even though the ending has changed, it might still be a give!), but other than that, neither book was intensive by way of research.

Who or what has inspired you to become an author?
I have always loved telling stories. I spent a lot of my teen years trying to figure out which medium best enabled me to do that. I dabbled in photography, I acted and was the vice president of our local theatre guild, I wrote screenplays. When I was 18, I realized I wanted to write novels. Writing was what I wanted to do, how I wanted to tell the stories going on in my head. And that was was when I actively started pursuing publication.

How does it feel, knowing your books are in bookstores?
It's a wonderful feeling, but very, very unreal! I don't think I will ever quite get used to it and I kind of hope I never do. :)

Was your road to publication difficult? Why or why not?
Cracked Up to Be was my fourth novel. The three before it were written, queried and then rejected. I have hundreds and hundreds of rejections that I've saved. After many, many nos, I got a yes. My road to publication was difficult, yes, but not unique. Publishing is a really tough and ultimately subjective business. And I'm grateful that I got that yes, since it was never guarantied.

And lastly (this is my favorite question!)... Why did you name the main character of SGA Regina (my name as well =D)?
Hee! Well, first of all, because Regina is a GREAT NAME (as you yourself can attest!). I have always really, really liked it. I am a big fan of Regina Spektor as well. Actually, in way earlier drafts of Some Girls Are, I wanted to have a female character named Reggie, just because I felt that was what she needed to be called. So I did! Initially, everyone called her Reggie, unless something serious was happening, and then they called her by her full name--Regina. Eventually, I took out all the Reggies and now she only goes by Regina. :)

Anything else you want to say?
Thank you so much for the interview! I really appreciate it!
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Unknown April 14, 2010 at 8:53 PM  

Wonderful interview! I wish I could say I liked Cracked Up To Be, but Some Girls Are is stunning!

Sandy April 14, 2010 at 11:27 PM  

Nice interview! I haven't read either of her books yet but I'll be fixing that mistake very soon xD!

bookaholic April 14, 2010 at 11:53 PM  

Awesome interview! Courtney Summers is so sweet..and I completely agree on Reggie being a lovely name :)

♫♥✿Chas @ LovLivLife Reviews✿♥♫ April 15, 2010 at 1:04 AM  

Wow, what a great adventure to find yourself writing novels!=)

Monster of Books April 15, 2010 at 2:09 PM  

I love how she dabbled into different things during her teen years. I'm currently doing that. Great interview XD

Robby April 16, 2010 at 4:10 AM  

I love Courtney. Love her so much. Great interviews, questions, answers. I love Regina Spektor as well. :]

Caroline April 17, 2010 at 7:27 AM  

Great interview! I loved Cracked Up to be, and Some Girls Are is near the top of my TBR list!

Word Eater April 18, 2010 at 4:43 AM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Maria April 23, 2010 at 3:46 AM  

You always know how to ask the right questions, Reggie! Nice interview :D

Just Your Typical Book Blog April 23, 2010 at 11:57 AM  

Such a great interview! I love how Summers really does push all of her characters. She writes the type of stories I love to read.

Mitzy April 28, 2010 at 12:18 AM  

This story was definitely hard to read - not in the writing sense (which was AWESOME I love Courtney Summers), but just the plot line. You wanted to sympathize with Regina, but you realized she kind of dug herself into a hole as well

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