Author Interview: Courtney Cole

This post begins a series of interviews with fellow authors and members of my Twitter Community.

Courtney Cole

Site: courtneycolewrites.com
Twitter: @courtwritesYA
Facebook: courtneycolewrites

Bio: I am a YA novelist who loves thunderstorms, Autumn, Harry Potter books and picking all the cookie dough out of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. I am the author of The Bloodstone Saga (Every Last Kiss, Fated, With My Last Breath and My Tattered Bonds), The Moonstone Saga (Soul Kissed and the upcoming Soul Bound), The American Princess Series (Princess and the upcoming Glass Castles) and Guardian. I’m a writer. I love all words….not just the well-behaved ones.

INTERVIEW:

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

  • A  I’m 30-ish.  Tall-ish.  I was born and raised  in rural America.  I live near Lake Michigan now and I love it.  

What is your genre, and why did you choose it?

  • I write Young Adult and New Adult fiction. I chose it because it suits my voice the best.  And I love how passionate young adults are about what they read. 
When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer?
  • A  I knew when I was a kid…when I stared re-writing the endings to books that I read.  

What do you do when you are not writing?

  • A  Is there ever such a time?  Um, if I’m not writing, I’m thinking about writing, plotting, making notes, etc.  or I’m watching one of my kids’ ball games.  And during those times, I’m usually still plotting. 🙂 

Do you have a day job as well?
  • A  Yes, I do.  I work in marketing, but my last day of work is May 18.  I’m resigning to be a full-time author.  

When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
  • A  I finished my first book a couple of years ago.  I’ve been writing (scribbling, really) since I was a kid. 

How did you choose the genre you write in?
  • A It chose me– it just suits my voice.  

Where do you get your ideas?
  • A  From everywhere.  Random ideas occur to me at any given time… the grocery store, the airport, while I’m out for a walk…anytime.

Do you ever experience writer’s block?
  • A  Yes.  I do.  I have cycles where my creativity surges, then it cycles down into creativity lows, where I just don’t feel creative at all.  But I’m a big believer that you should just plug through it and write something every day.  You might re-do it tomorrow, but that’s okay.  Just write. 

Do you work with an outline, or did you just write?
  • A  I write out a sketchy outline and then sort of fly by the seat of my pants from there.  

How long does it take you to write a book?
  • It depends.  I’m a fairly fast writer. 

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
  • A  Not any particular one.  I read SO many books.  I think I was influenced by a great many of them.  

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
  • A  At one point, I wanted to be an English teacher.  Then a nurse.  Then I ended up working in marketing. I was an adult before I realized that I should be writing.  

Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
  • A Oh, my.  Getting published is very challenging.  You have to have really thick skin and not take things personally.   I queried so many agents/publishers before I finally got picked up by a small press.  

If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your book or getting it published that you would change?
  • A No.  I’m pretty happy with the way things have turned out.  It’s all definitely been a learning experience.  

Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?
  • A  Nope. 

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
  • A  You ask really hard questions!  Um, it’s always hard to read bad reviews.  You have to learn to sort out what is just personal preference on behalf of the reader from valid critiques.   I’ve read that I use too many descriptors sometimes. And that is true.  I do.  But I like them. It’s part of my personal style and I don’t see it changing right now.    A great compliment to me, is when someone says that my work made them cry.  I want to move my readers whether they laugh or cry. That makes me happy. 
If you had to summarize, what one main thing has you life experiences taught you?
  • A  To never give up.  If you want something, work for it.  

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
  • A  The same as above– to never give up.  Keep writing, keep trying.  

Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
  • A  Thank you.  Thank you for reading my work.  I appreciate each and every one of you. 


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