Courtney Summers is the author of Cracked Up To Be, which she wrote at age 21. She’s totally my hero. Her second book, Some Girls Are, will be available from St. Martin’s Press in winter 2010. Cracked Up To Be is one of the best books I have ever read about high school and you can check out my review here. Courtney Summers is on her way to becoming a superstar.
And now Courtney Summers faces the 7 Questions:
Question Seven: What are your top three favorite books?
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
In the Miso Soup by Ryu Murakami.
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
Question Six: How much time do you spend each week writing? Reading?
I make sure to write every day. I'm on the writing clock from 9 pm to 5-7 am. That doesn't mean I write that entire time, but those ten hours are when a majority of the writing happens (and how many hours in total will vary from week to week). As for reading, it's hard for me to read when I write, unfortunately! I binge-read after I'm finished writing a novel and occassionally while I'm writing it, so that varies as well.
Question Five: What was the path that led you to publication?
I have always loved telling stories. When I realized writing was the medium that best enabled me to do that, I started working on novels. I wrote four novels. Each novel that I wrote was polished and queried. I was rejected many, many times. Cracked Up to Be was my fourth novel and it was the one that got me an agent, who went on to sell it to St. Martin's Press.
Question Four: Do you believe writers are born, taught or both? Which was true for you?
I think storytellers are born. How they choose to tell stories, whether it be writing (or painting or composing etc), is something that is learned, taught, worked at and worked at and worked at. I have always wanted to tell stories. Every time I sit down to write a book, it's a learning experience.
Question Three: What is your favorite thing about writing? What is your least favorite thing?
My favourite thing about writing is completion. There is nothing more satisfying than finishing a novel.
My least favourite thing is abandoning projects and not knowing what happens next.
Question Two: What one bit of wisdom would you impart to an aspiring writer? (feel free to include as many other bits of wisdom as you like)
Never let anyone talk you out of writing. Ever.
Question One: If you could have lunch with any writer, living or dead, who would it be? Why?
Robert Cormier, so I could thank him for the impact his novels had on my life.
Actual Interview Date: 8/16/2009