MY INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR COURTNEY HOUSTON!
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
I’m Courtney Houston and I write YA paranormal romance.
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
Flicker is about a girl who was supposed to die, but her Guide to the afterlife saves her and they literally fight against Death to be together. It was actually a dream about a girl laying a snow and her hair was splayed and it looked like tree branches. I describe it in Flicker and it sort of spiraled from there.
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
It’s the pain genre I read. I guess the advice of write what you know sort of applies here.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
Very little, actually. I hate research. I made a fictional city with some real life places so I didn’t have to do any research.
Can you tell me about your Series?
Defying Death is first and foremost about soulmates. How they find each other, how their souls fills the gaps in each other and the lengths that they’ll go to be together, even in the face of Death herself.
Do you have a favorite book out of this series?
Its hard to choose. I think Linger. It shows the best and worst of all my characters. I like seeing how far they’ll bend before they finally break.
Was it always meant to become a series?
It wasn’t mean to be a series. It was supposed to be one book and the first draft had a very different ending.
What’s a typical working day like for you?
When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal? I set a daily writing goal and almost never meet it. I still work a day job. My typical writing time is from 8-10 after the kids are in bed. I have a home office, but I hate writing in it, so I normally take my laptop to my room or in the living room. Or I sit at the kitchen island and write.
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
This is my kryptonite. I have SOOO MANY projects in the works. I really want to finish Defying Death this year. I’ve delayed it so much because I’m not ready for it to be over. I’m working on a YA Fantasy series about Kelpies and Witches and another book that definitely has some 13 Reasons Why vibes going on (Some Defying Death characters may make an appearance). I’m also going to be doing a fun, sort of quirky series on Wattpad called “The 10 Rules of Red Lipstick”.
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
I use mostly babies names I never used. Telor and Lina’s names were the only ones I’ve researched.
Where do your ideas come from?
Sometimes dreams, sometimes songs (Paper Dolls was inspired by Fast Care by Tracy Chapman), my fantasy series I’m working on was inspired by a fountain in Downtown Louisville. Sometimes I don’t even know where the idea came from, it just shows up and I’m hooked.
Is there a genre that you’ve been wanting to experiment with?
I really want to do a historical (with a paranormal twist of course), however that means research and I hate research. Maybe one day.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Editing. I can get the words out fine, it’s the making them readable and coherent that messes me up.
What do you think of book trailers? Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?
I think they’re great. I’ve seen some really amazing ones. I have no plans for book trailers at the moment, but I wont rule it out for the future.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
Finishing book one. I know it’s cheesy and said all the time, but book one is the hardest and I will forever be proud of myself for finishing it.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
Sharing your work with others. Knowing others have read and enjoyed your work is the greatest feeling ever.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Hopefully writing fulltime.
Have you always liked to write?
I’ve been writing since I was 10, ever since that one time, I’ve never been able to stop.
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Finish your book. That’s the hardest part.
If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?
My current day job is a paralegal, I think I’d probably stick with that.
Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
At first I read every single one of them. But I don’t read them anymore. I never respond to reviews left in open forums (Amazon/Goodreads) whether they are good or bad. Everyone is entitled to love or hate my work at their own discretion. Reviews are for readers, not authors.
What is your least favourite part of the writing / publishing process?
Marketing. It’s an ever changing beast that I’ve never been able to tame.
What are you working on now?
Linger (Defying Death 3) and a YA Fantasy Series.
Can you give us a few tasty morsels from your work-in-progress?
Police stations aren’t as loud as you would think they are. None of that hustle and bustle of
people, papers and the constant ringing of phones that you see on TV. Maybe in big cities they are. I
bet they’re loud back home in Indianapolis. But here, in Gloucester Massachusetts, you can hear a
pin drop. No phones, no desks spilling with papers. Just me and the twenty something cop that
picked me up. He didn’t even bother to cuff me. He nicely asked me to get in the car. I probably
could have run. I didn’t. Obviously. Mistake number two of the night. The first being getting caught
in the first place.
Why did you choose to write in your genre? If you write in more than one, how do you balance them?
I write what I love.
Where did your love of books come from?
Harry Potter. I started reading them when I was 9 and don’t remember there being a time after when my nose wasn’t in a book.
Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books?
Amy Harmon, Amy A. Bartol, Kresley Cole, Cassandra Clare.
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favourite and why?
I would have to say it’s Mari. She has a quiet strength to her that I respect.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Exhaust. For sure.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
I get new ideas and stop working on what I should be writing to work on the new idea.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I think you can do both. Everything has already been written, it’s up to you as a writer to make it original.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
Veronica Larsen and Jennifer Osborne are my author besties. Jennifer is my critique partner and reads all my stuff first to help me whip it into shape. We have very different writing styles so she helps to temper me out. Veronica is my idea bouncer offer. She will listen to me for hours just talk about ideas ad plots until I figure out what I mean to say.
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
I’ve given this a great deal of thought in the past. Tripping on Air.
Where can your fans find you and follow?
Fans can follow me on facebook at www.facebook.com/authorcourtneyhouston, on Twitter at @courtneyhouson, Instagram @authorcourtneyhouston.
Thank you for taking your time to do this interview ❤️