Thanks Courtney, it is a huge honour!
When did you begin writing?
I enjoyed all kinds of writing growing up (especially song writing in high school) but didn’t begin a novel until last year. It was my “aha” moment: a “so this is what you’re supposed to do (with all those thoughts)” kind of feeling.
Do you have any writing rituals or routines?
I usually write late at night, when the house is quiet and my mind is loud.
What are your publishing and/or writing goals for 2016?
I turn 30 this year and my main goal is to finish Timber (my YA Fantasy WIP) by my birthday. A bonus would be to have it polished for #PitchWars in August. I’d also like to complete a short story compilation to accompany Timber and revisit a High Fantasy YA piece that has been patiently awaiting my return.
If you could live any part of your life again, what would you change and why?
Back in high school, my now husband asked me to a dance. I wasn’t able to go and would love to have that memory now!
What do you do on the days the words just don’t seem to flow?
Ugh. There are a lot of them lately! I write what I can. Even a sentence. Something. ANYTHING.
A lack of flow means two things for me: either I need a break to problem-solve, OR I need to replenish, aka: READ. Reading makes me want to write so that always turns on the faucet.
I’ll also reach out to my critique partners or vent to my hubby or mom. I’ll pick their brains or ask for a kick of motivation. They are amazing.
The best advice from my better-half? “Get off of Twitter and write.”
Where do you find your inspiration?
Music! Sometimes a song will spark a whole scene. Movies/shows turn on my creative brain as well. If I watch something that inspires me, I’ll just stare at the screen, imagining worlds long after the TV is off. Sometimes, inspiration comes in images and other times, it comes in questions. Either way, I think the important thing is to be open to exploring. Even a simple idea can grow into something powerful and huge as you follow it down the rabbit hole.
Tell us something about you we may not know.
I recently spent an entire day at Starbucks doing computer work for my day job. The baristas were glancing at me and whispering. It was my dream come true.
What else do you love doing, besides writing?
ANYTHING with my daughter. She’s magic.
What is your biggest fear?
Somehow failing as a mom. Getting the balance wrong: creating too many boundaries, so that she isn’t free to fly, or too little that she feels lost.
But she recently discovered Star Wars so we’ll be okay.
What makes you happy?
MY FAMILY! They are freaking amazing and a million times cooler than me. I keep hoping it’ll rub off.
Let’s play This or That
Cake or Ice-cream?
Winter or Summer?
Beach or Forest?
Forest! You don’t have to wear a bathing suit in there.
Airplane or Car?
Car! You can stop and get out.
Paperback or eBook?
There’s nothing like hearing the turn of a page. And you can hug paperbacks. And stroke their covers. And frame them. You get the idea.
Cat or Dog?
Dog! Mine would never speak to me again if I said cat. Yes, he speaks.
Country or City?
Oh, country. Sweet, country.
Coffee or Tea?
Here is my day: Coffee, coffee, coffee. Tea.
Late nights or early mornings?
Late nights but I SO wish I could do early mornings!
Small talk or deep and meaningful?
Deep and meaningful, just like this one. Thank you so much for having me, Lo-arna!
Where you can find Courtney
Facebook...But Twitter is my jam.
Excerpt from Timber
The fog was thick enough to slip on like a wool coat but the moon illuminated the inscription on her mailbox:
Two windows glowed from either side of the door, like spotlights on the garden. Apple trees rose taller than my head and hearty sprouts of turnip and potato protruded from the murk in tidy rows.
The gate creaked shut behind me, just as the click of a deadbolt sounded from the front door. I jolted but my boots continued mechanically forward, crunching a countdown up the stone path.
The knob turned before I could knock. I clutched my holster. A streak of yellow light swept across the porch and surrounded me with the warm, savory aroma of smoke and soup broth.
"Ma'am," I said, tipping my cap. I couldn't see her from beneath the curved, black bill but her stare burned into my head.
"A shame you're so formal tonight, Agent Parker. And when you came alone.” Her voice beckoned into the cold.
"Pleasure as always, Brandy.” I looked up at her against my better judgement.
"The pleasure's all mine. Especially with how...delicious you look.” She bit her lip and scanned her eyes down my body.
My cheeks grew hot.
That black hair that slinked down to her elbows and faded into the curves of her dress. Those crazy, green eyes that struck out like match sparks in night vision, and those lips. Didn’t matter that God only knew how old she was, they were the juiciest, red things.
I shifted my stance.
"Well, Mr. Parker, I’d love to chat but I really must withdraw. I have a guest. For dinner. You understand.” She pulled back the door to display her gentleman caller like a trophy.
The poor, portly soul sat pivoted on the edge of her leather sofa. His hand seemed intent on rubbing a hole through the knee of his overalls. A huge, cast iron crock bubbled on the hearth beside him and the firelight bounced off his round, bald head. His free hand reached into the checkered pocket of his
shirt, fetched a handkerchief, and swiped at the beaded sweat on his brow.
“Now, don't laugh,” she said beneath her breath. “Apart from my affinity towards you, I really am a bit of a chubby chaser.”
“I believe hunter would be more appropriate?”
“Nuances.” She waved her hand. “On second thought…care to join? I just prepped the table.” She gave me a slanted smile and gestured to the dining room, only set for one.
I narrowed my eyes at her. “Come on, B. Don’t make this rough.”
“So that’s how it’s going to go, is it? Such a pity. On the other hand...I do like rough.” She chuckled darkly and raised her hand to the scarred side of my face. I flinched out of her reach.
“You knew I’d be here. You don’t show up for court, I show up for you.”
“That summons was nonsense. People are too sensitive.”
“Oh yeah? Well the fine folks of Bellmoor aren’t too fond of having their prized bulls picked off in the dead of night.”
“Come now.” She pouted at me. “Did you consider that I may have skipped so that you’d show up at my door late at night? Just. Like. This?” With each emphasized syllable, her long, pointed nail dug at my chest. She came in close with a smoldering sneer.
I leaned back but pushed my heels into the ground to brace myself. Quickly, I slipped my hand into my back pocket, grabbed the metal constraints, and shoved them between our faces.
“So what’s it gonna be tonight, darlin’? Cuffs? Muzzle? Of course you’re welcome to come quietly but let’s be real.”
She withdrew with a low grumble. Her lips pulled back from her teeth and to my surprise, she smiled.
It made my stomach clench.
“My, my! So many tantalizing options! I don’t consider myself the submissive type but you are quite right...I never come quietly!” She threw back her head and howled.
I seized my opportunity.
“Ahhh!” Her snarl pierced the air.
“Aw now, don’t be sore sweetie. You don’t give me much of a choice here.” I fastened the muzzle around the back of her head.
Her breaths turned to short rasps and a rough growl resonated from her chest. I reached for her wrists as her eyes flashed from behind the chain straps. Foam seeped from the corners of the mouthpiece.
I was out of time.
© Courtney Kaericher