Thursday, April 12, 2012

Author Interview - Courtney M. Privett, Mayfly Requiem and the Echoes of Oblivion trilogy

Hi Courtney, Where were you born and where do you call home?   I was born in Detroit, grew up in northeast Michigan, went to college in Missouri, and now live in Kansas.

Tell us about something that has just happened or is about to happen in your life that you would like to share.  My daughter was born in December, so she is consuming most of my life right now, in a good way.  She's an awesome sleeper so I still get writing time at night after she goes to bed.  I also have a two-year-old son, so my life is pretty busy.

What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 30 or less words, what would you say? Mayfly Requiem... Self-loathing former immortal reveals the true history of Malora via lengthy and emotional confession.

If you gave one of your characters an opportunity to speak for themselves, what would they say?  I think Sevilen Achara would have some choice words for me if we met...  "You stuck me in this palace with my homocidal, agoraphobic brother.  Please get me out of here.  No, I don't want another eighteen years with him.  Get me out of here.  Now.  I'm warning you.  I have swords and know how to use them.  What is wrong with you?  Don't you believe my threats?  No really, I'm not that nice.  I can be mean and violent, just you wait."

Do you have plans for a new book?   Is this book part of a series?  I am currently doing rewrites on a book that comes 4,800 years after Echoes of Oblivion and 2/3 through the first draft of a story 50 years after Echoes.  All six of my books are different story arcs in the same world with several overlapping characters.

What books have influenced your writing?  I always had a book in my hand when I was growing up.  My favorite authors are J.R.R. Tolkien, Edgar Allen Poe, Douglas Adams, Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, and Orson Scott Card, and all of them had an influence on my writing.

Is there an Author that you would really like to meet?  Can I resurrect Tolkien?  I really would love to converse with him on world-building.  As for living authors, Neil Gaiman.

Do you prefer ebooks, paperbacks or hardcover?  Paperbacks.  I have trouble reading off a screen because my vision is awful, and hardcovers are too bulky to carry around.

Where do you prefer to buy your books?  I'm a big fan of used book stores and local shops.  I've found all sorts of treasures in them (my favorite conversation piece is a vintage Headhunting in the Solomon Islands)

Are you a self published (Indie) Author?  Yes.  I decided to go that route for the freedom it offered.  I didn't want to be told to tone down my vocabulary or wait around for years for responses from publishers.

What book would you like to read again?  I reread The Hobbit once a year.  I think I'd like to reread Good Omens so I can pick up on more of the classic Pratchett humor.

Is there a particular movie that you preferred over the book version? Stardust.  I liked the book, but the movie was wonderful in a totally different way.  A Clockwork Orange is another one.  The Nadsat dialect made the book extremely difficult to read, but it translated beautifully to the screen, especially with Malcolm McDowell's amazing portrayal of Alex.

What book are you currently reading and in what format (ebook/paperback/hardcover)?  I'm currently rereading His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman.  I have a large paperback version with all three books in one volume.

Are there any Authors that have grasped your interest recently and why?  I was on a Terry Pratchett kick recently and read every Discworld book I could find.  I love the absurdist British humor.  I'm getting a tablet for my birthday in a couple of weeks, so I'll be able to pick up some of the indie e-books I've been eyeing.  I can't read them on my little Linux-running netbook.

Do you have any advice for other writers?  I'll tell them what I told my aspiring writer friend.  "Shut up and write."  It doesn't matter if you write a masterpiece or something that will end up only being for you.  You will always be aspiring unless you sit down and write.  It's hard to get started, but once you are into it, it becomes easier, and finishing your first draft is like giving birth.  You have this fragile, beautiful little thing that you have to feed, nurture, and protect until it is ready to go out into the world on its own.

Do you write under a pen name?  No.  I thought about it, but decided I didn't feel like hiding.

What date were you born? - you can leave off the year if you like.  May 6.

Do you have a nickname?  Occasionally.  I'm most often known as "Mommy".  My husband calls me "Zumi" (short for "Nezumi", Japanese for "mouse").

Did you have a favorite toy as a child?  I don't remember having any favorites.  I've never been particularly sentimental and form attachments to people instead of objects.

An early childhood memory - My very first memory is walking with my parents on the beach in Florida on a cold, miserable day.  I think it was January of 1986 and I was three-and-a-half years old.  While we were on the beach, our rental car was broken into and everything was stolen, including my mother's purse.

Do you ever write in your PJ’s?  All the time.  Some days I don't even bother to get dressed.

Patti says: I know that temptation well.

What are your pet peeves? I'm a vegan and I hate when people think it is appropriate to gloat about eating meat in front of me.  I also hate seeing people touch feet and won't let anyone touch mine.  And people licking their fingers when the turn pages or count money.  Gross.

Any pets that you would like to tell us about, share a pic?  I have two cats, Loki and Rhapsody.  They are brutal critics and lousy writing partners.

White wine or red?  I haven't had alcohol for over three years.  I'd probably get drunk from sniffing the cork at this point.

Coffee or tea?  Tea

So you like to cook?  Do you have a favorite food?  I love to cook, as long as the kids aren't yelling at me.  My specialty is vegan desserts, but I don't have that much of a sweet tooth.  I'd rather eat strawberries than chocolate.  My favorite food is any variety of curry.

Vanilla or chocolate ice-cream?  Vanilla

What do you normally eat for breakfast, of do you skip it and get straight to work?  A bagel, soy yogurt, or granola.  I usually don't get to write until after the kids are in bed for the night.

What are 4 things you never leave home without (apart from keys, money and phone)?  Notebook, pen, water bottle, lip balm.

Sleep in or get up early?  Sleep in.  I'm a night owl (my writing hours are usually 10pm-2am) and my kids usually don't wake up until 9am.

Laptop or desktop for writing?  I write on a netbook.  I have trouble typing on a full-sized keyboard because of nerve problems, so my little netbook is perfect.  Mayfly Requiem was written entirely by hand, though.

Your favorite gadget - A tablet to keep my toddler entertained when I have a narcolepsy crash and he's not ready for a nap.

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?  I write late at night, usually on the downstairs couch because my laptop battery is dying and I'm tethered to an outlet.

Your thoughts on receiving book reviews - the good and the bad -  I can take criticism, as long as it is constructive

If you were deserted on an island, who are 3 famous people you would want with you?  Any combination of three Mythbusters.  They would be great company while we figure out how to get off the island.

Where is one place in the world that you would really love to visit someday?  I would love to go camping in New Zealand.

One of your favorite quotes -  Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were.  But without it, we go nowhere.  --Carl Sagan

List 3 books you just recently read and would recommend?  Empire of the Stars by Arthur I. Miller, The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett, and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami

List 3 of your favorite movies?  Spirited Away, Shaun of the Dead, and Serenity.  I suppose I have an S-theme going.

Patti Says: I loved the Firefly TV Series so the movie was a treat.

An actor or a book character you have a crush on -  I'm not normally into the vamp/were thing, but I like Remus Lupin.  Actor crush would be Cillian Murphy.

What is a movie or TV show that you watched just recently and really enjoyed?  Breaking Bad

If your book was made into a TV series or Movie, what actors would you like to see playing your characters?   After I watched Inkheart, I kept seeing Paul Bettany as Rastaban.  I could also maybe see Ellen Page as Ember and Dakota Fanning as Lirit.

DSCN7519.JPGWhere can your readers stalk you?

My blog:

Twitter:  @CourtneyPrivett!/CourtneyPrivett

Is your book in Print, ebook or both? All four books are in e-book only for now.

Asleep on the job: One of Courtney's harshest critic, Rhapsody the cat.

And Below, Courtney's dream office. 

Patti says: I can only dream of an office that tidy!!

Hope you enjoyed the interview with Courtney!  Feel free to visit her at her various links or drop a quick note below in the comments box.

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