Thursday, April 16, 2009

An Interview with Courtney Summers

Courtney Summers is the author of Cracked up to Be and is currently working on Some Girls are. Cracked Up to Be was one of my favorite books of the last year When she is not writing, she is planning her survival from the impending zombie apocalypse. She also spends some time with a piano and a camera. Courtney love Volcanoes too, and if you are one, she would love to. She also keeps a very snazzy blog and a very awesome twitter buddy. So here comes the interview.

1. When did you get the Idea for Cracked up to Be?
I got the idea for Cracked Up to Be February or March of 2007. I was definitely writing the book by the end of March of 2007, and I know it wasn't on my radar that January, so--WOW, that was a while ago. Now I am having a surreal 'time flies' moment. Is it really 2009?! Don't tell me. I don't want to know.

2. What can you tell us about Some Girls are? Are there any more strong characters?
I can tell you that it is a book about very mean girls, but I'll go one further than that, kind of, and give you some character names. Some Girls Are is about a girl named Regina, her evil, evil friends and a boy named Michael and the worst senior year EVER. As far as strong characters go, I'd like to think there are lots in this book. :) But I think a lot of things. I'll let readers judge when it comes out.

3. I really like the Book Trailer. How did you decide what was needed in a book trailer?
Thank you! I experimented a lot with book trailers before I released what's up on youtube now. I think most of my decisions for it were based on my limitations, actually. I did the trailer myself in Windows Movie Maker. I didn't have voice actors (and am not particularly fond of my own voice!) and I didn't have live actors, so it became a matter of trying to make the visual and textual elements as intriguing and aesthetically pleasing as possible. I hope that they are. And I knew that even if I had those aforementioned elements in place, the whole thing wouldn't come together without really, really good music. Brad Sucks ( kindly gave me permission to use his song Look and Feel Years Younger from his album I Don't Know What I'm Doing (which you guys should immediately check out at his website) and I think it makes the trailer. I'm grateful to have been able to use it!

4. What are some of your favorite Young Adult books?
I love The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier with my whole heart. C.K. Kelly Martin's I Know It's Over was brutally beautiful and absolutely devastating. Skin Deep by E.M. Crane is gorgeous and vivid. Fade by Robert Cormier is so scary all I have to do is think about it and I get chills. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer is crazy ~*sparkly*~ awesomeness squared.

5. I know that you love volcanoes. Which one is your favorite?
Oh! Man, okay. This is hard. Possibly the hardest question I have ever been asked. I LOVE Mount Vesuvius. It is so imposing and gorgeous and the ruins of Pompeii just speak to its ~majesty~ (ooh, Mount Vesuvius, you bring out the poetry in me). I also love reading about the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa. And Yellowstone Caldera! Have you ever seen The Discovery Channel's SuperVolcano? If Yellowstone goes we are all doomed, just FYI, but the Yellowstone Caldera is fascinating to me and amazing and it commands a ton of respect for the earth and all it's capable of in my opinion. Those are my top three. Also Mount Tamboro is really awesome because it erupted in 1815 and caused the Year Without a Summer in 1816. During that volcanic winter, Mary Shelley penned Frankenstein, which means a volcano was INDIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE FOR GREAT LITERATURE.

6. Do you have any new music recommendations?
New music--I love Lady Gaga. I think she is fresh and smart, her music is clever, sassy and addictive and I love that she insists, "Pop music is never low brow," because I agree with her which means she is RIGHT (I guess my agreement is a determining factor in rightness). :) Her music videos are hypnotic and sexy and charged. I really adore Kelly Clarkson's latest, All I Ever Wanted as well. It's poppy and fun and endlessly catchy. Lily Allen's latest, It's Not Me It's You, is fantastic and snarky and Britney Spears's Circus--I'm so glad girl's made her come back!--is impossible not to love. I'm all about the pop goodness right now.

7. Is there anything that you would like to add?
Freddie Mercury rules! Toto's Africa is the best song ever! Thank you for the interview, Sarah! I appreciate it and it was lots of fun!

Thanks so much to Courtney for letting me interview and display her awesomeness. I can't wait for Some Girls Are.
Take Care, Sarah.


  1. another Lady Gaga fan! YAY! awesome interview!

  2. I love your interviews, Sarah! The questions are so unique and fresh, and that isn't easy to do...


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