Courtney Summers' is the dynamic, tweet-a-holic, debut writer who made a splash with Cracked Up To Be. CUTB was challenging, humorous, defiant, confronting and an absolutely delightful book that lived up to the hype. What follows are Courtney's answers to my very uninspiring questions...
Was your intention to keep the readers dangling for the truth about that night the entire story?
It was--but sometimes, in my eagerness to get Parker's story told, I'd forget this and reveal the secret too soon. Which was always... fun.
What line do you wish you'd had Parker say that you 1) hadn't thought of or 2) changed in the editing process?
I'm really happy with the novel in that respect, so I can't think of anything I'd go back and add to Parker's narrative. But there was one line my editor and I changed during the editing process that I've never forgotten for some reason. And I'm very glad we changed it. It was "Jake's a rather tenacious young man." The original line was, "Jake's a rather tenacious lad." While I have utmost respect for the word "lad," I don't think it's one Parker would utter. It's the little things!
How carefully did you have to tread with Parker's self-destructive tendencies?
I think I treaded carefully in the sense that I had a good idea of how far Parker would go and from that point on, it was just making sure she did go that far. I didn't want to hold back, so I removed myself from the equation and let Parker tell her story. Parker, though, didn't tread carefully at all. :)
In a movie version, who'd be your ideal cast?
Robert Pattinson. For every part. Parker, Jake, Chris, Becky. It would be FIERCE.
What can you tell me about Some Girls Are?
Some Girls Are is a novel about really, really--like REALLY--mean girls, told from the perspective of the best friend of the MEANEST girl in school. It's about identity and it's about duplicity and it's about forgiveness, all topics that fascinate me very much. I'm really excited about this story because these characters have a lot to answer for, and I can't wait to see how they are received for the not-very-nice things that they do. And they do many, many, not-very-nice things. I sort of think if Parker met the girls in these novels, she would back away from them very, very slowly. Or very, very quickly.
What does it feel like to have your debut novel on Australian shelves?
AWESOME. All in capitals. It feels very sparkly, too. I have some very dear friends in Australia, and it puts the biggest grin on my face to think of Cracked Up to Be hangin' out in the same place they are... although, I must admit to being really jealous of my debut novel since it got to go to Australia before I did. I'll get there someday, dangnabit!
Thanks so much to Courtney for allowing me to spotlight on her magnificence this week. I cannot wait to read Some Girls Are, although I sense I will be waiting awhile :)