Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Author Interview: Courtney K. Walker & Giveaway

Today A Book and a Latte has a special guest! Please help me welcome the debut author of On the Fringe,

October 2011
[my review]
Courtney King Walker

Claire is struggling to overcome the murder of her childhood friend and secret crush, Daniel. Everyone else seems to be moving on with their lives, but she's still trying to cope. The fact that she finds herself alone and drowning on her 16th birthday isn't helping.

Neither is thinking she sees Daniel's face in murky water as she mysteriously resurfaces. But something happened during those four and a half minutes that will make her realize it was not just her imagination.

As Claire and Daniel try to grasp a possible reconnection, other grudge-holding beings have plans of their own. Now, the two of them have to decide if their fleeting relationship is worth the possibility of Claire being trapped on the fringe forever.

Beautifully told, On the Fringe intertwines fresh ideas about devotion, revenge, and the consequences that come with life and death. (Goodreads)

Describe On the Fringe in 140 characters or less (the size of a tweet).

A suspenseful ghost story with a sentimental twist. Or, a sentimental love story with a paranormal twist!

What inspired you to write On the Fringe? Which came first, the idea to write a ghost story or one about childhood friends?

Both thoughts came at the same time. I have had my fair share of crushes over the years, and I feel like they always sneak up on you...one minute you're disgusted because the guy just burped in your ear, and the next moment your heart is skipping because you can't believe he just said your name. When I was in eighth grade, a friend and I rode our bikes across town to a crush's house and doorbell-ditched him, leaving a secret admirer note and a Twinkie. I think we'd both been crushing on him since 3rd grade. There's something to be said for those initial feelings we all have while we're still so young and innocent, and I felt the need to express that in this story; it's what drove me. The ghost idea came, probably because I've always believed in ghosts and guardian angels, but felt like we only hear the scary stories...what about the other ones?

Who is your favorite character in On the Fringe? Was the character easier or more difficult to write?

I love Daniel. The more I wrote him, the more his personality started to shine, and I just couldn't get enough of him. I felt a little bad about not giving him as much narrative time as Claire. Claire was difficult to write because I felt a part of myself in her, and I didn't want her to be me. So I was constantly trying to push her away from me, though I don't know that I succeeded. Nico was fun and crazy and so colorful.

Did you know from the beginning that you would write from both Claire and Daniel’s POVs?

Yes. I knew I needed to tell the stories from both sides of the grave to explain and visualize everything. Originally, I'd even included a third POV, but decided that it took away from Daniel and Claire's story.

Are you a fan of thriller/horror books and movies? If so, which are your favorites?

I LOVE thrillers. HATE horrors. As a kid, I was one of those people who couldn't stand the sight of blood, but always peeked anyway. I have this memory of being at a drive-in movie with my family, watching The Jungle Book. Jaws was playing on the screen behind us, and yes, I watched more of Jaws than The Jungle Book. Now, though, I am much more careful. I have one of those minds that visualizes, feels and remembers everything. So I have regrets from many movies or TV shows I've watched where I can still see certain images in my mind. My favorite thrillers: Inception, Mission Impossible, Jurassic Park, The Ghost and the Darkness, I am Legend. I can handle more in books, and have quite a few thrillers/horrors that I absolutely LOVED: The Passage, The Forest of Hands and Teeth, Odd Thomas, Jurassic Park, The Hunger Games (which is a little of both, I think).

Ditto for Inception, Jurassic Park, I am Legend (except I could hardly watch the end), and The Hunger Games! The Forest of Hands and Teeth has been on my TBR list for a while - I need to read it! I will be looking up the other books you mentioned.

Do you have a new project in the works? If so, can you tell us anything about it?

Yes. I'm working on another YA paranormal, as well as a few other things. I'm trying to focus on the YA project right now, but it's sometimes difficult to focus! I've found that I have to be really passionate about what I'm writing, that I can't just write a certain thing because that' what I think people will like. I have a couple of fantastic ideas that I'd love to write, but can't find the fire for it...yet. I'm halfway through the first draft of something that has a similar feel to On the Fringe. There's a lot of mystery to the plot, but I don't want to give anything away, so all I can say is that it takes place in Chicago, and has some multilayered mystery going on, and at least a couple of cute boys in it. And a mention of really great food, of course.

Yay for a new YA project! I'll be keeping my eyes/ears open for news :). What hobbies or activities do you enjoy? Writing doesn’t count!

I love to bake. Baked goods are my double-edged sword. Love to try new things, to eat sweet things, but you know how that eventually ends up...not so good. Baking is a family thing...you aren't a King if you don't know how to make a pie. My mom was Supermom while I was growing up. To say we were spoiled is an understatement – hot breakfast every morning, everything made from scratch, homemade treats for after-school snacks. My two sisters and one brother (and his wife) have continued the tradition, passing it down to our own kids. My little sis even has an awesome baking blog where she posts delicious family recipes, etc.: carolinesbakeshop.blogspot.com. But, thanks to the whole ridiculous notion of "calories in-calories out," I do have to balance my baking out with other passions...if not writing or reading, I have to say writing/composing music. Does that count? I've composed music since high school and love the escape it brings, not to mention an outlet for my creativity. I used to want to get my music published; now I'm just happy playing it for myself.

Wow, your sister's blog looks scrumptious! I have book-marked her Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies. I MUST try them. And composing music absolutely counts! That's amazing. I play piano, but failed miserably at trying to teach myself guitar. And... that's where my music ability ends. 

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?

I really want to visit Spain some day. My little sis went there and couldn't stop saying how amazing it was in every way — the scenery, the people, the buildings, and of course the food. She also said Thailand was amazing, but I'm too chicken to go there. Wish I was a little more adventurous. I've been to Japan, though, and LOVE that place!!

I've never been to any of those places, but they're all on my list :)

Credit: Heather Brown Photography

About the Author (from her website):

Courtney King Walker grew up in Walnut Creek, California, and with her siblings built rocket ships and rafts out of cardboard, determined to make it to both the moon and Niagara Falls. But a trip across the border to Tijuana was as exciting as it ever got.

After being banned from the kitchen after a few too many catastrophes, she discovered a love for writing, music and art. Eventually she decided on graphic design for a career, and earned her BFA from Brigham Young University.

After residing in St. Louis, Chicago and San Francisco, Courtney now lives in Salt Lake City with her husband and four children. She has yet to make it to Niagara Falls, but did give up on her quest to go to the moon... at least in a cardboard box.

Many thanks to Courtney for stopping by and answering my questions! I can't wait to hear more about her next YA novel :). Courtney is generously giving away a signed copy of her debut, On the Fringe, to one of my readers! To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter form below (or click "read more" if viewing from main page).

Note about comments: click on the post title to go to the post's page to view and/or add comments. I heart your comments!

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