Another week, another interview. This week I’m speaking to Courtney Shepard. She’s a new author who has a tenacious streak. She’s also quite fond of English wizards.
Here is her bio:
I was born in Vancouver, B.C. and have lived here most of my life. I’m a mom to a cheeky four-year-old son who is everything to me and makes me laugh everyday.
Though I initially studied journalism in college, it was English literature that I really enjoyed. For a while I only read the classics, but when my sister, who went to school in England, gave me a book about a young wizard I was hooked immediately. Reading Harry Potter opened the floodgates for me, and I and started reading everything else.
- When did you first realise that you wanted to become a writer?
That’s hard to determine. I think that I always wanted to be a writer, but I never thought it would be possible, or that I could do it, so I ignored it for a long time. I remember when I was in Grade 4, I wrote a story for composition class about a pocket sized unicorn I could take to school with me. It was silly, but in the story I would take her out at recess and she would grow to full size and give rides to all my friends around the playground. So it was probably Grade 4 when I first thought of being a writer.
- What novels/works have you released and what are you working on now?
I released my debut novel Unbalanced last June. It is the first instalment of the Unbalanced Series following four sisters with elemental powers. Unbalanced is Asha’s story, and her element is fire. I am working on the second book right now. Unbent is Mere’s story, and her element is water.
- I’m a new author. Tell me how to achieve my goal?
I’m also a new author, and for me I believe it took courage, resilience, and determination.
It takes guts to first try and write a book, guts to submit it to agents and publishers, and guts to keep going despite rejection. The process of writing may be a solitary one, but once you put your project out there you are open to rejection and that takes courage.
Resilience is necessary during the publishing process. Finding a publisher can be very difficult, and sometimes an agent or publisher won’t even respond to your submission. Keep going.
Determination is needed for sure because writing a book takes time and hard work. If you want it, you have to make it happen. I wrote Unbalanced while working a full time job. I didn’t have eight hours a day to make my dream come true, but I worked hard to write bits and pieces. My advice to you is to write whenever you can. I only wish I had started earlier.
- Is there anyone who has influenced your writing?
No one author in particular, but all of them too. Every author of every book I’ve ever read has influenced me.
- What makes you sit down and want to share your stories?
I love powerful women and really enjoy reading about them. I wanted to create characters with amazing powers who use them to fight against impossible situations because it is the kind of story I wanted to read. I write what I love to read, strong women kicking butt.
- If you could be a character from one of your favourite novels, who would it be, and why?
I know it’s probably cliche, but I would be Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice. She was my first strong woman literary idol. She’s witty, sassy, and strong. I’m also a fan of Arya, from George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, because she’s strong in the face of those devious Lannisters, and she gets to kick butt.
Thank you Courtney. Great answers that give us a real insight into what makes you tick.
Click on Courtney’s links below: