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Interview with All the Rage Author Courtney Summers

 

courtneyinstaCourtney Summer writers in the YA genre. Her books include: Cracked Up to Be, Some Girls Are, This is Not A Test, Fall for Anything, All the Rage and Please Remain Calm (e-novella sequel to This is Not a Test). Read our interview with Courtney below.
Follow Courtney on Twitter.
 
Tell us about growing up in Canada.  Did you know your wanted to be a writer from a young age? 
“I’ve got no complaints about growing up in Canada. 🙂 I’m proud to be Canadian and I certainly enjoyed my childhood here.  I didn’t know I wanted to be a writer from a young age-I actually thought I’d be a singer one day of the week and a geologist on another when I was very little—but as I got older, I realized I wanted to be a storyteller. I spent most of my teen years figuring out the medium that would best enable me to do that. When I wrote my first novel, there was no looking back.”
Your first published novel was Cracked Up To Be. Where did you find your inspiration for the book?
“One of the novels I wrote before Cracked Up to Be got a lot of rejections. It was a YA with two POVs—a boy and a girl—and a lot of the agent feedback I received mentioned how unlikable the
female protagonist was. I’m sure that wasn’t the novel’s only shortcoming, but it inspired me to write Parker, the most outwardly unlikable female protagonist I could dream up. Luckily for me,
it worked out that time!”
You have written many wonderful books: Cracked Up To Be, Some Girls Are, This is Not a Test, Fall for Anything, All the Rage and Please Remain Calm (e-novella sequel to This is Not a Test). Which book is your favorite?
“Thank you! Usually, my favorite book is the one I’m currently working on. It’s impossible for me to pick from my already released titles. They’re all important to me in different ways and
they all taught me something different about writing.”
You write in the YA genre. Are there any other writers within your genre that you enjoy
reading?
“A few of my favorite YA authors include Brandy Colbert, Emily Hainsworth, Justina Ireland, CK Kelly Martin, Ellen Oh, Tiffany Schmidt and Nova Ren Suma.”
All the Rage is a very powerful title. Did you decide on this title initially or did the title emerge once you started writing the book?
“Thank you! I decided on All the Rage as the title a little while after I started writing it.”
All the Rage is primarily written in the first person narrative. Do you find that this writing
style is effective in the YA genre?
“I think the effectiveness of any narrative choice will depend on the writer. But I like writing my novels in first person, present tense, because I feel it enhances the novel’s immediacy and I think
YA is a great place for that kind of immediacy.”
 
Your protagonist is Romy Young. How did you come up with such a unique first name? She’s Romy Grey. 🙂 When it comes to naming characters, I use sites like Nymbler.com and just browse through names until I feel a ‘click.’ Once I feel that click, I know I have the name I need. It’s not a very scientific method! Do you draw from real life experiences in crafting your plots and characters? Or, do you rely on your fertile imagination?
“Most of the situations in my novels are invented, but their emotional truths are drawn from my own experiences. I may not have gone through the exact same kind of bullying Regina goes
through in Some Girls Are, for example, but I know what it’s like to be angry and hurt so I tapped into that when I wrote it.”
All the Rage addresses the serious issues of rape and bullying. What do you hope your readers will take away after reading the book?
“I hope All the Rage forces readers to think about rape culture and I hope it makes them angry about rape culture. I hope that anger inspires them to speak up against it and advocate for victims
and survivors.”
Do you feel comfortable to share with us any upcoming literary projects you may be working on?
“I’m superstitious, so my lips are zipped on what I’m currently working on, but I do have a short story in Violent Ends, which is an anthology about a school shooting. It’s out September 1st!”

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