Thursday, June 28, 2012

Courtney Summers Author Interview

Photo Content from Courtney Summers

Courtney Summers was born in Belleville, Ontario, Canada in 1986 and currently resides in a small town not far from there. At age 14, and with her parents' blessing, Courtney dropped out of high school to pursue her education independently. At age 18, she wrote her first novel and never looked back. Her first book, Cracked Up to Be, was published in 2008, when she was 22. To date, she has authored five novels and is best known for her unapologetic, difficult female protagonists. In 2016, Courtney was named one of Flare Magazine's 60 under 30.


What was the greatest thing you learned at school?
That the traditional education system isn't for everyone.

Is there such a thing as a formula for storytelling?
It depends on what kind of story you're telling. :)

What are “Character Rules” and give us some examples.
I have never heard of Character Rules, but some things I keep in mind when I'm writing my own characters are to make sure their actions are consistent with the personality I've developed, so they are as realistic as possible.

What are some of the common challenges that new and experienced authors face and what advice do you have for over-coming them?
Letting the work go can be hard. An author goes through that every time they release a book and sometimes it's easy and sometimes it's not. My advice is to always work on something new to make that easier.

In your new book, This is not a Test; can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about the novel?
This Is Not a Test is about six teens trapped inside their high school during the zombie apocalypse, told through the perspective of a girl who doesn't want to live.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating Sloane?
I always assumed I would be AWESOME in a zombie apocalypse but when I started creating Sloane, I had to ask myself if that was really true. As I wrote, I realized I related to her take on things more than I didn't; it would be hard to continue in that kind of situation without having anything worth continuing for.

Do you have a favorite quote that you keep visible in your work environment to help inspire you?
Nope. But when I'm in the thick of a book and it's getting hard, I try to remind myself "the only way out is through."

If you could introduce Sloane to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
I like keeping my characters in the bubbles they live in. :)

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?
My next book, All the Rage, comes out from St. Martin's in 2013. It's a psychological thriller about a girl who blackmails a rich classmate and then wakes up on a road with no memory of the night before.

What question are you never asked in interviews but wish you were?
I'm fortunate that I'm asked pretty great questions!

Most horrifying dream you have ever had?
It's too horrifying to speak of!

When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?
I'm not ready to give up the lie enough to tell you.

If I came to your house and looked in your closet/attic/basement, what’s the one thing that would surprise me the most?
I own a lot of Archie comics because Archie comics are awesome. (That and the bodies.) ;)

When was the last time you cried?
I cry easily! And sometimes over silly things like touching commercials, so it's hard to keep track. :)

Who is the first person you call when you have a bad day?
My mom or my sister.

Thanks for having me on your blog, Jean!

It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self. To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live. But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside. When everything is gone, what do you hold on to? 

The raw and horrifying This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers delivers a very fascinating look into the alternate future. The main character, Sloane, is in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. Along with several other teenagers, they are running for their lives and find their old high school as their sanctuary. Barricading themselves inside the school, they must figure out how they will survive. Although these kids are faced with the same predicament, differences overcome their need to stick together.

Courtney has devised an amazing story that will have readers truly feel the fear contained in this book. The zombie apocalypse that she describes is wonderful. She makes a horrifying incident into a magnificent work of literature. The interactions between characters are realistic and do not at all feel fabricated. It is also thought-provoking as it will have readers demising a survival plan in case of a life-threatening epidemic. Courtney digs deep into readers’ minds and leaves a bold feeling of fear and confusion.

Forget all the things you know about zombies. This is a unique approach to the zombie genre that generates a very intense and interesting story.Courtney presents us with such a simple situation but provides a deep analysis of how we interact with one another in the most severe survival situations. She even takes it up a notch as the story is told from the perspective of a depressed Sloan who has lost all interest of living. The psychological factor is very powerful and meaningful. This book has all the ingredients of a great story.

You can purchase This is Not a Test at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you COURTNEY SUMMERS for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a copy of This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers.


  1. The premise of the book seems very interesting... Looking forward to checking this book out! Thank you for the interview and giveaway!

  2. TThank you so much! Fingers crossed

  3. I cant wait to read this book, I love Courtney´s writing, I read all of her books.

  4. Thank you for this lovely interview and giveaway

  5. Bummer!
    I really wanted to know the lie one hehehe
    Thanks Jean!

  6. Thanks so much for this chance!

  7. I know I am coming in late but I went and said how awesome it was of her to donate!! You know so many awesome authors :) Thank you for another great giveaway!!