Thursday, April 24, 2014

PPWC 2014 Q&A - Deb Courtney

1. What was the defining moment that made your realize you wanted to be an author?

I wrote my first short story when I was about 7. I have always been a word person. I became a small publisher when I realized I could put my professional background in marketing, project management, publication management/editing and journalism all to work in a way that would work well in the rapidly changing publishing arena.

2. What is the one thing you cannot work without? What is your creative vice?

I need an internet connection AND a computer AND a cool notebook AND a pen with the perfect width, heft and ink flow. My creative vice is liking repetition too much. I am overly fond of repetition, and like to repeat myself for emphasis as a literary tool. A lot. Repeatedly.

3. If you could 'revive' any literary figure from the past for a one hour conversation, who would you choose?

Shakespeare. He was the genre writer of his time and yet his works have clearly stood the test of time. I'd like to understand the difference between what he intended to do, and what he actually accomplished, and how he feels about it.

4. What is one of your more notable or unusual conference or convention experiences?

I read the first page of my own work-in-progress out loud and was met with stunned silence. I assumed it was because it was awful, and was surprised to get a super enthusiastic response, especially in light of having used the F-word maybe 4 times in that first page. That's me, swearing in public since the late 1970s.

5. If we asked your friends and family to compare you to a cartoon character, which would they choose, and why?

Jessica Rabbit. Slightly conniving, surprisingly intelligent, with a true love of revealing clothing and stilettos.

6. What is one thing would you like aspiring authors to know about the road to success?

That writing the number of words that constitutes a full manuscript isn't enough. When you hit 80,000 or so words what you have is a perfectly square block of marble, a starting point. The talent is in carving away the excess and refining that block into its true essence, doing the hard work until you reveal the work of art inside.

About the Author: Deb holds a degree in Fiction from the University of South Florida, where she was a Saunders Scholar in Fiction. She has had numerous short stories published and has worked as a freelance journalist. Her background includes marketing and public relations in several business sectors. Her most recent venture is Courtney Literary.

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