INTERVIEW: COURTNEY RENE

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Courtney Rene. Courtney Rene is a pen name because she said her real last name was apparently hard to pronounce and even harder to spell.

“Courtney Rene is simple and easy to remember. Plus it’s my real first name and my middle name. It works for me,” she said.

She’s been writing since she was small—as in about five years old, however she didn’t seriously start writing until she was almost twenty. Even now, there are days, she admitted, that she still doesn’t feel like a writer.

“Sometimes I will say, out loud, that I am a writer and it just makes me feel giddy and silly. Sometimes I like to keep it personal and don’t share it at all,” she told me. “The day I first felt like a real and true writer was the day I held my very first novel in my hands. Yes, I had already had other publications, but the book felt real.”

Her latest release is titled Shadow Warrior. It’s the second book of the trilogy Shadow Dancer. In this book her main character, Sunny, is making her first trip to the other side of the shadows to the kingdom of Acadia. It’s supposed to be a fun meet and greet vacation type trip. From being separated from Leif, to being injured, and realizing that Acadia is not at all what she was told or imagined, what she gets is far, far from a vacation. In Shadow Warrior the reader gets to see Acadia, meet new people, see old friends, and get a good first look at the King.

“What’s your writing space like?” I asked.

She laughed. “Writing space? What is that? Have lap-top will write. I don’t actually have my own writing space. I spread out and pack up every night from my dining room table. I cart around a bag that has all my necessary supplies so that should I have a moment or time or thought, I can whip it out and get busy. My husband and I are talking about finishing the basement this year and putting in an office for me, but…I won’t hold my breath. If it happens, that will be great, but until then, I will make do.”

The hardest part about writing for Courtney is time.

“If I had the time I would be so much further along that I am. If I could, I would write all day and night and be quite happy in doing so, but my life doesn’t allow that. Instead I have to make time and find time and there just isn’t enough of it,” she told me.

When she’s not writing, you can usually find Courtney reading.

“Yes, I am so boring,” she said. “I read everything and anything from horror to romance to all that is in between. You can also find me outside in the garden or the orchard in the warmer days. I love seeing what I can grow. I put in a small orchard several years ago and now that it is producing real edible fruit, I am quite busy trying to keep the bugs and deer and birds from devouring it all.”

She didn’t actually want to be a writer when she was growing up. When she was in the fifth grade, she wanted to be a flight attendant, because the idea of traveling all over the world for free sounded like the best job ever.

“Sadly, here I am today and never once even been on a plane,” she admitted.

When she was a junior or senior in high school, she wanted to be a veterinarian, until she spent some time at the Humane Society.

“I realized that I was too sensitive for the job,” she told me. “I don’t mind blood and guts, but putting to death animals for the simple reason that no one wanted them, was too hard on me. I cried for days after that.”

“What is your most embarrassing moment?” I asked her.

“It’s hard to pick just one. I have events happen all the time. An embarrassing writing moment though happened my senior year of high school. We had to write a short story from a picture. The picture I was given was of a man standing in a window. He looked sad to me, so I wrote a story about him fighting with suicidal thoughts. Well, apparently it was too ‘accurate’ or something as the next thing I knew my mom was being called into the school and I was having a meeting with the school counselor and there was talk about me seeing a doctor. I about died. I was so ticked off after that, that I just wrote a bunch of crap ‘happy’ stories for that class for fear of it being taken the wrong way.”

Her strangest habit? She has to always have something on her lips: lip balm, gloss, ChapStick, whatever.

“No, seriously,” she assured me, “If I had to live without it, I would surely die. You can stop me anywhere, anytime, and I will most likely have at least one, usually two tubes, of the stuff on me. Out on the street, sitting at work, at home, doing dishes, lip-stuff is always at hand.”

Her favorite food is Fettuccine Alfredo—to the extent that if she’s at a restaurant and they have it on the menu, she’s going to get it. Her least favorite? Fish. She hates it.

“The smell, the texture, the fishy-ness of it. Just plain ick,” she elaborated. “Now when I was pregnant with my second child I had a thing for McDonald’s fish sandwiches with cheese but that was a complete and total aberration. The thought of it now just gags me.”

“What is the most embarrassing thing your mother ever did to you?” I wondered.

“Again, just one? My mom used to take such joy out of embarrassing me. Whether it was showing up at school to pick me up in her pj’s or burping in front of my boyfriends, she was the pro. The most embarrassing thing though is probably the time I snuck out to go to a party at a friend’s house. No beer, no drugs, just loud, loud music and PDA everywhere (sadly not for me). She and my dad burst in the door and start yelling my name…..after I had already left. They broke up smooching couples and told them they were my parents and asked where I was. You could have buried me alive and I would have been happy. I didn’t get asked to many parties after that. I guess that was the point.”

Her favorite television shows, in no specific order, are:

Survivor!–If I could live without the lip balm and didn’t have to eat fish to survive I would so try out for that show! No, really, I would. I would be awesome, too.

Criminal Minds. I love that show. It gives me great villain ideas for some of my stories. Plus I really like REED (tall, skinny, super smart kid). I want to have his mind. That would be so cool.

“The new show, Once Upon a time. I like the mystery of it and all the fairytales woven within.

“There is also a new zombie show, Walking Dead. Love it! It doesn’t follow the comic all that much but it is still a great imagination story.”

” What would we find under your bed?” I asked.

“I just went and looked. There is an electric blanket, a paper press, two dirty socks (not of the same pair of course) a mini Twix wrapper and loads of dust. Apparently I don’t look under there enough.”

Finally, I asked, “If you were stranded on a desert island and were only allowed to have five modern conveniences with you, what would they be?”

“Lip balm, a gallon of it. You know why. Solar powered heater. I hate being cold. HATE IT. Yes I live in Ohio. Don’t ask me why, as I have no idea. My ipad. It has my music and my internet on it as well a notepad and facetime. What more could you need? My Kindle. I could survive a lot as long as I had a supply of books at hand, and since I have the 3g version I would have a lifetime supply. Solar powered generator. Hey, I am going to need the power to charge my ipad and my kindle.”

About the Author:

Courtney Rene lives in Ohio with her husband and two children. She is a graduate and member of the Institute of Children’s Literature. Her writings include magazine articles, short fiction stories, several anthologies, and her Shadow Dancer series, published through Rogue Phoenix Press. For a complete listing, visit www.ctnyrene.blogspot com. Please feel free to contact her at ctnyrene@aol.com.

Find the author online at:

http://www.facebook.com/#!/Ctnyrene

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Shadow-Dancer/164433473646449

http://twitter.com/#!/ctnyrene

Comments

  1. Great interview. I’m eager to read Shadow Warrior, since I was sad when Shadow Dancer was over. 🙁 I wanted MORE!

  2. Wonderful interview! I’ve read Shadow Dancer and Shadow Warrior and highly recommend it to anyone who has an imagination and wants to see a little bit of romance as well. Courtney has a great voice in her character “Sunny” which really made me enjoy both books. I can’t wait for her 3rd book in the series!

  3. I think this is my favourite interview yet, for style and content. Stellar. And I recently finished reading Shadow Warrior… it is GOOD. Smart, cheeky, insightful, and laugh-out-loud funny.

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