Novelist in Progress: Courtney C. Stevens

Future Release: The Fab authors you need to know about now!

courtney stevensName: Courtney C Stevens
Hometown: Bandana, Kentucky
Based In: Nashville, TN
Website, Twitter
Favorite Read: Winger by Andrew Smith; I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
Pet Peeves: Cruelty to people working in the service industry, Room temperature drinks.
Fiction-How-To or Publishing Book You’ve Found Most Helpful: Save the Cat by Blake Snyder
If You Weren’t a Writer You’d Be…Well, I am a professor, so I would definitely teach. I was also in youth and college ministry for nearly a decade, and that will always appeal to me. In the summers, I could totally work for a mowing/lawn service. But not if I had to also operate a weed eater, I’m too short for that.
Work in Progress: Faking Normal – Releases February 25th, The Blue-Haired Boy – Impulse release March 5th, Untitled Project (working title-The Truth Hurts) – releases Spring 2015
Genre: Contemporary Realistic Young Adult Fiction, 2014
Author Crush: Well, Smith and Zusak for sure, but there are so many people I admire. Here are a few: John Corey Whaley, Veronica Roth, Leigh Bardugo, Shaun Tan, Oliver Jeffers
What I’m Learning About the Craft So Far: The trickiest thing in writing (for me) isn’t writing a scene that works; it’s writing a scene that works with all the other scenes. There are a million ways to get from here to there, and authors have the obligation and responsibility of choosing the most powerful, compelling way to tell the story.
How I Deal With Writer’s Block: If I’m really stuck, I drive to the beach and write longhand by the ocean.
If I’m sort of stuck, I exercise or intake rather than output story for an hour or so (books, TV, movies, art.)
My Plot Philosophy: I write character-driven stories, so my first rule is to know my character. It’s the single greatest thing I can do for plotting. Beyond that, I operate plot like the GPS in my car. I plug in where I want to go. Know where you are going. I follow the suggested route. (Know the primary scenes and act-breaks. I do use the three act structure. If I hit a roadblock or don’t like the scenery, I hit detour. (Be willing to course correct so the character has room to act.
My Long Term Plan As An Author: On the writing-side: every day growth. That’s simple, but all I want is to be a better writer today than I was yesterday; a better writer tomorrow than today. On the author-side: Three things: 1) Be thankful. 2) Be humble. 3) Be an encourager.

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