Monday, February 13, 2012

The "Write" Facts Interview: Courtney King Walker

The “Write” Facts is a new weekly post where I’m chatting with a different author every week about everything to do with writing. Here we’ll be discussing the writing process, editing, working with an agent, publishing houses and talking about some of the logistics of book you either already love or will soon be a new favorite!

This week, Courtney King Walker is here to talk about her novel ON THE FRINGE and to share her writing journey. Set back, relax and prepare to chat about all things writing!

Courtney King Walker
Novel: On the Fringe
Agent: I currently don’t have an agent.
Publisher: Lands Atlantic Publishing
Word Count: just over 70,000
Describe your novel in five words: First love lost. Then found. *(It also works as an anagram. Sort of. Check it out)
Favorite Word: Inconceivable!
Writing is like (fill in blank): Being a kid again.

1) Are you a plotter or a pantser (write without a plot to see where the story takes you)?

A little of both. I always seem to start with an opening scene, and then build the story around that. Sometimes that opening scene will end up in the middle of the story instead of the beginning, but that is where the initial idea comes from. Then I build on that. Unfortunately, I also lose all my stamina if I don’t have a basic outline to follow (and some munchies nearby). So I always eventually deviate from the “master plan” as I go along…sort of like how real life works— it seems I never actually end up exactly where I’d planned. But I’m still happy when I get there, and grateful for the journey.

2) What are some of the things you do to motivate yourself to write? Do you have any goals set up, rewards or do you not need motivation? 

Music inspires me more than anything else. My little sister makes these playlists for me with all sorts of killer music that no one has discovered yet. Literally dozens of times I’ve been in the movies and at the mall, only to hear a ‘new’ song she’d turned me on to well over a year ago.

One character in On the Fringe, Aden, was inspired by a song by Mirah, called “The Garden,” also a crazy creepy delicious dance performed on “So You Think You Can Dance” three years ago. I modeled Aden after the character in that dance.

Another song that really inspired the whole idea of Claire and Daniel’s brief connection to each other is a song by Sea Wolf called “Middle Distance Runner.” It is a haunting, beautiful song that gets me every time. The words mean something like, he is a middle distance runner so he can’t reach her because she is too far away, so she’ll need to come meet him halfway, instead. That is the essence of Claire and Daniel’s story.

Here are the links to them on YouTube (if you’re okay with posting them):

Middle Distance Runner-

The Garden Dance -

I also have a playlist on my website –

3) Can you tell us about The Call from your publisher?

 I can tell you about The Call from my publisher. I’d just come home from a business trip with my husband, and had decided that after a year of trying to get published, it was time to put my manuscript in a drawer and start on something new. And then my phone rang. It was my (now current) publisher, telling me how much she loved my book and that she wanted to publish it. When I got off the phone, the first thing I did was cry. Which is a big deal for me because I’m sort of waterproof, even at funerals and at Nicholas Sparks movies. Anyway, I literally cried out loud, and said a little prayer of thanks before doing anything else (like calling my husband or breathing).

4) What is the most important part of editing?

That is such a tough question! I actually really love editing, which makes me crazy, according to my 15-year-old son. When I was helping him with an English paper, he said to me, disgusted, of course, “You actually like writing? I’d rather do ten pages of algebra than this.” I guess I shouldn’t expect him to follow in my footsteps.

I would have to say that, other than making sure there are no glaring errors, getting the “voice” right is probably most important and most difficult part of editing for me, because that is what gives the book its personality. In “On the Fringe” the POV is written for both Claire and Daniel, which made the task doubly hard; it was definitely the most challenging part for me, trying to make each voice unique and consistent from beginning to end.

5) How do you deal with rejection?

I am a graphic designer, and in college one of the first things my design professors taught me was to accept criticism as part of the game, as a way to make you be a better artist. So I do see rejection and criticism in that light. Anyone who is creative and puts their work out there won’t ever grow if they buckle under the pressure. But, no matter how constructive it is, rejection still hurts (though, as mentioned above, it doesn’t make me cry! YET).

6) What is something you didn’t expect to happen after you published your novel?

Seeing my parents’ genuine pride in me, and their enthusiasm for my accomplishment. It seemed a given for them to cheer me on and encourage my every achievement when I was a kid. Like, that was their job, right? So after being away from home for so long, it was surreal and overwhelming and touching to come home for a book signing and have my mom and dad there for me, cheering me on, being my number one fans. I felt like I’d just won first place in the spelling bee, or scored a winning goal in soccer. Seeing such love and pride in their eyes, if nothing else, was worth more than anything else I could gain from this.

7) What is your best piece of advice for aspiring authors?

Write something meaningful that holds a place in your heart. That way, no matter what anyone else thinks or says or does, you know you wrote something you can stand by and be proud of. I think one of the most important things we can learn in life is that our own view of ourselves is much more important than anyone else’s. Sometimes we try so hard to get other people to like us that we forget how to love ourselves.

Finally, while I have Courtney here, I had to ask her a question about ON THE FRINGE!

Bonus question: Claire seems lost and searching. What do you think she'd bring along on her journey as a compass to remind her of herself?

Such a great question (at which my son would cringe)! I think Claire would bring with her a little flickering candle, barely lit, but definitely burning. By the end of the novel, Claire becomes a beacon of light, not just to those around her, but also to herself and even to those on the other side. Her courage to believe in herself and overcome her fears, especially when everything around her is foggy and unclear, is really the catalyst to each character finding their very own ‘happy ending.’

I want to give a big thanks to Courtney King Walker for stopping by the blog today and answering my questions! Next week, Lauren DeStefano is dropping by to discuss all things writing!


  1. That's cool that she's published without an agent! That seems difficult these days. Also, "The Garden"? SUCH a cool dance! One of my favorite from SYTYCD! :)

  2. Hi Amber! I just wanted to let you know that you've been tagged! All you have to do is click here and answer the questions. It takes you to my blogpost where I too have answered the questions of the person who tagged me. It's a great way to learn more about your fellow bloggers, and I hope you join in the fun!

    Kelly @ Dandelion Dreams


Thinking of writing something below? Well, that's why you are awesome! I always love feedback!

This blog is an award free zone. With the demand of a full time job, blogging time is becoming much more precious and I just don't have the time to meet the demands of awards. Thanks so much for thinking of me anyway!

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Blog Design by Use Your Imagination Designs all images form the Impossible Things kit by Studio Tangie and Rebecca McMeen