What’s your pen name and what genre do you write.
I do not use a pen name, just Courtney Lillard, and I write fantasy books. The current series I am working on is specifically a YA epic fantasy story.
Who inspires you and why?
My husband and my family inspire me because they are such an amazing support group. I enjoy writing, and I strive to create well-written, unique, and organized books because I believe anyone who pick up my series is worthy of the best I can possibly put out.
Give me an example of the kind of jokes does your comic relief character make.
I don’t have a comic relief character specifically. Each character has their moments of joking and fun, which I try to use sparingly. Sometimes it seems like books try to be like TV shows with quips here and there and a single character that is used only for comic relief. That’s perfectly fine to do, but I like to strive to make my characters as relatable as possible.
Which of your characters would live at a library and how would they survive?
One of the side characters introduced in the first book is named Will Shairp. He is a botanist/herbalist/medicine man who develops into a competent fighter and braver individual as the series progresses. Still, he loves researching and invites (or drags) his friends on adventures to find new items to study. He would be content remaining in a library, but would need to rely upon the palace servants or his friends to make sure he is eating and taking care of himself.
Tell me how your family reacted when you published your first novel?
I had such a fun reaction when my family found out because I didn’t mention anything to them until The Shadow’s Grasp was published. It was surprising for them because I didn’t show my interest in writing, at least not with the intent to publish, and I received such positive support from them, as well as friends, coworkers, and extended family. Of course, now they believe I’ll be famous in a matter of months and have a movie lined up after that. It’d be nice, but not until the rest of the series is published!
What kinds of rewards do you give yourself for completing a goal?
Writing for me isn’t goal-based, which is different than a lot of other authors. I don’t believe in setting a word limit per day or setting aside a specific amount of time because it shifts my mentality. Of course, if you need to organize your schedule because of work, family, etcetera, that’s up to you. I find myself more productive in the mornings when I can sit down and write for a couple of hours, or spend time editing, formatting, or marketing what I have finished. It’s a tricky balancing game for sure, but one that is very rewarding when complete. I say, do what works for you. If you like using goals to set boundaries, do it! Just for me, personally, my reward is to write more!
What word should be deleted from all languages?
I know it is technically a real word now, but irregardless. People use it when they mean “regardless,” so is the definition the same as regardless, or does it actually mean “with regard to”? It’s too confusing!
If you have to pick just one:
Bearded hero or hero with a sword: Hero with a sword, hands down!
No reading for a year or no writing for a year: Tough one, but no reading. I’ll use my own books to hold me over.
Kickass heroine or damsel in distress: Actually, I enjoy a bit of both. I think both dimensions can fit in a story, but if I have to choose just one it would be the more confident heroine.
Clean or steamy: Clean… Keep it PG-13!
Tell me why you’re passionate about writing.
I was once pushed by my husband to consider what I believe my purpose is in life. It took a couple of days to consider this, but I found I enjoyed entertaining people. I had all of these story ideas, and found that writing was the best, most plausible method of expressing them. These stories are a part of my self, a part of who I am and what I want to put out into the world. Holding your book in your hand with that in mind is one of the most rewarding experiences.
What book do you want to read next?
I am currently reading TC Thorne’s Dark Emerald and have a couple of BETA books from friends left to read. I spent all summer collecting ARCs to review, so these are at the tail end of that list. After, I would like to take a break to focus more on my writing, then fall back into the classics Oliver Twist and Great Expectations.
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