I am thrilled to host historical author Courtney Milan on the blog today. If you haven’t been introduced yet, you’re in for a treat. Her latest novel “Unveiled” released this week, and you’ll want to look for “Unclaimed” in October.
Courtney is the author of one of Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of 2010, a RITA® finalist, and an RT Reviewer’s Choice Nominee for “Best First Historical Romance.” She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, a well-trained dog, and an attack cat. Her husband attempts not to kill people for a living. In exchange, Courtney attempts not to do the dishes. It works out well.
Heather: How often do you get lost in a story?
Courtney: I get lost in everything—parking lots, cities, forests, buildings, deserts, the wasteland of my imagination…. I get lost in stories, too, but it’s not really a unique accomplishment. I figure I get lost five or six times a day.
Heather: What’s the first book you remember reading?
Courtney: You don’t want to know that. The answer is actually Roots, by Alex Haley, and it traumatized me. I was six. It was not the first book I read, but it’s the first one I remember reading. And oh, do I remember it. The rape scene. The scene involving circumcision. The cock-fighting. I understood about 20% of it, and what I understood gave me nightmares.
Heather: Where do you read and how often?
Courtney: Anywhere I can, and everywhere I can! I have read in the following completely ridiculous places: while walking home. In the bathroom. In the bathtub. In the shower (yes, in the shower—you have to hold it outside the shower curtain with one hand, and be very careful). While driving. (At red lights. Also, at red lights that just turned green, with people honking in the background).
Heather: Be honest, when reading 1st person...do you miss the hero’s POV?
Courtney: Who says you can’t get the hero’s POV in first person? I submit to you Sarah Rees Brennan’s brilliant The Demon’s Lexicon, which is from the point of view of a boy (albeit not first person). I submit to you Brenna Yovanoff’s The Replacement, which is also from the point of view of a boy. I submit to you Simone Elkeles’s fabulously romantic Perfect Chemistry, which splits first-person viewpoint between a boy and a girl.
Boys have points of view! I hear that they even use the first-person singular pronoun to refer to themselves.
Heather: What’s the first thing you do when you finish writing a book?
Courtney: Usually, I sleep. Then I wake up and say, “Yay, it’s done!” to my husband, who is very grateful, as he doesn’t get to see me towards the end. And he says, “Yay!” And then I pout and I say, “It sucks. It’s the worst book ever. I don’t know what I’m doing. How will I fix this one?”
The euphoria, it lasts about ten minutes before the neurosis takes over.
Heather: What question are you never asked in interviews, but wish you were?
Courtney: Oh, that’s a great question. “Here, Courtney. Can you ask yourself a question?” There are lots of questions I wish people asked me. “Courtney, how did you get to be 100% awesome?” Or: “Courtney, why must you be so cool? You are casting me into disrepute!” Nobody ever asks these questions, for obvious reasons.
I’ll settle for, “Courtney, what did you do with the tea?”
Heather: Do you read reviews of your books? If so, do you pay any attention to them, or let them influence your writing?
Courtney: Yes. Yes. And yes, sometimes, if they’re right. I have never read a review that is as scathing as my own worst thoughts about my book. Sometimes I read a review and say, “enh, she just won’t like my books.” Sometimes I say, “Yes, this is true, and I will try to do better next time.”
Heather: Tea or Coffee? And how do you take it?
Courtney: Tea. I take it often and black.
Heather: What does it mean to love someone?
Courtney: Loving someone means never having to do the laundry. (I have to admit I am writing these sitting next to Mr. Milan, and he doesn’t think that one was very funny.)
Heather: Which is your favorite language other than your native language?
Heather: How much money does it take to be happy?
Courtney: One cent more than you need to cover your bills.
Heather’s GOTTA ASK – Courtney’s GOTTA ANSWER J
Heather: So, I noticed on your website that you give code-names to your books as you write them. Tell us a little about the code name for “Unveiled”, and do you give any code-names to other things/people in your life?
Courtney: Unveiled’s codename is “Bigamy,” because Ash Turner discovers that Margaret’s father is a bigamist. When he discloses that evidence, it results in her being declared a bastard. I only give embarrassing code-names to books—but in this book, my hero has a code name, too! “Ash” is actually not his real name. His real name is…well, I would tell you, but his name really embarrasses him, so you’ll have to read and watch for it.
Come to think of it, I give embarrassing codenames to my brothers and sisters, too. If you check out my dedications to my books so far, a few of them are to brothers and sisters, and they all have codenames. The next book out is for Wathel.
GOT A QUESTION YOU’D LIKE TO ASK YOUR FANS?
What’s the most embarrassing code-name (or nick-name, or unkind moniker) that you’ve ever had bestowed on you?
WILL YOU HAVE A DRAWING FROM THOSE LEAVING COMMENTS?**
Yes—I’ll give away a copy of both UNVEILED, my latest release, and TRIAL BY DESIRE, my release from last year.
Thanks so much for being with us today, Courtney! Where can your fans learn more about you on the web?
**Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North American addresses only. If an Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) is available, the author may utilize that option for International participants. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.
Come back again tomorrow, when Cat hosts Tessa Radley!