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An interview with Courtney Lillard

1) Hello! Let’s get to know each other. What is your Author name; use your Pen name if you have one.

Courtney Lillard

2) What inspired you to become a writer?

My story ideas first took form when I started college in 2012. I had no intention of writing seriously, but publishing a book had been on my bucket list. Later in my academic career, I thought more about my future and what I wanted to do in life. That was when I realized I enjoy entertaining others, and the best method for me became the written word. Ever since that moment, I dedicated my craft to leaving a positive impression on others, and the goal became to take the reader out of this world, even for a little while.

3) Which character of yours is your favorite and why?

My favorite character is the protagonist, Coura, because I definitely put the most thought into her development as the series progresses. A lot of people will tell me they dislike her in the first book because she’s essentially an immature, naïve trainee. When she becomes a target for demonic magic, she must grow up fast and learn what she values most in order to protect the people she cares about.

4) What is the hardest challenge in being a writer?

In my opinion, the challenge is accepting that you will always need to learn and adapt. I was ignorant of the process when I first started, which led me to make poor decisions with the series (marketing, vanity publisher, editing issues, etc.), and I spent a lot of time and money learning what works for me. There’s no one, right way to write, publish, or market your book; trial and error involves failing, but how you stand up, learn, and move forward will determine your level of success in the future.

5) What is the one thing you wish you knew at the beginning of your writing journey?

I wish I took the time to explore both traditional and indie publishing, as well as the dangers of vanity presses. I made an impulsive decision to pay a publisher for their assistance, which ended up setting me back quite a bit. Still, I can’t regret making the mistakes I made because it taught me a lot about what I want as an author and how to go about publishing the rest of my series.

6) What is your favorite character from any book you have ever read?

I’m a sucker for Mercedes Lackey’s Heralds of Valdemar series, and I could choose a handful of her characters (Skif, Amberdrake, Elspeth). I think I would have to say Vanyl from her Last Herald Mage trilogy because of his growth from a bratty teen thrown into a new world to the most powerful person in the country.

7) What is you preferred method of reading a book? (Audio, paperback, hardcover, or eBook)

I prefer a paperback book. Because I like to read outside, ebooks have been handy on cloudy days, but nothing beats the classic version.

8) Name one book that you have reread several times.

If I can count my own, then I’d say each of my books! Outside of edits, I would have to say Jurassic Park. It’s one of my favorite books, and I catch something new every time I read it.

9) What is one book that is currently on your To-Be-Read list?

There are a few in a pile on my nightstand, but I’ve actually been meaning to read Great Expectations. I read it in high school for class, but didn’t quite understand what made it so popular. Now that I’m older and willing to break down each chapter, I feel I can grasp the mature themes better.

10) If you could live in any “book world” what would that be?

I would love to live in and explore Narnia. Each book in the series introduces new aspects of the world, which changes constantly with each human’s visit. Plus, it wouldn’t hurt since I’m a daughter of Eve.

11) Do you own any interesting ‘bookish’ memorabilia or clothes? If so, what?

The lone piece of memorabilia I own is a necklace my sister gave me for Christmas. It’s a book charm with the cover of my first book.

12) What is your best book memory?

I’ll never forget when I selected my first fantasy book that introduced the genre. I was wandering through the public library’s fantasy section, which was located next to the teen and young adult books. On the spine, I spotted a white horse with violet eyes. That book was Lackey’s Take a Thief, and I fell in love with her world and the idea of magic.

13) What is the name of your book/series? Tell me a little bit about them.

My series is The Dark Angel, and currently the first three books have been published. The Shadow’s Grasp: Book One was published in January of 2021 but went through some additional edits and cover changes to reach its final edition. The Guardian’s Deception: Book Two was published in September of 2021, and The Puppet’s Blight: Book Three was published in February of 2022. The fourth book, The Angel’s Descent, will be available July 22nd. I’m nearing the end of writing book six, which will be the final release, unless I decide to add an extra sequel in the future.

14) Do you have a website? If so, what is it?

15) Where can we find and follow you? (Name your social media platforms.)

16) If there anything important that you would want my readers to know about you?

My series focuses on developing the characters over several years. Most readers will tell me they dislike the protagonist or one of the side characters, and in a way, that’s the point. If everyone was likable or perfect from the beginning, they would remain stagnant throughout their adventures. I hope my readers keep this in mind, not only at the beginning in order to keep going with the series, but also with each new book release to look back at their development.


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